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What is the problem with #2 overall picks?

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What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#1 » by tk76 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:47 am

No one knows for sure if Evan Turner will be a good or a great NBA player... but he is likely to be better than most recent #2 overall picks.

Why have so many players drafted #2 overall struggled? Is it simply that the draft is a crapshoot? Or is there something about the #2 overall pick, where the team having just barely missed out on a sure thing at #1 overall end up over-thinking themselves with the #2 pick?

Look at some examples of #2 overall picks over the last 26 years. Over 60% (16 of 26) did not even become average NBA starters! In fact most of these players did not even start 1/2 their games. What is your best best explanation?

So from 26 players you get 4 stars (Kidd/Peyton/Mourning/Durant), 6 above average starters and 16 below average starters... yet we would be hugely disappointed if Evan Turner is anything less than an above average starter...

Michael Beasley
Hasheem Thabeet
Marvin Williams
Kenny Anderson
Keith Van Horn
Wayman Tisdale
Armon Gilliam
Antonio McDyess
Danny Ferry
Tyson Chandler
Shawn Bradley
Stromile Swift
Sam Bowie
Jay Williams
Darko Milicic
Len Bias
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#2 » by Kobblehead » Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:59 am

Well alot of times the player that goes #2 isn't exactly filling a need for his team. He's just being taken because he's the best player after the top pick. That could factor into the lack of success alot of guys had.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#3 » by tk76 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:06 am

Maybe that is part of it. Certainly was the case with some of the biggest busts like Darko.

Several of the names were lost due to injury (or overdose.) But my opinion is that the draft has a lot less talent than people figure. There are only 3 or 4 really good NBA players taken in the top 12 each year (sometimes as few as 1.) And outside of the dominant #1 overall players, it is a bit of a crapshoot to know which ones will pan out.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#4 » by F-Stop » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:35 am

That is why BPA is not the way to go unless there is a huge drop-off in talent in regards to the next guy down. The best teams always seem to get or keep the best players b/c they draft on need mostly. There parts fit together and they become more as a whole.
I think Turner will be fine and reserve judgement until the all-star break.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#5 » by bballin76 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:41 am

keep in mind how bad the GMs were/are in that list of players taken.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#6 » by tk76 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:52 am

Good point. Teams are often picking #2 for a good reason.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#7 » by Westbrook36 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:59 am

Mere coincidence. If Detroit was smart and drafted Melo or Wade there wouldn't be this problem. Mainly bad drafting and coincidence.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#8 » by tk76 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:03 am

Westbrook36 wrote:Mere coincidence. If Detroit was smart and drafted Melo or Wade there wouldn't be this problem. Mainly bad drafting and coincidence.


That year can be described as a "coincidence" or a fluke. But we are talking a pretty well proven trend over 26 years. 4 Stars and 6 good starters as compared to 16 duds is more than a coincidence. It is eitehr horrible drafting or the draft is more of a crapshoot and involves less actual talent each year than most of us think.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#9 » by Westbrook36 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:05 am

I classify horrible drafting as coincidence. There is no logical reason behind it. It just so happens to be this way. The number is high, but I still there just because that is the case there doesn't need to be a reason.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#10 » by Arsenal » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:18 am

tk76 wrote:
Westbrook36 wrote:Mere coincidence. If Detroit was smart and drafted Melo or Wade there wouldn't be this problem. Mainly bad drafting and coincidence.


That year can be described as a "coincidence" or a fluke. But we are talking a pretty well proven trend over 26 years. 4 Stars and 6 good starters as compared to 16 duds is more than a coincidence. It is eitehr horrible drafting or the draft is more of a crapshoot and involves less actual talent each year than most of us think.


There's no problem with #2 overall picks. These results can easily be explained by small sample size and/or normal variance. Yes, 26 is a small sample. All of this is assuming that later slots have produced better players in the same time period, because if they haven't, then there is no trend at all that needs to be explained.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#11 » by tk76 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:27 am

Arsenal wrote:There's no problem with #2 overall picks. These results can easily be explained by small sample size and/or normal variance. Yes, 26 is a small sample. All of this is assuming that later slots have produced better players in the same time period, because if they haven't, then there is no trend at all that needs to be explained.


1. How is 26 years a small sample size? Do you suggest we look at picks from the 60's or 70's? It was a different game back then...

2. It does not matter if later picks were better. The point is that people assume a #2 overall pick will be at very least a good starter, and have a decent chance of being a star. But the last 26 years shows this is not the typical outcome. When the Sixers were awarded the #2 pick did that make you think: "Great, we are likely to draft a bench player?"
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#12 » by Skates » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:59 am

The BPA issue really isn't true in many of those cases. Thabeet, Darko, Bradley, Bowie and Marvin Williams are clear examples of guys who were overdrafted. I know the Hawks supposedly took Williams as the BPA on their board, but that just points to a poorly put together draft board. The others were taken because they were bigger than the better players that followed. Kenny Anderson and Jay Williams are the only guards on that list, size is often overdrafted.

A number on the list were also players taken in one player drafts or just plain weak drafts all the way through. Someone has to go second in those drafts, it doesn't mean they are nearly as good as the fifth player in a better draft. There are a lot of injury cases on that list, including two very significant off the court ones in Bias and Jay Williams.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#13 » by tk76 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:13 am

So you are saying a combination of bad GM's and draft classes being weaker than people think?

I agree for the most part. And I wonder how this draft class will pan out- I'm not very high on it.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#14 » by Reddevil42 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:24 am

well i think its the players coming out so early now. you have no real clue what your getting with these real young guys its a shot in the dark. some ya win some ya loose. always been that way i.e jordan at 3?? hahaha kobe at 13?? just a little more of a gamble now i think with 1 yr of college. not enough to really get a grasp on a guy. all you here now is amazing "upside".
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#15 » by radrmd216 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:13 am

I think its hard to really say unless we see the context of each #2 pick in that time period. I'll be willing to help with that, but I'm not that old so I wouldn't be able to offer that good analysis of the context of the earlier picks.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#16 » by Don » Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:54 pm

Here's to hoping Turner's our Isiah Thomas and not a bust at Guard. By the way, like tk said, if not for drug use Len Bias probably would not have been a bust. I think he would've been a standout in the NBA if not for his cocaine use. He was very talented, and I think he would've been a star based on his talent at that time.

One positive I thought of, most of the players on tk's list were frontcourt players. Kenny Anderson and Jay Williams were some of the few I remember as a backcourt players.
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Re: What is the problem with #2 overall picks? 

Post#17 » by sec-106 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:10 pm

A lot of the guys on the above list are big guys.

Unfortunately, GM's sometimes let size cloud their judgement.

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