When drafting players in recent years (Iíve noticed since the late 90ís), teams put a lot of weight into ATHLETICISM. There seems to be a belief that athleticism means more potential. It has paid off in cases like Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant, obviously, but there have also been a great many busts. Skill seems to be neglected in favour of athleticism in many instances. I was shocked to see Kyle Anderson drop all the way to 30th overall. I will be the first to admit that I donít know jack about college ball, and you canít rely on per-game averages on college to project NBA success, but I thought Anderson put up some CRAZY impressive numbers (great passer). A lot of mock drafts had him going in the mid-late teens. I had asked PSD for their input on Anderson, and some of you guys answered back that he had a weight issue and wasnít athletic (both legit red flags).
It got me thinking. Where would a guy like Bird end up getting drafted today? Bird was one of the least athletic greats of all time. In his own draft he only went 6th (behind Mychal Thompson, Phil Ford (?), Ricky Roby (?) Purvis Short and Michael Ray). Where would he go in a draft these days? Would he go top 5? Top 10? Or would he slip into the mid-late teens? And how about guys like Barkley, who were considered to have a weight problem in college? Would he have slid down the draft ladder?
I do feel somewhat vindicated in my tentative excitement about Anderson given that the Spurs drafted him, and nobody has done better than the Spurs in the last 17 years when it comes to drafting players (not that I expect him to be an All-Star, but I expect he could be a solid rotation player in the NBA). The Spurs though, have had some success with guys that have Ďweightí issues or are Ďunauthenticí (see Diaw and Mills and perhaps Bonner as well).
In this context, Iím not sure that some of the guys we know to be great players, Bird, Barkley, ect., would be drafted as high these days.
Where do you think Bird would be drafted these days? Or Barkely? And are there any other players you think would slip in the draft these days that were drafted high in the past?