NBA Draft Master-Debating, Part 2


There’s much more to the debate than the numbers, but if Reid really wants to play the comparison game straight out the gate, let’s go there.

Glenn Robinson’s best year in college, as a junior, after which he was the unanimous No. 1 pick, but before much of his potential was destroyed by injuries and alcohol problems:

  • 93-94 Purdue 30.3 PPG | 48.3 FG% | 38.0 3PT% | 79.6 FT%
    10.1 REB | 1.9 AST | 4.1 TO | 0.9 BLK | 1.6 STL

Michael Beasley, two years younger, after a single season of college basketball, but before his potential will be just decimated by too many Vinny Del Negro jokes:

  • 07-08 K-State 26.2 PPG | 53.2 FG% | 37.9 3PT% | 77.4 FT%
    12.4 REB | 1.2 AST | 2.9 TO | 1.3 STL | 1.6 BLK

So even a cursory look at the basic stats shows Beasley ahead of Robinson. He contributes more efficiently and holds a little edge in the defensive categories, too. And with Robinson, there wasn’t even a debate about who went first.

Now to Derrick Rose, whose remarkable tourney performance led his team to a 2nd place finish, during which he showed he “can go 200 mph and is a smart point man, but his shot is unpredictable”:

  • 07-08 Memphis 14.9 PPG | 47.7 FG% | 33.7 3PT% | 71.2 FT%
    4.5 REB | 4.7 AST | 2.7 TO | 1.2 STL | 0.4 BLK

Actually, though, the quote above isn’t about Rose. It was about a guy the Bulls might have on their radar, Kirk Hinrich, who also led his team to a NCAA Finals loss, captured Long’s heart with his hustle, but was nowhere near the conversation for the top pick:

  • 02-03 Rock Chalk 17.3 PPG | 47.5 FG% | 40.6 3PT% | 70.4 FT%
    3.8 REB | 3.5 AST (4.7 for his college career) | 2.2 TO | 1.9 STL | 0.4 BLK

So the fact that Rose is even in the No. 1 conversation means either A) his intangibles really are off the charts, or 2) maybe we’re starting to overvalue those intangibles a bit.

If the measurables aren’t convincing, let me throw this out there: mimicking the success of other teams hardly guarantees wins, but it’s a popular NBA strategy. In the early part of this decade, teams trying to follow the Shaq model overpaid (i.e., overvalued) the Erik Dampiers and Adonal Foyles of the world — and are still overpaying them.

It’s possible that, now, we’re all a little too eager to invest in the next dynamic PG thanks to the non-title-winning-but-beautiful-to-watch success of Nash, CP3, and Deron Williams.

And that’s how you talk yourself out of picking the sure thing.

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