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Are the best players picked at the top of the draft?

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payitforward
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Are the best players picked at the top of the draft? 

Post#1 » by payitforward » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:08 pm

Three months of quarantine make a person go crazy! But... the quarantine does give one a chance to obsess about one thing or another. I mean and another. I mean over and over!.

In one of those crazy states, I thought I would take a look at Ruzious's claim that "the best players are NOT taken at the top of the draft." After the 3d pick that is.

Now, Ruzious is always right -- just ask him, & he will confirm the fact! & even if he prefers a modest disclaimer, I will confirm it. Ruz is right! Why... the two words even rhyme.

In order to confirm this point which Ruzious makes with such eagerness, I've looked at the best players taken (after the 3d pick) in a number of drafts -- &, no surprise, the facts support his claim.

We can start with the 2017 draft where of the top 11 picks (this time including guys taken from 1-3) 7 of them have yet to show signs of being even average NBA players (Fultz, Josh Jackson, Lauri Markkanen, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith, Zach Collins & Malik Monk). Which is not to say that none of them has shown any improvement at all -- that would be an overstatement.

After the first 3 picks, it looks like the best players out of that draft are:

De’Aaron Fox
Jonathan Isaac
Donovan Mitchell
Bam Adebayo
John Collins
Jarrett Allen
OG Anunoby
Derrick White
Josh Hart
Thomas Bryant
Monte Morris

Average pick position: #23 (the mean pick position is #22). 4 were taken in lottery, 5 in the rest of R1, & 2 in R2.
3 best of above look to be: Collins, Allen, & Adebayo -- though some will want to add Donovan Mitchell. His main qualification would be scoring a lot of points; that he does. But he does it by taking a lot of shots rather than by making a high % of his shots. Still... he has improved & this year for the first time his overall production is almost exactly average. Nor is there any reason to think he's reached his peak.

So... okay, let's add him. But, then, let's also add a player who produces at a high level but does it the other way - by shooting a high TS% & doing everything else way above average for his position: OG Anunoby.

That's 5 guys: average pick position: #19.

But, here's the thing -- it's a little unfair to leave out Fox & Isaac. &, to tell the truth, it's equally unfair to leave out Monte Morris & Thomas Bryant. Truth is that on their careers so far, Morris overall has been better than Fox. & Bryant has been about as good a rebounder as Bam, but a much better scorer. Bam's the better player -- but not by as much as one might think.

Plus, look at picks #4-11 -- there are exactly two players that group, Fox & Isaac; the rest are bums. & when you do turn back to look at #1-3, you only see 1 guy who's play tells you he deserved to be picked high.

That's 2017. Do you think it was an exception?
Remember -- if you don't like the post above: blame Doc not me.
payitforward
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Re: Are the best players picked at the top of the draft? 

Post#2 » by payitforward » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:19 pm

No, 2017 was by no means an exception: take a look at 2016. Overall a terrible draft.

‘16 – best taken after #3
Jamal Murray
Damontas Sabonis
Caris Levert
Pascal Siakam
Dejounte Murray
Cheick Diallo
Malcolm Brogdon
Partrick McCaw
average pick position: 25
2 in lottery
3 in rest of R1
3 in R2

One could -- &, based on this season, really one should -- add Marquese Chriss. I'm somewhat reluctant to do so, because in his 4th year he is playing for his 5th team!

2015 is an even more extreme case of the same thing. Ditto 2014.
Remember -- if you don't like the post above: blame Doc not me.

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