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Drafting in Hindsight


Dick Solomon, a character on the TV show 3rd Rock from the Sun once said, "Thank you Monday morning quarterback, you've just won the Hindsight Bowl"

   Yes, hindsight is always better than foresight. The world would be a better place if we all had crystal balls, right? Well, at least drafting wise it would be much better. 

   As a brief exercise in the art of hindsight, let's start with the 2009 draft and go back to the 2001 draft and see how we did pick and who we should have picked instead, and just what our team would look like had we drafted "correctly"

  First some disclaimers. 1. This exercise has a point which I will get to. It is not a means to wallow in self pity. 2. Yes, the Jazz have had their share of gems.Lots of teams are kicking themselves for not taking Stockton in '84. The only team whose not kicking themselves about not drafting Malone in '85 is the Knicks who got Ewing- and even they might rather have Malone. Millsap was another gem. So yes, we've had our share of draft gems. 

 

2009 Draft:

We drafted: Eric Maynor and Goron Suton

Who we could have had:

Darren Collison, Omri Casspi, Marcus Thornton.

You know, I don't feel to bad about this. We ended up trading Maynor, and he's turned out pretty decent. Let's move on to 2008. 

2008 Draft:

We drafted: Kosta Koufos, Ante Tomic, Tadija Dragicevic.

Who we could have had:

Serge Ibaka. Nic Batum. Deandre Jordan. Luc Mbah a Moute

  Nic Batum would've solved a lot of our Wing problems this year, right? Ibaka is also tempting.

2007 Draft:

We drafted: Morris Almond and Herbert Hill

Who we could've taken: Marc Gasol, Arron Afflalo, Tiago Splitter, Ramon Sessions.

  Marc Gasol. Marc Gasol. Okay, I promised this wasn't a self pity post, let's move on. 

2006 Draft

We drafted: Ronnie Brewer, Dee Brown, Paul Millsap

We could have had: Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry

I don't feel bad about drafting Brewer, and we nailed Millsap. But would Rondo have been nice? Sure.

2005 Draft:

We drafted: Deron Williams, CJ Miles, Robert Whaley

We could have drafted: Chris Paul, Ray Felton, Danny Granger, Andrew Bynum, David Lee, Monta Ellis, Marcin Gortat, Andray Blatche.

  No, we did not mess up the Deron Williams pick. But let's look at our second rounders. What if we had taken Ellis instead of Miles and Gortat instead of Whaley?

2004 Draft: 

We drafted: Kris Humphries, Kirk Snyder, Pavel Pokolzine

We could have drafted: Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, Jameer Nelson, Kevin Martin, Tony Allen, Anderson Varajeo

  Yeah. Let's not go there.

2003 NBA Draft: 

We drafted: Sasha Pavlovic, Mo Williams

We could have drafted: Boris Diaw, Carlos Delfino, Kendrick Perkins, Josh Howard.

We got the second pick right. I wouldn't mind K. Perkins.

2002 NBA draft: Ryan Humphrey, Jamal Sampson

We could have drafted: Luis Scola (with the 2nd pick), Carlos Boozer, Tayshaun Prince

  Not pretty. 

Let's look at one more.

2001 NBA Draft

We drafted: Raul Lopez, Jarron Collins

We could have drafted: Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Memo Okur

Crash. 

 

What would our roster potentially look like had we made different choices?

D. Williams R. Rondo 

G. Hayward, K Martin, M. Ellis

G. Wallace, N. Batum

C. Boozer, J. Smith, L. Scola

M. Gasol, K. Perkins, A. Jefferson

  Nice roster, huh? This roster would compete for titles, sure. Of course salary restrictions and what not apply, but this is no joke. We could've drafted this roster.

  Now to my point.

Really good teams can be put together organically through the draft. It just takes drafting the right guy. Yes, hindsight is always better than foresight. Players aren't supposed to be as good as they end up being. BUT. The hope is there. 

  We have 2 picks in this draft. What if we nail both of them and pick the player in both position that ends up being the best (in other words, no one below them ends up being better)? 

  We have a pick that should be in the late lottery next year- a lottery that will be very, very deep. 

There is hope for this team. Combine it with the promise Favors and Hayward show, and the wily vets we have in Al, Sap and Harris, and we not only have reason to hope, we have reason to be optimistic.

  Talent scouts do their best. No GM intentionally makes the "wrong" pick. There is a definite element of luck involved. But the guys are out there. It may seem a weak draft, but we may well strike the right gold.

  Was a small kid from Gonzaga supposed to be the all time leader in assists and steals? 

  Realistically, we're not going to land a big free agent. We're not going to trade for a Danny Granger, or a Kevin Martin or an Andre Iguodala. The draft is the way for us to retool. I've just shown you what our roster could have potentially looked like. Here's to hoping we draft right so that our roster will look the best it possibly can when hindsight comes calling in 2015.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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