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The safest draft choices in any draft?

tli232
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The safest draft choices in any draft?

Seems to me that everyone and their orthodontist is falling in love with these undersized power forwards. I'm not knocking that. I was looking through the archives and at least over the last 5 years, there have only been a handful of undersized power forwards who were drafted too high in hindsight. Now, I'm just talking about players drafted within the top 45 picks who have clearly underperformed their draft position and/or there are players in the bottom 15 of the draft who actually performed much better than these said players. Infamous examples include: 2007: Chris Richards (kinda; dude was 41st) 2006:Balkman (again... only kinda; dude has some perimeter skills),Shelden Williams (once again... only kinda; he plays a lot of center) 2005: Ike Diogu (taken at 9; Dio-Who?) Sean may (major injuries slowed him down significantly) 2004: just Wayne Simien (David Lee was taken with the next pick; OMG if only Miami had drafted Lee instead... probably 3 Championships since the draft instead of only one *sigh* 2003: Sweetney (top 10 pick), and Mario Austin (36th: who?)

As you can see....
there are not too many flops when drafting undersized power forwards. Only Williams, Diogu, and Sweetney were actual flops. I mean, I tried really hard to make this list extensive, but when you have to come up with names like Mario Austin and Wayne Simien for filler, you know where draft value lies.

on the flip side
For every major disappointment drafting undersized power forwards too high, there are usually one or two major pleasant surprises waiting at the bottom of the draft. Players like Leon Powe, Ryan Gomes, and Amir Johnson come immediately to mind as they were drafted after the 45th pick.

all I'm saying is that...
based on historical analysis, any GM with a brain should not discriminate against height disadvantages when drafting outside of the lottery and especially in the second round. In the last few years, there has not been more than a couple undersized PF drafted too high in the aforementioned range. Yes, the "p" word (potential) is a factor in their decision, but this game is like Blackjack. You can try to go for 21 if you have a "feeling", but more likely than not, you are going to bust or lose. Picking an undersized PF later in the draft when the team feels that the pick is too low to satisfy team needs in the immediate future is usually the right play.

.... my favourite anecdote for undersized PFs....
when Leon Powe was playing at Cal, he was listed at 6-9, I'm pretty sure. Draft "experts" and GMs alike put him in the late first early second at worst range. When the Pre-draft camp rolled around, Powe didn't do it for some reason (I think it was an injury). Subsequently, Powe was measured by every Team he worked out for. It turned out that he only measured about 6-5, 6-6 without shoes. Because he didn't have any perimeter skills, people thought that he had no chance in the NBA at the 4 spot. he ended up 49th. I'm sure, in hindsight, people would have chosen Powe over O'Bryant, Sene, Hilton Armstrong and Cedric Simmons, all "proper sized" PFs (btw, none of these guys have ever been rotation players, at least not yet)

What do you guys think?


leppy
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leon powe has had multiple

leon powe has had multiple problems with his knees in the past and i think that played a part in y he wasnt drafted high and he had knee problems again this year. i think wingspan is more important that height. wingspan and how high you can reach with your hands straight up is more important stats. i know multiple kids who can reach higher than i can but are a couple inches shorter. im taller but standing still they would get the rebound so idk how height matters at all. only how high you can reach with arms straight up matter. i like dejuan blair a lot and i want him to go 16 to the bulls. he can prolly reach higher than a lot of players who are 6'8'' or 6'9''. more traditional heights for pf

tli232
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Re: leppy

Dude, you're so right. I've been thinking that for years now. I actually think being short and having a nice tall standing reach gives you an advantage when you're a big man because you have a lower centre of gravity, making you essentially stronger than your size. This allows you to bang down low with the big boys. On the flip side, people say that really long arms and taller than normal standing reaches limit one's ability to handle the ball or shoot with a consistent stroke. When we're talking undersized PFs, these truths are negated largely due to the fact that they are not going to have any razzle-dazzle with the ball nor are they trying to fill it up on you with a beautiful stroke (yes, there are exception: Haslem comes to mind). These undersized PFs make great role players who do the dirty work in the painted area.

nthegoodlife
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leppy...

That is a great point, IDK why reach is under the radar, but plays a vital role in a players success.

rvirsal
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hmmmm

i think balkman's not that bad. the dude's playing well as an injury-insurance for the oft-injured kmart. if only he can get 20mins per game and i think he'd do well at the 4.

i think undersized power forwards are good role players. to name a few, there's maxiell, powe, millsap (who can start in most teams), bass and malik rose (when he was younger). these players are like the enforcers of their teams. they have bigger bodies than most of the players in their position so they can muscle their way in the post. oh, i think that for an undersized pf to be successful in the nba, they should be physical freaks a la karl malone. both may, and sweetney who are busts, have weight problems, enough said.

Meditated States
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Wingspan is more important than height

You play however long your arms are. Its tricky you have to factor it in a lot or you will miss good players.

sheltwon3
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Ike Digou is not a bust.

Ike Digou is not a bust. Golden State gave him away and he couldn't get minutes on deeps teams. I think he can put up Milsap like numbers in the right system. Craig Smith is undersized too and he has been a great role player for Minnesota. Also Chucky Haye as well.

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