It's been almost week since last Thursday's NBA draft and DBSF has had time to reflect. There are several narratives worth addressing and Bill Simmons' NBA draft diary captures many of them.One thing that Simmons touches only briefly yet deserves attention is that this was a draft in which the pick where certain players were selected will likely either prove beneficial or will impose psychological costs associated with expectations that will compromise a player's potential. First the two who were most helped:
Andre Drummond--There's a 90% chance that Drummond becomes Hasheem Thabeet and a 10% chance he turns into Tyson Chandler. One thing you don't want is his fragile 19 year old psyche to get crushed and in the process waste his physical gifts. Assuming he doesn't Eddy Curry it and remains dedicated to basketball in three or four years--right after his rookie contract, unfortunately for the Pistons--there should be ROI. With Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko and the addition of 7-foot Ukranian Vyacheslav Kravtsov hopefully Drummond will only have to play garbage and Wizards'/ Bobcats' minutes. If injuries force the Piston's hand on Drummond, they should tell old 6'7" Jason Maxiell to get his Rick Mahorn/ Armen Gilliam (RIP) on. Drummond might be an ideal candidate for spending a rookie year in the D-League.
Perry Jones III--If he was lottery pick there would already be two DWI's and an aggravated assault or solicitation charge. Going at the end of the first round makes it to Jones clear that his physical ability and dimensions are only valued so high. On top of that there is no better team than OKC, which has a great young leader in Durant. Because of Durant's youth there isn't the generational disconnect found in other veteran-rookie failed mentorships, like Jordan and Kwame Brown. So not only will Durant be able to give advice on personality glasses, but by his nature he'll lead by example and impart on Perry that there is no reason to celebrate a one-on-none fast-break dunk when the Thunder are up 25 in the fourth over the Kings.
Now those most adversely affected:
Dion Waiters--this is obvious and not his fault in a way. A) He didn't start on his college team, which means if you're not one of the five best on your team you might not be one of the five best in the draft, and B) unless Tristan Thompson--another reach at fourth overall from the 2011 draft--makes significant offensive strides, the fact that Waiters was the more recent lottery pick will place greater pressure on him to complement Kyrie Irving. This is a no-win for a 6'4" two-guard who averaged single digits in college.
Harrison Barnes/ Terrence Ross--This is a combo because neither play is Clay Thompson/ DeMar Derozan. Basically, Barnes and Ross are two super-hyped high school talents whose popularity waned after they faced Division 1 talent and now are expected to compete for the same position with young, promising players that have NBA experience. DBSF doesn't see Ross working out regardless of where he was drafted, but Barnes is one of those guys who would've been greatly served by a Perry Jones III oh-how-the-mighty-have-fallen drop on the draft board. If he went to Houston or some team in the mid-first round he would've had the Tom Brady-I-have-to-prove-myself fire. Instead he's joining a team that will be short on shots after Curry, Lee and Thompson get their looks. Best case scenario for Barnes is that he reinvents himself as a powerful, high-effort defender--something like a Thaddeus Young with a jump shot.