Changing Times: The Draft....Potential over Performance
I had been meaning to post this topic for a few days and now getting around to it. This will basically directed towards the older posters on this site, but anyone can chime in....I just think the posters that grew up watching b-ball in the pre-90's can better attest to this.
When I was growing up, there were extremely talented and hyped players coming out of HS that couldve been very high picks if the standards were in today's times. In my era, there were no young players really being selected like now until Kevin Garnett started a new precedent.
Anthony Davis is going to be the #1 pick in the draft. We did a post a while ago about Hakeem and Ewing, and Ewing possibly going before Hakeem or something like that...but thats not a good example because Hakeem had tremendous upside. The fact is though, were this by today's standards, Hakeem wouldve left Houston earlier...and Ewing likewise. Ewing possibly out of HS.
If the precedent were then as it is now, Ralph Sampson surely couldve jumped from HS, but definitely he wouldnt have stayed in college 4 years. Sampson could have declared for the 1980 draft. If it were by today's precedent, he wouldve gone before Joe Barry Carroll because Sampson had unreal upside. Suppose it were today and Sampson wouldve went in the 1980 draft. Ewing couldve went in 82. Hell, even if Sampson were there, Ewing wouldve still been #1 or 2, but ahead of Steve Stopanovich and Rodney McCray.
Its just shows how times have changed. Back when I was coming up, no way a guy like Daniel Orton comes out of college after 1 year, while averaging like 3ppg or something. You had to play and perform on the college level, there were just too many question marks otherwise.
Ralph Sampson was more hyped when he came out of HS than Anthony Davis....and his freshman numbers....
15ppg, 11rpg, and 4.6bpg.
Yet he played for 4 years.
Players in my day just didnt come out of HS...and very few came out before their junior seasons. Like Magic and Isiah.
What made me go ahead and post this is because there was a post about Thomas Robinson going # 1 over Davis. Well, not saying if they were in the same draft back 20-30 years ago Davis wouldnt go first...but the point is, Davis wouldnt be leaving at all. Robinson would likely be a #1 pick because most of his peers in the draft would be juniors or seniors. Its funny too because now when I watch the draft, one of my most interesting things is to see when the first senior will be selected and almost equally, what junior will go...
So you tell me times havent changed.
Basically any top HS player couldve came straight from HS by todays standards of potential over performance. I remember this vividly....people were saying that Jason Kidd...as a 10th grader was ALREADY better than Kenny Anderson...who I believe was in his rookie season in the NBA.
Had it been by todays standards, a guy like Anderson wouldve never stayed 2 years...and Kidd, well he wouldve came straight from HS.....the same as Wall wouldve done had the age minimum not been in place.
I also remember that teams were pondering taking Garnett #1 over Joe Smith, McDyess, Stack and Sheed, but didnt want to take THAT much of a risk on a HS...but his undeniable talent still warranted a risk at the # 5 pick.
Exactly. Thats what made me write that post. I wasn't born yet while Sampsons played in college or old enough to rember Kenny Anderson coming into the league but i'm familiar with them . To me times have changed and it seems that GMs now are more infatuated with what players can become instead of what they already are. And thats a risk you have to be willing to take. Its panned out for some, but for every Lebron James, there is a Kwame Brown. The Davis and Robinson thing kind of reminds me of whether the Magic should take Dwight Howard or Emeka Okafor. You knew what you were getting in Okafor but Dwight's talent and what he could become was too enticing to pass up. Even players going ahead of Brandon Roy in 2006 even though he was the most NBA ready. It's a shame his career was cut short. I think because most of the superstars in the league today are so young and have a chance to become better than they already are, GM's are going with potential now over performance.
I think the Potential factor is a big factor.A very big factor.But I would also like to see someone produce.But hey we are not the GM's
Let's take for example the 1980 NBA Draft where not a single Junior was selected until the 14th pick (Wesley Mathew's dad. Wesley ironically stayed all 4 years.) Of the top 10 players, 3 were all-stars and the rest are guys most of us younger folks have never heard of.
My point is, staying longer in college does not always make you better. Take for example the 2010 draft: 7 soph or fresh in the top 10. Now these players all have a long ways to go in their careers but if you had an expansion team with no draft pick for 2012-13 of John Wall, Derrick Favors, D-Cuz, Greg Monroe, Aminu, Gordon Hayward, and Paul George you wouldn't mind your chances moving forward. As for the other 3: Evan Turner (Jr.) isn't progressing as planned but we will blame most of that on Coach Collins, Wes Johnson (Jr.) is truely sturggling to make it in the NBA, and Ekpe Udoh (Jr.) hasn't exactly lived up to the #6 pick either. I understand this is just one draft, but my point is talented players don't always have to stay three or four years in college.
right.... and when the 1980 draft took place, there were 3 future HOFers who were freshmen in college just like Davis, Drummond, Rivers, MKG...
You had Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, and James Worthy.
Plus there was Antoine Carr, Ralph Sampson, Byron Scott, and Sam Bowie.
yet in the top 10 of that draft you had proven seniors whom some you could see that their games were not going to translate over...
Mike O'Koren, Mike Gminski, James Ray, Kevin Ransey, Ronnie Lester...
and its not like the upside wasnt there because Thomas, Wilkins, Worthy, Sampson, and Bowie were all top level recruits coming out, which most of the guys in that draft were not.
D-Rose, KD, Love, and Westbrook all busted out when they were hypothetical college seniors. You didn't see even a guy like Larry Bird going for 28 a game in his first year out, when he was 23, the same age KD, Rose, Love, and Westbrook all are right now. Griffin had a 22 and 11 season also as a hypothetical college senior, that's why I'm expecting big things from John Wall next year, and DeMarcus Cousins is already showing us flashes of how amazing the future could be.
I must bring up the fact too that some players are extremely good at a young age but never get better, while others are late bloomers.
Case in point...look at Jordan Farmar and what he was in HS and college for the one year he played. Then look at Westbrook, who nobody knew who he was coming out of HS and it took him 2 years and an injury to Darren Collison to get noticed....but even still, teams were taking a chance on him based on athleticism. Incidentally, had Farmar never left UCLA early, its likely Westbrook would not have received a scholarship to play for the Bruins. He didnt get offered one until Farmar declared.
EDIT- My bad, Westbrook would not have been a hypothetical college senior had he come out last year, he would have been a rookie if he had stayed all four years, but that's still a young age to be putting up 22 and 8.
If you are drafting in the lottery then 9 times out of 10 your team need immediate help, not someone who will be good 3years from now. Rose, Durant, and a few others are special cases. For every rose and durant you have Robert Swift, Desanga Diop, Martell Webster, Eddy Curry, Darko Milicic, Kwame Brown, Marvin Williams (who was chosen of Chris Paul and Deron Williams) Daniel Orton(oh my god) Sebastian Telfair (a joke). I mean I can go on for days. Times has changed because people or sold on hype and potential. Imagine youtube and internet in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar high school days, or Derrick Coleman, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille Oneal, and many others, All of these guys would have probably come right out of high school. Yet, players didnt leave early back then and usually when a freshman came he sat behind somebody, now a veteran college player is just a sophomore.
The nba has alot of terrible teams, and it is because of the under development of talent in the league. If you can run and jump and have decent size, play for a good college,and you are just a freshman or soph chances are you are going to get drafted, no matter if you cant shoot, dribble, pass, defend, or have low basketball IQ, all they see is potential, But potential isnt always fulfilled,
@ Aamir Bird averaged 21 points and and 10 rebounds as a rookie with the Celtics. But the difference with the NBA now compared to back then is that the NBA has better athletes in this era, not necessarily better players. Basketball is just as much mental if not more than it is physical. You have the rare few in this day in age that understand that. But i'm not saying that guys shouldn't come out early but if more of the elite players stayed in college more than one year, you would probably see more guys coming in the league averaging 18 plus a game such as a Tim Duncan and a Blake Griffin
Another thing GM's like is when someone with very little playing experience has a sudden breakout, be it season or tourney. Tyrus Thomas comes to mind.....Big Baby was a top recruit coming out of HS but Thomas didnt get a scholarship until someone got kicked off the team.
Hakeem and Patrick have to be heavily credited for this as they were relatively new to organized basketball, only playing soccer previously. Later Tim Duncan...who was imfamously discovered by Wake Forest star Chris King while playing pickup ball in the Virgin Islands. Duncan was a swimmer and did not play organized b-ball either.
Call me a conspiracy theorist....but for some strange reason, I thought Michael Olowokandi's meteoric rise to the top was heavily orchestrated. His early athletic career was suspiciously similar to that of Hakeem's and Ewing's, but I am not sure there is evidence that he was not already a good basketball player in Nigeria. So its said he starts playing ball at 18. After two obscure years at Pacific...all of a sudden this guy doubles his points, rebounds, and blocks per game averages. Scouts drooled over that learning curve and everyone coveted him as the next Hakeem, Patrick, or Tim Duncan. I NEVER liked that pick and was always suspicious as to whether Olowokandi and his family orchestrated and presented a perception that had scouts biting. Even though it wasnt that long ago, I think the rise of international players have caused scouts to research much better and it really obscure locations.
Shaquille O'Neal today would not have went to college if there were no age minimum. His college teammate, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf (Chris Jackson) probably wouldve been gone after his first season. Mark Macon of Temple wouldve left after his 1st year had it been the common thing to do. He was barely ever as good in any of his 3 final seasons at Temple then he was his first. His first he average 20ppg. His 2nd, 18ppg, his 3rd, 22ppg, his final, 22ppg. His stock was at his highest as a freshman because of the upside factor.
Nowadays, the longer a guy stays in college, the perception is....thats more of indictment of his abilities. If a guy stays in college for 4 years....he just cant be good enough to be a star in the league. This is one of the main reasons I was saddened to see Brandon Roy retire, because he blew that notion out of the water. Remember, Roy couldve skipped HS.
No way Magic Johnson wouldve went to college today if there were no league minimum...lol.
there are some exceptions....Blake Griffin probably would not have been drafted out of HS as his classmates Beasley and Rose wouldve been lottery picks. We mentioned Westbrook. Then there are guys like Norris Cole who it may take 4 years before someone takes notice.
Remember Korleone Young? Leon Smith? James Lang? Didnt think so.
Even guys that have managed to make a living would still be considered busts. Had Telfair played college ball, Rondo wouldve likely played in his home city of Louisville.
Mike James was undrafted the same year Kwame Brown was #1 overall. If James has had the better career, then why bother to name the other 56 players that were drafted after Brown? He was the biggest (pardon the pun) reason why MJ's administrative acumen is in question. That is one that he will NEVER live down.
I think whats made potential over production in todays age is internet honestly. Top prospects are hyped up as early as middle school and if you are a top 25 recruit then you are known by everybody. With internet you dont need to watch a player play to prove themself for 4 years you can see tons of game highlights and hear from scounts and people who have watched them on the internet.
@Hadzialijagic, i totally agree with you. The media is a major part in this epidemic. A lot of people go off of youtube highlights and what everybody says. OJ Mayo was suppose to be the second coming of Kobe/Jordan the way they hyped him up. Plus in this day in age people tend to take others people words for it, rather then their own and thinking for themselves. I am not an NBA scout so I can't claim too much credibility, but every so often the number one picks or the guys that people say are going to be stars ever do. Is Stromile Swift still in the league? What about Darius Miles?. There is no science to drafting correctly. I just know I would rather go with a sure thing than something that is high risk, high reward. The only good thing that comes out of drafting poorly is that you will eventually get it right cuz you will constantly keep drafting in the lottery. Look at the Clippers
I dont wholeheartedly agree about the internet. You have a point....and back in the days there was no AAU so word didnt travel as fast, particularly if you had guys that didnt play for big schools or national powers. Yes, media is a huge factor, but I think it has more to do with the athletes are better at a younger age....therefore allowing them to dominate on the HS stage, and perhaps college, but then get to the league and struggle because now, you are in a sea of athletes.
OJ Mayo is a good athlete. This in combination with his skills allowed him to dominate before the NBA. When he got to the NBA, he wasnt able to do some of those same things, so now he has to make an adjustment to his game. I have said before that I think on the right team, Mayo could be another Byron Scott. The issue is, that Mayo at 18 was already as developed athletically as Scott was at 22....thus allowing him to dominate early and give off the upside/potential aroma.
Look at D-12...and Andre Drummond...etc....there is only a handful of guys that came out of HS with man bodies. Moses Malone, Darryl Dawkins, Shaq, C-Webb come to mind.
Do you guys remember what MJ looked like as a freshman at UNC? Anybody remember Kendall Gill? Man he was skinny too. It took those guys a while to get the bodies that some of these guys like Marquis Teague has. Whew, speaking of that, did you see that kid Poythress thats going to UK? What about Rodney Purvis?
The athletes are ridiculous now and more emphasis is on the weight room early. Boys with men body's can dominate early.
Yea I get what you saying about Mayo. He isn't a bad player and if on the right team and used properly could be an all star caliber player. He came in the league averaging what? 20 points a game? The guy can score. And yea i'm from Raleigh and catch some of Rodney's games. He is a great athlete but needs to become a better distributor. Brown has transitioned well to the point since he was a two when Ryan Harrow was their so hopefully Rodney can do the same. NC State is gonna be a problem next year with him, TJ Warren, and the return of Leslie and Brown.
^ hey bro, Raleigh res here too! although I am a die-hard UNC fan. we gotta stop some of this John Wall hate on this site. :)
Purvis is a good example. He dominates at the HS level and will dominate in college. He likely will be gone before his junior season, why? because of potential. when he gets to the NBA, it will be different because he will be facing other athletes with developed physical attributes.
Purvis and Waiters from Syracuse have both been compared to DWade. Waiters could benefit from a return, just like T-Rob did in a featured role. Waiters could be just like T-Rob and move from a mid-late 1st rounder to a lottery pick, but because of the DWade comparisons and upside, he wont return for his junior season. Sadly, I believe the same fate is ahead for Purvis. I am almost positive neither will be as good as Wade....but nowadays, potential is all you need to get rich.
@ surve Thats whatsup bruh. Yea we do lol. I haven't given up on John yet. I think he is going to be a problem by next year. He just needs to get some serious ball players around him. Not the ones just happily accepting their paychecks and not improving as players. All that hype he had coming in is why he getting hate now. People thought he was going to be an all star this year and lead his team to the playoffs. Its not that simple with point guards. I feel point guards need to have at least two years before they come in. Derrick Rose is a rare breed, plus he already went to a Bulls team that people thought were going to make the Eastern Conference Finals before they fell apart. But you look at all the top point guards in the league, all of them other than Rose had more than one year of college.
And i'm a die hard UNC fan too but i rock with State too as long as they not playing Carolina. Rep for the home city
economics have a lot to do with the decision to leave now and social pressure had a lot of the decision to stay in the past... If you have a shot at earning multi-million dollars per year up to your early thirties and you could start work right away would you start work at 19 or 22? your earning window is very small, so natually you would want to get the most out of it possible (obviously no one thinks they are going to be a bust..).
To me the interesting thing about this phenomena is that now, it seems like top ranked hs prospects (and I think that for the most part the people who rank hs prospects are spot on) are being punished for not going one and done if they go to major programs like Duke, UNC, KU, UK...etc. in regards that they are losing position in the eye of the mock drafters... It seems like a better decision to go to a small program if you are thinking that you might stay two years then it is to go to a big one because no one will watch you outside of the tournament...