How Do Top High School Basketball Recruits Pan Out?

Jackson Geller:

When looking at the data, it’s clear that about 6-7 of the top 10 prospects carve out legitimate NBA careers every year. Some don’t always live up to expectations, but they find a spot in the league and make plenty of money. There are only a few prospects billed as “can’t miss” who actually didn’t “miss” and went on to become all stars. Those are your John Walls and Kevin Durants — others include, if you’re interested: Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis and Andrew Wiggins.

Plenty “can’t miss” guys ended up having fine careers, but didn’t ascend to the level scouts anticipated: Gerald Green, Greg Oden, Michael Beasley, BJ Mullens, Josh Selby and Shabazz Muhammad.

But there are factors that vary for all these players. Some were billed can’t miss only because they were the best players in a relatively weak high school class (Green and Muhammad). Others were just overrated (Selby and Mullins). Then Oden and Beasley, both seen to be generational talents, floundered due to circumstances beyond their skill sets.