Dribbles on the Realests on Simmons, continued
Monday, June 25, 2007
Previously, on "We Rite Goode"
-Pedro Cerrano discovered that it's better to eat chicken than sacrifice it
-Crucifictorious explained his name to confused readers again
-Doctor Dribbles had beef with other bloggers
Yep, nothing new 'round these parts. On my end, I took issue with the Realests taking issue with the draft savvy of Bill "Sports Guy" Simmons. Not because of any great love for Simmons, but because picking a few examples out of years of coverage does not an accurate opinion make. Moreover, the included criticisms--such as Simmons somehow blew it by preferring Chris Paul to Deron Williams--were so lackluster that they undermined that blog's cherry-picked argument.
Still, I like the Realests and wanted to see if they were onto something, so looked carefully at one year of Simmons' thoughts on the draft. In a completely non-scientific process, I picked 2004 because we're far enough away from that draft to start separating the wheat from the chaff (who knows--Adam Morrison may still be a great player who had an awful rookie year), and Simmons already starts in the hole because he got Howard and Okafor wrong. Again, I'm using John Hollinger's rating system, where a PER of 15.0 equals an average NBA player, and taking into account where a player got picked versus the expectations/effusiveness of Simmons.
Simmons 2004 wrap-up, with links to guys whose stories you may not know
- Ben Gordon and Luol Deng to be good players, picks for Bulls in early first round
- Rafael Aurojo screamed El Busto for Raptors
- Sebastian Telfair as a "horrendous" pick as a lottery pick for Blazers
- Al Jefferson was best pick for Celtics at point in draft
- Pavel Prdzswsbqzpdne as the latest bad, giant stiff
- Back-to-back Blazer picks Viktor Khryapa and Sergei Monia as "either...one helluva platoon, or the Blazers just screwed up twice. I'm leaning towards the latter." The qualifier is both picks were late first-round, but neither's still with the Blazers, and Monia's already back in Russia (I think partly by choice, though).
- Delonte West as good pick for Celtics in late first-round
- Tony Allen as a decent rotation guy for the Celtics
- Andre Iguodala as a decent rotation guy for the 76ers. A bit wrong, because Iguodala's been far better than that, but at least Simmons thought he was a good pick.
- Kirk Snyder as a decent rotation guy
- Josh Childress as a bust. He hasn' t been a superstar, but at least he's been solid and worthy of a no. 6 pick.
- Devin Harris as overrated. Also not a superstar, but he's contributed to a top-tier team since Day 1 and had a great sophomore year, if a mediocre one in 2006-2007.
- As the Realests noted, Dwight Howard was a much stronger pick than Okafor, and Orlando made the right call after all.
- Shaun Livingston's upside wasn't worth the Clippers passing on Okafor for the now. Can't tell yet for sure, Simmons will probably be proven right over time.
- Robert Swift to be a bust. Could go either way. Doesn't hurt Simmons that Swift had to miss the entire year with injury.
- Was unimpressed by David Harrison, who has indeed been mediocre, but what do you expect of the last pick in the first round?
- Chris Duhon as a "better version" of Kevin Ollie. Maybe proven true over time, but Ollie has still had better individual years than any Duhon's put up so far.
In fact, let's compare Simmons--a guy who's by no means ESPN's NBA Draft "expert"--to the guy who was getting paid to be exactly that, Chad Ford. Obviously, Ford had a lot more opinions than Simmons and made tougher calls on guys that Simmons could afford to ignore or be unsure about.
Still, it's interesting to see how much worse Ford's hit rate was.
Ford's 2004 wrap-up, with links to guys whose stories you may not know
- Kevin Martin as a solid player. Like Simmons on Iguodala, undersells Martin's value but at least it's recognized whereas Simmons didn't even know him. And as you'll see, Ford needs as much credit as we can find for him.
- Telfair was taken "way too high"
- Trevor Ariza as a second-round steal.
- Jameer Nelson and Anderson Varejao as solid picks for the Magic.
- Kris Humphries as a great fit in Utah. Have always been confused why Humphries isn't a better player, but that doesn't mean he's a good player waiting to break out.
- Dwight Howard as a worse pick for Magic than Okafor. Same logic as Simmons.
- Rafael Aruojo as a good pick.
- David Harrison as a good pick.
- Joshes Smith and Childress as "weird" choices in Atlanta. They may not be exactly what the Hawks needed at the time, but at least they've been productive for their draft positions. If Marvin and Shelden Williams had been similarly accomplished, the team would be a lot better.
- Pavel Pdolozinkne as the sleeper pick. Unless Ford meant that Pavel P would play like he was asleep, that's pretty damning.
- Luke Jackson as a great pick for Cavs. Until the last chunk of this season, he was already out of the league, although because of injury I believe.
- Robert Swift as better than Al Jefferson. While both players are still young, Jeff already is a solid starter and looking like the real deal, whereas Swift has struggled to get minutes and stay healthy.
- Sergei Monia as a great pick for the Blazers and a big miss for the Nets. As previously noted, this "big two who can shoot and has toughness" is already out of the league.
- Kirk Snyder as an immediate impact player in Utah. He wasn't, but did have a strong sophomore year in New Orleans/OK City, although fell off again with the Rockets. Close to being flat-out wrong.
- Romain Sato, the Spurs' late second-round pick, to probably make the team. He has yet to sniff any NBA roster, but hard to penalize speculation about a later-round player.
- Ford prefered some guy named Ricky Minard to Kevin Martin. As Minard was not the one averaging 20 ppg in the NBA last year, this almost goes under "wrong," although Ford claimed to like both players.
- Jackson Vroman was an "excellent" second-round pick. He made the NBA, which is more than some, but was picked pretty early in the 2nd round and better players like Trevor Ariza and Chris Duhon were still available.
- Tony Allen and Delonte West picks as a "little weird" for the Celtics. Also, Ford strongly disagreed with some statement by the Celtics or Ainge that I can't find. Specifically, Ford said that "the stuff about having Allen and West ranked as the second-best two guard and point guard in the draft is either some serious after-the-fact spin, or everyone in [the Celtics] scouting department needs to be fired. That's ridiculous." Well...I don't know who the Celtics had ahead of Allen and West (I'm guessing Ben Gordon and Devin Harris/Shaun Livingston) but looking at the competition and using Hollinger's PER, they really have been about the 2nd or 3rd best SG and PG out of the '04 draft (especially if you're excluding tweeners like Josh Smith, Iguodala, etc.). Notably, Allen was starting to have a great season before he went down. Might have been a little bit of salesmanship, but hardly a fireable offense.
- Iguodala as a "steal" at no. 9. He's certainly been one of the better players from the draft, but it's unclear whether he's the 4th best player in the class. This past year, Howard, Okafor, Deng, and Gordon put up better PERs, while Childress and Harris have had better three-year careers to this point.
- Peter "Party John" Ramos as an excellent second-round pick. Not so much, although it was only the second round.
posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 00:16,
- At June 25, 2007 at 9:50 AM, BD said...
Nice post. Have to take offense with you saying Ford was wrong about Iguodala, though. Getting him at 9 was a steal. I would wager that if you looked at PER post-Iverson trade, Iguodala shoots way up. Regardless, if '04 were redrafted, I think it would go Howard, Deng, Okafor(his injuries so far may push him out of the top 5), Iguodala, Jefferson, Josh Smith, then Gordon. Gordon is a great scorer, but he doesn't really contribute in any other meaningful way. He can't check NBA 2's. I'm not saying he's not valauble (he is), but not more valuable than the guys ahead of him. [I've excluded Livingston, because I'm not confident he'll play again.] It's debatable if Josh Smith would be taken ahead of Gordon, so I can flip-flop there, but Howard-Okafor-Iggy-Jefferson would all easily go ahead of Gordon.
- At June 25, 2007 at 6:02 PM, Crucifictorious said...
I'm also going to chime in...first off, Iggy is awesome, so BD totally busted you there. Second, maybe it's not that Simmons is so great at evaluating talent...but Chad Ford isn't.
- At June 25, 2007 at 7:53 PM, Doctor Dribbles said...
BD, thanks for the considered, well-argued response. I'm a big believer in/fan of Hollinger, and he definitely was hyping Iguodala's post-Iverson improvement.
And is he a more well-rounded asset than Gordon? Sure. But think of all those games Gordon won for the Bulls the past three years, where AI2 only turned it on in '06-07.
Ditto with some of the other players from the draft. Childress has basically contributed since Day 1. Luol Deng has too and stepped it up in the playoffs. So not that Iguodala, at this very moment, wouldn't be a top 4 pick...but he hasn't necessarily been the 4th best player in the class the past three years. That's what I was going for (and Ford wasn't WRONG, just I wasn't sure if he was right).
It's funny because Hollinger did a re-draft of his own last summer--
and had Jameer Nelson going no. 2 overall! (Iggy was no. 8) Obviously a lot changes year-to-year, and Nelson totally fell off, but that shows why you need to get farther away from the draft to really judge players.
And Cruc, slow your roll, son. What would we do without Chad Ford's mock drafts 1 through 15.0? You know you love him.