Thursday, May 21, 2009

Best Draft Class Ever?

Many have debated the "best draft class ever" and the two most popular arguments are the 1984 draft class (Mihcael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, Alvin Robertson), or the 2003 draft class (Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmello Anthony, Chris Bosh). Both of these classes are no doubt STACKED. However, my esteemed colleague Kyle Inahara attempted to throw the 2008 draft class into the mix of possibly the best ever draft class. Now to Kyle's credit, it is easy to argue for the other two classes because we know how those players turned out and I am sure that there are a couple players in this draft class who will eventually exceed expectations (i.e. a Josh Howard getting taken late, not doing anything his first year and then later killing). My argument on the other hand is this. Even giving last years draft class the benefit of the doubt and saying it will have a few players kill, they will come no where close to matching either of the above two draft classes. Let me make the case for both the 1984, and 2003 draft class and we what kind of defense Kyle can mount to defend his statement.

1984 Draft Class
Top Players
Michael Jordan - Nuff Said (HOF)
Hakeem Olajuwon - One of the top centers of all time (HOF)
Charles Barkley - Round mound of rebound! Multi-All-Star (HOF)
Alvin Robertson - 3 ti
me All-Star, one of four players to record Quadruple-Double, NBA defensive player of the year
Otis Thorpe - All-Star
Kevin Willis - All-Star
John Stockton - Hall of Fame
Jerome Kersey - Showed no Mercy

Number of All-Stars: 7
Hall of Fame: 4

2003 Draft Class

LeBron James - Second Best player of all time (At least top 5 after
all said and done)
Carmello Anthony - Multi-All-Star, Current Top 5 palyer in NBA (At least top 10) (ABSOLUTELY ASSANIAN STATEMENT, Carmelo is not Even top 10 in the league, if you want me to list top 10 I will)  (I mean top 10 in the league, I should have added "currently", and I feel he is top 10)
Dwayne Wade - Multi-All-Star, Top 3 player in the league, top 50 all time, future HOF
Chris Bosh - Multi-All-Star, one of the top PF in the game today
Chris Kaman - Averaged 16 and 13 and 2 blocks in '07 (Only Played in 56 Games)  (Which is almost 70% of the season)
Kirk Hinrich - Starting PG for the bulls in a playoff run (One Year, Now WAY Overpaid)  (More than one year)
TJ Ford - Borderline All-Star talent when healthy (downside hurt multiple seasons)
David West - All Star, 20 and 10 guy
Luke Ridinour - Starting PG for a playoff team early in career
Mickael Pietrus - Solid contributor playoff team
Boris Diaw - starter for a playoff team (Stats are Juiced from Being on a Mike D'Antone Team)  (Does not change the fact he started for a playoff team)
Travis Outlaw - Solid contributor for a playoff team, near 6th man vote
Leandro Barbosa - 6th man of the year, solid contributor for playoff team (See Boris Diaw)  (does not change the fact he was a 6th man for a playoff team)
Josh Howard - All-Star
Luke Walton - Starter for playoff team (Incorrect, Bench Player)  (Correct, this is not the only year the lakers made the playoffs)
Steve Blake - Starter for playoff team
Matt Bonner - Starter for playoff team (Due to Injuries)  (don't bring your Japanese racism twoards red-heads into this, you know bonner is legit, he started even without injuries, they brought ginobli off the bench)
Mo Williams - All Star (After two guys ahead of him got hurt)  (Nobody is hurt in Cleveland yet he is still starting for the best team in the nba?  Dont hate)
Kendrick Perkins - Starter for World Championsihp team
Honorable Mention: Keith Bogans, Willie Green, Sasho Pavlovic, Zaza Pachulia, Nick Collison, Darko Milicic
*I listed several players who are average at best but just wanted to show the number of players from this draft who ended up making a significant impact on teams in the league.

Number of All-Stars: 7

Ok so I have listed my players and have decorated them with awards and such that they have won. The prosecution rests, are you prepared to mount your defense kyle?

Also please comment as to what draft class you think is the best!!! Errrveryone!!!

As we stand right now, we are comparing apples to oranges. We have had years to realize the potential of the previous stated draft classes. This years class has a tiny sample size. But the number of players that contributed this season, combined with potential still out there, makes for an interesting arguemnt for the best draft class ever. But that also depends on your definition of "best draft class ever" Does that mean, the largest amount of All-Stars? Of Hall of Famers? Of players that were in the league, and were able to contribute the longest? The draft class that provided almost every single team with a key conrtibutor?

To me, it is the draft class that has the most impact/contributing players. And I will conceed if we are going on superstar/hall of fame players, the 2003 class takes the cake. LeBron James might end up being the best player ever. Dwayne Wade might be a top 50 player by the time he hangs 'em up. Bosh is a perenial all-star, and Carmelo could be one day also. But the number of players that contributed heavily to their respective teams THIS YEAR was an unusally large amount for the draft class of 2009. I didn't want to have to do this, but Goose forced my hand.

Derek Rose - Almost certainly will join the ranks of Deron Williams and Chris Paul as the best young point guards in the League. Had the most impressive first playoff game by a rookie since Magic Johnson.

Michael Beasley - Averaged 14 and 5.5 in his rookie year in only 24 minutes a game. That puts his 40 minute averages at 23.6 and 9.2. Not too bad.  (What would outlaw average if you did that to his numbers?  Hes asked to come in and shoot)

OJ Mayo - One of the best parimeter scorers in the league already. Think about if he ever starts taking the ball to the rim?

Russell Westbrook - Averaged 15 and 5 assits, 5 boards and 1.3 steals a game. In only 32 mins a game. Not to mention already one of the best on ball PG defenders in the league. Extremely high ceiling.

Kevin Love - Almost averaged a double double (11 and 9.1) in only 25 minutes a game. That puts his 40 min averages at 17.6 & 14.8. Not to mention being 3rd in the league in offensive rebounding rate.  (he got only 25 minutes a game and played for the T'Wolves, I think that bodes well for my side!  He let craig smith take some of his minutes, ewww)

Eric Gordon - After being inserted into the starting lineup, averaged 19.6 points a game.  (Multiple injuries, one of the worse teams in the league)

DJ Agustine - Starter for a borderline playoff team, the PG solution long term for the Bobcats.  Currently listed as backup, longterm solution at PG averaging 3.5 assists?  I think he is more Bayless then longterm PG.  Also, borderline playoff team in the weak ass east)

Brook Lopez - Arguably the 3rd best prospect in this draft class. Averaged 13, 8.1, and 1.8 blocks a game after riding the pine for the first 2+ months of the season. Very high ceiling.

Bayless - Freak athleticism, just needs a chance to prove himself.

Jason Thompson - Would have made the Kings think twice about Drafting Blake Griffin #1. He is a 12 and 7.4 guy in only 28 minutes per game. If he can learn to not foul, his numbers could see a huge spike.

Brandon Rush - Solid bench guy, in the Shane Battier mold. Could one day contribute much like Battier.  (Shitty team with major injury helping his 8 points a game average with Dunleavy going out)

Anthony Randolph - Averaged 8, 6, and 1.17 block in just 18 mins a game. If he got regular minutes, it could be scary.  (Stats juiced after playing for Don Nelson and the GSW)

Mareese Speights - Solid bench contriubter with potential to be a starter in this league.  (Solid contriubor?  He averaged 16 mins a game even after the guy who plays his position went out for over half the season!)

Roy Hibbert - Started some games for Indiana, could be one of those "Best backup center" kind of guys.  (are you really throwing him in ther with the likes of Pryz?)

JaVale McGee - Showed flashes of potential but was yo-yo'd around in the lineup all year.  (yo-yo'd around for the Wiz, not saying much, Haywood and Thomas were hurt)

JJ Hickson - Rumor has it Cleveland think he could be the long term solution at the 4 for them.  (Long-Term solution who averaged 4 points per game this year?)

Courtney Lee - Starter for Eastern conference finals team. Ability to guard other teams best parimeter player.

Nicolas Batum - Marked next to "untouchable" by Blazers brass. Potential to be long term starter for a championship caliber team.

George Hill - Solid backup PG for a perenial championship team.

Darrell Arthur - Showed potential in spot minutes all year. Averaged 12 and 5 when given minutes.

Mario Chalmers - Starting PG on a playoff team

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - Already pegged as one of the parimeter defenders in the league.

So all of these guys, plus the guys who havent even gotten any playing time yet (i.e. Bayless). Not to mention the potential for any overseas guys who arent in the League yet. Bottom line we wont know until at least 5-6 years from now, but it's fun to speculate.