Friday, June 18, 2004

The new first round

This conversation was today:

Me: "With all the whining about international and high school players in the draft, there isn't one projected in the top 10."

My Dad: "What are you talking about? what about Howard and Livingston? and Biedrins will probably be in there as well"

Me: "oh...well, besides those guys"

Dad: "get a job."

The draft has finally come to the point where a mental lapse like mine this morning can interpret only 2 prep prospects in the top 10 as a victory for the college basketball faithful. Or I'm just a moron.

Nowadays, a freshman like Luol Deng is noted for his experience, and a prep prospect like Dwight Howard is on equal footing with a college standout like Emeka Okafor. This is nothing that hasn't been said over recent years, but what I think this years draft will be known for is the mid-to-late first round.

In years past, those picks were lucky to get a team someone to fit in their rotation. The fact that the teams with the low picks were playoff teams made the pick even more marginal. For an example of low first-round picks, take a look at the Bulls dynasty drafts

  1.  Mark Randall
  2.  Byron Houston
  3.  Corie Blount
  4.  Dickey Simpkins
  5.  Jason Caffey
  6.  Travis Knight
  7.  Keith Booth
  8. Corey Benjamin

Sheesh. But in a draft like this years, there is so much depth (or should I say uncertainty), that a top international or high school prospect can fall to the low first round. Prospects like Sebastian Telfair, Dorell Wright, and J.R. Smith could all fall to a playoff team can take the risk and spend a few years developing them.

Yes, they could turn out to be busts, but projecting on raw talent and youth they could also be stars. And they have more of a chance at stardom than Dickey Simpkins ever had.