NBA Draft: Why Inevitable Wheeling and Dealing Makes Mock Drafts Total Wastes

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent IJune 26, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 06:  Courtney Lee #5, Samuel Dalembert #21 and Chase Budinger #10 of the Houston Rockets wait for the start of play during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Okay, so I know that this article goes against my own interests.

But given that more than half of Americans vote against their own interests, I guess I am par for the course.

All joking aside, let me put this out there: I really do love writing mock drafts.

I think that the time right before the draft is like Christmas Eve. The anticipation is killing us, and all we want to do is make sense of things and figure out if our team got that shiny new toy we all had our eyes on.

And just like Christmas, the main event rarely lives up to the anticipation.

But that's okay; the anticipation is really all that we usually remember anyway.

In the case of mock drafts, a few things throw a monkey wrench in the whole Christmas analogy.


Current is never current

Just like how it is impossible to know how long your technology will be relevant, so too are mock drafts.

Last night, the desk assigned me an article detailing the likelihood that each draft pick would be dealt.

Personally, I really liked this topic, and so I gave it a whirl.

Things were coming along nice and smooth until I came up to Minnesota's draft pick at No. 18 overall.

Now, when assessing the prospective moves that any team will make, you have to take a lot of different things into account.

You have to look at things through your own eyes. What makes sense to you, given your perspective as an outside source? Who fits the roster based on an objective view of their current team? Who would be a good possible replacement for a current player on the roster who may be overpriced? Is there any history between the coach and/or general manager in relation to this player and/or the player's program?

Then you have to look at things through a good basketball mind's perspective. What would Gregg Popovich do? What would Jerry West do? What would Jerry Krause not do?

Then you have to look at it from the current general manager's perspective. Is this individual smart in his moves or is he a maverick who bucks the system and is generally wrong?

So, with the Minnesota pick I first thought about it from my perspective. Personally, I wouldn't want another young player on an already young roster. That being said, it is a mid-first round pick, and any value would be a good value. What's the harm in bringing in another underpaid player, especially if he can add athleticism or size.

Then, I thought about it from West's perspective. Another good, young player could be used down the road as a bargaining chip in a bigger deal. For instance, you take this player and pair him with Wesley Johnson next year and maybe you get a good, veteran shooting guard.

Finally, I came to it from Minnesota general manager David Kahn's perspective. Kahn is a maverick who is generally wrong on most things. This is the same guy who was stockpiling point guards over the last few years, only to leave numerous holes in other roster spots.

Kahn, in my own modest perspective, has no earthly clue what he is doing.

So, I said that the Timberwolves only had a 15 percent chance of trading their pick.

Of course, the Wolves decided to deal this pick today for Chase Budinger, a move that has been panned by critics.


Mock drafts: the fundamental flaw

This was just one example of how things can fall apart when you try to predict what teams will do.

Another is the inevitable trading of picks and how it effects your mock draft.

Take a look at the lottery this year: the Portland Trail Blazers got picks six and 11.

As of right now, I have them taking Dion Waiters with their sixth pick, and Tyler Zeller with their 11th pick.

However, say Houston is able to package their picks at 14, 16 and 18 for Sacramento's number five overall pick.

Suddenly, everything changes. Sacramento probably would have taken a small forward with this pick. They don't really need a center, but Houston could sure use one.

So, my mock draft pick of Thomas Robinson to Sacramento is the least of my worries.

Houston elects to take Damian Lillard since they probably had to package Kyle Lowry at some point, and they need a point guard.

This completely changes Portland's thinking because they were going to take Waiters because they thought that Lillard would have fallen to them at 11.

Therefore, Portland decides to take Robinson since he has too much value to let slip out of the top six, and therefore, they no longer need another big man at 11 and instead take Austin Rivers.

Now, suddenly, through no fault of my own, a quarter of my first round is shot because Houston jumped the gun.

Nobody sees the thinking that went into the original pick and how the logic still has merit. Rather, they only see that the pick is wrong, and therefore, so am I.


Don't cry for me

Obviously this article is meant to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek as there are much bigger problems in the world today than poor Jay Wierenga's presumptive busted pride.

I know how insignificant this is on the grand scale.

That being said, I still will be putting out mock drafts and doing so with zeal and verve.

Rather, this is meant as a warning to those that will criticize other writers for their selections.

Drafts, like almost every other aspect in life, are often difficult to control and impossible to predict.

But mock drafts are just so fun to write!


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