Friday, June 24, 2011

Worst Knicks Draft Misses



Last night saw another controversial (to say the least) draft pick by our Knickerbockers that will surely be second guessed and ridiculed for years to come, depending on how this mysterious Iman Shumpert character turns out. The funny thing about drafts (particularly NBA drafts) is that it's so easy to look back at picks in hindsight as horrible moves. It's a total crap shoot but some picks (like arguably Shumpert) are indefensible no matter how you look at them, especially when compared to who could have been picked in their place. Let's start second guessing some professional picks that went horribly, horribly wrong.

2009- Jordan Hill over Brandon Jennings, Dejaun Blair (8th pick)
Donnie Walsh's one huge blunder (before last night's pick) was picking LLoyd Banks impersonator and all around useless Arizona Forward Hill with the 8th pick. This misguided decision will always be remembered for the guy who was picked next: Brandon Jennings. The pick would look even worse after Jennings scored 50 in his first month in the league while Jordan averaged 4 points and 2 rebounds in hardly any minutes for the hapless Knicks. Sigh. To be fair, many teams had doubts about Jennings, who spent the previous season overseas instead of college, and no one but the always sneaky Spurs knew Dejuan Blair would be as good as he was. Hill was eventually shipped out alongside fellow talentless waste of life Jared Jeffries. Curse you, Jordan Hill. Personal note: I was lucky enough to go to a draft party that season where I got to meet future legends Jordan Hill and Hasheem Thabeet. I'll tell my grandchildren that one day. They will laugh at me and then have me committed.

2002-Nene Hilario (traded along with Marcus Camby for Antonio McDyess) over Amare Stoudemire and Caron Butler (9th pick)
This is just one giant clusterfuck of awful draft day shenanigans on the Knicks' parts. Firstly, the Knicks overlooked the guy who turned their season around 8 years later (who knows how things would have turned out if Amare started his career here instead of finishing it) as well as Caron "Tough Juice" Butler (who's 10 times better and tougher than anyone on their roster for the next 8 years) and then in an equally terrible move, they turn around and trade the player formerly known as Hilario (before the Brazilian got all soccer starish) who would turn out to be a serviceable center for years to come along with their other best center not named Patrick in Camby, for (get this) Antonio McDyess and his one good knee. Predictably, McDyess would injure himself in his very first preseason game (I had the pleasure of witnessing this first hand) and then continued to limp around the Knicks for a couple more years before thankfully being shipped off to fulfill his rightful role as old wily vet on championship teams like the Spurs and Pistons. Kind of sums up the Knicks in the 2000s; draft a guy who could have helped them ahead of guys who could have helped them more and then immediately trade him and your fan favorite center for a washed up old cripple. Go New York Go!

1978-Michael Ray Richardson over Larry Bird (5th pick)
Sam Bowie and Portland get a lot of grief from everyone but Bottle for committing the ultimate draft day screw-up (Jay-z even had a memorable line referencing this) but almost everyone (including me) forget that Jordan wasn't the only 80s NBA savior who was overlooked by a couple of teams. None other than Larry Legend himself was passed over by no less than 5 NBA teams in '78 including (of course) our Knicks who decided to go with Sugar Ray ahead of the Hick from French Lick (Phil Ford and Rick Robey, you weren't so hot either). We all know what happened once Bird finally joined the Celtics after finishing his senior year at Indiana State: he would go on to become one of the greatest and most clutch players who ever touched a basketball, win championships, and 3 point contests, and make the entire planet fall in love with professional basketball again along side Magic Johnson and Jordan. Michael Ray Richardson got himself banned for life from the NBA because of a severe cocaine addiction and is most famous for saying of the Knicks collapsing season: "The ship be sinkin'". Yes, it be sinkin' indeed.

1999- Frederic Weis over Ron Artest (15th pick)
If this were one of Blacky's favorite lists, then it would be real tight between this choice and the Bird choice. Of course Bird was better than Ron-Ron by a million miles, but in '99, the Knicks took one of the easiest no-brainer lay-ups of a pick, and totally botched it. Queensbridge's own Ron Artest was somehow still available when the Knicks picked at 15 (they weren't always in the lottery back in the '90s). Everyone knew what was coming next: The Knicks would take the St. John's product and homeboy Artest; the perfect type of NY player that the fans would love post Oakley and Mason, who was a hard nosed and defensive minded beast. It's all coming together for these Knicks. And then David Stern announced the words that will forever haunt Knicks fans and would basically signal the beginning of the darkest period in New York basketball history: "With the 15th pick in the 1999 NBA draft, the New York Knicks select Frederic Weis from somewhere in France". After the dust settled from that atomic bomb of stupidity, insult was added to injury as our boy Weis became the victim of the most humiliating dunk in basketball history. What's French for "this negro's scrotum is in my mouth?". After that emasculating moment, he was never to be seen or heard from again and Metta would become a champion and complex genius (or insane person, but still a champion). Sacre Bleu!

2006 and 2007- Nobody
That's right. Nobody was drafted for 2 years by the Knicks because we traded our draft picks for such superstars as Jamal Crawford and Eddy Curry. Not only were draft picks thrown around like candy for unproven and out of shape losers, but they weren't (most importantly) lottery protected. This was because the scumbag in charge, Isiah Thomas, (who actually was not bad at drafting when he didn't trade the picks) assumed that the Knicks would be such a power house of a team with these new players now dominating the games, that those picks would be worth next to nothing and probably be in the late second round if anything. Except the Knicks would be instead be unbelievably (and predictably) putrid, and end up with the 2nd pick in 2006 and the 6th in 2007 (which would both end up in Chicago). Although he was no longer with the team, his reign of terror extended all the way to last season when the Knicks were denied another lottery pick (ultimately ending up in Utah) thanks to the genius of Zeke. Thank you, Isiah Thomas, for teaching us that even worse than a draft pick misused is one that you never had to begin with. You miserable snake.

Where will last night's pick end up in the pantheon of Knicks idiocy? Only time will tell. If Shumpert doesn't pan out, like we all expect, rest assured that we will be here to ridicule him.

36 comments:

  1. Everyone blames Isiah for running the franchise to the ground during the past decade. While that may be mostly true, Scott Layden was almost as bad.

    And the Jordan Hill pick doesn't bother me because he was ultimately used as a pawn to clear cap space, which helped us land Amar'e. Plus Jennings is an overrated bum. Had a great first half run during his rookie season and has been extremely mediocre ever since. The guy is a horrible shooter and a mediocre passer.

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  2. Are you arguing that Jordan Hill is better than Jennings?

    The Knicks now have 3 shooting guards, while they have no real big guys and in a year they'll have no point guard. Great job, Walsh!

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  3. Here's how you fix this mess:

    The downside of having Carmelo and Amare is that your forwards aren't good at rebounding or playing D. So, try to trade Douglas for a big body, then attempt to sign a really good point guard once Billup's contract is done (after this coming season). Shumpert sucks because (1) you're stuck with another SG, and (2) he doesn't have much trade value because he's truly a second round pick. Sure, he can add some defense, but the Knick's real need is an interior presence.

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  4. Of course not. Jennings would have been traded anyway to either clear cap space, or he would have been gone in the Melo trade. And I don't like Jennings as a player. Had he been on the Knicks, fans would have been begging for him to be traded due to his poor shot selection and mediocre passing skills. He's a more athletic version of Toney Douglas. If Toney Douglas was the full time starter, he would put up similar numbers to Jennings. Around 15 PPG and 5 assist with an awful FG percentage.

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  5. My first reaction to Shumpert was "who the fuck is this guy, and why didn't we get size." I remember texting Bagels saying "who?" But after reading all the scouting reports on him he's supposed to be a lock down defender that can defend 3 positions, he's the most athletic player to come out of the draft since 07. He's get great form on his outside shot. Shut down Jimmer at the Chicago combine. Check out these pre-draft workout numbers.

    Height W/O Shoes
    Iman - 6-4 1/4
    Rose - 6-1 1/2
    Westbrook - 6-2 1/4

    No Step Verticle
    Iman - 36.5 inches
    Rose - 34.5 inches
    Westbrook - 30 inches

    Max Verticle
    Iman - 42 inches
    Rose - 40 inches
    Westbrook - 36.5 inches

    3/4 Court Spring Times
    Iman - 3.18
    Rose - 3.05
    Westbrook - 3.08

    Agility Test
    Iman - 11.10
    Rose - 11.69
    Westbrook - 10.98

    I understand why Knicks fans hate this pick because he could have been had later if we bought an early second rounder. Also we needed size over anything else. But this guy fills other needs. I have a feeling he's going to win fans over once the season starts, whenever the hell that is with the lockout looming.

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  6. If he's so good and so athletic, why was projected to go around pick 50? And what need does this guy fill? I don't buy the "wing defender" argument.

    Billups, Fields, and Douglas were enough to hold down the guard positions. With Turiaf and Jeffries (God, he's awful) as the only true interior players, there was a much more urgent need elsewhere.

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  7. Besides, those combine stats only mean so much. If they were a sure indicator, players like Darius Miles would be instant Hall of Famers, and guys like Kevin Love would prove to be total bums.

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  8. Projected by who? So called experts and analyst at ESPN and NBA.com? You act as if Walsh pulled a Frederick Weis and passed up on a can't miss talent like Artest. Fact of the matter is this was one of the weakest drafts the league has had in a very long time. The remaining big men available weren't very good. If Walsh felt that Shumpert was the most impressive guy left out of the guys they evaluated, then I'll reserve judgement till I actually see this kid play. I'm not going to jump the gun till I actually see something.

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  9. And Bottle I hate to get on you here but what Knick games were you watching? Billups's health is breaking down and he's a horrible defender at this stage of his career. He lacks the lateral quickness to defend point guards in this league. He is no longer the same defender he was in Detroit. As much as I like Fields, he too is an average defender that constantly got burned by the elite shooting guards in the league. Especially during the second half of the season He's a good rebounder and plays smart, but is more suited to be a backup SF than SG. Douglas is a goner, I don't see him sticking around with the team. He gets traded for a backup PG or some front court help. So yeah, this team needed back court help. Not as much as they needed a center, but it was a need nonetheless. To say that Billups, Fields and Douglas are enough is simply not true.

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  10. PS - I brought up the combine workouts to accentuate the positives. The kid is an athletic freak and a good defender that doesn't only guard the wings, but can guard 1's as well. Quote from Walsh:

    "He shot the ball extremely well. His shot's not broke. Some guys you see, and you can tell right away they can't shoot and they're going to have to learn form. He has good form, he was hitting shots, he can defend very well. Very well. And he's got tremendously long arms, so I really liked him a lot,"

    While I'm not completely sold, I'm not gonna freak out about the pick till I actually see him play.

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  11. So you're assuming that Walsh's opinion after watching the guy place once is more accurate than scouts and analysts who have been watching all these college guys their entire careers? I'm not saying that this guy will be absolutely terrible, I can't say that for sure, but to use the pick on an unknown player at a position where you don't have a major need is incredibly stupid. You can't justify this pick - there's a reason all the Knicks fans booed and all the analysts were confused. The fans didn't like it... the analysts didn't like it... it's pretty obvious it was a dumb mistake.

    And you can point fingers at their guards but their big men are even worse. I would take Billups/Fields/Douglas over Turiaf/Jeffries anyday.

    The Knicks are really at a crossroads right now. They have the two superstars but they don't have the role players to surround them with. That's why this pick matters (to an extent); and that's why I get upset at the Knicks for being so stupid.

    You probably checked the combine stats for penis sizes.

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  12. Besides, that's the thing about draft picks - you can't "wait to actually see them play". You have to judge their game before they get into the league. I support the Knicks, but I can't see how you diehard Knick's fans can defend them. Everytime they get something going they totally screw it up.

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  13. Biyambo measured in at 13 inches!

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  14. I apologize for this long ass essay in advance. It's been months since I posted on here and I enjoy a good debate.

    I wasn't arguing that the Knicks didn't have major holes at the center position. I'm just pointing out the flaw in your argument that "Billups, Fields, and Douglas were enough to hold down the guard positions." Billups is showing signs of breaking down and can no longer guard his position with efficiency. Fields played shook during the second half of the season and was complete trash in the playoffs. Douglas is an inconsistent mess that's either really good or really bad, depending on how his jumper is falling. The problems in the back court are a lot bigger than people realize. It's not as big as their need for size, but it's a problem that can't be ignored.

    And tell me Bottle, what big men would have had an immediate impact on the Knicks with the 17th pick? The big man they coveted(Biyombo) got picked early. They had no assets to trade up to get him because TD and Fields value went down the toilet after the Boston series. So we're left with Singleton, Harris, Motiej┼źnas and Faried left on the board. Not exactly a can't miss bunch of prospects to choose from. The only reason why they made it to the first round in this year's draft was because of how weak the class was. One of the worst classes in the last 20 years.

    And I'm not sure what you mean when you wrote that "you have to judge their game before they get into the league." So Knicks fans such as myself shouldn't reserve judgment till we see him play? If that's the case then that's just irrational. If that's not what you were referring to then I apologize.

    I remember fans having similar reactions when Lee, Chandler and Fields were drafted. The majority of the fan base was unhappy(including myself) because the organization drafted guys that were nowhere near their radar. Not to say that I don't understand their skepticism due to the massive amount of failures that followed the infamous Weis draft. I'm just not as down on this pick as the majority of the fan base seems to be.

    And who says it was just Walsh that made this decision? Was Walsh the only one that scouted him in the pre-draft workouts? Yes, he's the one that made the final call, but that doesn't mean that the organization's scouts weren't involved in the decision process. Even if he was the sole scout,, I trust Walsh's track record over every analyst on ESPN that try to pass themselves off as Scouts. While he may be the guy that drafted Jordan Hill, this is the same guy that had the balls to select Reggie Miller over Steve Alford, which turn out to be extremely unpopular at the time. This is the same guy that put those contending Pacers teams together in the mid 90's early 00. This is the same guy that did the impossible and cleaned up Isiah's mess. This is the same guy that would have gotten Melo for a lot cheaper had Dolan stayed out the way and let him do his job. So let's not short change Walsh here and discredit him as an evaluater of talent. If this pick turns out to be as bad as people are saying it is, then I'll be bashing the pick along with the rest of the base. But until then, I will reserve judgment till I actually see this kid play.

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  15. "You can't justify this pick - there's a reason all the Knicks fans booed and all the analysts were confused. The fans didn't like it... the analysts didn't like it... it's pretty obvious it was a dumb mistake."

    If that fans and analysts thought it was a bad pick then it must be so! Are you serious Bottle? I guess the fans and analyst at the time that hated or were confused by the selections of Stockton, Malone, Reggie Miller, Dan Majerle, Clyde Drexler, Dirk Nowitzky, Kevin Johnson, Scottie Pippen, Michael Finley, etc were all right about those picks being dumb mistakes.

    Or how about NBA picks that fans and analyst loved that turned out to be complete busts.

    Adam, Morrison, Joe Smith, Ed O'Bannon, Shawn Bradley, Kwame Brown, Pervis Ellison, Shelden Williams. Just to name a few...

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  16. And for the record I'm not saying that Shumpert will turn out to be as good as any of those players. He could be a bust for all I know.

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  17. That was really long.

    I don't want to draw this argument out, but I'll tell you what I was arguing with Bagels.

    You can determine whether it's a smart pick based on the logic involved - you don't have to wait to see how the players pan out (although, of course, that is more important). Even if Shumpert becomes a good player, which I don't think will happen, it's still a bad decision to take him when he was not highly regarded, when you have two shooting guards already, and when he does need fill a big need. It's just setting yourself up for failure.

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  18. Guys, I gotta admit - I'm really bad at basketball. I thought there was no chance in hell I'd be picked that early. On draft night I was in my mother's basement playing World of Warcraft.

    By the way, am I Muslim?

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  19. Yeah, sorry about the long post.

    I'm not high on Fields right now. I think he came back down to Earth after the Melo trade. And you're right, we do have two SG's because Douglas isn't really a point. I just like the idea of us having a lock down defender for once, a guy that will play tough D no matter what system he's in. I also like the idea of him being able to handle the ball and play point, while being able to guard 3 positions. Who knows, maybe Billups can mentor this kid. He also has a decent outside shot, and with STAT and Melo getting the majority of the shots, all he has to do is hit his open shots. If we get someone like Dalambert(who's miles better than any big man left after 17) then we would have filled out need for a big man and Turiaf can go back to be just a backup. Plus they have this Jermone Jordan kid playing in Europe that their scouts have tabbed as their next Mozgov type project. So we can still fill our need for a center and trade TD for an actual backup PG.

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  20. Muslim Delegation SaysJune 25, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    No Iman, you are not. Infidel.

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  21. This kid shot 27% from college 3s, he supposedly has no jump shot. "Mozgov type" project is not encouaraging either.

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  22. This is anonymous Bagels, by the way, my commenting ability is messed up for some reason.

    I agree, Shank, that we need to take a wait and see approach, but I think both you and Bottle are wrong, albeit at opposite extremes. Bottle thinks this is the worst pick ever and there's no way he could be good, and you went from let's wait and see to throwing out combine numbers and basically saying this kid was an undiscovered gem. I think it's not the worst pick ever (let's wait a couple years before saying that) and 99% of scouts and analysts should probably get the benefit of the doubt over the infinite wisdom of Donnie Walsh (who can't live off his Pacers draft picks forever. Shit, Reggie Miller was drafted like 20 something years ago.

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  23. Shank, will you marry me?

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  24. Oh yeah, and I agree that there wasn't much else to choose from (17th pick in a weak draft usually means you get a bum anyway). But another point I disagree with you on is Jordan Hill being an ok pick in hindsight (obviously I disagree since I wrote about how bad a pick he was), the point of the draft isn't to stockpile contracts to clear space at some point. As Hater J said, that's David Kahn philosophy i.e. NOT GOOD. And Jennings will still turn out to be a better point guard than anyone the Knicks have had in 20 years.

    Also, my friend who went to Georgia Tech, loves every player that ever came out of there, watches every game and is extremely biased texted me Thursday night: "BAD PICK, he was chosen waaaaaaay too high". Toney Douglas was all defensive in the ACC too and as we know he can't guard my grandmother and she's dead (to quote my father). So there ya go.

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  25. Shank's BossJune 25, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    I see your still wasting time on here. Why the hell did I hire you again?

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  26. @ Bagels

    I'm not saying that Jordan Hill was an okay pick. I'm not as down on the selection as I was on the night of 09 draft because in hindsight he would have been traded to help clear cap space, or he would have been dealt in the Melo trade anyway. And if we're going to discuss who they should have drafted that night, it should have been Ty Lawson. Who's a much better shooter and overall player than Jennings. The only reason why his PPG and APG don't stand out is because he rode the bench before the Melo trade. But he completely shined after it.

    Disagree on Jennings being better than any PG we would have had in the next 20 years.. He had a great first half in his rookie season and has been extremely mediocre ever since. This guy isn't even as good as Felton. He isn't even as good as a past his prime Billups. Knicks fans would have been all over this kid and begging for him to be traded if he was here.

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  27. @ Bagels again:

    And just to clear things up, I think this kid "could be" a good role/specialty player based off the Knicks scouting reports and combine workouts. He supposedly has good form on his jumper, so the potential to improve his outside shot is there. Again, I'm not down on the pick, but I'm not super psyched by it either. I never proclaimed him to be some hidden gem that's going to prove everyone wrong. I like the idea of what he could potentially bring to the table based off his defensive ability and athleticism. Again, what he could potentially bring. But like I said, he could end up being a bust. That's why I'm going to patiently wait and see before I judge this kid.

    And I should clarify my "Mozgov type" comment. I'm not comparing his game to Mozgov. He's just supposed to be some raw project that's supposedly joining the Knicks this upcoming season, the same way Mozgov was a raw project for us last year. In today's game, decent big men are hard to find. I just pray he can contribute 10-15 minutes per game for us and clog the middle so that Amar'e doesn't have to play center so often.

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  28. Boss, I know you're having an affair with the accountant on the 1st floor, that's why you allow me to waste time on the internet.

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  29. We'll agree to disagree on Jennings then, but what I said was he's better than anyone they've had in the past 20 years (except Mark Jackson I guess), but obviously you don't agree. Either way, I still think Hill was a terrible pick regardless of the fact that whoever was picked would have been shipped off for Melo. I could see that what you said was you don't feel as bad about it, and that's fair.

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  30. Shank's BossJune 25, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    You're fired and so is that accountant whore.

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  31. Bagels loves balance.

    Shumpert sucks. Five years in, he'll be averaging 2-3 points a game and struggling to remain in the NBA.

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  32. His college shooting numbers:

    40.6% field goal percentage, 27.8% from 3.

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  33. I do love balance yeeeeeah. If he's averaging those numbers he'll be in Europe or the D League or hanging out at Yellowhook.

    The Knicks' other pick is nicknamed Jean Shorts because he wore those every day of his college career though.

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  34. Jesus... besides rednecks, who wears jean shorts anymore? Nice job, Knicks. Next draft, pick the guy who wears Jncos.

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  35. If he tries to wear jean shorts in a game, the Knicks are going to be the laughing stock of the league.

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  36. Johnny Jean ShortsJune 26, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Stay tuned for the jean shorts post coming very soon.

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