Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can The NBA Draft Actually Help The Non-Lottery Team?

It's time for the NBA draft! But is it really worth reading the player profiles and sorting through the soughs of trades between this team and that team?

I've never seen an American sporting event produce such a hot and cold response as the NBA Draft (well, other than NASCAR). Supporters consider it just as much of an experience as the NFL Draft in terms of building a team. Foes say the draft is just a crapshoot where teams with the top few lottery picks might get the next LeBron James/Carmelo Anthony, but any team outside of the top few picks will only be able to find a backup at best.

Can you get a great player without a top ten pick? Well, let's look at this year's All-Star roster:

EAST ALL-STARS

Allen Iverson- Top pick of the draft in 1996
Dwyane Wade- 5th pick 2003
LeBron James- 1st pick all everything ever
Kevin Garnett- 5th pick of 1995 out of high school
Dwight Howard- Top pick 2004 draft
Joe Johnson- 10th pick, 2001 draft
Jameer Nelson-20th pick 2004 draft
Ray Allen- 5th pick 1996 draft
Danny Granger- 17th pick 2005 draft
Paul Pierce- 10th pick 1998 draft
Chris Bosh-4th pick 2003 draft
Mo Williams- 47th pick 2003
Devin Harris- 5th pick 2004 draft
Rashard Lewis- 32nd pick 1998


WEST ALL-STARS

Kobe Bryant- 13th pick 1996 draft
Chris Paul- 4th pick 2005 draft
Tim Duncan- Top pick 1997 draft
Amare Stoudmire- 9th pick 2002 draft out of high school
Yao Ming- Top pick 2002 draft
Dirk Nowitzki- 9th pick 1998 draft
Shaq- Top pick, 432 B.C.
Brandon Roy- 6th pick 2006 draft
Chauncey Billups- 3rd pick 1997 draft
Pau Gasol- 3rd pick 2001 draft
David West- 18th pick 2003 draft
Tony Parker- 28th pick 2001 draft

The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between. The draft is certainly top heavy where any kind of game changing star is taken. But teams like the Spurs and Lakers surround the superstar players with good late round picks. So while the draft may not give us a truckload of late round gems, if your team happens to be the one that hits on one, a title run could be in the future.

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