View Full Version : The Worst Draft of All-Time?

03-16-2006, 08:53 AM
The Worst Draft Of All-Time? (Linkage (http://realgm.com/src_twoplusthefoul/97/20060302/the_worst_draft_of_all_time/))
Authored by Tyler Sherkin - 2nd March, 2006 - 1:43 am

The NBA Draft is a time of great excitement and rightfully so: The next crop of young players is thrust into the league and it creates all manner and hue of stories.

You get your stars, like Lebron James and most of the top 5 from the '03 draft, and you get your busts, like Kwame Brown and DerMarr Johnson, and those are the extremes. Sometimes they are hailed all the way from high school (like James) and sometimes they make names for themselves in college (like Carmelo Anthony). Sometimes, you have never heard of the guy in your life (Amare Stoudemire was that for me, until a few weeks leading up to the draft). Sometimes the draft is deep, sometimes it's weak.

What follows is the first section in a 7-part series reflecting on the first round of the NBA Draft since the 2000 draft, capped off by my thoughts on the upcoming draft. So without further ado...

In the year 2000, the first round went like this:

1. Kenyon Martin, New Jersey
2. Stromile Swift, Vancouver
3. Darius Miles, L.A. Clippers
4. Marcus Fizer, Chicago
5. Mike Miller, Orlando (from Golden State)
6. DerMarr Johnson, Atlanta
7. Chris Mihm, Chicago (to Cleveland)
8. Jamal Crawford, Cleveland (to chicago)
9. Joel Przybilla, Houston (to Milwaukee)
10. Keyon Dooling, Orlando (to L.A. Clippers)
11. Jerome Moiso, Boston
12. Etan Thomas, Dallas
13. Courtney Alexander, Orlando (to Dallas)
14. Mateen Cleaves, Detroit
15. Jason Collier, Milwaukee (to Houston)
16. Hidayet Turkoglu, Sacramento
17. Desmond Mason, Seattle
18. Quentin Richardson, L.A. Clippers (from Toronto)
19. Jamaal Magloire, Charlotte
20. Craig Claxton, Philadelphia
21. Morris Peterson, Toronto (from Minnesota via Denver)
22. Donnell Harvey, New York (to Dallas)
23. DeShawn Stevension (Utah, from Miami)
24. Dalibor Bagaric, Chicago (from San Antonio)
25. Jake Tsakalidis, Phoenix (from Orlando)
26. Mamadou N'Diaye, Denver (from Utah)
27. Primoz Brezec, Indiana
28. Erick Barkley, Portland
29. Mark Madsen, L.A. Lakers

Before anything else is said, it's clear that this is one of the most disappointing drafts in recent memory. In fact, I can't remember a draft that was as bad as this. There are three All-Stars in this draft and one of them came out of the second round (Michael Redd).

Of the above players, only seven of them are starting. The number one pick was an All-Star once, when he averaged 16.7 ppg and 9.5 rpg in 65 games during the 03-04 season (both career-highs). Martin has been plagued by injuries (77 is the most games he's played in a season and he's played 68, 73, 65 and 70 in the other seasons, including 43 this season out of a possible 56 or so).

Courney Alexander hasn't played since the 02-03 season, although that had more to do with injury concerns. He showed himself a capable player, including a career season with Washington in his second campaign in which he averaged 17 ppg on 44.8% shooting. Donnell Harvey, Dalibor Bagaric and Erick Barkley are no longer in the league. Mamadou N'Diaye has amounted to nothing, plagued by injuries, a lack of bulk and little improvement. Mark Madsen is an energy guy who is largely a spectacle (and an ugly one, if you were subjected to his dancing while he was a Laker...). He plays about 12 minutes per for the Wolves and doesn't do much in that time. Marcus Fizer was recently named the NBDL player of the month... DerMarr Johnson, despite a riveting "return from injury" story, is nothing more than a rotation player despite 20 starts for a Denver team with a real problem at the shooting guard position. He's been fighting for time with Greg Buckner. I rest my case. Jerome Moiso is out of the league at the moment.

There are some decent players in this draft, of course. Kenyon Martin, for all his technical fouls and injury problems, is still a key part of Denver's team when he's healthy. Stromile Swift, while absolutely not worth his draft pick (and I'd venture to say not worth a lottery selection) is a competent rotation player for Houston.

Mike Miller has been a good player. He probably wasn't worth the 5th selection (at least in so far as the 5th pick goes; in this draft, he could have gone higher) but he's had some nice seasons, especially earlier in his career while playing with the Magic. He doesn't start much for Memphis (though he had 51 starts last season, he has 8 so far this season, benched in favor of Eddie Jones) but he's a good hustle player and he's got a shot.

Chris Mihm is starting for L.A. on most nights. He had 40 starts in his rookie season and 60 in his second season but then saw none in his third year and 17 in his fourth year. He's been the Lakers best big man but that's not saying much with Kwame Brown and high school rookie Andrew Bynum as his main competition. One might argue Brian Cook but that's for another time. He's been a solid player for the Lakers and has been developing under Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's coaching but under no circumstances can a rational basketball fan be persuaded to believe that he was worth the 7th overall pick.

Jamal Crawford was selected with the 8th overall pick and traded to the Bulls for the 7th pick (it was Mihm for Crawford). He's proved to be a talented player but he's a selfish shot-chucker who plays no defense. Still, in this draft class, he's probably one of the six or seven best players (behind Mike Miller, Jamaal Magloire, Speedy Claxton, Morris Peterson and Kenyon Martin and on par with or slightly below Darius Miles). That tells you a fair bit about this draft right there.

Joel Przybilla labored in Milwaukee for three years before being traded to the Hawks. He started all 12 of his games there and averaged about eight and a half rebounds per. He ended up in Portland and started 50 of 76 games last year, rebounding well and blocking lots of shots. He has started 42 of the 44 games in which he has played this year, and while his rebounding has dropped a little, he has improved his shot-blocking abilities while continuing to be an efficient garbage scorer. Not worth the 9th pick but he's an excellent addition to Portland's squad.

Dooling went to the Clippers and was buried behind Jeff McInnis and Lamar Odom as a ball-handler in his first two years, then behind Odom and Andre Miller in his third year. He played about 20 minutes per game in 58 games (with 24 starts) in his fourth year and only managed 6 points and 2.2 assists. He showed some flashes of being a decent scorer off the bounce but certainly nothing spectacular and not worth the 10th pick. He signed with Miami the next year and is playing for Orlando this year. In Orlando, he's posting 9 and 2 in about 22 minutes per. He's been a solid rotation player... a phrase that is repeated throughout this article. There is not a single player who has played in multiple All-Star games, which is disappointing.

Etan Thomas has had his ups and downs as a player; he's got clear limitations, most noticeably as a passer, from the foul line, he fouls too much and has some injury issues. Not lottery material. Again, not a terrible guy to have on your team but not worth his spot. He is, however, a pretty talented poet. That aside, he's not a bad player, I mean Etan Thomas goes into the game and goes after the ball. With his broad frame, he's not a bad rebounder and he's a decent shot-blocker as well. Solid rotational player.

Turkoglu and Desmond Mason have both turned out to be good sixth men types who can start from time to time. Quentin Richardson is a chucker but he played reasonably well as a Clipper (where he and Darius Miles began that damnable fist-tapping gesture) and he shined in the Phoenix offense last year, even if his percentages weren't exactly All-NBA material. He's one of the better post-up guards in the league and has always been a pretty decent rebounders.

Jamaal Magloire is the best big man in the draft and has had some nice seasons. Magloire is one of the three All-Stars in the draft, though he didn't deserve it. As I recall, he was selected as an injury replacement during a season in which he averaged 13.6 ppg and 10.3 rpg (03-04). It was reminiscent of Antonio Davis' selection in the '01 season. Still, he's a solid rebounder (and a very good offensive rebounder), he's got some post moves (though he's shown little improvement or consistancy in this regard) and prior to this season, he's also been a decent shot-blocker and he's not far from that now either.

Speedy Claxton has had some really good seasons, 10 and 6 stuff. He's one of the better bench point guards in the league and played 30 games for the '02-'03 Spurs who won the title, including 24 games in the postseason in which he averaged 5, 2 and 2. He's among the better pick-pockets in the league as well and has filled in for and played well alongside Chris Paul this year for the Hornets. Since his third season in the league, he has averaged 4.5 or more assists per game and has averaged 2+ turnovers per game twice. He's good with the ball and passes well.

Morris Peterson is another guy who's a solid rotational player. One year, during the Raptors' playoff run in '00-'01, there was even some brief talk of him making the All-Star team in the future. That died down very quickly and he's never done anything to ressurect the talk but Peterson is a solid defender, can stick the three and slash a bit... He's a starting-caliber small forward/shooting guard and he's definitely worth his pick. In this draft, he could have gone much higher given how the rest of this players in this draft have performed. He should have gone 4th or 5th in this draft and is probably worth a late lottery pick. The Raptors nabbed him at the 21st spot and only rued trading the 18th pick (which would have allowed them to snag Magloire or Speedy) a little bit. Minor ruing (rueage?), really.

DeShawn Stevenson struggled in Utah for a while but has apparently found a home in Orlando, where he's starting and playing pretty well. He's very athletic and has radically improved his shot selection, mid-range jumper and his foul shooting.

Primoz Brezec broke out when he went to the Bobcats and continues to play well. He's not and will not likely ever be an All-Star but he's definitely a starting caliber center, though he's a miserable shot-blocker for a guy who's over seven feet.

The last guy I haven't talked about is Darius Miles; he coasted on athleticism for the most part as a Clipper and didn't really show any inclination to improve until he got to Portland (though he showed some ball-handling and passing skills while he was in Cleveland). This year, he was really getting it before his injury and has played well since his return. He's not the greatest of passers, of course, but he's scoring more at a reasonable level of efficiency and he's rebounding well. In his 19 starts (22 games played), he's averaging 17.6 ppg (on 51.3% shooting), 5.2 rpg and 2.3 apg while adding 1.37 bpg. He's long and athletic and he'll surprise the Hell out of you if you don't keep track of his whereabouts. He did his best work in November but he's played well since returning. He didn't start in 3 of the 7 games he played in February and that affected his stats but he still posted 14.4 ppg (47% shooting) and 4.9 rpg. In his last five games, his scoring has begun to increase and he's had two 20-point performances in his last 4 games, so he's getting it back. Miles has been starting to get it in Portland and that's nice to see. He's got more potential to improve than the rest of the players in this draft, given his situation with the Blazers and his position as one of the better players in the draft to begin with.

03-16-2006, 10:29 AM
That is unbeleivable. Even more so when you consider that the only real star from the draft was Redd, in the second round. Wow.

03-16-2006, 10:31 AM
and all the players that went to dallas sure didn't last long. 3 in all.

03-16-2006, 10:37 AM
Well Thomas and Alexander went away in the Howard deal....

03-16-2006, 11:48 AM
That is unbeleivable. Even more so when you consider that the only real star from the draft was Redd, in the second round. Wow.

WHAT??? What are you talking about??? Marcus Fizer was a HUGE star...

...in the NBDL :p

03-16-2006, 01:06 PM
Yea damn how many players up there are ex-Mavs? I remember when this draft occured I thought this was going to be the turning point for the Mavs. Well hell I guess it was since Thomas and Alexander brought us Juwan Howard which brought us Lafrentz and Van Exel.

03-16-2006, 01:13 PM
Yea damn how many players up there are ex-Mavs? I remember when this draft occured I thought this was going to be the turning point for the Mavs. Well hell I guess it was since Thomas and Alexander brought us Juwan Howard which brought us Lafrentz and Van Exel.

Which brought us Antoine Walker (for Lafrentz) and Antawn Jamison (for Van Exel). Which brought us Jason Terry (for Walker/Delk) and Jerry Stackhouse and Devin Harris (for Jamison).

Etan Thomas + Courtney Alexander = Jason Terry + Jerry Stackhouse + Devin Harris

Ha! :D

03-16-2006, 09:40 PM
Fizer was big in college.

Carolina Blue
03-18-2006, 09:27 AM
Yeah that was easily the worst draft in the last decade but probably not as bad as '86. That one single-handedly ruined the Celtics franchise for about 10+ years.

The Crippler
03-18-2006, 12:42 PM
miller went off last night for 41. I think he is vastly underrated...

03-18-2006, 01:02 PM
He was the Rookie of the Year back in 2000-01 (kinda reminds you again how bad that Draft was). I agree with you that he seems to have alot of talent, but the guy has averaged 13.4 pts (.452 fg%, .417% 3p%), 4.3 rebs, and 2.6 asts over his career, his best year was in 02-03, and he's been pretty steadily mediocre since then. The Grizz system hasn't helped for sure since he's only averaging 30.6 min...you bring up an intriguing point. It would have been interesting to see what Miller was capable of were he given 35+ min. in an offense where he was the #2 option. Also, last night's 41 were a career high, Tony Delk's not underrated because he's scored 50 is he ;).

03-18-2006, 01:48 PM
miller went off last night for 41. I think he is vastly underrated...

There's something just very wrong about the fact that Mike Miller has scored 40 points in a game this year, and Dirk Nowitzki hasn't. I think Dirk is due.

03-18-2006, 03:02 PM
Which brought us Antoine Walker (for Lafrentz) and Antawn Jamison (for Van Exel). Which brought us Jason Terry (for Walker/Delk) and Jerry Stackhouse and Devin Harris (for Jamison).

Etan Thomas + Courtney Alexander = Jason Terry + Jerry Stackhouse + Devin Harris

Ha! :D

Yea thanks for finishing up that for me lol. I felt too lazy to go further than the Raef and Nick trade. The draft may be overrated player-wise but it did wonders for the Mavs. Didn't work out too well for the Wiz though. BTW, isn't this the draft that Arenas and Redd went in the 2nd round? Or was that just Redd?

03-18-2006, 03:04 PM
There's something just very wrong about the fact that Mike Miller has scored 40 points in a game this year, and Dirk Nowitzki hasn't. I think Dirk is due.

That's not right is it? Maybe it is. He's had his string of 30 point performances though. Damn it seems like he snuck in a 40 point game in there but I guess not since I can't really recall one.

03-18-2006, 03:08 PM
I think Gilbert was taken in the 2001 Draft. And you're right, I feel like we should buy someone dinner after what we did in that draft. ;)

Some of the other players from the 2nd Round in 2000:

#30 - Marko Jaric
#33 - Jake Voskuhl
#37 - Eddie House
#38 - Eduardo Najera (we traded for his rights with the #31 pick)
#43 - Michael Redd
#44 - Brian Cardinal

*edit: Dirk's season high this year is 37 (@ Sacramento 12/22). He is overdue...

03-24-2006, 05:31 PM
Quality Quantity In The 2001 Draft (Linkage (http://realgm.com/src_twoplusthefoul/98/20060321/quality_quantity_in_the_2001_draft/))
Authored by Tyler Sherkin - 21st March, 2006 - 12:42 am

In the second section on a 7-part series reflecting on the first round of the NBA Draft since the 2000 draft, we look at the 2001 Draft

The first round went like this:

1. Kwame Brown, Washington
2. Tyson Chandler, L.A. Clippers
3. Pau Gasol, Memphis
4. Eddy Curry, Chicago
5. Jason Richardson, Golden State
6. Shane Battier, Memphis
7. Eddie Griffin, New Jersey
8. DeSagana Diop, Cleveland
9. Rodney White, Detroit
10. Joe Johnson, Boston
11. Kedrick Brown, Boston
12. Vladimir Radmanovic, Seattle
13. Richard Jefferson, Houston
14. Troy Murphy, Golden State
15. Steven Hunter, Orlando
16. Kirk Haston, Charlotte
17. Michael Bradley, Toronto
18. *Minnesota forfeited*
19. Jason Collins, Houston
20. Zach Randolph, Portland
21. Brendan Haywood, Cleveland
22. Joseph Forte, Boston
23. Jeryl sasser, Orlando
24. Brandon Armstrong, Houston
25. Raul Lopez, Utah
26. Gerald wallace, Sacramento
27. Samuel Dalembert, Philadelphia
28. Jamaal Tinsley, Atlanta
29. Tony Parker, San Antonio

- Clippers traded Chandler to Chicago for Elton Brand
- Hawks trade Lorenzen Wright, Brevin Knight #3 pick to Memphis for Shareef Abdur-Rahim
- Nets trade Eddie Griffin to Houston for Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong
- Magic trade Michael Doleac to the Cavaliers for Brendan Haywood

Notable Second Round Selections

Gilbert Arenas (#31), Earl Watson (#40), Bobby Simmons (#42)

First Impressions

This draft was pretty good. There are only three All-Star players here (Arenas, Parker and Gasol) but there are plenty of starting-caliber players who contribute to their teams. Through the first round, this draft is filled with quality role-players.

The Lottery

Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol, Eddy Curry, Jason Richardson, Shane Battier, Eddie Griffin, DeSagana Diop, Rodney White, Joe Johnson, Kedrick Brown, Vladimir Radmanovic, Richard Jefferson and Troy Murphy.

Looking at their picks, Kwame, Kedrick Brown, Chandler, Griffin, Diop, White and Radmanovic are busts. Chandler is a strong contributor but he's sucked if you think about the fact that the Bulls gave up Elton Brand (one of the top MVP candidates this year and a perennial 20/10 player who Ds up well) to get him. Kwame has yet to find a consistent role in a team's rotation. Griffin is a contributor but the Rockets gave up WAY too much to get him and then discarded him because of various issues and lack of production. Rodney White and Kedrick Brown aren't even in the league anymore.

Theoretically, Shane Battier might count as a bust if you only look at his statistics but he's been a glue guy for Memphis. He defends well, he can score if he's asked to (see the 14.4 ppg he posted in his rookie season), he nails threes and is a pretty decent free throw shooter, rebounds well, etc. Everything you'd like to see out of this guy, you do. If he ever went to a team that needed his offense, he'd be a 15-18 ppg scorer, easily, but Memphis has other guys (Gasol, Miller, Jones, etc).

Eddy Curry is in a similar situation but given that he started out of HS, you've got to give him a break, since he's at least shown some clear skills as a scorer.

Joe Johnson is the Boston-killer; I cannot believe they traded this guy. He was going to be good no matter how long he had to wait and they traded him... for Rodney Rogers and Tony Delk! I can't even wrap my head around how bad a trade that was for Boston in the long-run.

Pau Gasol is the first guy really worth his pick. He's not a world-altering monstrosity of a player but he's going to hover around 20 and 10 for his career and is an underrated shot-blocker. Efficient, hit's his foul shots, passes well (especially this year). He's a little soft and not the greatest man defender but even still, he is one of the best players in this draft class and that's not a concession so much as a truth.

Richard Jefferson and Troy Murphy have both developed into excellent players.

The Mid-Range Picks

Steven Hunter, Kirk Haston, Michael Bradley, Jason Collins, Zach Randolph, Brendan Haywood.

Haston isn't in the league and Bradley might as well not be but Hunter isn't bad as a substitute and Jason Collins a pretty decent role-player. Haywood is pretty good for a 21st overall pick, though he's an uninspiring defensive rebounder and a limited offensive player.

Zach Randolph was a pretty sweet pickup for the Blazers, he's one of the few respectable things about their franchise at the moment, though it certainly wasn't respectable when he shattered Ruben Patterson's eye socket a few years ago... His own teammate... Ouch.

The Late Picks

Joseph Forte, Jeryl Sasser, Brandon Armstrong, Raul Lopez, Gerald Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, Jamaal Tinsley, Tony Parker.

Forte, Sasser and Armstrong aren't in the league. Raul Lopez was a pretty decent sub, playing for the Jazz last year and is now playing in Spain.

Gerald Wallace has been pretty good in Charlotte, now that he's actually getting a chance to play more than in Sacramento. Buried on those playoff teams, he averaged 8, 12 and 9 minutes per game in three years. Last year, in 70 games, he posted 11 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2 apg, 1.67 spg and 1.3 bpg. This year, he's working the 15 ppg, 7 rpg, 2 apg, 2.5 spg, 2.1 bpg thing... Wallace's only real issue is that he's injury-prone. His years in Sacramento don't count; while he had some injuries, he also had a lot of DNP-CDs. Last year, he missed 12 games and he's missed around 20 games this year as well though, and that's a concern. He's still pretty young though, only 23, turning 24. For a late pick, he's an outstanding find... though the two other guys have been better.

Dalembert, when healthy, has been a decent rebounder and shot-blocker, better than anything else Philly has had since Mutombo.

Point guards are hard to find and this draft ended the first round with two fine point guards, Jamaal Tinsley and Tony Parker.

Tinsley's another injury-prone player (hasn't played 70 games in a season in 4 years, including this year) but he's improve his shot noticeably and he's a solid playmaker. Pretty good at picking the lanes but a little turnover-prone and struggles with man defense, he raised his level of play last year during the suspensions and injures significantly and has been pretty good whenever he's been healthy. That he was the second-last pick in the round is often forgotten but he's produced a lot for a 28th pick.

Tony Parker... Parker has been a part of two Spurs title teams now and though he's built a reputation for dying in the postseason, he's certainly vital to the Spurs' regular season success and is having an absolutely brilliant year this year. Pretty weak from the foul line, he's improved as a mid-range shooter and is great at finishing in the paint.

Second Round

Gilbert Arenas, Earl Watson, Bobby Simmons

An All-Star, a Most Improved Player and a tiny point guard who's paid more than he's worth but is still pretty talented... Not bad for the second round.

Gilbert Arenas is a filthy player who has great skills and excellent athletic ability. He's among the top scorers in the league and one of the best passers. He and Antawn Jamison are the two main reasons that Washington does anything, though Caron Butler looks like he's making a big impact. Arenas is one of those success stories everyone likes to hear about and is the only All-Star from this draft class.

Simmons is a good defender and has improved some part of his game every year, adding offense in the last couple of years. He's played in the D-League but he's here to stay now and has established himself as a significant piece in Milwaukee. He's the prototypical hustle player but he's also a pretty disgusting three-point and free throw shooter now (though he's always been a good foul shooter). Not an All-Star now and unlikely to ever make the team, Simmons is still a first round-worthy player and he was a steal for Seattle... too bad they traded him! He ended up in Washington for two years, during which he learned, waited, spent some time in the D-League and then went to the Clippers. There, he honed and refined his game before signing a lucrative deal with Milwaukee, where he continues to play well.

Watson was a good pick for the second round and could have gone late in the first round. He's a competent scorer, an excellent perimeter threat and a pretty good passer as well.

Final Thoughts

This draft wasn't the best of all-time, it certainly doesn't stack up with '84, '96 or '03 but it has its gems. Guys like Arenas, Gasol, Richardson and Jefferson stand out, as do Parker and Tinsley. There are a number of good role-players in this draft, too.

Overall, it wasn't a spectacular draft and lacks significantly in star power but if you weren't Boston or Houston, this draft was pretty solid. OK, that's a lie, there are at least a half-dozen teams that saw their picks wasted over the last four and a half years but still, this draft had some talent in it, moreso than say the preceding draft.