The NBA Draft is not necessarily legal.
There are a few non-basketball people who make money analyzing the National Basketball Association draft who will never utter these words. The National Basketball Association draft is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and is only made legal through collective bargaining. The draft is illegal as it stops sixty elite college basketball players from shopping around for the best job. The players are denied choices where they can work. They have just one place to go. If they decide not to report to the team that drafts them, those players can sit out, force a trade or play in China or in Europe or elsewhere around the globe.
Here is how the draft becomes legal even though a third party, the incoming college players are hurt. NBA owners and the National Basketball Players Association can collectively bargain conditions for the draft and if that means shutting down college basketball players job possibilities so be it. The small cottage industry that makes money talking essentially about nothing, college players being drafted into the National Basketball Association, needs to keep the pretense going and say nothing about the way the draft becomes legal. The league claims it wants competitive balance and having the some of the worst basketball teams take the best players in a draft order that starts with the lottery winner picking first does that. But in reality, that isn’t the reason that the owners want the draft. By having a draft, the owners can suppress salaries and stop owners from bidding for the best college players. Basketball fans think the draft is one of the best events going but what fans are celebrating is a suppression of trade. NBA owners are very happy no one notices or cares that the draft is essentially illegal. The draft is an owners’ salary suppression tactic.