Nuggets of Draft Wisdom
What are everyone's thoughts on drafting successfully? For instance, what types of players should you draft #1? Should you ever trade the top pick? What REALLY constitutes a weak draft or a strong draft? Is there an argument that Portland made the right pick (at the time) in the oden-durant draft? etc, etc(come up with other questions/rules about the draft)
I'm not a scout or anything related so I can't go into detail. It's obvious teams have to do their homework years before a certain draft. They have to do alot of research of every single player, and have to keep an eye on the NCAA and international leagues.
Drafting first overall has become a very tough task. A decade ago, having the first overall pick was the best thing that could happen to any team. These past few years though, that hasn't been the case. The lottery has become a crapshoot in terms of talent and the lottery teams have a harder time finding talent. Oddly enough, playoff teams sometimes end up with better players.
The 2011 draft was considered "weakest draft of all time" and that clearly isn't the case. There are multiple future all stars from that draft, and a superstar in Kyrie Irving.
I remember most people didn't think Portland made the right decision by taking injury plagued Oden over Durant. It's pretty obvious the Portland staff didn't do enough research, as most people knew about Oden's injury history. From day one, I knew Durant was going to be star, and others knew it too. It's weird though because I read somewhere the Thunder would've selected Oden if they had the first pick.
I don't think it was considered a weakest draft ever. Nothing can approach the atrocity that was the Kenyon Martin-Mike Miller draft.
Most people thought Portland made the right decision because many people thought that Oden was a once in a generation type defensive center in the mold of Bill Russell. As for his injury questions the only injury he has was his right wrist injury which he was able to play through quite well at OSU. His knee injuries didn't come up until he was drafted. We will never know what could have been with Oden but Durant becoming the 2nd best player in the league has led all types of people to say "I always said they should have taken Kevin." If I don't see it documented I don't believe you.
Lets not forget that Shaq and Duncan had just won 7 of the last 8 championships and the age of the Big Man was still upon us. Now it is the age of the versatile do everything forward like LeBron and Durant. At least 90% of NBA GMs would have taken Oden over Durant.
Obviously with the number one pick a team is looking for a future franchise player. It doesn't always work out when you look at Oden and Kwame, but usually there are 1 or 2 players that should be a sure thing. This years draft is rare because there is no sure thing, maybe not even an all star player. I would never trade the pick unless there isn't a sure thing, like this year.
I'd advise against drafting a pure athlete you hope to "teach" how to play basketball, unless that athlete is a pretty physical player. Guys who can run and jump, but don't have much skill usually can't stick around long enough for a 2nd contract unless they are willing to do some dirty work on the court while they learn. Not being afraid of contact can help get you more minutes during games to develop quicker.
Came here to say that. No matter where I pick I would look for players that have NBA ready skills (or how the skill they have can translate to the NBA). Athleticism is not a skill. Passing, shooting, post-up game are easy to evaluate. Rebounding, driving (and finishing, some guys struggle with it), and defense is harder. Also I would pick a guy that plays with intensity, last draft I was high on Jae Crowder because of that, also usually means they'll be good defenders.