Wages of Wins Podcast: James talks the draft

The draft could get ugly.

Time for another Wages of Wins “10 minute podcast” where we have one of our analyst ask a basketball expert five questions. This week we’ll be talking the 2012 NBA draft.

Podcast and Podcasters

June 27th James talks the draft

Barring Durant, what do you think of the Thunder’s drafting?

I called the Thunder lucky a while back in regards to their drafting. James clarified he’s a Sonics fan and a fan of players on the Thunder but is not a Thunder’s fan per se.

James Harden was a good pick. James says Russell Westbrook was a terrible pick with Kevin Love still on the board. James also said he was impressed with Ryan Anderson as well, also picked after Westbrook.

We used Arturo’s models in some of these discussions, you can see what Arturo says the Thunder should have picked here.

Looking over historical drafts, are there major draft picks or misses that sum up the problem of going for good looking players over stats?

James did some great historical analysis on Bowie vs. Jordan. James loved the Chad Ford quote of “Running like a deer”, When it comes to players though aesthetics don’t matter. James liked wiLQ’s expansion on his metaphor.

As Patrick has explained before in comparing Kevin Love vs. LaMarcus AldridgeThe ugly baskets count too.

James had a few good examples:

What are the biggest land mines in the draft, and who will draft them?

James wrote two great pieces on overrated players in the draft (part 1 and part 2)

Harrison Barnes:

James thinks he’ll end up on the Cavs. If not the Cavs then he’ll fall to Sacramento.

Austin Rivers – he’s below average in every single stat! He’s currently listed as going to Toronto on Draft Express. To shatter Ben Gulker’s (@brgulker) optimism for the Pistons this season, there’s a good shot he ends up on the Pistons.

Why are there so many good statistical players projected as undrafted or late second rounders?

This becomes especially clear looking at Arturo’s cheat sheet. It comes down to two things: size and potential. If a player is undersized in spite of the stats, they are less desirable. Also players have potential! Potential with numbers backing them up rarely turn a team around. That’s because really good players are really rare. That said, players with “potential” that can’t produce seldom become good players.

Do you think any NBA teams will use your analysis and what would tip you off?

James doesn’t think any team that is high on his overrated players is likely to back down. He does think Will Barton or Jae Crowder may creep up higher. He doesn’t think it will be a direct result of his writing though.

Closing thoughts

James says if he had a pick other than #1 he would trade out of the draft lottery for lower picks. He summed it up as “The value in the top 30 is the same as the top 10.”


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