Indeed, instead of etching their chicken scratch about this year's event on millions of computer screens (not to mention newspapers and magazines), sportswriters should be spending their time reflecting on a team's performance in, say, the 2003 draft. In other words, grade a team's draft performance based on players who, you know, have actually done something in the NBA--or not, as is the case of Mike Sweetney.
So without further ado, a reflection on the Class of 2003's top 10 draft picks (I do have a life, so I won't look at the entire draft):
- LeBron James, CLE- A no-brainer, even at the time. But give Cleveland credit for drafting the player I think will be considered the best ever. Even if he is a traitorous Yankee fan from Ohio.
- Darko Milicic, DET- A B-U-S-T for the Motor City: Milicic averaged no more than seven minutes per game in his career with Detroit and was subsequently traded to Orlando and then to Memphis.
- Carmelo Anthony, DEN- Another can't-miss prospect in 2003 who's lived up to his draft slot. Though Anthony hasn't led the Nuggets to a championship yet, he has led them to the playoffs in each of his five years in the league. And he is one of the league's most prolific scorers.
- Chris Bosh, TOR- A three-time All-Star who's the cornerstone of a solid team.
- Dwyane Wade, MIA- Though the team currently stinks and Wade now seems to be injured more often than not, he did lead the Heat to its first championship in the 2005-2006 season.
- Chris Kaman, LAC- A solid center who's contributed from the beginning (he appeared in every game as a rookie) and who has improved to become a double-doubler.
- Kirk Hinrich, CHI- A key player in the Bulls' pre-2007/2008 resurgence.
- T.J. Ford, MIL- Considering he was traded by the Bucks only two years after the team drafted him, Ford evidently was not a good pick for Milwaukee.
- Mike Sweetney, NY- Who? Sweetney is no longer in the NBA.
- Jarvis Hayes, WASH- After Hayes spent four years as a role-player, the Wizards declined to renew his contract. He is now a reserve with the Detroit Pistons.
(Editor's Note: This post has been edited to correct the spelling of the names of Dwyane Wade and Mike Sweetney, as well to correct an initial assertion that Sweetney did not have a Wikipedia page.)
- John C.L. Morgan