With the draft coming up on June 26, I went digging through my old draft files yesterday when I came across some articles about "draft predictions." One was from the November 2003 issue of a magazine that listed T.J. Ford as the pick for "biggest lottery bust."
Clearly, they were off on that one.
Others on the list were:
- Kirk Hinrich (missed on that one, too)
- David West (really missed on West)
- Luke Ridnour (tbd)
- Boris Diaw (another miss)
In the same magazine was an "All-Rookie Sleeper Team" that listed Marcus Banks as the top sleeper. The rest of the 2003-04 Sleeper Team was:
- Josh Howard (great pick)
- Mario Austin (way off)
- Marciej Lampe (way off)
- Luke Walton (solid pick)
- James Jones
The point is this: Even after most played in summer leagues following the NBA draft, it takes time for players to develop. A lot of times, a player is traded or goes through a coaching change. In those situations, it takes time to adjust and adapt, which can set a player back. In other cases, they're not in the right system, something I've posted about previously.
There's too much pressure on players who went high in the draft, and on the coaches to play those players. Imagine if the Hornets had given up on David West after one year.
More on the draft later...