It’s human nature to say, “I could have done it better.” To second guess every decision. To question everything everyone does.
But, as they say, “Hindsight is 20/20.”
Really? Sometimes I’m not so sure about that.
Rather, maybe hindsight is 20/40 correctable to 20/20 with glasses on. And those glasses would be intelligence, time and perspective.
For instance, look at Evan Turner. Many fans believe that Evan Turner was a terrible pick, a bust, and that the Sixers could have done better with the 2nd pick. But their glasses lack the intelligence and time. First of all, to call someone a hopeless bust after one year of scarce paying time is ignorant. And second of all, who should we have taken over him second overall?
There’s no obvious solution to this second question on the surface. So how about we look at the alternatives, starting with the guy picked right after Turner.
He goes by the name of Derrick Favors. He plays a position of potential need for the 76ers. (Elton Brand isn’t a long term solution at power forward). He could be sat and groomed behind Brand for a couple of years while we get him ready to produce, and he’s dripping with potential.
But wouldn’t this be similar to what is going on with Turner? Turner played behind Iggy. Plus, Favors’ stats this year, with 6.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, weren’t more impressive than Turner’s, which might make him look like a bust also. He would be the one getting talked about in the crowd to the tune of,” Worst draft pick ever.”
(I actually heard that about Turner this year. Is Hasheem Thabeet dead? Did Darko pass away?)
So I cannot say with any certainty that Favors was a better pick than Turner.
So now we move down the draft board and look at the number four overall pick, Wesley Johnson, a small forward out of Syracuse. He was listed in the summary on NBA.com of the draft as,” The best small forward in the draft.” Um, help me out here. What does that prove? The second drafted small forward was Gordon Hayward, who is not going to be confused with any game-changers with his rookie performance. So does that mean the best thing you can say is he was the best small forward in a draft without any other good small forwards?
Another thing he has going against him is that he was selected by David Kahn, who, while entertaining, ( Like when he said, “Beasley’s a good kid who smoked too much marijuana.”) is not going to be confused with Red Auerbach. In fact, just think of all of the perplexing and bizarre moves that he has made over the years. (Johnny Flynn over Jrue Holiday, Stephen Curry and Ty Lawson.) He has probably made only one good move ever, which was trading Kevin Love for O.J. Mayo. (Plus, he made that great pick of Ricky Rubio, who averaged six points and three assists in the euroleague this year. Wait, maybe it wasn’t great.)
So just saying he was drafted by Kahn should convince you that Johnson is not nearly as good as Turner. But for more evidence, consider he also shot a lower percentage on FG and FT, averaged fewer assists and rebounds, and had a lower assist to turnover ratio. So Turner was better as a rookie, and has more upside, because Turner can be a jack of all trades and if he becomes great at one thing, watch out.
The next pick is where there could be an argument against picking Turner. The man is named DeMarcus Cousins.
Now, purely from a skills and potential perspective, I would pick Cousins. He is a beast down low and though he picks up tons of fouls. He is a young player with the potential to become a game-changing center. Also, because he is a center, he would fill our biggest need, a game-changing center. On paper, we could be a force to be reckoned with, and have no huge needs.
But paper can’t factor in some things. And to explain one of those things, I’m referring you to a Sean’s recent post, The “Wrong” Crowd. He quoted, “Here’s what’s good about Brackins: His head is on straight. He mixed with the right crowd during his time with the Sixers, hanging around Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Evan Tuner, etc.”
Now, I can’t know for sure that Cousins wouldn’t be known as a great guy if he was on the Sixers. But my educated guess is that the article would say, “Cut Brackins immediately!!! He socializes with DeMarcus Cousins. He is now a toxic figure that should not be touched.”
Obviously, I am exaggerating to make a point, but Turner does bring good character to the 76ers. And if Cousins had been drafted, then I am not sure that the Sixers year would’ve been as good this year. Their whole chemistry, a huge part of this team, could have been screwed up. Or maybe he would’ve whined about not getting the ball getting passed to him, get in a fight with a teammate, and be left off the team flight when they have to play the Phoenix Suns. All in the same night. (I’m not saying it happened, but…)
The rest of the guys in the draft really weren’t even considered at number two, and probably won’t much better than Turner. So please, try to give me an alternative to drafting Turner using your intelligence, perspective, and time.
And that reminds me, shouldn’t we give Turner more time?