LaMelo and Draft Circumvention

 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:27 pm    Post subject: LaMelo and Draft Circumvention

Let's assume LaMelo would normally get drafted high in the first round, that the Lakers lack the pick needed to select him and that LaVar wants him on the Lakers. I took a look at the CBA and this appears to me to be the best path for LaMelo to circumvent the Draft.

Short version:
(i) You have to become draft eligible to get into the league. To become eligible you have to (a) be at least 19 years old in the calendar year of the draft and (b) meet eligibility as an “Early Entrant”, Non-Early Entrant or an International Player.

(ii) Being classified as an “Early Entrant” is a big deal.
a. For Early Entrants the drafting team holds your rights until 4-years removed from your HS class graduation. So for a one-and-done that’s three years.
b. For non-Early Entrants the drafting team holds your rights for one year

(iii) If you don’t sign with the team that initially drafts you and that team’s rights expire, you become draft eligible again for your “Subsequent Draft”.

(iv) The team that drafts you in the “Subsequent Draft” holds your rights for one year.

(v) If you don’t sign with that team after the one year you become a Rookie Free Agent.

(vi) Rookie Free Agents are in the 0 – 6 years of experience band and are eligible for up to 25% of the cap (provided the team has sufficient cap room).

The best way to avoid “Early Entrant” status is go the Mudiay route. If you play for a “professional basketball team not in the NBA” for one year before declaring for the draft, you are considered a non-Early Entrant [Article X Section 1 (b)(ii)(E)] and your initial drafting team will only hold your rights for one year provided you don't sign a professional contract to play basketball. If you then re-enter the draft your second drafting team will only hold your rights for one year provided you don't sign a professional contract to play basketball. So you become a rookie free agent three years removed from HS and can only be paid to play the first of those three years.

[Article X Section 1 (d) For purposes of this Article X, a “professional basketball team not in the NBA” means any team that pays money or compensation of any kind – in excess of a stipend for living expenses – to a basketball player for rendering services to such team.

It’s not clear if playing for the South Bay Lakers would be considered playing for an NBA team, though letter of the law it wouldn’t be because they are a “professional basketball team not in the NBA”. At any rate, LaMelo would at most be able to play for them for his would-be freshman year.

I don't really think LaVar would actually go to these lengths to get his son to the Lakers. But he is beefing with the NCAA over eligibility right now because of a shoe. Is the NCAA going to be ok with LaMelo earning money from that and a reality TV show while attending UCLA?

Would he be willing to go the non-NCAA route and put out there he was willing to sit out a year? The drafting team would essentially lose their pick. If they went that route, someone called his bluff and he sat out the year, would a second team be willing to use a pick to call his bluff? You have to imagine the threat alone would push his draft position down, in both the first and certainly the second draft.

With his family brand, his brother on the Lakers and his ability to build his brand from the wings he might be able to convince NBA teams he’s the rare case where they should consider it risky to use their draft pick on him.


http://nbpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2017-NBA-NBPA-Collective-Bargaining-Agreement.pdf
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:32 pm    Post subject:

Thats a lot of explaining for a guy that won't be on the Lakers.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject:

It's pretty interesting from a game theory perspective. The league did a good job setting the fences high enough that in almost every case a player would be better off just accepting the team that drafted them and taking another route if they eventually wanted to play elsewhere.

LaMelo's case isn't ordinary though. Not only does he have other income opportunities because of his family brand, he may actually have significant incentive to hold out. In theory he could make up his lost wages as a rookie free agent in one or two years. If the Ball family brand becomes a major LA franchise the NBA might not be able to incentive him enough not to hold out sans Lakers.

At the very least the threat of holding out and the specter of LaVar on your case might give drafting teams a lot to think about. It will be interesting to see how LaMelo's NCAA eligibility plays out.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:02 am    Post subject:

All that trouble for a team who might not even want you.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:17 am    Post subject:

Unless LaMelo receives direct personal income from a sports activity, the NCAA will fail to find basis to bar him from his UCLA scholarship and his right to compete in NCAA competition. The NCAA cannot prevent LaVar Ball (the boy's father) from using LaMelo's name and likeness to derive his own personal income, and that's the key thing to remember.

If the NCAA should attempt to bar LaMelo from competition or to a UCLA scholarship, they'll have severely underestimated LaVar Ball's desire to change the world, let alone his capacity for litigation. My wife would join the queue immediately with other attorneys in LA to take on the NCAA's wrongful basis for denial of the middle Ball brother's access to NCAA competition.

Whichever way - barred from college play or allowed to play, on or off scholarship - LaMelo appears unlikely to be a temptation to most NBA clubs. We'll have to watch to see if that changes.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:46 am    Post subject:

70sdude wrote:
If the NCAA should attempt to bar LaMelo from competition or to a UCLA scholarship, they'll have severely underestimated LaVar Ball's desire to change the world, let alone his capacity for litigation. My wife would join the queue immediately with other attorneys in LA to take on the NCAA's wrongful basis for denial of the middle Ball brother's access to NCAA competition.


They would probably lose. I'm no fan of the NCAA, but its legal legitimacy is at its maximum when it comes to amateurism rules. LaVar may want to change the world, but so far he has mostly made an ass of himself.

Anyway, this is a classic offseason thread. We don't know whether this kid is a serious NBA prospect. Heck, we don't even know whether his brother is going to make it in the NBA. By the time we get there, the idea of having another of LaVar's kids on the Lakers may be intolerable.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:59 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
70sdude wrote:
If the NCAA should attempt to bar LaMelo from competition or to a UCLA scholarship, they'll have severely underestimated LaVar Ball's desire to change the world, let alone his capacity for litigation. My wife would join the queue immediately with other attorneys in LA to take on the NCAA's wrongful basis for denial of the middle Ball brother's access to NCAA competition.


They would probably lose. I'm no fan of the NCAA, but its legal legitimacy is at its maximum when it comes to amateurism rules. LaVar may want to change the world, but so far he has mostly made an ass of himself.

Anyway, this is a classic offseason thread. We don't know whether this kid is a serious NBA prospect. Heck, we don't even know whether his brother is going to make it in the NBA. By the time we get there, the idea of having another of LaVar's kids on the Lakers may be intolerable.


The recent rulings from the O'Bannon class action suit suggests otherwise. The court has shown itself compelled to respond to a plaintiff when the NCAA appears to have overreached its authority when it comes to assessment of property rights (likeness and name) and rights to ownership of sports-related income streams stemming from a period of amateur status. Further definition of familial income rights are ripe for exploration in court. It will be fun to watch too; the shoe itself will no doubt flounder as a product in the sales arena. The marginal amount of the income tax basis attributable to the kid as an amateur sport figure will be difficult for the NCAA to prove worthy of denial of amateur status, that is without bringing on charges from Ball of selective scanning.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject:

To a large degree I was thinking of LaMelo as a case study in how rigid the draft-right rules are. Turns out the minimum time required to enter the league as a free agent (unless you go undrafted) is three years. The latter two years you also have to basically sit out. That's going to be impractical for almost all players but not impossible if the player has a strong conviction. It also sets the threat value for a drafting team.

For example, when OKC drafted Ferguson this year their pick earned them exclusive rights to sign him for one year as opposed to the player picked ahead of him (Giles) and after him (Allen) who's teams acquired exclusive rights for three years. It's certainly part of the equation that is important to GMs.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:59 am    Post subject:

70sdude wrote:
The recent rulings from the O'Bannon class action suit suggests otherwise. The court has shown itself compelled to respond to a plaintiff when the NCAA appears to have overreached its authority when it comes to assessment of property rights (likeness and name) and rights to ownership of sports-related income streams stemming from a period of amateur status. Further definition of familial income rights are ripe for exploration in court. It will be fun to watch too; the shoe itself will no doubt flounder as a product in the sales arena. The marginal amount of the income tax basis attributable to the kid as an amateur sport figure will be difficult for the NCAA to prove worthy of denial of amateur status, that is without bringing on charges from Ball of selective scanning.


The O'Bannon ruling didn't have anything to do with eligibility. The argument was the NCAA and its member schools conspired (which is a term of art in antitrust law) to limit the amount of revenue from names and likenesses that could be shared with athletes. The trial judge found for the athletes, but the Ninth Circuit greatly narrowed the relief that she granted. In particular, the Ninth Circuit restricted payments to athletes to the cost of attendance at the school, because the court did not want to turn college athletics into a de facto minor league system. (I find this to be oozing with irony, as I am no fan of the NCAA.)

I don't see how that would have much if any relevant to the LaVar Ball nonsense. If LaVar can circumvent the eligibility rules by pocketing the money himself, then boosters would drive an 18-wheeler through that loophole.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:03 am    Post subject:

Laker's Fan wrote:
To a large degree I was thinking of LaMelo as a case study in how rigid the draft-right rules are. Turns out the minimum time required to enter the league as a free agent (unless you go undrafted) is three years. The latter two years you also have to basically sit out. That's going to be impractical for almost all players but not impossible if the player has a strong conviction. It also sets the threat value for a drafting team.

For example, when OKC drafted Ferguson this year their pick earned them exclusive rights to sign him for one year as opposed to the player picked ahead of him (Giles) and after him (Allen) who's teams acquired exclusive rights for three years. It's certainly part of the equation that is important to GMs.


I went through the same exercise a few years ago, though I don't recall the context. My recollection is that the only way to evade the draft system without taking a major financial hit is to declare for the draft, fly below the radar, and avoid getting drafted.
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