Lack of talent the major HornCats problem…
I’m going to look at players that could have been drafted by the Bobcats in Part 2. I’ll restate, as I said in my first article, that hindsight is always 20-20. This is more of an evaluation of how BCP forum members, myself included, would have done drafting and also a comparison of how the other bad teams did, in the drafts, compared to Rich Cho.
Cleveland, Washington, Sacramento, and Detroit were the only teams that had top ten picks in all three drafts since Rich Cho became the ‘Cats GM. Cleveland had the number one pick in two of those three drafts so one would have to assume they’d have better drafts by virtue of where they picked. Utah, Toronto, Phoenix, New Orleans, and Portland had top ten picks in two of the three drafts. I realize that some of these teams had lottery picks, 11-14, but all four Bobcats picks were top ten so I’m concentrating on the top ten picks from those three drafts. I’ll talk about the two-pick teams in part 3.
Let me try to summarize the Bobcats picks before we compare them to other teams. The 2011 draft saw the ‘Cats pick Bismack Biyombo, number seven, and Kemba Walker, number nine. In the 2012 draft the Bobcats picked Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the number two pick. Cody Zeller was the pick, number four, in the 2013 draft. Kemba Walker, arguably, could start for at least half the teams in the NBA so should be considered a starter. Bismack Biyombo is having difficulty getting playing time for the ‘Cats so at best he’s a work-in-progress. MKG has proven to be one-dimensional, solid defensive player with minimal offensive, but would benefit playing on a team with outside shooters giving him space to “slash”, at best also a work-in-progress. Cody Zeller is a rookie who flashes some talent but it’s really too early to tell since he has not “shined” in any particular area of the game. So, in my opinion, the ‘Cats have one starter, two works-in-progress, and an unknown from numbers 7, 9, 2, and 4 draft picks.
Cleveland, by virtue of having two of the number one picks, 2011 and 2013, should have had the best drafts of all teams picking, but what do they actually have to show from these drafts? The Cavs drafted Kyrie Irving with the number one pick in 2011 and Tristan Thompson with the number four pick. Cleveland picked Dion Waiters at number four in the 2012 draft. The Cavs had the number one pick, again, in 2013 and took Anthony Bennett. So the consensus on these players, drafted 1, 4, 4, and 1 is – Irving is considered to be a franchise player. Thompson is averaging close to a double-double, 11.6 ppg and 9.9 rpg, and should be considered a starter. Dion Waiters has had some success and some failures so should be considered a work-in-progress. Bennett, a rookie, has not shined either and remains an unknown. Cleveland, with higher picks than the ‘Cats, have a franchise player, a starter, a work-in-progress, and an unknown.You have to give the Cavs credit for getting a franchise player and a starter but that’s not much to show for the picks they’ve had.
Washington drafted Jan Vesely at number six in 2011. The Wizards drafted Bradley Beal with the third pick in 2012. In the 2013 draft they picked Otto Porter with the third pick. Vesely has had minimal impact for the Wizards and at best is a work-in-progress. Beal should be considered a starter and currently averages over 20 ppg for Washington. Porter has not stood out in any way for the Wizards and is a work-in-progress. The Wizards have a starter, and two works-in-progress from their number 6, 3, and 3 picks.
Sacramento picked number ten, after a three team deal with the Bobcats and Bucks, and picked Jimmer Fredette. In 2012, they picked Thomas Robinson with the fifth pick. Last year, 2013, the Kings drafted Ben McLemore with the number seven pick. Fredette has had minimal impact for the Kings and the best I can say about him is he’s a third point guard for most NBA teams. Robinson is no longer with the Kings but is now with Portland after being traded to Houston from Sacramento. Robinson, at best, remains a work-in-progress. McLemore has had moments with the Kings, he’s averaging 8.9 ppg, and at worst will be a rotation player but more likely a starter. So, with the 10, 5, and 7 picks the Kings, probably have a starter, a player no longer on the team and a number three point guard.
I don’t think any of these four teams have really overwhelmed their fan bases, certainly no more than the ‘Cats, with their picks. So, lets look at how the BCP faithful would have picked these drafts.
The 2013 poll results, with 32.69% of the votes, wanted Victor Oladipo who is having a solid season for Orlando with 13.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and 3.4 apg. Oladipo currently leads for rookie of the year with most pundits. It seems the forum got this one right.
The 2012 draft was a close call for the forum but Thomas Robinson led with 45.3% over Harrison Barnes with 33.65%. Robinson is still a work-in-progress but Barnes has been a solid player for Golden State. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist only received 5.77% of the vote. The forum would have picked Robinson so, at the moment, we would have traded a work-in-progress for a work-in-progress. The forum tied Cho in this draft.
Draft 2011 was more of a mixed bag on the forum since the best poll we had was a “who would you pick if they fell to our spot”. Enes Kanter was a solid 70% in that poll. He did not fall to us but was picked at number three. There was a tie for the other two players the forum would pick (you could vote for up to three players in this poll) between Kawhi Leonard and Jan Vesely with each getting 34% of the votes. Kanter is finally showing some strength this year with 11.4 ppg and 5.7 rpg while playing about 27 mpg. He’s certainly ahead of Biyombo. Leonard has been a solid all-around player for the Spurs and was a very good pick. Vesely has had minimal impact in the league I guess, since two of the three picks have played better than Biyombo, the forum won 2011.
The forum wins two out of the last three drafts, which is not bad. The next article will look at the teams that had top ten picks in two of the last three drafts and I’ll write some about teams that simply “got it right”.