Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Biggest Draft Since Vietnam

June 28, 2007. I'm a little more exited about that date than most folks, 'cause my team is even worse than the Celtics this year. And the Celtics are bad. Barring a horrible slip of a ping-pong ball (PLEASE, GOD!) the woeful Memphis Grizzlies should be at the top of the board when we arrive at Madison Square Garden.



Come on Stern...rig one for the Logo.

When browsing through a few early projections and mock drafts, most will see that this year could very well come to be known as "The Year of the Big Man". Of course the Madness just ended, so most players have not declared their intent at this time. Assuming everyone declares who's expected to- potentially one third of the 60 players selected could be listed at 6'10" or taller. As we all know, just because a man is tall does not mean he will ball. Yeah, Luke Schenscher, I'm talking about you.

Could this be the best draft class in history? Probably not. Stern seems to think so. General consensus seems to suggest that three drafts (1984, 1996, and 2003) could all lay claim to that title.

So let's take a look, shall we? If we could form a starting five plus three bench players from each draft class since 1984...who would be the best team? Not who would win a game (way too speculative), but which set of five (C, F, F, G, G - unless it's just impossible NOT to put four guards in the top 5...like in 1996) plus three best players (still speculative as hell, but whatever). Oh yeah, undrafted players count as well. Because I want to use Ben Wallace for 1996. So there.

1984
C- Hakeem Olajuwon
F- Otis Thorpe
F- Charles Barkley
G- Michael Jordan
G- John Stockton
Bn- Kevin Willis
Bn- Alvin Robertson
Bn- Sam Perkins
1996
C- Ben Wallace
G- Ray Allen
G- Kobe Bryant
G- Allen Iverson
G- Steve Nash
Bn- Jermaine O'Neal
Bn- Marcus Camby
Bn- Stephon Marbury
2003
C- Chris Bosh
F- Lebron James
F- Carmelo Anthony
G- Josh Howard
G- Dwyane Wade
Bn- Leandro Barbosa
Bn- David West
Bn- Kurt Hinrich

That's some stacked classes right there. Looking past these 8 players in each
respective class, I would have to say '03 and '96 are stronger than '84. Also to be considered is the large amount of basketball yet to be played by many on this list...especially Kevin Willis.

Can any draft class since 1984 hang with the three above? Here's my next three...

1998
C- Dirk Nowitzki
F- Antawn Jamison
F- Rashard Lewis
G- Paul Pierce
G- Vince Carter
Bn- Mike Bibby
Bn- Ricky Davis
Bn- Earl Boykins
1999
C- Elton Brand
F- Lamar Odom
F- Shawn Marion
G- Rip Hamilton
G- Baron Davis
Bn- Ron Artest
Bn- Jason Terry
Bn- Manu Ginobli
2001
C- Pau Gasol
F- Gerald Wallace
F- Jason Richardson
G- Gilbert Arenas
G- Tony Parker
Bn- Joe Johnson
Bn- Mehmet Okur
Bn- Shane Battier

Past these players, I'd say '98 and '99 are deeper than '01.

2004 is making incredible amounts of noise this season...
C- Chukwuemeka (why in hell would you abbreviate that?) Okafor
F- Dwight Howard
F- Luol Deng
G- Andre Iguodala
G- Kevin Martin
Bn- Josh Smith
Bn- Ben Gordon
Bn- Andris Biedrins


The list this year looks damn good...(assuming everyone declares).

2007
C- Greg Oden
F- Kevin Durant
F- Brandan Wright
G- Corey Brewer
G- Arron Afflalo
Bn- Julian Wright
Bn- Jeff Green
Bn- Acie Law

*This isn't even taking foreign players into consideration.

With (hopefully) a top 2 pick and maybe some free agency dabbling (Rashard Lewis, please), the Grizzlies will not only return to the play-offs for the fourth season in five years, they'll manage to achieve their first post season victory!

1 comment:

SonDog said...

What, no Noah? He's a strange dude.