Smith faces an upcoming season of angst as his homegrown superstar, Dwight Howard, will test the free agent market, thereby putting his franchise in jeopardy. Lest the readership feel sorry for Smith, rest assured that he has had a firm hand in making this bed through his trade missteps and poor use of his draft selections.
As we covered in the introduction to the Ainge piece, when assessing each draft, I took a quantitative initial approach and looked at each drafted player’s average annual “Win Shares (Bill James)” over the course of his career and compared it to those of his draft peers.
I did not factor in team positional needs or relative luck with the injury bug, so this analysis is by no means perfect. It is simply an attempt to estimate the value—determined by the career contributions of each player—that each general manager gets out of his draft picks given draft position.
With our disclaimer out of the way, a look at Smith’s draft history, year by year.