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25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3)

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25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#1 » by payitforward » Sun May 24, 2020 3:38 pm

I don't know what it is... I really don't... but when things go quiet here -- even for 1/2 a day -- I start getting nervous. I start feeling like we are living in the last days of a post-Atomic-Blast world where everyone & everything is dying.

No way I'm letting that happen!

So... here's a question that might get things going. & in a different direction too.

In the 15 drafts, from 2004-2018, who are the 25 best NBA players taken from #4 - #14 -- i.e. in the lottery but not one of the top 3?

What is that, 165 picks? So we're talking about the top @15% of them.

I'll get us going by mentioning the 5 best players taken #4-14 in the 2004 draft: Shaun Livingston, Devin Harris, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala, & Kris Humphries. I'd say that Iguodala & Deng are strong candidates to be among the 25 best... but we'll have to see!

There's one absolute lock in 2005 -- who do you think it is?
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#2 » by wall_glizzy » Sun May 24, 2020 6:12 pm

Group 1: Absolute stars with long, highly-productive careers (seven players):
Andre Iguodala, CP3, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Paul George

Group 2: Highly valuable players with either a rapid late-career decline, or little experience as a team's sole/primary star (eight players):
Mike Conley, Joakim Noah, Danilo Gallinari, Demar Derozan, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Brook Lopez, Luol Deng

Group 3: Players well on their way to one of the above groups, but hampered by significant injury (four players):
Andrew Bynum, Brandon Roy, Demarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward

Group 4: Recent picks already selected to all-star teams (six players):
Devin Booker, Kristaps Porzingis, Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, Domantas Sabonis, Trae Young

That's twenty-five, but for the record I'd like to submit Group 5: recent picks that I'm positive will enter one of more of the above groups over the course of their career (five players):
De'Aaron Fox, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonathan Isaac, Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray

I'm sure I forgot some folks.
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#3 » by nate33 » Mon May 25, 2020 2:01 am

Man, if you could include the number 15 pick as well, you'd get Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#4 » by daSwami » Mon May 25, 2020 1:18 pm

nate33 wrote:Man, if you could include the number 15 pick as well, you'd get Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo


And Troy Brown, Jr.
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#5 » by nate33 » Mon May 25, 2020 2:02 pm

You could build a pretty damn good team using only #15 picks from all drafts in the last 25 years (1994 or later).

#15 pick team:
PG Steve Nash/Troy Brown
SG Brent Barry/Erik Piatowski
SF Kawhi Leonard/Kelly Oubre
PF Giannis Antetokounmpo/Matt Harpring
C Robin Lopez/Al Jefferson

The starting 5 is amazing, except for Lopez. The bench is a bit weak but still pretty impressive for guys all picked in the middle of the draft.

Can you beat that with any other team using all guys picked with the same draft pick since 1994 (excluding top 3 picks)?

The #5 pick squad is probably better:
PG Dwyane Wade/Trae Young
SG Ray Allen/D'Aaron Fox
SF Vince Carter/Mike Miller
PF Kevin Garnett/Kevin Love
C Demarcus Cousins/Jonas Valanciunas

The #9 team is sick as well:
PG Kemba Walker/DJ Augustin
SG Tracy McGrady/DeMar DeRozan
SF Gordon Hayward/Andre Iguadola
PF Dirk Nowitzki/Shawn Marion
C Joakim Noah/Andre Drummond

I think I like that #9 pick squad best, assuming you're getting prime McGrady
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#6 » by DCZards » Mon May 25, 2020 3:47 pm

nate33 wrote:You could build a pretty damn good team using only #15 picks from all drafts in the last 25 years (1994 or later).

#15 pick team:
PG Steve Nash/Troy Brown
SG Brent Barry/Erik Piatowski
SF Kawhi Leonard/Kelly Oubre
PF Giannis Antetokounmpo/Matt Harpring
C Robin Lopez/Al Jefferson

The starting 5 is amazing, except for Lopez. The bench is a bit weak but still pretty impressive for guys all picked in the middle of the draft.

Can you beat that with any other team using all guys picked with the same draft pick since 1994 (excluding top 3 picks)?

The #5 pick squad is probably better:
PG Dwyane Wade/Trae Young
SG Ray Allen/D'Aaron Fox
SF Vince Carter/Mike Miller
PF Kevin Garnett/Kevin Love
C Demarcus Cousins/Jonas Valanciunas

The #9 team is sick as well:
PG Kemba Walker/DJ Augustin
SG Tracy McGrady/DeMar DeRozan
SF Gordon Hayward/Andre Iguadola
PF Dirk Nowitzki/Shawn Marion
C Joakim Noah/Andre Drummond

I think I like that #9 pick squad best, assuming you're getting prime McGrady


Tough call but I think I'm leaning toward team #5. #5 certainly has the better starting lineup, imo. But overall you're right, team #9 edges out #5 because it has the better bench.
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#7 » by payitforward » Mon May 25, 2020 5:27 pm

wall_glizzy wrote:Group 1: Absolute stars with long, highly-productive careers (seven players):
Andre Iguodala, CP3, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Paul George

Group 2: Highly valuable players with either a rapid late-career decline, or little experience as a team's sole/primary star (eight players):
Mike Conley, Joakim Noah, Danilo Gallinari, Demar Derozan, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Brook Lopez, Luol Deng

Group 3: Players well on their way to one of the above groups, but hampered by significant injury (four players):
Andrew Bynum, Brandon Roy, Demarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward

Group 4: Recent picks already selected to all-star teams (six players):
Devin Booker, Kristaps Porzingis, Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, Domantas Sabonis, Trae Young

That's twenty-five, but for the record I'd like to submit Group 5: recent picks that I'm positive will enter one of more of the above groups over the course of their career (five players):
De'Aaron Fox, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonathan Isaac, Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray

I'm sure I forgot some folks.

Awesome work, man!!

I would probably move Hayward up to 1 or 2 -- he'd already demonstrated it before the injury. OTOH, I don't think Cousins was "on his way" anywhere when he was injured.

My questions are in Group 4: who cares whether they were selected to an all star game? Fox & Isaac are both better than Porzingis, period. I don't even think KP is particularly good -- at all. Hasn't had a single good season, & I see no reason to think that's likely to change (not the same as ruling it out...). He's a good shot-blocker, that's it. An average rebounder overall, & that's at best. Shoots a terrible 2-point % & an average 3-pt. % -- meaning his eFG% is under 50%, ugh. The 6.9 extra points he gets you over an average big in 40 minutes require him to use an extra almost 7.5 possessions! No thanks.

Other than Fox & Isaac, I think your Group 5 is speculative.

Still... good stuff!
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#8 » by nate33 » Mon May 25, 2020 7:45 pm

DCZards wrote:
nate33 wrote:You could build a pretty damn good team using only #15 picks from all drafts in the last 25 years (1994 or later).

#15 pick team:
PG Steve Nash/Troy Brown
SG Brent Barry/Erik Piatowski
SF Kawhi Leonard/Kelly Oubre
PF Giannis Antetokounmpo/Matt Harpring
C Robin Lopez/Al Jefferson

The starting 5 is amazing, except for Lopez. The bench is a bit weak but still pretty impressive for guys all picked in the middle of the draft.

Can you beat that with any other team using all guys picked with the same draft pick since 1994 (excluding top 3 picks)?

The #5 pick squad is probably better:
PG Dwyane Wade/Trae Young
SG Ray Allen/D'Aaron Fox
SF Vince Carter/Mike Miller
PF Kevin Garnett/Kevin Love
C Demarcus Cousins/Jonas Valanciunas

The #9 team is sick as well:
PG Kemba Walker/DJ Augustin
SG Tracy McGrady/DeMar DeRozan
SF Gordon Hayward/Andre Iguadola
PF Dirk Nowitzki/Shawn Marion
C Joakim Noah/Andre Drummond

I think I like that #9 pick squad best, assuming you're getting prime McGrady


Tough call but I think I'm leaning toward team #5. #5 certainly has the better starting lineup, imo. But overall you're right, team #9 edges out #5 because it has the better bench.

When assembly all-star rosters, I think there are diminishing returns with each additional offensive player. You really only need two or three first rate offensive stars to bend a defense, everyone else just needs to be able to shoot, pass and finish. What's more important is defense. If you are playing against another all star team, they will have the personnel to exploit your worst defender so it's critical that everyone defends well - at least during crunch time.

I don't love the defense from the #5 team. Outside of Wade and Garnett, they're quite weak. The #9 team can D up like crazy with McGrady, Iggy, Marion and Noah.
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#9 » by payitforward » Mon May 25, 2020 7:57 pm

nate33 wrote:Man, if you could include the number 15 pick as well, you'd get Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo

Arrrrgh, nate! :) you kinda made the point I was going to head this thread to!

...and still will, no doubt. Stay tuned!
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#10 » by wall_glizzy » Tue May 26, 2020 12:06 am

payitforward wrote:Awesome work, man!!

I would probably move Hayward up to 1 or 2 -- he'd already demonstrated it before the injury. OTOH, I don't think Cousins was "on his way" anywhere when he was injured.

My questions are in Group 4: who cares whether they were selected to an all star game? Fox & Isaac are both better than Porzingis, period. I don't even think KP is particularly good -- at all. Hasn't had a single good season, & I see no reason to think that's likely to change (not the same as ruling it out...). He's a good shot-blocker, that's it. An average rebounder overall, & that's at best. Shoots a terrible 2-point % & an average 3-pt. % -- meaning his eFG% is under 50%, ugh. The 6.9 extra points he gets you over an average big in 40 minutes require him to use an extra almost 7.5 possessions! No thanks.

Other than Fox & Isaac, I think your Group 5 is speculative.

Still... good stuff!


Oh yeah, Group 5 is pure speculation - just the not-yet-coronated guys from the last few drafts that I like so far (and more than a little influence by the Nuggets being my second team). A bit surprised that you're not on the Porter hype train, though I can't hold that against anybody given injury concerns and the sample size. As you can tell, I'm high on the floor-stretching rim protector archetype as well. Can't believe how fate intervened to prevent us getting a look at the JJJ/Clarke starting frontcourt for the Grizzlies this year.
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#11 » by payitforward » Tue May 26, 2020 2:29 am

Using Pelton's chart as a rough guide, how many & which picks from #4-14 would combine to allow you to buy all the picks from 15-30?
#6 plus all the picks from #8-14 would do it.

We just saw what a good group of players you get if you combine everyone taken from 4-14. What if you combine everyone taken at #4, #5, #7, & every pick from 15-30?

Is the list of players better? Or is it worse?
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#12 » by payitforward » Tue May 26, 2020 2:30 pm

Well, from wall_glizzy's 5 lists, we suffer some big losses from giving up 6 & 8-14 in each draft. Here are the dozen hardest losses:

Damian Lillard
Paul George
Joakim Noah
Danilo Gallinari
Demar Derozan
Klay Thompson
Kemba Walker
Gordon Hayward
Devin Booker
Donovan Mitchell
Bam Adebayo
Domantas Sabonis
Jonathan Isaac

Actually, that's 13. In all, that's a tough list of guys to pass on!

But maybe there'll be some compensation in the list of guys we get in this omnibus exchange scenario. I'd say these are the dozen biggest gains:

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Kawhi Leonard
Jimmy Butler
Rudy Gobert
Serge Ibaka
Clint Capela
Pascal Siakam
Nicolas Batum
DeAndre Jordan
Jrue Holiday
Ty Lawson
Rajon Rondo
Kyle Lowry
Eric Bledsoe
Ryan Anderson
Nikola Vucevic
Tobias Harris
George Hill
John Collins
Jarrett Allen

Oh wow... that's actually 20 rather than a dozen. Here's the thing, though: if I include the first 4 on that list, then add 9 randomly from those below the first 4, & I have a better list than the best taken from #4-14.

In short, it is better -- indisputably better, far better -- to trade down from #s4-14 pretty much any time you can. &, the better a judge of talent you are (i.e. the more you are superior to an average NBA GM) the more advantageous it is to do so.
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#13 » by payitforward » Tue May 26, 2020 2:41 pm

But... what if I make this even clearer? What if I made the exchange itself a little different -- just to give us a picture of how value is actually distributed in the draft?

Let's say that instead of taking back the #29 in my exchange of 6 + 8-14 for more but lower picks, I take that away & instead I get the first 2 picks in R2?

Then, let's say I can fill the spots I would have filled at #29 with any guys I want from those years who was taken in R2. Now -- this is unrealistic, I know, but it does contain information about how value is distributed in the NBA draft.

Huh... no one on my list of 20 actually went #29 (b/c I didn't include Cory Joseph, Dejounte Murray or Derrick White all of whom did -- & all of whom went to guess who, San Antonio), so there's no one to remove. So I'll just add the R2 guys --

Danny Green, Patty Mills, Lance Stephenson, Bojan Bogdanovic, DeAndre Jordan, Davis Bertans, E’Twaun Moore, Isaiah Thomas, Tomas Satoransky, Jae Crowder, Draymond Green, Khris Middleton, Will Barton, James Ennis, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jerami Grant, Nikola Jokic, Dwight Powell, Jordan Clarkson, Cedi Osman, Montrezl Harrell, Richaun Holmes, Josh Richardson, Pat Connaughton, Norman Powell, Ivica Zubac, Cheick Diallo, Tyler Ulis, Malcolm Brogdon, Patrick McCaw, Thomas Bryant, Damyean Dotson, Dillon Brooks, & Monte Morris (Once again, I didn't include 2018 -- so no Mitchell Robinson, etc.).

Wow... that's 34 guys! Now, only a small handful of them are on the level of the best dozen from w_g's lists. & really only 4-5 of these R2 guys (Draymond, Jordan, IT & Brogdon) would get on the list of the best say 15 of the original pull -- from 4-14.

So much for the best players being in the lottery, huh?
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Re: 25 best lottery picks taken 4-14 (i.e. after 1 through 3) 

Post#14 » by pancakes3 » Thu Jun 4, 2020 8:07 pm

4th overall team (probably the best but a clear weakness at SF):

CP3/Conley
Westbrook/Marbury
Odom/Donyell Marshall/Jamison/Jaren Jackson Jr/Deandre Hunter/Marcus Fizer
Bosh/Aaron Gordon
Porzingis/Sheed

6th Overall (clearly great but a clear weakness in the front court)
Dame/Marcus Smart
Brandon Roy/Hield
Battier/Szczerbiak
Antoine Walker/Gaillinari/Jonathan Isaac/Tractor Traylor/Mo Bamba/Yi Jianlian/Jan Vesely
Cauley-Stein/Bryant Reeves/Nerlens Noel/Kaman

7th Overall (low-key great)
Steph/White Chocolate/Hinrich/Damon Stoudamire/Coby White
Rip Hamilton/Eric Gordon/Ben Mclemore/Jamal Murray
Harrison Barnes/Tim Thomas
Deng/Julius Randle/Villanueva
Nene/Greg Monroe/Bismack Biyombo

8th Overall (started out so promising with the guards...)
Andre Miller/Larry Hughes/TJ Ford
Jamal Crawford/Kerry Kittles/KCP
Rudy Gay/Aminu
Jaxson Hayes/Brian Grant
Channing Frye/Jordan Hill/Diop

10th Overall (*just* good enough for you to think twice before dismissing this team)
Jason Terry/Brandon Jennings/Jimmer
Joe Johnson/CJ McCollum/Mikal Bridges
Paul Pierce/Paul George/Caron Butler/Jarvis Hayes/Justice Winslow
Danny Fortson/Kurt Thomas/Spencer Hawes
Brook Lopez/Bynum/Sene/Thon Maker/Dampier

11th Overall (the "Klay" team)
Reddick/MCW/Trajan Langdon
Klay/Shai Gilgeous-Alexander/Malik Monk
Bonzi Wells/Mickael Pietrus
Domantas Sabonis/Ared Effries(lol, with Klay and Reddick)
Biedrins/Cole Aldrich

12th Overall (Oof)
Alec Burks
Jeremy Lamb/Gerald Henderson/Luke Kennard
Austin Croshere/Trey Lyles/Miles Bridges
Thaddeus Young/Nick Collison/Etan Thomas
Steven Adams/Jason Thompson/Doleac/Cherokee Parks/Hilton Armstrong

13th Overall (I Think We Have a Winner here with Lucky 13, excluding Team 15)
Jalen Rose/Zach Levine/Telfair
Kobe Bryant/Spider Mitchell/Devin BookerThabo/Courtney Alexander
Richard Jefferson/Corey Maggette/Corliss Williamson
Ed Davis/Markieff/Psycho T
Olynyk/Keon Clark

14th Overall (Oof again. I think 13 is leaching the life force from 12 and 14)
Luke Ridnour/Mateen Cleaves
Shabazz Muhammad/Michael Porter
Peja/Patrick Patterson/TJ Warren
Marcus Morris/Anthony Randolph
John Henson/Bam Adebayo/Yinka Dare
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