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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not only is NBA still horrible at evaluating individual prospects...by now we can also say that they are completely wrong at evaluating the quality of an entire year's draft pool in general.

2013 was considered to be one of the worst draft years of all time. Cavs who got the first pick gave it very little value and actively tried to shop it but nobody offered them enough. What happened next is history.



2014 was widely considered to be the greatest draft year since 2003. Not only had it 3 generational prospects in Wiggins, Parker and Embiid but there seemed to be tons of value in top 10 overall (don't forget that Marcus Smart would have been a consensus #1 pick had he joined the draft in 2013...now he went only 7th).



But amazingly enough we can now say that 2013 proved to be a slightly better draft year than 2014 (in fact it is certain that 2014 was the most over-hyped draft pool of all time).

Sure, 2013 had maybe the worst 1st pick ever in Bennett. But Oladipo now looks like an All-NBA guard and Otto Porter is a solid SF.

Looking at 2014 top 3: Both Wiggins and Parker have turned out to be busts. Embiid is a legit superstar and will reach Hall of Fame if his body holds up.

But 2013 had 2 brilliant long limbed Euros who weren't even lottery picks in this "weakest draft ever". Giannis at 15th and Gobert at 27th. Both are extremely valuable franchise cornerstones now.

2014 had no HoF-quality sleeper talent picked in the 1st round (the closest to a jackpot pick is maybe Clint Capela at 25th). Then in the 2nd round there was Jokic taken 41st. But 2014 draft's first 11 picks (other than Embiid) have ALL turned out to be outright busts or simply average/below average/disappointing players.

Maybe the unpredictability of those things is worth keeping in mind before hyping the 2019 draft class to high heavens.
 

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Well, the situations are always interesting because of the thought process behind the decisions. We never know what's going on in the mind of coaches, management, etc. Some teams usually go for positional needs while others go for the "best player/franchise player" argument. In other instances, some teams make silly player comparisons and sometimes it backfires i.e. Anthony Bennett "He's got a big body" "Therefore, LeBron successor" (What were they thinking, seriously?) . Some teams will make decisions based on NCAA performance (especially among lesser known players) while others on McDonalds All-American selections.

Speaking of draft projections. I watched the Duke-Kentucky opener. Kentucky IMHO tried their best. Duke was simply way overpowered. Too much. Regarding the differences between the 3 Duke stars. Difficult to make a comparison for Zion. I need to see more from him. Coach K wants him and to improve his shots more (the first shot he actually made was a 3 lol) because he's already has the speed/footwork, handles, drive, etc. He can finish tough layups with both hands. Once his jump shot is there on contested shots that's going to be a nightmare. RJ Barrett made a lot of tough buckets in the paint. There was a lot of contact on the plays and he just powered through. James Hardenlike in that manner. Reddish seems to be their best shooter. Made some good 3s. All 3 guys are a nightmare on transition. They can create a lot of free throw opportunities. Seems like Coach K is going to focus more on their defending, perimeter shooting as well as free throws.
 

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I think you're right in that they very often **** up. They get it wrong now and they got it wrong 20 years ago.

Sometimes it comes down to things that are just hard to anticipate. Wiggins and Parker for example seem to me like extremely talented players who could have gone quite far based on that, but one just lacked the mental strength at the highest level (but is still good enough to be a very decent NBA player, was rookie of the year, etc.) and the other just had terrible injuries. Of course these things may also be predicted, but only in a very limited way.

Other times it's hard to justify how well-paid people could have picked a dozen players before John Stockton and one team missed out on Michael Jordan, in the same draft... And it's even worse with the data to which they have access now.

I think they're probably better at identifying the real undisputed elite players at high school than at college.

A very recent steal seems to be the Celtics trade of their spot (Fultz) for the Sixers' (Tatum) for future picks. Tatum seems so much the better player it's not even funny.
 

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A lot of teams f'd up during the drafts, but what I'll say is that the Lakers scouting department have been top notch the past few years based on what they have picked in the late first round, namely Kuzma at 27th and Josh Hart at 30th. Svi Mykhailiuk looks to be another steal if he can become the shooter they need.

Let's see if Zion Williamson can live up to the next LBJ hype, but so far he looks to be a legit top 2 pick next year along with RJ Barrett. Duke have so much talent that they could even go all the way undefeated to winning the NCAA championship.
 

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:D The Fab 5 of Michigan made I think two back to back NCAA finals in the early 90ies but lost both of them to Duke and North Carolina. NCAA is always crazy. Never know what could happen. Even the best of players choke sometimes. With that said I'm curious to see what 3-4 other teams could potentially challenge Duke. I've heard Michigan's defense is very strong this season but we'll see what happens.
 
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