Friday, June 27, 2008

The Sportswriter: Draft Grades

The 2008 NBA Draft is not yet twelve hours old, but analysts are already issuing grades for teams and even proclaiming some teams as winners and others as losers. Considering the players drafted last night have not even stepped on an NBA practice court, such analysis is a cute gimmick that has devolved into a serious exercise in futility.

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Chris Bosh, TOR- A three-time All-Star who's the cornerstone of a solid team.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Kirk Hinrich, CHI- A key player in the Bulls' pre-2007/2008 resurgence.
  8. 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.
  9. Mike Sweetney, NY- Who? Sweetney is no longer in the NBA.
  10. 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


Anonymous said...

Mike Sweeney does not have a wikipedia page, but Mike Sweetney does. Also, Dwyane, not Dwayne, Wade. I know, but you'll have to take that one up with his mother.

Great blog, though. Keep up the good work.

Westbrook Diarist said...

Thank you for the corrections.

As for Dwyane Wade's mother, I plan to place a call complaining of her role as a pebble in the sneaker of presumptive writers everywhere.