NBA

NBA AM: The NBA Draft Is Far From Perfect

The recent history of the NBA Draft shows the process is anything but exact… Greg Monroe denies Knicks commitment… The Magic have a big off-season ahead.

Steve Kyler profile picture
Updated 1 year ago on

9 min read

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Shane Larkin discusses this frustrating season with the New York Knicks, where to go from here and much more.

Hindsight Is a Killer: The funny thing about the NBA Draft process is that even with as much time as executives spend on looking at players, history shows that the process is anything but precise. As much as teams think they know, the miss rate on the draft is really high.

As the 2015 NBA season comes to a close in just a few days, many teams will shift their focus full-time to the NBA draft and workouts and player evaluations will ramp up.

Here is a look back at the last six NBA Draft first rounds. For many teams, the draft hasn’t been nearly as kind as it has been to others.

2014 NBA Draft 2013 NBA Draft 2012 NBA Draft
Pick  Player  Pick  Player  Pick  Player
1  Andrew Wiggins  1  Anthony Bennett  1  Anthony Davis
2  Jabari Parker  2  Victor Oladipo  2  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
3  Joel Embiid  3  Otto Porter  3  Bradley Beal
4  Aaron Gordon  4  Cody Zeller  4  Dion Waiters
5  Dante Exum  5  Alex Len  5  Thomas Robinson
6  Marcus Smart  6  Nerlens Noel  6  Damian Lillard
7  Julius Randle  7  Ben McLemore  7  Harrison Barnes
8  Nik Stauskas  8  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope  8  Terrence Ross
9  Noah Vonleh  9  Trey Burke  9  Andre Drummond
10  Elfrid Payton  10  C.J. McCollum  10  Austin Rivers
11  Doug McDermott  11  Michael Carter-Williams  11  Meyers Leonard
12  Dario Šarić  12  Steven Adams  12  Jeremy Lamb
13  Zach LaVine  13  Kelly Olynyk  13  Kendall Marshall
14  T. J. Warren  14  Shabazz Muhammad  14  John Henson
15  Adreian Payne  15  Giannis Antetokounmpo  15  Maurice Harkless
16  Jusuf Nurkić  16  Lucas Nogueira  16  Royce White
17  James Young  17  Dennis Schröder  17  Tyler Zeller
18  Tyler Ennis  18  Shane Larkin  18  Terrence Jones
19  Gary Harris  19  Sergey Karasev  19  Andrew Nicholson
20  Bruno Caboclo  20  Tony Snell  20  Evan Fournier
21  Mitch McGary  21  Gorgui Dieng  21  Jared Sullinger
22  Jordan Adams  22  Mason Plumlee  22  Fab Melo
23  Rodney Hood  23  Solomon Hill  23  John Jenkins
24  Shabazz Napier  24  Tim Hardaway, Jr.  24  Jared Cunningham
25  Clint Capela  25  Reggie Bullock  25  Tony Wroten
26  P. J. Hairston  26  André Roberson  26  Miles Plumlee
27  Bogdan Bogdanović  27  Rudy Gobert  27  Arnett Moultrie
28  C. J. Wilcox  28  Livio Jean-Charles  28  Perry Jones III
29  Josh Huestis  29  Archie Goodwin  29  Marquis Teague
30  Kyle Anderson  30  Nemanja Nedović  30  Festus Ezeli

 

2011 NBA Draft 2010 NBA Draft 2009 NBA Draft
Pick  Player  Pick  Player  Pick  Player
1  Kyrie Irving  1  John Wall  1  Blake Griffin
2  Derrick Williams  2  Evan Turner  2  Hasheem Thabeet
3  Enes Kanter  3  Derrick Favors  3  James Harden
4  Tristan Thompson  4  Wesley Johnson  4  Tyreke Evans
5  Jonas Valančiūnas  5  DeMarcus Cousins  5  Ricky Rubio
6  Jan Veselý  6  Ekpe Udoh  6  Jonny Flynn
7  Bismack Biyombo  7  Greg Monroe  7  Stephen Curry
8  Brandon Knight  8  Al-Farouq Aminu  8  Jordan Hill
9  Kemba Walker  9  Gordon Hayward  9  DeMar DeRozan
10  Jimmer Fredette  10  Paul George  10  Brandon Jennings
11  Klay Thompson  11  Cole Aldrich  11  Terrence Williams
12  Alec Burks  12  Xavier Henry  12  Gerald Henderson
13  Markieff Morris  13  Ed Davis  13  Tyler Hansbrough
14  Marcus Morris  14  Patrick Patterson  14  Earl Clark
15  Kawhi Leonard  15  Larry Sanders  15  Austin Daye
16  Nikola Vučević  16  Luke Babbitt  16  James Johnson
17  Iman Shumpert  17  Kévin Séraphin  17  Jrue Holiday
18  Chris Singleton  18  Eric Bledsoe  18  Ty Lawson
19  Tobias Harris  19  Avery Bradley  19  Jeff Teague
20  Donatas Motiejūnas  20  James Anderson  20  Eric Maynor
21  Nolan Smith  21  Craig Brackins  21  Darren Collison
22  Kenneth Faried  22  Elliot Williams  22  Víctor Claver
23  Nikola Mirotić  23  Trevor Booker  23  Omri Casspi
24  Reggie Jackson  24  Damion James  24  Byron Mullens
25  MarShon Brooks  25  Dominique Jones  25  Rodrigue Beaubois
26  Jordan Hamilton  26  Quincy Pondexter  26  Taj Gibson
27  JaJuan Johnson  27  Jordan Crawford  27  DeMarre Carroll
28  Norris Cole  28  Greivis Vásquez  28  Wayne Ellington
29  Cory Joseph  29  Daniel Orton  29  Toney Douglas
30  Jimmy Butler  30  Lazar Hayward  30  Christian Eyenga

A quick review of the numbers – there were 180 players drafted over the past six years. Of those 180, 22 of them played in the NBA at one point but are now out of the league altogether (and there are four others who have not yet played in the NBA, due to being stashed overseas or in the D-League). The 2012 draft class had four players wash out, the 2011 class had five, 2010 had six and 2009 had seven. That means 12.2 percent of players selected in the first round since 2009 are no longer in the NBA.

On the surface that doesn’t seem like a huge percentage; however, when you consider many washed out after just a few years in the league, it illustrates how unpredictable the draft process can be.

NBA teams can begin working out collegiate seniors as soon as their respective NBA seasons ends, but they must wait until after the April 26 Early Entry Deadline to work out underclassmen. The 2015 NBA Draft Combine is set for May 12-May 16 in Chicago with the 2015 NBA Draft set for June 25 in New York.

No Deals And No Guarantees:  The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola dropped a nugget on Saturday suggesting that Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe, who is a pending unrestricted free agent, is all but assured to sign with the New York Knicks this summer using the quoted phrase: “about as close to a done deal as you can get.”

Admittedly, Isola was quoting an unnamed league source, who is basically saying what many have believed to be true for some time, that Monroe was one of the prime targets for the Knicks in July.

Monroe was asked about the story and the idea that it was already decided and he took a hard line stance saying he hadn’t decided anything yet.

“It’s a shame that people just write stuff that’s not factual at all, but we as players have to come in here and answer for it when we have absolutely nothing to do with it,” Monroe said to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. “I guess he’s doing his job. That’s what you guys do. You write it’s a done deal then they must have another guy named Greg Monroe somewhere around there I don’t know about because I haven’t agreed to anything.”

“I haven’t discussed anything with anybody,” Monroe added. “My agent hasn’t discussed anything with anyone. It’s the stuff I’ve been telling you guys all year is exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve been focused on this season and that’s going to be it.”

Pistons head coach and team president Stan Van Gundy was asked about the notion of losing his free agent this summer, and Van Gundy stayed true to his message that the Pistons planned to re-sign the big man this summer.

“We’re going to try to keep Greg,” Van Gundy said. “There’s no question about that. Obviously Greg has a lot to say with that so we’ll just see where it goes.”

Monroe opted to take the Piston’s qualifying offer last summer, which allows him to become an unrestricted free agent in July and is considered the most obtainable free agent of the bunch.

In addition to the Knicks, Monroe has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, and he is expected to garner a lot of attention on July 1.

Is Change Coming To The Magic?:  The Orlando Magic are likely going to see a lot of roster change this summer, mainly because they have some players heading into free agency and lot of guys with team option years.

Magic forwards Tobias Harris and Kyle O’Quinn lead the way as potential restricted free agents; both have come to accept that their futures may not be with the Magic, with O’Quinn falling out of the rotation in a major way in the final month of the season and Harris expecting to command a sizable new contract this summer.

The Magic have several players with team options or non-guaranteed contracts; Ben Gordon and Luke Ridnour are unlikely to return, while younger guys like big man Dewayne Dedmon and second-round pick Devyn Marble are more likely. Marble suffered a detached retina mid-season, so his status is very much up in the air.

The Magic also have to decide if last season’s free agent prize, Channing Frye, makes sense going forward. The Magic inked Frye to a four-year, $32 million deal that declines in value each year, but Frye posted a sub-par season by even his own standards as the Magic struggled to find a place in the rotation for him.

Frye says he wants to return next season, but understands he may not be the fit the Magic had hoped when they signed him.

“It’s been a tough year, but it’s been an awesome year because I’ve grown, I think, a lot more in being patient, not just assuming guys know certain things, being able to communicate better,” Frye said to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “I hope to be back here, and I really do enjoy my time here. I love these guys. No matter who’s here, who’s not and who’s coaching or who’s not, I feel like we’re going to go in the right direction.

“There are times where I was happy with how I played and there are times when I wasn’t. I think for me I like the consistency in who I am as a person. Of course, I’m going to get upset and frustrated about certain things. But overall I think who I am as a person has stayed pretty solid. I’ve tried to be as much as who I am with this team. I’m getting used to playing a little bit slower, playing at a different pace with different guys.”

This looks to be a big offseason for the Magic, as they not only are looking at the potential for another high-level draft pick, but they will also likely be hiring a new head coach.

Magic GM Rob Hennigan told season ticket holders on a call recently that the team would retain the restricted Harris “no matter what” – however that news was met with skepticism by sources close to Harris, who saw the comment not as an assurance of a new deal, but rather a means to possibly scare away would-be free agent suitors.

The Magic have a few players who are expected to be traded, such as forward Maurice Harkless and big man Andrew Nicholson. Both were shopped fairly aggressively around the trade deadline, and both are expected to be moved around the NBA Draft.

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Steve Kyler is the Editor and Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA and basketball for the last 17 seasons.

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