Greatest Draft Ever

Everybody’s talking about how great this year’s crop is going to be, led by Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. The 2007 draft, let experts tell it, is full of can’t miss stars. But can these guys collectively stack up to some of the greatest drafts of all time?
I scoured through NBAdraft.net to look at some of the great drafts in history. Here are the top ones. So, which year was the greatest draft ever?

1970: Bob Lanier (No. 1), Rudy Tomjanovich (No. 2), Pete Maravich (No. 3), Dave Cowens (No. 4)
Second-round jewels: Calvin Murphy (No. 18), Nate Archibald (No. 19)

1976: John Lucas (No. 1), Adrian Dantley (No. 6), Quinn Buckner (No. 7), Robert Parrish (No. 8), Sonny Parker (No. 17)
Second-round jewels: Alex English (No. 23), Dennis Johnson (No. 29)

1984: Hakeem Olajuwon (No. 1), Michael Jordan (No. 3), Sam Perkins (No. 4), Charles Barkley (No. 5), Otis Thorpe (No. 9), Kevin Willis (No. 11), John Stockton (No. 16).
Second round jewels: Jerome Kersey (No. 46)

1985: Patrick Ewing (No. 1), Xavier McDaniel (No. 4), Chris Mullin (No. 7), Detlef Schrempf (No. 8), Charles Oakley (No. 9), Karl Malone (No. 13), Joe Dumars (No. 18), A.C. Green (No. 23), Terry Porter (No. 24).
Second-round jewels: Manute Bol (No. 31), Gerald Wilkins (No. 47)

1996: Allen Iverson (No. 1), Marcus Camby (No. 2), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (No. 3), Stephon Marbury (No. 4), Ray Allen (No. 5), Kobe Bryant (No. 13), Peja Stojakovic (No. 14), Steve Nash (No. 15), Jermaine O’Neal (No. 17), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (No. 20)
Second-round jewels: Malik Rose (No. 44), Shannon Anderson (No. 54)

1999: Elton Brand (No. 1), Steve Francis (No. 2), Baron Davis (No. 3), Lamar Odom (No. 4), Richard Hamilton (No. 7), Andre Miller (No. 8), Shawn Marion (No. 9), Jason Terry (No. 10), Corey Maggette (No. 13), Ron Artest (No. 16), Andrei Kirilenko (No. 24).
Second-round jewels: Manu Ginobili (No. 59)

2003: LeBron James (No. 1), Carmelo Anthony (No. 3), Chris Bosh (No. 4), Dwyane Wade (No. 5), Kirk Hinrich (No. 7), T.J. Ford (No. 8), David West (No. 18), Boris Diaw (No. 21), Leandro Barbosa (No. 28), Josh Howard (No. 29). Second-round jewels: Mo Williams (No. 47), Kyle Korver (No. 51)

I’m going to have to go with 1984. The 1996 draft was super deep, a plethora of great players. But the 1984 first round featured four of the greatest players of all-time (Olajuwon, Jordan, Barkley, Stockton). I can’t go against that crew.
However, I say 20 years from now, the 2003 draft will be the greatest ever. Not only was that draft deep, but it also has four or five potential Hall of Famers.
So, which draft do you say is the best ever?


Celtics Hatin’ on Warriors

The two teams are in serious talks. Apparently, Al Jefferson is appealing to Kevin McHale (so, I’m sure, is the opportunity to help his former teammate and to restore his former franchise), and we all know the expiring contract of Theo Ratliff ($11M) will come in handy in future improvements. All it seems to take is one of the Celtics youngsters, and maybe the T’wolves are trying to dump another undesireable salary on Boston, such as Troy Hudson.
This is bad news for the Warriors. They don’t have anything to offer that can compete with Jefferson, a young formidable big man. If Minnesota does trade KG, they will have an immediate canyon inside. Jefferson fills that better than Biedrins, though I love Beans. Monta isn’t as appealing to the Minnesota with Randy Foye in tow. Neither is Richardson since they have Rashad McCants and the No. 7 pick, with which they can get Corey Brewer or Jeff Green. One of those three will be a suitable, cheaper alternative than Richardson.
If Boston is willing to part with Jefferson, I don’t see how the Warriors can get KG. Which begs the question: so then who do they get?


Jackson Pleads Out

So, the Warriors won’t have to deal with Jackson’s court issues, at least not his Indiana ones. He still has to deal with the allegations that he violated his probation in Michigan stemming from the brawl with the Pistons. Assuming he’ll get some kind of plea deal for that (as they always do), the Jackson will be free and clear of legal issues, which makes him much more tradeable. Though his temper is an issue, he played well enough this season to remind the league that he can be a dominant player. Combine that fact with his relatively small contract, and he’s certainly a much more marketable piece.
Do they want to trade Jax? Probably not. But if Mullin really has taken Richardson off the market, Jackson is the Warriors’ next most valuable asset. Some might say Harrington, but Jackson (three years, $21.4M left) is cheaper and a better overall player in my mind than Harrington (three years, $27.7M left).
The Warriors are much more likely to move up in the draft if they can offer Jackson and the No. 18 than if they offered Pietrus and the pick. Potential trade partners, such as Minnesota, might be more interested in Jackson than Richardson (four years, $51M left).


Warriors Want Kobe in Chicago

Since the word on the streets is that Kobe still wants a trade (he reportedly told owner Jerry Buss in Spain that he still wants out), the only natural thing for us Bay Area hoop fans to do is evaluate how that impacts the Warriors.
ESPN’s Ric Bucher said his sources tell him that Kobe narrowed his list down to New York, Chicago and Phoenix (though I am a firm believer he would expand that list if necessary, or if the incentives were right). Not only would the Warriors benefit from not having to deal with Kobe four times a year, but they perhaps could have the door opened for another opportunity if Bryant lands in Chicago.
It’s very unlikely the Lakers would put Kobe in Phoenix. That leaves the Knicks and Bulls. The Warriors are pulling for Chicago for one reason. You guessed it (maybe). Kevin Garnett.
The Bulls – who have highly touted youngsters Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas and P.J. Brown’s expiring contract — are the Warriors stiffest competition should the Timberwolves put KG on the market. The Knicks and the Mavericks don’t have as much to offer as the Warriors. The Bulls do.
But if Chicago acquires Kobe, they likely won’t have enough tools to cop KG either. If the Lakers do ship Kobe, they would assuredly keep Bynum and Odom, which means they wouldn’t need KG. If they did want him, they would have to give up the talent they got for Kobe, which means they’ve traded Kobe for KG — not a good deal.
That leaves the Warriors, who have Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins, three draft picks this year (plus they can afford to part with next year’s pick) and a couple of capable veterans in Richardson and Harrington.
Tell me that’s not better than Jamaal Crawford and Jerome James!


Blog Question

“If you were the Warriors would you do this trade: Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Wally Szczerbiak and the Celtics #1 for Adonal Foyle, Monta Ellis, Jason Richardson, Al Harrington?” – Joseph Campbell

No way. The Warriors would become Celtics East, which wouldn’t be good. Green is not that impressive to me. Gomes is solid, and Wally is way too injury prone and one dimensional. The only advantage is that the Warriors would get rid of Foyle’s contract, and get an expiring one in Ratliff.
This deal makes them even younger, and that’s not what they need. They need to get more experience. What this deal does, in essence, is start the Warriors over from scratch with some cap space wiggle room. But that won’t help because free agents won’t come until they win consistently. Right now, they are a piece or two away. Starting from scratch wouldn’t be ideal in my eyes.


Blog Question

“if you are mullin, will you draft for needs (pf/c) or for the best available player/talent? i think the past two years, mullin really screwed up by drafting on needs, ike and pob, instead of the best available players (granger, seflosha, marcus williams). he acutally has done better in the 2nd round because he was drafting the best available talent.”
– manhattanproj

He is definitely an intriguing option for the Warriors’ third pick of the draft. I’m not sure he’s perfect for Nellie. He has lost a lot of weight, but has he lost enough? Is he fit enough for Nellie ball? Harrington wasn’t, and he wasn’t fat like Big Baby.
Plus, Glen is undersized. That may not hinder him on offense, but it certainly will on defense. The Warriors need someone who can protect the basket and guard a post player (preferrably without any help). Can he do that?
I think he’s worth a try. By the time the Warriors pick at No. 46, there will be few as talented. I love his post game, his passion, his versatility. But the Warriors need size and skill down low, in someone who can keep up. I don’t know if he’s that guy.


Blog Question

“Marcus, Do you think the Warriors could check back on some of the players who they cut last year: Dajuan Wagner, Chris Taft, Anthony Roberson? I liked them all and would like to see them given another chance.” – Jim

I’m sure those guys get a look. But to be honest, the players in the draft, who could arguably give the same thing, would be cheaper. The minimum salary for the aforementioned is higher than Wagner or Taft or Roberson. With Wagner and Taft, those guys are too injury prone to even risk, in my opinion. I’d rather get a second rounder whose hungry and have no injury history than to go back to an ex.
However, I do get your point and I think Josh Powell and Kelenna Azubuike are the players they can look to. Both those guys are free agents, but they have a better chance of contributing than a second rounder and aren’t much more expensive.
In fact, to me, unless they move up into the top 10, the Warriors won’t get a better power forward in the draft than Powell. And Powell would likely make less money than a No. 18 pick. The minimum for a third-year player is just under $800,000 I think. If I could move the pick to land a free agent, I would do it in a heart beat and let Powell be the incoming youngster.