I watched the NBA Draft Lottery last night. Struck me on how quickly they went through that process. The whole thing was over in like 8 minutes and that was with a 3-4 minute commercial break. You're telling me that couldn't have been a 20-30 minute segment?
You are going to have some people who aren't going to watch the NBA Lottery no matter what, so whether it's 2 minutes or 20 minutes they aren't going to watch it. But for something that could potentially change the trajectory of multiple franchises for the next decade, I think ESPN could play that up a little bit more.
It was just team shown, and then another team shown 10 seconds later. Whoever the announcer was last night, just had a one to two sentence prepared statement about each team and said it quickly after they were announced. Then they went right into the next team. I'm not saying make it into an hour long show but it just seemed like a wasted opportunity that was rushed last night and could have been done much better.
I know for the most part the draft order is predictable outside of the one or two teams that jump up to the Top 3 but there wasn't nearly enough drama, or enough time to build that drama. Tell me who the next team to be announced should be if the order stays to form. That way I know which logo I should be looking for coming out of the envelope, and know that if they don't come out then they moved into the Top 3. Then give me 1 maybe 2 minutes talking about each team after their logo is shown. Just a terribly disappointing experience last night.
Like a true journalist, I started my prep work for the NBA Draft last night after the order was official. You can never be too prepared. And of course by "prep work" I mean listening to other people's podcasts and reading other people's articles about discussing what they think may happen in the upcoming draft and probably stealing all their ideas. Which may sound shady, but that's basically what everyone does anyways.
This has fascinated me the past couple years with drafts and everyone's draft board before a professional sports draft. Everyone basically has the same draft board. Sure someone may have a player at 6 and someone else has them at 8 or 9. Or someone may have someone ranked at 16 on their draft board and someone else has them at 20. But basically, everything is the same. And then we blast teams if they deviate from that order.
Who comes up with these initial rankings, and then why are they basically accepted as gospel by everyone in the media? In 5+ years from now, someone is going to come up with a column that re-ranks the 2017 NBA Draft and their draft order is going to look nothing like the draft order that is up right now prior to the draft. Not going to be close. You can look at columns right now doing the same thing over the 2010 NBA Draft or the 2012 NBA Draft where they re-rank the order on where those people should be taken. The new Top 5 almost always looks like this: #4, #20, #32, #8, and #25. Here's an example from someone's article about the 2011 Draft. If they redrafted today it would be: #15, #1, #11, #30, and #23.
This happens almost every year and yet leading up to the draft almost every single draft board is the same. It will vary a little pick to pick but it's very, very similar. I know player's develop at different rates and certain players fit in different systems and different teams better than other players. But just remember this when someone in the media tells you a team "screwed up" on their pick on draft night. No one knows. I guarantee a lot of teams wish they would have "screwed up" in that 2011 draft and taken the #15 pick (Kahwi Leonard) or the #30 pick (Jimmy Butler) sooner than they did.
Another thing that irritates me when people talk about drafting for the NBA Draft is drafting based on "fit" or "need". You'll hear this a lot over the next month or so before the NBA Draft, that Team X will be looking at this player because they need help at Position Y. Or a team probably won't look very hard at this guy because they already have someone at that position. Dumb.
Get the best player you can and figure out fit and rotations later.
You need stars in the NBA to be competitive for a title. Simple as that. You can't win a title or probably even make the Finals in today's NBA without a "super-star". And we may be reaching the point where only one "super-star" may not be enough to win a title. You need to find stars if you are in the lottery. Bypassing players because of fit or position is ridiculous.
Example: Since we were talking about the #15 pick in the 2011 Draft earlier, that pick was actually made by my Pacers. They drafted Kahwi Leonard. But, since they already had Paul George at that spot and really needed a Point Guard, they traded him to San Antonio for George Hill. That one hurts. Now, George Hill ended up being a solid point guard for the Pacers and did fill a need. But he was never a super star and he never approached anything close to what Kahwi Leonard is.
You can make the argument that maybe Kahwi doesn't become what he is today if he is playing alongside Paul George. Maybe it becomes a James Harden in Oklahoma City situation where he needs the space an opportunity to flourish like Harden did in Houston. Maybe in Indiana under Paul George, Kahwi only becomes 80% as good as he is now. Maybe, maybe not. But that is still a heck of a back court. You're telling me the Pacers couldn't figure out how to play Paul George and Kahwi Leonard at the same time? I think they could have made that "fit".
Get the best player available, or the player you think will end up being the best player in 5-8 years. Figure the rest out later.