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2006 NBA Draft: Still An Inexact Science
by: Jonathan Watters - Director of NCAA Scouting
June 29, 2006
Itís not when you get drafted, it is who you get drafted by.

Is there anything else to take away from the 2006 NBA Draft? After a year of meticulously analyzing every available draft-related detail I could get my hands on, the same lesson comes to the forefront. The NBA Draft is not an exact science. Different teams are in different places, with different philosophies and different needs. And just because a player dropped 10 spots from his projected ranking doesnít make him any less of a prospect than he was before he started to slide. The examples from this yearís draft are almost endless:

Take a look at the contrasting situations of Marcus Williams and Shawne Williams. For most of the spring, Shawne was projected by this site to go significantly lower than #17. Does this make June 28th, 2006 a successful night for him? How about Marcus, who was projected by almost everybody as a lottery pick a week ago, and ended up falling to #22. Marcus ended up as this yearís green room loner, and his situation had Steven A Smith and company in a virtual lather, right up to the moment New Jersey took him off the board.

But think about the situations of these two players for a moment. Indiana drafted a player in the same mold last season in Danny Granger, who is going to emerge long before Shawne Williams ever will. It could be an uneventful three years wasting away at the end of the bench. Marcus, on the other hand, goes into a perfect situation. He doesnít have to take on the unenviable task of running a team full-time as a rookie, will be groomed by one of the positionís all-time greats, and should get consistent backup minutes right away. While Shawne Williams gets an unexpected pay bump, how do you think this comparison looks three or four years down the road? My guess is that as long as Marcus proves all those that doubted his work ethic and treats his draft-day slide as an opportunity, he will one day view his extended stay in the green room as a stroke of good fortune.

Many will probably judge DrafExpress by the number of picks we correctly predicted in our final (last minute) mock draft. We have been savaged by agents, players, and various other interested parties over relatively minor discrepancies in our mock draft. By these standards, we did better than some. A few also managed to top us. However, the actions of several teams tonight prove this line of thinking as faulty.

Should those hyping Saer Sene as a lottery pick really get credit for seeing something in him that others didnít? I was certainly floored by his shot altering ability in the Hoop Summit game. However, it wasnít a secret that Seattle was looking to trade the pick. Is Sene the next big thing, or simply a far-off project and convenient solution for a team looking to avoid adding another guaranteed contract? Only time will tell.

In terms of sheer talent, nobody did a better job than Portland tonight. Getting LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, and Sergio Rodriguez in one draft without mortgaging off any significant existing assets is an incalculable success (Steven A Smith, Iím talking to you). Portland now has the pieces in place to build success down the road. But havenít we been in this place before? It seems that the Trailblazers have been making draft day trades and ending up with multiple picks for years now, with no results in the win column. Eventually, stockpiling talent isnít going to be enough. Tonightís trades essentially close the door on what could have been a promising 2004 draft class (Telfair, Khryapa, Monya).

Boston is another team that has been stockpiling talent for several seasons now. The youthful core is now quite impressive, but the current Celtics arenít much closer to contention than they were three years ago. Danny Ainge must find that right mix soon, or he is simply another man without a plan. Telfair and Rondo are nice pieces, but they arenít carrying Boston anywhere. Teams like Dallas and Phoenix remain active nearly every offseason, but there is an end vision at play in every move that they make. Ainge appears poised to take his team to that level by offloading some of that young promise for a veteran star in Allen Iverson. Could this be Bostonís move out of the ďtalent amassingĒ stage?

If we are talking about a team with a plan, look no further than the Houston Rockets. Many will probably take issue with Houston not getting more than Shane Battier for Rudy Gay, but I think the move is a positive one. All along, the thinking has been that Houston needs a complementary piece in the backcourt that was capable of making an instant impact. Apparently the Rockets thought so as well, and once Minnesota/Boston/Portland (huh?) took Brandon Roy off the board, Houston went out and found one. Battier will make a fine role player for Jeff Van Gundy. He can play defense, hit shots when required, and doesnít dominate the ball. JJ Redick was thought to be a good fit for Houston because of the shooting space he would get playing next to McGrady. The Rockets passed, and ended up with a 6í10 near-equivalent in the second round.

So who had the better draft, Portland or Houston?

The Rockets traded away a potential standout and get a roleplayer in return. But if the stars align (by that I mean stay healthy) next season, it could be Shane Battier knocking down key shots in June. Teams like Portland and Boston continue to build for the future, and have the luxury of being able to wait on high-upside players to develop. But in the end, draft success is found on the court, not on the podium. Everybody would do well to remember this when analyzing mock drafts and draft day results.

Other random draft thoughts:

- The best way to tank your draft stock? Tonightís answer to that question is to appear out of shape during the pre-draft evaluation process. Questions about Marcus Williamsí work ethic and character were brought into the limelight when he showed up for workouts in less than tip-top condition, and he fell. Kevin Pittsnogle should have been drafted, but he was dogged by that lazy reputation. The moral of the story is that if you canít show up in shape for a workout that could land you a multi-million dollar contract, teams are probably smart enough to figure what is going to happen after you sign it.

- I didnít realize until after the fact that a point guard wasnít chosen until pick 21. Kyle Lowry and Jordan Farmar had to be getting nervous somewhere around pick number 20. With the success point guards have had in recent years, this surprised me somewhat. I went back ten years, and could only come up with one season where no true point guard was taken in the top 20. That was in 2001, when Raul Lopez went 24 and Jamal Tinsley and Tony Parker nearly slid out of the first round altogether.

- I can sit here and watch basketball until my eyes are on the verge of liquefying, but sometimes all it takes is a mind for numbers. Ken Pomeroy, I salute you.

- One player who got drafted by the right team is Adam Morrison. Iíve been high on Morrison for a very long time, but even I will admit there are holes in his game that will require some covering up in the NBA. He couldnít have found a better situation than in Charlotte, where Raymond Felton will push the tempo and create good looks for him, and Gerald Wallace will be able to match up against more athletic wing opponents.

- Was anybody else happy to see Dee Brown going to Utah? Deron Williams and Dee Brown is simply a combination that works. Brown will be the perfect change of pace guy for Williams, and I could see this duo lasting in Salt Lake City for a very long time.

- I donít see a clear-cut winner tonight beyond Portland, but I will give a thumbs up to New Orleans. The Hornets were one of the few teams that was able to draft for need and get good talent value with their picks. Armstrong and Simmons are going to look very good running the floor with Chris Paul, and Vinicius is a contributor down the road. Dating back to 2003, the Hornets have done a good job of drafting.

- Once again, I have to give a big thumbs down to my hometown franchise, the Minnesota Timberwolves. Brandon Roy was the perfect fit. He would have given Dwayne Casey an immediate, all-around presence in the backcourt (desperately needed, might I add). Instead, we end up with Randy Foye, a player that has somehow been saddled with the absolutely ridiculous Dwyane Wade comparison. Iím not even close to convinced that Foye is a point guard, and Wade blows by defenders at half speed easier than Foye does with a full head of steam. I like Randy Foye as a combo guard. He has a very unique, crafty style of scoring mentality. But we arenít talking about the Dwayne Wade here. The next Nick Van Exel? Maybe in three years. Prove me wrong, Randy. Just prove me wrong.

I wonít even get started on the drafting of yet another player with big-time college credentials but little shot of ever sticking in the NBA (Craig Smith), or the trading of big-time sleeper Bobby Jones. Maybe next yearÖ
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan.watters@draftexpress.com .

 

Marcus Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 205 lbs.
Birthday: 11/18/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Roosevelt
Previous Team: Shanxi , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #3 in 2007 Draft
by the Spurs
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
3.3 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Shawne Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 227 lbs.
Birthday: 02/16/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Laurinburg Institute
Previous Team: Heat , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #17 in 2006 Draft
by the Pacers
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
8.0 Pts, 3.8 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Danny Granger
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 04/11/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Grace King
Previous Team: Heat , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #17 in 2005 Draft
by the Pacers
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
4.0 Pts, 1.4 Rebs, 0.1 Asts


Saer Sene
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 237 lbs.
Birthday: 05/12/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Fuenlabrada , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #10 in 2006 Draft
by the Sonics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
8.7 Pts, 5.7 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


LaMarcus Aldridge
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 234 lbs.
Birthday: 07/19/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Seagoville
Previous Team: Trailblazers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2006 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
22.8 Pts, 10.7 Rebs, 1.9 Asts


Brandon Roy
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 207 lbs.
Birthday: 07/23/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Garfield
Previous Team: Washington , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #6 in 2006 Draft
by the Timberwolves
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
5.8 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 4.6 Asts


Sergio Rodriguez
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthday: 06/12/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Real Madrid , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #27 in 2006 Draft
by the Suns
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
10.6 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 5.9 Asts


Danny Ainge
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 03/17/1959
55 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Eugene North
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #8 in 1981 Draft
by the Celtics
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
7.7 Pts, 1.5 Rebs, 2.8 Asts


Allen Iverson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 167 lbs.
Birthday: 06/07/1975
39 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bethel
Previous Team: Georgetown , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #1 in 1996 Draft
by the 76ers
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
9.3 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Shane Battier
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 229 lbs.
Birthday: 09/09/1978
36 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Detroit Country Day
Previous Team: Duke , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #6 in 2001 Draft
by the Grizzlies
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
4.1 Pts, 1.9 Rebs, 0.9 Asts


Rudy Gay
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 222 lbs.
Birthday: 08/17/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Spalding
Previous Team: Kings , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 2006 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
21.1 Pts, 6.5 Rebs, 4.7 Asts


Kevin Pittsnogle
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 259 lbs.
Birthday: 07/30/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Martinsburg
Previous Team: West Virginia , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
11.8 Pts, 5.4 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


Kyle Lowry
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 03/25/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cardinal Dougherty
Previous Team: Raptors , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #24 in 2006 Draft
by the Grizzlies
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
19.4 Pts, 4.6 Rebs, 7.8 Asts


Jordan Farmar
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 171 lbs.
Birthday: 11/30/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: William Howard Taft HS
Previous Team: Clippers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #26 in 2006 Draft
by the Lakers
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
4.5 Pts, 1.1 Rebs, 1.8 Asts


Raul Lopez
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Birthday: 04/15/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Bilbao , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #24 in 2001 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
7.8 Pts, 1.9 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Tony Parker
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 177 lbs.
Birthday: 05/17/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Spurs , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #28 in 2001 Draft
by the Spurs
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
16.0 Pts, 1.7 Rebs, 5.3 Asts


Adam Morrison
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 198 lbs.
Birthday: 07/20/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Mead
Previous Team: Gonzaga , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #3 in 2006 Draft
by the Bobcats
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
3.2 Pts, 1.4 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Raymond Felton
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 199 lbs.
Birthday: 06/26/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Latta
Previous Team: Mavericks , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #5 in 2005 Draft
by the Bobcats
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Gerald Wallace
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Birthday: 07/23/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Childersburg
Previous Team: Celtics , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #25 in 2001 Draft
by the Kings
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
0.6 Pts, 0.8 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


Dee Brown
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 179 lbs.
Birthday: 08/17/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Proviso East
Previous Team: Ploiesti , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #16 in 2006 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
13.6 Pts, 3.3 Rebs, 7.9 Asts


Deron Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 202 lbs.
Birthday: 06/26/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Colony
Previous Team: Nets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #3 in 2005 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
15.6 Pts, 3.1 Rebs, 6.8 Asts


Chris Paul
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 178 lbs.
Birthday: 05/07/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Forsyth West
Previous Team: Clippers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #4 in 2005 Draft
by the Hornets
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
17.9 Pts, 4.5 Rebs, 9.9 Asts


Randy Foye
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 212 lbs.
Birthday: 09/24/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Newark East Side
Previous Team: Nuggets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #7 in 2006 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
8.4 Pts, 1.4 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Dwyane Wade
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 212 lbs.
Birthday: 01/17/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Richards
Previous Team: Heat , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #5 in 2003 Draft
by the Heat
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
22.5 Pts, 3.8 Rebs, 5.5 Asts


Nick Van Exel
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthday: 11/27/1971
43 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Joseph
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #10 in 1993 Draft
by the Lakers
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
5.5 Pts, 1.4 Rebs, 1.9 Asts


Craig Smith
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 259 lbs.
Birthday: 11/11/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Fairfax
Previous Team: Ironi Nes-Ziona , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #6 in 2006 Draft
by the 76ers
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
21.1 Pts, 6.6 Rebs, 2.3 Asts


Bobby Jones
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 211 lbs.
Birthday: 01/09/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Long Beach Poly
Previous Team: Roma , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #7 in 2006 Draft
by the Timberwolves
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
11.9 Pts, 5.9 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


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