One Uninformed Assessment

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The rush after the draft to award grades, decide who won and lost, etc., is my least favorite part of the whole process. Franchises spend millions on scouting and analysis and often get it wrong. I really don’t see how a journalist thinks he knows any better.

More useful, for purposes of looking back, is to record how I felt about these prospects going into draft day. So based on a mix of college games I watched, stuff I read, and general NBA consensus, here’s my impression of the 2008 draft class, broken down by categories that are probably similar to how most fans think about these guys (draft position in parentheses):

Franchise Saviors

Potential championship cornerstones

  • Michael Beasley (2)
  • Derrick Rose (1)

Could Be Great

Ceiling seems to be second or third best guy on a really good team

  • Kevin Love (5)
  • DJ Augustin (9) — a personal bias since I watched him so much and think he’s got the PG gene
  • OJ Mayo (3)

Bust Alert

  • Russell Westbrook (4)
  • Eric Gordon (7)
  • Anthony Randolph (14) — as a Warriors fan, this felt like the worst pick of the draft. Any of the bruising post players still available would’ve helped G.S. on the glass. Not this guy.
  • Alexis Ajinca (20)
  • Serge Ibaka (24)
  • D’Andre Jordan (35) — back when he was slotted as a lottery pick

Intriguing But Risky

  • Joe Alexander (8)
  • Danilo Gallinari (6)
  • Marreese Speights (16)

Could Go Either Way / Not Enough Info

  • Jerryd Bayless (11)
  • Kosta Koufos (23)
  • Donte Greene (28)
  • Nicolas Batum (25)

Why Aren’t People Higher on These Guys?

  • CDR (40!)
  • Darrell Arthur (27)

Quality Role Players

  • Brandon Rush (13)
  • Ryan Anderson (21)
  • Courtney Lee (22)
  • Mario Chalmers (34)

Serviceable Big Men

  • Brook Lopez (10)
  • Roy Hibbert (19)

The Giant Mess of 2nd Tier Bigs

  • Jason Thompson (12)
  • JJ Hickson (19)
  • Javale McGee (18)
  • Robin Lopez (15)
  • Ante Tomic (44)

Others of Note

  • Joey Dorsey (33) — seems like a guy this strong and coordinated will find a place in the league
  • George Hill (26) — Another year, another “Who?” pick for the Spurs, but possibly this draft’s Rodney Stuckey. Deserves his own post.
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