Monday, June 23, 2008

True futility...

the website draftexpress ran an article on NBA draft night strategy, in which they suggest some guidelines for draft hopes/expectations. one of their points hit particularly close to home:

VII. Be Thankful that You Are Not the Atlanta Hawks (and if you are, our condolences)

The Atlanta Hawks are by far the worst drafting team in the past three decades. Even when they get it right, they get it wrong. Of the 24 first round picks they have had from 1980 to 2003, only one (Pau Gasol) became a star (the “star” label as applied to Gasol may be a sensitive topic in Los Angeles this week), and they immediately traded his rights away (along with Brevin Knight and Lorenzen Wright) for Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Their top 10 picks beside Gasol in those 24 years were Al Wood, Keith Edmonson, Jon Koncak, Rumeal Robinson, Stacey Augmon, Adam Keefe, Jason Terry, and Dermarr Johnson. Thank goodness for Augmon and Terry, but the rest, well, not what a GM dreams of getting with his coveted lottery picks. Among the other 15 drafted players in that era only Kevin Willis, Alan Henderson, and Boris Diaw distinguish themselves. Nearly half the players that Atlanta has drafted (46%) are out of the NBA or buried deep on NBA benches after five years.

The two bright spots in the Hawks draft record were the post-draft acquisition of Dominique Wilkins in 1982, and the 1983 second round extraction of Doc Rivers. Hawks fans can also point to the post-2003 draft talent and say that things are changing in Atlanta. With six first round picks in the past four drafts, Atlanta has acquired Josh Childress, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Shelden Williams, Al Horford, and Acie Law. Smith and Horford could end up being among Atlanta’s best picks in the past 30 years (although not really a Hall of Fame distinction). The cynic would retort that with picks 2, 3, 5, 6, 11 and 17 you had better end up with some serious talent. And when you could have had a backcourt of Chris Paul (or Deron Williams) and Brandon Roy instead of forwards Marvin and the now departed Shelden Williams, maybe you don’t have that much to crow about.

Fortunately for Atlanta fans, there will be no missteps this draft day, as their first round pick is being conveyed (perhaps mercifully) to Phoenix as part of the Joe Johnson sign and trade.

they don't even mention all of the hawks worst calls. my favorite is florida state's doug edwards in 1993, when his teammate sam cassell was still available. guy couldn't shoot a lick, was not athletic, was not that big. along with keefe, and shelden, he rounds out the most inexplicable picks they've made. i can't say the marvin pick was exactly inexplicable, but it was incredibly stupid. along with the rest of the world, i've hammered on this pick plenty, but i never saw how marvin would be more than a role player (and i'm a UNC fan). paul, on the other hand, had star written all over him in college. i pegged him as the next isaiah thomas when he was a freshman, and upon his drafting guaranteed he would be all NBA within 3-5 years. i'm not bragging about my own prescience, rather trying to point out it was obvious. but enough on that one. anyway, you can check out the full history of the draft here.

by the way, the draft is this thursday if anybody ATHiens wants to get together to watch the first hour or so. i think rose is the right pick for the bulls, barring injury he's an almost sure-fire 10 year starter. beasley may have a higher ceiling (could be a 25 pt scorer), but he also has a higher chance of flopping.


Blogger kenniebloggins said...

doug edwards was awesome in college, albeit definitely not cassell.

6/25/2008 1:50 PM  

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