payitforward wrote:DCZards wrote:payitforward wrote:& that is why you trade down. Now of course someone will write something like "...but the better players are at the top" -- no, they are not.
Ok...I'll take the bait because I think it's pretty evident that the better players are indeed at (or near) the top of the draft. ...
Let’s take last year’s all-star team where 18 of the 24 all-stars were top 15 picks. ...
This is the usual logic, & on its own terms it makes perfect sense. So, why would I be saying something different?
First of all, recall that I have repeatedly said, "after picks 1-3" -- tho, it's true that I didn't say it in this particular case, I've said it consistently enough that I don't think it's unfair to use it in the following analysis.
Here are the players as you list them -- without those who were taken in the top 3. I've put the rest in order of their pick positions.
Chris Paul -- 4
Russell Westbrook -- 4
Trae Young - 5
Damian Lillard -- 6
Kemba Walker -- 9
Domantas Sabonis -- 11
Donovan Mitchell -- 13
Bam Adebayo --14
Giannis A. -- 15
Kawhi Leonard -- 15
Kyle Lowry -- 24
Rudy Gobert -- 27
Pascal Siakiam --27
Jimmy Butler -- 30
Khris Middleton --39
Nikola Jokic -- 41
Looks a little different, huh?
But that's only the beginning. Keep in mind that a team uses an asset to pick a player. The league gives you that asset -- a free pick. But picks don't all have the same value. A higher pick can be traded for lower picks -- multiple lower picks.
Using Pelton's chart as a rough guide, I'll make what should be kind of a dramatic point: the pick used to take Kemba walker, a #9 pick, can be traded for all the picks used to take Nikola Jokic, Khris Middleton, Jimmy Butler & Rudy Gobert.
Not bad, huh? Oh... & one other guy who's not on this list: Draymond Green, taken at #35.
Now, obviously, you don't always get Jimmy Butler with the #30 pick!
Then again, you don't always get Kemba Walker with the #9 pick, do you?
Sometimes, with the #9, you get Andre Iguodala, Ike Diogu, Patrick O'Bryant, Joakim Noah, D.J. Augustin, DeMar DeRozan, Gordon Hayward, Andre Drummond, Trey Burke, Noah Vonleh, Frank Kaminsky, Jakob Poeltl, Dennis Smith, or Kevin Knox. In fact, along with Kemba, that's everybody taken at #9 from 2004 through 2018.
There are some very good players on that list! Would you agree that the 7 best are Iguodala, Noah, Augustin, DeRozan, Walker, Hayward & Drummond.
Would you rather have taken those 7 guys (plus all the stiffs chosen at #9 from '04-18 -- you get those too), or would you rather have taken the 4 low-picked guys on the all-star squad (Jokic, Middleton, Butler &, Gobert) along with Draymond Green & up to 30 other guys (it having been a 5 picks to equal the value of 1 #9) I could come up with from '04 to '18 who were taken at one of those picks* (starting, obviously, with Pascal Siakam)?
Note that before I go any further, it's the #9s (Iguodala, Noah, Augustin, DeRozan, Walker, Hayward & Drummond) vs. the trade downs (Jokic, Middleton, Butler, Gobert, Draymond & Siakam) plus:
I get to go further: 2017 -- Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart. 2018 -- Omari Spellman, Mitchell Robinson (trading #39 & #41 for #36 -- or just taking him instead of Spellman, which I know you'd have done, Zards). 2015 -- Larry Nance, Malcolm Brogdon, Pat Connaughton. 2014 -- Jerami Grant & Kyle Anderson (in addition to Jokic, obviously). 2011 -- Davis Bertans. 2010 -- Lance Stephenson. 2009 -- DeMarre Carroll, Jonas Jerebko, Patrick Beverly. 2008 -- trade 41 & 39 to get DeAndre Jordan @35. 2007 -- Aaron Afflalo. 2006 -- Sergio Rodriguez. 2004 -- Sasha Vujejic, Anderson Varajao.
All of those guys. Every one. Is it starting to come clear?
Yea I don't know about that. If this were true the Celtics should be in a lot better position after having a 6 pick draft and multiple 4 pick drafts. In 2016 I'm sure the Celtics wish they could've traded their 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, and 58 picks for 11th pick Sabonis. Or even 9th pick Potl. Or 7th Murray or 6th Hield. Higher picks just have more value and retain trade value. That's how guys like Lamb, Potl, DSJ can be sold as intriguing young piece in trades for stars. Gordon/Aminu for CP3. Kwame for Butler. If you miss on a high pick all is not lost.