Monday, February 28, 2011

Saltzman Says...Bad Scouting over Bad Luck for the Warriors

Every single NBA Draft becomes a crap shoot.  For every Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'neal, and LeBron James there is a Greg Oden, Kwame Brown, and Michael Olowokandi to remind all of us that even when you can choose among every single available player, you can make a huge mistake.

The Golden State Warriors have been terrible on draft day.  There is no other way to put it.  Let's be real blunt.  For the number of times the Warriors have picked in the lottery, they should have accidentally fallen on a franchise player.  Even the Los Angeles Clippers have had some luck over the years with Elton Brand, Eric Gordon and now Blake Griffin.

The Warriors only two draft gems in the last 15 years have been 2nd round finds in Gilbert Arenas and Monta Ellis.  That being said, the Warriors drafted Chris Taft two picks before Ellis, and had two 1st round picks before they selected Arenas.

The Warriors scouting department and brain trust in the front office should be ashamed of their performance.  Let's go back to 1992.  This was the last year the Warriors made a strong first round pick.  Of course, Latrell Sprewell will forever be remembered as much for his choking of P.J. Carlisemo as his play on the court, but to grab him with the 24th pick was a reminder that the Warriors in the late 1980's and early 1990's had a strong group of evaluators. 

1993:  Chris Webber was the #1 overall pick, and after the Warriors selected Anfernee Hardaway with the #3 selection we gave up 3 1st round picks in the future to grab Webber.  One year later, Webber was in Washington and the Warriors were left with Tom Gugliotta.

Instead of going year by year through this train wreck of a franchise (Here is an article where I focused on their draft history)  let's instead see if anyone else besides the Warriors have fallen on "bad luck" every year since 1994.  Here is my Top 5 among the first round selections:  (If a player was traded on draft day, I am crediting the team that traded for them)

1. Dallas Mavericks: Jason Kidd
2. Detroit Pistons: Grant Hill
3. Los Angeles Lakers: Eddie Jones
4. Milwaukee Bucks: Glenn Robinson
5. Washington Wizards (Bullets): Juwan Howard

6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Garnett
Washington: Rasheed Wallace
7. Phoenix Suns: Michael Finley
8. Philadelphia 76ers: Jerry Stackhouse
9. Toronto Raptors: Damon Stoudamire

L.A.: Kobe Bryant
Phoenix: Steve Nash
Milwaukee: Ray Allen
Philadelphia: Allen Iverson
10. Portland Trailblazers: Jermaine O'neal

11. San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan
12. Boston Celtics: Chauncey Billups
Toronto: Tracy McGrady
13. Memphis (Vancouver) Grizzlies: Antonio Daniels
14. Denver Nuggets: Danny Fortson

Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki
Boston: Paul Pierce
Toronto: Vince Carter
Memphis (Vancouver): Mike Bibby
15. Golden State Warriors: Antawn Jamison
(FYI - Nowitzki, Pierce and Carter were all options for the Warriors at #5)

16. Chicago Bulls: Elton Brand
17. Charlotte (New Orleans) Hornets: Baron Davis
Phoenix: Shawn Marion
Washington: Richard Hamilton
Memphis (Vancouver): Steve Francis

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