clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


The season is finally winding down and as a non-playoff team our discussion will soon turn to the draft...a topic which is leaking around the edges of conversations already.  But before we dive head-first into these things, a little public service announcement:

Every year about this time GM's, coaches, and media types start shifting into what I call "draft-speak", that peculiar language designed to explain and justify why certain players are taken in certain positions (and usually why that was the Best Decision Ever).  Intense media scrutiny of every team, player, and pick has encouraged the proliferation of draft-speak to the point that it now rings from every war-room, sports desk, and blog page in existence.  Who could blame the layman for being confused in such an environment?  What does it all mean?  How do I know what's really going on?  Never fear.  As your introduction to the most celebrated draft in recent memory I have prepared this Draft Speak Lexicon for your convenience.  When you hear a pundit spout a nebulous-sounding phrase, all you have to do is look it up here and you'll know exactly what's going on.  Happy translating!

Phrase:  "Even if we had gotten the first pick this is the guy we would have taken."
Translation:  We tried to trade this guy and one of our other players for the first pick but it was a no-go.

Phrase:  "This guy is a great team defender."  
Translation:  If you're lucky he'll score as many for your team as he gives up to the other one.

Phrase:  "Some say this guy is the next...[insert name of superstar here]."
Translation:  Somebody's been interviewing his mother and his agent.

Phrase:  "This guy is a project."
Translation:  His only discernable talent is height.

Phrase:  "Up to this point this guy has traded on his athletic ability."
Translation:  The ball-bearing in his head makes a neat sound when he dunks.

Phrase:  "This guy is a coach's dream."
Translation:  He can't jump or get his shot off over anything taller than a corner mailbox.

Phrase:  "He has an NBA body."
Translation:  He's 32.

Phrase:  "He's a late first round pick but he has lottery talent."
Translation:  He has late first round talent.

Phrase:  "He's a second round pick but he has late first round talent."
Translation:  He has late first round talent and major attitude problems.

Phrase:  "You don't have to box him into a certain position.  He's just a basketball player."
Translation:  The exact meaning depends on position.  Consult chart below:

--If he's a center or power forward he's too short.
--If he's a shooting guard or small forward he's too slow.
--If he's a point guard he can't pass.

Phrase:  "This was a safe pick for them."
Translation:  Here's another candidate for the coveted "10th Man of the Year" award.

Phrase:  "This guy could have benefited from another year in school."
Translation:  The Sioux Falls Skyforce just got another starting player.

Phrase:  "He comes from a winning program."
Translation:  All the players we really wanted were gone.

Hope that helps!  If you have any other phrases you need translated let me know and I'll do my best.

--Dave (