Another example is Davis. Had he become a stud PF, then BC would have been praised for taking a guy who dropped far lower than expected. BC has since said that Davis wasn't even on their internal big board, because they had zero expectations of him being available to them at #13.
With every pick there's always going to be a certain amount of credit and luck involved. I just don't think it's a fair comparison to say that Valanciunas dropping one spot to #5 is the same level of 'luck' as Durant being falling into OKC's lap at #2 that year. There may have been some disagreement over whether Oden/Durant should have been #1, but there was 100% consensus that there was a hugely substantial drop off between those 2 players and #3 that year, so picking whichever of those 2 players that's left after the top pick doesn't really take a whole lot of strategic thinking.
The draft lottery itself is all about luck, when it comes to assigning draft positions. It's a lot easier to be 'right' the higher you're picking. The teams that can consistently draft productive rotation players in the late 1st round and 2nd round are far more impressive to me than teams that get top-5 picks right. I think the whole discussion just illustrates how awful it is being stuck in the middle-classs wasteland of the NBA, where you're consistently drafting in the #10-20 range... not good enough to truly compete and not bad/lucky enough to get a top-5 talent on draft night.
that second bold part - its also much easier to make mistake as there are dozens of possible players to miss on. And that in turn makes it more difficult to have a good draft record.
third bolded part sounds distinctly opposite of what you were saying this offseason. Should Presti therefore not get credit for tanking and thereby not leaving himself in the NBA wasteland? Something you referred to as 'luck'?
Last edited by Craiger; Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 02:42 PM.
Something big is missing in this thread (if I didn't miss it). All talk about a pick being good or bad is with the assumption that the players develop irrespective of the context of the team that drafted him. Development and becoming a good player does not take place in a vacuum. It's very well possible that one of the good players that were drafted by the Thunder would not have developed the way he did on another team.
Also, for those advocating to always draft BPA without regards of fit, it's pretty obvious to me, considering the type of players and positions they played, that the Thunder did consider fit as part of their process to decide who was the best player available.
I think there are quite a few players picked high who ended up in a situation that was a bad fit and consequently didn't develop as well as they could have in another situation. Maybe some people (or a lot) see this differently but I don't have to go any further back than last year's number 2 pick, Derrick Williams, for an example of someone ending up in a bad situation to develop who might have done better elsewhere.
Some teams are much better at developing players than others and some situations are much better for the development of a specific player than other situation. Simply looking back at a draft and deciding whether a certain pick was wrong or right based on how a player has developed years is way too simplistic. Context matters for how players turn out.
You're absolutely right that situation plays a key role in player development, which in turn plays a key role in determining the quality of the pick used to draft said player.
"I may be wrong ... but I doubt it"
"I may be wrong ... but I doubt it"
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