Is drafting Big-men overrated? Yes, history has clearly shown that it is.
The game isn't necessarily designed for Big-men to progress on- or off-the-court when you ponder the matter in whole, and factoring what goes on off-the-court ala Mississippi State's Renardo Sidney and Boston College's Sean Williams, this only makes the theme of drafting the "next big thing" kind of watered-down. So, at the end of the day, too many risk in contrast with Guards.
Go back to 2008, as Derrick Rose went one and Michael Beasley went two. The concern for Beasley was his focus and attention to detail—legitimate concerns, in retrospect.
Indeed, it translated.
Wade is angry that a contemporary Beasley, who hasn't had ample experience when considering it's only been two years, is putting a 300-lb cotton gin on his career.
As seen during the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics series this year, Kevin Garnett methodically led the pending three-year pro down la-la land—yelling at him, and tripping him on multiple occasions.
Rose was the opposite, of course, seeming to be one of those intangible "can't miss" prospects.
Go back a little further to when the Charlotte Bobcats gave their deflated fan base the forearm shove, offering no reason as to why Alexis Ajinca had better devotion in reaching his respective career expectations than that of West Kentucky's 20ppg scorer Courtney Lee.
This year we may have Hassan Whiteside, Demarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton, Larry Sanders and Solomon Alabi, who are five accurate candidates for the core of this topic, daring teams like the Indiana Pacers to salt away guaranteed contracts to none other than the sure prospects in Gordon Hayward, Terrico White and other Guard prospects.
But then you have the proverbial polished players like former Timberwolf Joe Smith, and in this year's class Ekpe Udoh, a player that's expected to contribute from day one. But, of course, those players aren't coveted as much. Ekpe Udoh is 23 years old already, and teams in the lottery will surely apply the philosophy of high-risk/high-reward. That inevitably singles him out.
So what really am I getting to?
Don't draft Hassan Whiteside so high if you truly believe in helping the facilitation of character and basketball players.
You have your exceptions: Chris Bosh. Then you don't: Kwame Brown.
So let it be known, Guards are more prone to having success than Big-men. I haven't heard of a guard turning out to be a bust. Okay, sure, Adam Morrison was a bust. But he's the exception for medical reasons.
But back to the Big-men, all of whom starting to develop perimeter and face-up games: Derrick Favors couldn't buy lunch for Iman Shumpert in order to bait him into getting the ball near the post. Bad luck perhaps? Maybe. And unfortunately the game has diverted from the Big-men, with the sprinting, pace, and the shotclock's increased role.
Demarcus Cousins seems to be a bomb impending explosion. The media won't give this guy a break. But given the aroma of things, I can definitely see a little Derrick Coleman, or for that matter Rasheed Wallace, in that he'll contribute tentatively and under dire circumstances.
I pray for his sake that Joe Dumars grabs him before he's locked up by another team. His fit on the Wolves just isn't great from a chemistry standpoint given the youth. It's bad enough when you have Kevin Love campaigning to play for Chicago on numerous occasions. One goof + two goof = no incentive. Then you'll see the Wolves back in the lottery.
But I truly get it.
2007: PG: Rodney Stuckey
2006: SG: Ronnie Brewer
2005: SF: Danny Granger
2009: PF: Tyler Hansbrough
2008: C: Brook Lopez
All players who just happen to be in their vicinity during those respective years. And can you imagine the contrast one can report if you were to soak Cousins(a) with Johnny Flynn, and Cousins(b) with Ben Wallace? Huge difference. Neither team is great, but for different reasons. Wolves are there in tale of youth; Pistons are there in tale of injury.
A team will draft one of these guys too high and blame their failure on the prospect once it doesn't go according to wishful thinking.
Seriously, you can't say "what if he goes to this team and averages 20-and-10," because realistically it isn't going to be primarily Whiteside or any other prospect facilitating their respective growth.
It'll be Portland's bad luck with Big-men that affects Whiteside's earnest approach if he falls to 22. It won't be Larry Sanders, it'll be Kevin Garnett if he falls to 19. And it won't be Daniel Orton, it'll be Tim Duncan if he falls to 20.
Simply, you can't put an egg in cold water and expect solid grub in 10 minutes.
But watch how it plays out, as '05, '06, '07, and '08 did. Hassan Whiteside will be taken miles ahead of the more ready Craig Brackins. And when reviewing this particular matter, knowing the philosophy which was used, whoever took Whiteside in the lottery will tout, "he wasn't ready."
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