J.Ross: NBA’s Recent Draft History
There is so much talk around the NBA right now about teams trying to lose to improve their draft chances. The league has a perception problem with this. Teams near the bottom of the NBA standing appear to be in a race for the league’s worst record. The benefit is the best odds of winning the NBA draft lottery in May. Hopefully then you can turn your organizations fortunes around with a franchise player. So with that said I took it upon myself to work on a little project for our show The Lo-Down (weekdays 12-3 on KHTK).
The project was to see if the draft is the end all be all for team building. We know that you can get better through the draft, free agency and via trades. I am strictly focusing on the draft. So what I did was take every player that is in the league now and see which team drafted him. I then made that list to see which teams are doing this right and how some of the league’s best teams have been built. The catch to this is that I did not incorporate draft day trades. So for example, the Kings this last season technically drafted Zach Collins and then moved him for Justin Jackson and Harry Giles. Instead of going through all the draft day trades I keep Collins on the Kings and Jackson and Giles on the Blazers.
So here is what I found. Some teams have really made it a point of emphasis to collect draft picks, others not so much. The Philadelphia 76ers have 19 players that they drafted that are still in the NBA. That is the most of any current team in the NBA. For Philadelphia the 76ers still have 5 of those players currently on their team. The Dallas Mavericks are on the other end of the spectrum with only 4 players that they have drafted that are still in the NBA. Some of the top teams in the East and West right now include the Warriors, Rockets, T-Wolves, Raptors, Celtics and Cavs. I wanted to see how well they have drafted over the years and how many of those draft picks are still on their team. The Warriors have 5 players that they drafted still on their team but the Rockets and T-Wolves have just 1. Toronto has 7, Boston with 5 and Cleveland has 2. So what did I learn? I actually might even be more confused. You do need some luck with the draft, you need to get your trades right and hit on free agency to build a great franchise. All of those are difficult to do. I do believe though if you draft right it really can help the other options quite a bit.
Here is a list of a few teams that have drafted very well, so which do you think has done it best?
Philadelphia 76ers: Andre Igoudala, Lou Williams, Thabo Sefalosha, Thaddeus Young, Mo Speights, Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Mo Harkless, Nicola Vucevic, Michael Carter-Williams, Jerami Grant, Elfrid Payton, Joel Embiid, Richaun Holmes, Willy Hernangomez, Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu, Markelle Fultz
Cleveland Cavaliers: Jamal Crawford, LeBron James, Danny Green, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Jae Crowder, Allen Crabbe, Joe Harris, Andrew Wiggins, Tyus Jones
Golden State Warriors: Marco Belinelli, Steph Curry, Epke Udoh, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Kevon Looney, Damion Jones
New Orleans Pelicans: David West, JR Smith, Chris Paul, Darrell Arthur, Darren Collison, Cole Aldrich, Darius Miller, Austin Rivers, Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel, Buddy Hield
Oklahoma City Thunder: Nick Collison, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, James Harden, Eric Bledsoe, Reggie Jackson, Steven Adams, Alex Abrines, Josh Huestis, Cameron Payne, Terrence Ferguson
Here is @JasonRoss1140's list of a few teams that have drafted very well. Which do you think has done it best?
— Sports 1140 KHTK (@Sports1140KHTK) March 2, 2018