Ride back with me for a moment to the thrilling summer of 2008. …Bush was in the White House… the housing market was creaking loudly but no one heard it… Lehman Brothers were in their last few days… and the NBA held its annual summer draft.
Oh, and we thought Michael Beasley was the bomb, didn’t we? And OJ Mayo… how could anyone possibly trade him for Kevin “Big Country” Love? (Remember how you all told me Kevin Love was the “next Big Country Reeves”?).
Well, I was wrong on some counts and right on some others. Hey, just like Bucks GM John Hammond!! He could not have made a worse pick than lottery selection PF Joe Alexander, who is already out of the NBA. But in the second round he came up with the steal of the draft in SF Luc Richard Moute, who turned out to be the number 3 most useful player so far in that draft.
Below I have “repicked” the NBA Draft according to my abitrary standard of “usefulness” so far. That would be “Wins plus Wins above Average”, as determined using the Marginal Win Score system (go back to the recent “Kevin Love MVP” post for a full explanation of all the stats in the table).
I would caution on a couple of the players. All of the centers in that draft are beginning to blossom this season, especially DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers. Thus, while Indiana C Roy Hibbert has been awful to this point, and the same for JaVale McGee, each is beginning to show signs that they may become competent and possibly better big men in the NBA.
You can go back and surf the June 2008 archives of my old, visually nauseating Bucks Diary site to see where I stood at the time of the draft. (click here).
I give myself some credit. I said the Timberwolves would win that Kevin Love for OJ Mayo trade, and they have… hands down.
I also had some reservations about Joe Alexander, as I expressed at the time.
However, I also said Michael Beasley was a can’t miss prospect, and so far he’s missed (he has to be one of my worst draft assessments ever). But I said Jerryd Bayless was crap, and was right (“Oh but Ty… he’s so quick!!” Raspberries to all who wrote that). I really liked PF Ryan Anderson out of California, and was right. I hated Russell Westbrook, and was mostly wrong. I wasn’t fond of PF Jason Thompson, and was right. I said Devon Hardin might be “all right” and I was “all wrong” on that one. I didn’t like DJ Augustin, and was wrong. I absolutely loathed SF Donte Greene out of Syracuse, and could not have been more right on that call. I liked Mario Chalmers, and have been mostly right. I said Don Nelson was the only one who could find any use for PF Anthony Randolph, and given his awful performance in New York this season, I look right on that one. I called PG George Hill “intriguing” but worried about his small school competition. I was half-pregnant on Courtney Lee, and I think I was right. And finally, I loved the power centers Joey Dorsey and Richard Hendrix, and if either would get a decent shot, I will be right on those.
So, like every draft, 2008 was a mixed bag for me. But, if you look at the reordering, that “mixed bag” of assessments looks a lot better than the “bag of shit” assessments made by several of the men who are actually paid to do that kind of work. So I will let history judge.