Sunday, June 19, 2011

NBA Draft 2011

With the NBA draft coming up, it’s a decent time to take stock of the league. The initial image of the draft—that it’s bottom-heavy (and “heavy” is a relative term here)—seems to be the correct one so far. That’s a serious problem to have: NBA scouts are generally correct about the generalities when it comes to the NBA Draft. If they say there aren’t any superstars, then the probabilities are there aren’t any to be had. That’s a problem—the NBA, now as ever, is a superstar league, as the Mavericks, Heat, Thunder and Bulls prove.

It should be a rather better draft if you want to fill in some holes—which should be a boon for the Bulls, who need that one good shooting guard to get that much better (Tyler Honeycutt! Honeycutt!). That’s a bad thing for the bad teams in the league in two ways: one, the players aren’t likely to be very good for them; two, a fill-in-the-holes player is only going to be useful to you if you know what your holes actually are.

Circumstance basically determines whether or not your draft strategy is any good, and since superstars are the only way to win, you need to get lucky. With all the discussion about the structure of the league and the strategies needed to beat it, you need to get lucky.

(If I were the Cavs, I’d think about drafting Derrick Williams over Kyrie Irving with that first pick. Williams has a chance to be a distinctive player, someone few teams have the players to match up with. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. For the Bulls, I want Honeycutt and perhaps a foreign player to stash overseas.)

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