Come NBA Draft time, general managers more likely resemble the desperate scratch-off lottery hopeful than overseers of a professional sports franchise. Have you seen those guys? They stop at the local gas station on their way home from work, spend 20 bucks on scratch-off lottery tickets, then temporarily thrust the weight of their financial troubles onto fragile little snippets of paper. Maybe you're one of them. And if you're anything like me, the occasional two dollars you do win goes right back to the clerk in exchange for more tickets. I mean, who wants to double-up that one dollar and call it a day? No, sir. For the scratch-off lottery hopeful, it's big bucks or bust.
The 2011 draft is no exception, and scouts have missed out (or stuck gold on) on many a first-rounder not named LeBron James. This draft, like so many before it, seems to feature only a few "elite" prospects (if any outside of Kyrie Irving). The rest will be viewed with low expectations, begging to be taken like the runt in a litter of puppies up for adoption. However, the guy with a chip on his shoulder (see Manu Ginobili) has often proved to be more valuable than the guy with all-world talent (see Kwame Brown). A motivated underdog can carry his team to a championship even against a seemingly-insurmountable wall of talent (see the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks).
Making that call is no easy task, but the general managers who have done their due diligence can find the right guy and avoid the wrong one. Starting with Chicago, here are the guys each team needs to avoid in the upcoming draft.