Here’s Part 1, in case you haven’t read it yet.
These posts are here to evaluate the confidence we, the fans, should have with our front office in the draft. Moving onto part 2, we’ll start with the 2006 draft and work our way down to 2001. Afterward, a brief analysis of the picks.
2006 – Drafted Marcus Williams 22nd overall, Josh Boone 23rd, Hassan Adams 54th
I’ll be lighter on this draft probably than most. First, I do believe that Josh Boone should still be in the NBA. He was a good defender and a rebounder, but a horrible offensive player. You could say, in fact, that he was down right offensive. *sound resembling crickets, only with boos* He shot over 54% from the floor but under 44% from the line, which isn’t pretty. Anyway, Boone could still make a mark, I believe, as a defensive specialist coming off the bench. He’s a good post defender and a decent shot-blocker, and would honestly be a good fit as the fifth big on the Sixers next year.
Marcus Williams has also been given sporadic chances in the NBA but has yet to capitalize on them – he has had issues with the law (stealing computers at UConn) and his shape. His draft stock slipped with those issues, as Williams was predicted to go much higher in the draft. Hassan Adams made very little impact on the NBA, playing 73 games over 2 years with little to show for it. All three, drafted in 2006, are currently playing overseas. Yuck.
Grade: Near Failure, if only because I hold out hope for Boone
2005 – Drafted Antoine Wright 15th overall, Mile Ilic 43rd
Here’s another draft that could have went much, much better for the Nets. Wright did very little in his 2-plus years in New Jersey. He contributed some to a playoff team in Dallas, but overall Wright is not the kind of value you want in the 15th pick. He was involved in the Kidd-Harris deal which worked out okay for the Nets. I actually don’t remember Ilic, and you can’t blame me. Ilic played 5 games in the league and never scored.
And just like the last 3, both are out of the league.
2004 – Drafted Viktor Khryapa 22nd overall, Christian Dreyer 51st
New Jersey traded Khryapa to Portland for Eddie Gill. Dreyer never played a minute in the NBA. End of story.
2003 – Drafted Zoran Planinic 22nd overall, Kyle Korver 51st
Man, the Nets drafted 22nd a lot. And they’ve had mostly no impact on the team. Planinic, for the lack of a better description, existed on the Nets for 3 years before leaving to go overseas to play. He made little to no impact. New Jersey traded Korver to the Sixers on draft night, and, unlike any 2004 or 2005 pick, is still in the league. He continues to thrive as a role player on good teams, and he gets paid well for it. And in one of the best drafts ever, they struck out.
Grade: Failure, since they drafted a stiff in Planinic and traded Korver
2002 – Drafted Nenad Krstic 24th overall, Tamar Slay 54th
Now, this was a good value. Krstic, while never a great player, is a decent NBA center to this day. While not mistakable for a superstar, Krstic has started in 89% of his NBA games, specializing as a center who had range up to 18-20 feet from the rim. At 24, this was great value. Slay didn’t do much of anything, but anything on top of Krstic is gravy.
2001 – Drafted Eddie Griffin 7th overall, Brian Scalabrine 35th
While the drafted the late Griffin (RIP – went to the same high school), he was eventually traded for the package of Richard Jefferson (13th overall), Jason Collins (18th) and Brandon Armstrong (23rd). Quite a haul, I must say. Griffin was considered one of the most talented players in that draft, and New Jersey took advantage of that to get great value. Armstrong didn’t do much, but Collins to this day is a good defensive center and Jefferson had several good years alongside Jason Kidd in New Jersey. Both Collins and Jefferson made big impacts on New Jersey’s finals runs.
So the grades are a bit mixed. New Jersey whiffed on everything in the middle of the decade, leading to their 12-win 2009-10 year and sale to Mikhail Prokhorov, but at other times Thorn and company made great picks and deals.
They seem to struggle with middle-of-the-round picks, especially 22nd. Most of those picks failed to become NBA role players at best, and rarely do they strike gold themselves in the second round. What’s not encouraging is that they were unable to draft players which could assist a winning team. The Sixers have a worse record than most of those teams, but in turn have higher draft selections. Let’s hope that with better picks come better results.