Draft Expectations


Every year, basketball fans approach the NBA draft like a child at Christmas. Just as a Christmas toy looks the best just after opening it, a player's reputation is never so shiny as it is on draft night. And just like our Christmas toys are shoved into storage within a month, most fans soon realize the limitations of their draft pick. This phenomenon made me curious as to what the real success rate is for each of the draft picks. So starting with the Lebron draft of 2003 through last year's Derrick Rose draft, I rated each first round draft pick on a scale of 0 to 6. The categories are:

6 - transcendent! Guys who can truly make a difference by themselves. Currently I rank only 6 players in the league as sixes. They are Lebron, Kobe, D Wade, Garnett, Duncan, and Dwight Howard. Shaq used to be a 6 but not anymore. Howard is borderline.

5- perennial all star.

4- borderline all star

3- solid starter

2- contributor/role player

1- journeyman

0- bust

I was interested in finding out what a realistic expectation is for a draft pick based on his relative draft position. I had the toughest time deciding between 2 and 3 and 3 and 4. For the 2003 and 2004 drafts, separating the 0's from 1's was easy. If you are no longer in the league, you're a 0. Otherwise, you're at least a 1. Internationals who have never come over are rated 0. Here is my summary of each of the last 5 drafts. If you want my rankings for each player, just send me an email.

  • 2003  2 sixes, 2 fives, 1 four, 4 threes, 8 twos, 6 ones, and 6 zeros.    average player rank: 2.34
  • 2004 1 six, 0 fives, 2 fours,10 threes,5 twos,3 ones, and 8 zeros.       average player rank: 1.97
  • 2005 0 sixes ,2 fives,1 four, 7 threes, 9 twos, 5 ones, 6 zeros             average player rank: 1.93
  • 2006 0 sixes ,1 fives,0 four, 5 threes, 3 twos, 13 ones, 8 zeros           average player rank: 1.3
  • 2007 0 sixes ,1 fives,0 four, 7 threes, 10 twos, 8 ones, 4 zeros          average player rank: 1.8
  • 2008 0 sixes ,1 fives,2 four, 4 threes, 10 twos, 9 ones, 4 zeros         average player rank: 1.93

  • Now by draft position:

Top 10: 3 sixes ,7 fives,3 fours, 25 threes, 8 twos, 8 ones, 6  zeros  average player rank:  2.73

11-20:  0 sixes ,0 fives,3 fours, 4 threes, 18 twos, 24 ones, 11  zeros  average player rank: 1.4

21-30:  0 sixes ,0 fives,0 fours, 8 threes, 19 twos, 12 ones, 19  zeros  average player rank: 1.28

All told, there have been 178 first round picks between 2003 and 2008. 3 sixes, 7 fives, 6 fours, 37 threes, 45 twos, 44 ones, 36 zeros

2003 was far and away the best draft class of the last 6 and 2006 was awful.

The top players selected have been:

6's Lebron, Wade, Howard

5's Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, Carmelo, Bosh, Kevin Durant,Derrick Rose (projected)

4's David West, Danny Granger, Al Jefferson,Michael Beasley (projected), O J Mayo (projected),Devin Harris,


The 6 top ten zeros are: Mike Sweetney, Shaun Livingston,Rafael Araujo, Luke Jackson, Patrick O'Bryant, Saer Sene


Of the 16 all star or better selections: all but 4 (Roy #6, Granger #17, West #18, Jefferson #14) have been top 5 selections.

So the lesson is most picks are going to be just so-so at best. If you want an all star, get a top 5 selection. And get it in the right year.

For any player selected after that, be happy if he becomes a regular rotation guy. Do not plan on him being in any all star games. 

Wizards picks: 2003 Jarvis Hayes  1  (probably should be a 2 but I've got some lingering bitterness), 2004 Peter John Ramos (second round): 0, 2005  Andray Blatche(second round) 2, 2006 Pecherov 0, 2007 Nick Young 2, Taser (second round)  2, 2008  Javale McGee 2

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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