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The Downbeat #1389- We've Waited Like 200 Days for Today

The Draft Day Edition

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Will we or won't we trade up in the draft today?  I don't know.  Stay tuned.  But you know what question hasn't been asked enough?  What happened in the past when teams did trade up?  Was it good?  Bad?  Let's invetigate Gareth Keenan style.

1. Orlando trades #1 Chris Webber to Golden State for #3 Anfernee Hardaway and 3 future draft picks (Keon Clark, Laron Profit and Mike Miller)

2. Chicago trades #2 Lamarcus Aldridge and future 2nd round pick (Demetris Nichols) to Portland Trailblazers for #4 Tyrus Thomas and Victor Khryapa

3.  Seattle Supersonics trade #5 Scottie Pippen and a future first rounder (Jeff Sanders) to the Chicago Bulls for #8 Olden Polynice and future picks (Sylvester Gray and BJ Armstrong)

4. Dallas Mavericks trade #6 Robert Traylor to the Milwaukee Bucks for #9 Dirk Nowitzki and #19 Pat Garrity (later traded for Steve Nash)

5. Milwaukee Bucks trade #4 Stephon Marbury to the Minnesota Timberwolves for #5 Ray Allen and a future first round pick (Rasho Nesterovic)

6. Memphis Grizzlies trade #5 Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Jason Collins, and Brian Cardinal to the Minnesota Timberwolves for #3 OJ Mayo, Greg Buckner, Marko Jaric, and Antoine Walker

7. New Jersey Nets trade #7 Eddie Griffin to the Houston Rockets for #13 Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong

When you package your assets to trade up in a draft, you obviously expect to get the best prospect in the trade.  The Jazz traded up for Deron Williams a few years back and won that trade pretty handily.  But there are enough instances above where a team with a lower draft pick traded up for a player that went on to have a worse career.  Just something to think about tonight.  I mean, it would be pretty unlucky to trade Joel Embiid, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, the 23rd pick to Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins who then becomes the next Harrison Barnes, while Embiid gets 8 all-star bids and 3 defensive player of the year awards.

So lets move on and pretend for a moment that the Jazz are going to make a pick at 5 tonight (spoiler alert: they are probably going to pick at 5 tonight).  What kind of talent can the Jazz expect to get at 5?  Well to determine this, I redrafted the drafts of 2002-2011 to analyze the group of the best 14 players from each draft. There was a reason, although the lists did spark some healthy and reasonable debate.  The Jazz are guaranteed the chance to draft the 5th best talent in the draft, if not the 3rd or 4th best talent if the teams ahead blow it (spoiler alert: one of them probably will).

Here is my list of the best players in those drafts selected at #5 or lower in no particular order:

Stephen Curry

Kevin Love

Joakim Noah

Marc Gasol

Andre Iguodala

Rajon Rondo

Paul Millsap

Serge Ibaka

Kawhi Leonard

Paul George

Amar'e Stoudemire

So hypothetically, in the best case scenario, the Jazz should be able to get a player with a similar talent level as these guys.

But what about you cynical, pessimistic type people?  Why should the optimists get all of the fun, dreaming about drafting the next Paul George or Stephen Curry?  Well have I got news for you !

Biggest Draft Busts from 2002-2011

Jan Vesely

Joe Alexander

Hasheem Thabeet

Adam Morrison

Greg Oden

Darko (In honor of the World Cup, he only needs one name)

So with all this information, the Jazz should be drafting someone tonight that will be better than Adam Morrison, but maybe not as good as Kevin Love.  How about a list of really good players who were the 4th to 6th best players in their respective drafts?

Chandler Parsons, Kenneth Faried, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe, Tyreke Evans, Ty Lawson, DeMar DeRozan, Roy Hibbert, Al Horford, Thaddeus Young, JJ Redick, Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay, Brandon Roy, David Lee, Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, Kevin Martin.

The list goes on and on, but if we are honest with ourselves, those are the types of levels of talent we should expect to get with the 5th pick in this draft.  Shoot for the stars (Stephen Curry) knowing that you might only land on top of the world (Brook Lopez)

A really interesting look at the Washington Post on whether or not it is really a disaster to draft a bust in the top 5 of the draft.  The author likes the risk of drafting Embiid.  You all know that I do too.  The point is that if a team drafts a bust in the top of the draft, it actually just sets them up to, you know, have an opportunity to draft another player very high the next season and rebuild that way, since the bust didn't really improve their team.

"(Jay) Williams played just 75 games for Chicago after the franchise drafted him second overall in 2002 because of a motorcycle accident cutting his career short. The Bulls would rebound and make the playoffs in nine of the following 11 seasons largely in part to the production of first rounders Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson."

The story mentions that each of the teams to draft busts in the last 10 years or so, were actually able to improve and get back on the winning track pretty quickly after drafting said bust.  It's definitely thought-provoking and PROVES THAT I AM RIGHT IN THINKING THE JAZZ SHOULD DRAFT EMBIID !  Spoiler alert: it doesn't.

If you haven't already, it's probably not to late to head over to to enter the "guess the picks" contest for a chance to win season tickets and a lease of a car.


I know you are all dying to know, so I will reveal my picks.

1. Cleveland Cabs- Andrew Wiggins

2. Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker

3. Philadelphia 76ers- Joel Embiid (this will be the best outcome for my blood pressure)

4. Orlando Magic- Dante Exum

5. Utah Jazz- Aaron Gordon (let's not hope he's too much like Joe Alexander and Jan Vesely; *nervous laughing)

6. Boston Celtics- Marcus Smart

7. LA Lakers- Noah Vonleh

8. Philadelphia 76ers- Julius Randle (Sacramento trades the 8th pick, Derrick Williams, Travis Outlaw and Isaiah Thomas to the 76ers for Michael Carter Williams and Thaddeus Young; Philadelphia starts Thomas and Outlaw for 82 games next season finishing with 17 wins.  Cleveland wins the draft lottery in 2015)

9. Charlotte Hornets- Doug McDermott

10. Philadelphia 76ers- Nik Stauskas

11. Denver Nuggets- Elfrid Payton

12. Orlando Magic- Clint Capela

13. Minnesota Timberwolves- Gary Harris (the Klay Thompson that they never had)

14. Phoenix Suns- Dario Saric

Happy Draft Day Everyone