On Thursday, the lives of sixty professional basketball hopefuls will change, as a selection in the draft will mean many get to realize their dreams of soon breaking into The Association.
Having said that, such a selection doesn't often come with any other guarantees. Stardom doesn't happen overnight. Each and every prospect takes a different path, not only to the NBA stage in general, but also to being able to make an impact on it as well. For some, it takes longer than others. This is why the D-League continues to play such an important role for NBA teams looking to nurture and develop younger talents. The minor league not only serves as a place for the game's up and comers to break down the door, but also a platform for those already there to simply get more reps and opportunities to play on the court, as a means of further honing their respective skills.
Taking all of this into consideration, many NBA executives believe that Kentucky guard Devin Booker could benefit most from extra playing time in the D-League as a rookie.
Booker is heralded as a likely lottery pick, but much of this consideration stems from the upside he boasts. Still just 18 years old (he'll be 19 in October), Booker is the youngest prospect available in this summer's draft pool. What's more, he has one of the purest shooting strokes, when compared to many of his fellow two-guard counterparts. He has the potential to develop into one of the NBA's most efficient scorers, but much like anything else, that'll take time and continued effort. In the meantime, plenty of NBA and D-League executives alike believe Booker could stand to improve the other facets of his game --- his agility, quickness, and instincts on both ends of the floor, for starters.
With plenty to improve upon in order to become the versatile talent he could be capable of, being featured as a centralized figure of his big league team's D-League affiliate could aid Booker in more ways than one. He could benefit from assignment time, arguably more so than just about any player set to be selected in the first round of Thursday's NBA Draft. This, of course, is at least what a multitude of executives around the league believe.
It may time for Booker to truly come into his own. The fact of the matter is, he'll likely be able to do that a whole lot quicker by donning a minor league uniform, and much less sitting at the end of his NBA team's bench.