Weak. Thin. Young. Some what top heavy. Disappointing. Risky. Full of potential. Dangerous. These are words that describe Lindsay Lohan. They also could illustrate the 2011 NBA Draft Class. There is no slam dunk franchise changing player at the top of the draft (see. David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, etc.) And by all accounts it’s not even a deep draft with a number of play-right-away solid players.
Anytime there is a potential poor draft it has to be compared to the disaster that was the 2000 NBA Draft. 58 players were drafted on that June night, resulting in little to no impact on the league. With all the negative press surrounding this year’s draft, the question must be asked, could it be worse than 2000?
Nearly 11 years ago to the day Kenyon Martin was selected 1st overall by the New Jersey Nets. Not a bad player by any means, but 13.5 points, 7 rebounds is not ideal for the top pick in the draft. (After Martin, the next four #1 picks in the draft came either out of high school or international and five of six.)
Martin is one of only three players from the 2000 class to make an All-Star team. He, Jamaal Magloire (19th), and Michael Redd (43rd) have all been All-Stars just once in their careers, giving this class a grand total of 3 All-Star appearances. As for awards and honors, Redd (All-NBA 3rd Team) is the only player to receive an All-NBA honor, Jamal Crawford and Mike Miller both earned 6th Man Awards (Miller also won the less than impressive Rookie of the Year Award, and Hedo Turkoglu won Most Improved back in 2008.
In summation the 2000 Draft Class, with 11 seasons (for the lucky ones) of NBA action has landed them a TOTAL of 3 All-Star games, 2 6th Man Awards, a Most Improved, and one 3rd Team All-NBA. That’s craptastic. In fact that sounds like a solid career for one player.
The All-2000 Draft Team? I would start- Jamal Crawford, Mike Miller, Hedo Turkoglu, Kenyon Martin, and Jamaal Magloire. My bench: DeShawn Stevenson, Quentin Richardson, Desmond Mason, Joel Pryzbilla, Speedy Claxton, Morris Peterson, and Eddie House. Those are the 12 BEST players.
How many Top 15 busts can you have? Stromile Swift (2nd), Darius Miles (3rd), Marcus Fizer (4th), DerMarr Johnson (6th), Chris Mihm (7th), Keyon Dooling (10th), Jerome Moiso (11th, what a pick Pitino!), Courtney Alexander (13th), Mateen Cleaves (14th), and Jason Collier (15th). Gross. But with the exception of each team passing up Michael Redd, can you really get that mad at any team for taking one bad player over another? Wow can’t believe the C’s took Moiso over Donnell Harvey!
Will Thursday produce the same lack of talent? Are we going to look back in 2022 (weird, right?) and say, was it worse than 2011? Will all 60 players combine for just 3 All-Star selections in over a decade of games?
Even though this year’s group doesn’t jump out at you, I think the odds have to be in their favor to surpass the miserably low bar set by the crew of 2000. Will Kyrie Irving be a legitimate #1 pick? If it is Irving he would be just the 4th guard taken first overall in the last 30 years, but 3rd in the last four (Derrick Rose, John Wall). Could Irving, or Brandon Knight, or Kemba Walker emerge as an All-Star?
There are a number of talented international players in this year’s draft, Could there be another Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili in the group of Enes Kanter, Jan Vesely, Jonas Valanciunas, or Bismack Biyombo?
Could a shooting guard like Alec Burks, Klay Thompson, or Marshon Brooks turn into a legit scorer? And don’t forget ultra talented Derrick Williams, Kwai Leonard, and Jimmer Fredete.
It’s difficult to say with confidence that this class will ultimately be better than the one 11 years ago, but I believe it will happen. After all, it won’t take much.