Since the two GM candidates seem to be Sam Presti and Tommy Sheppard, I thought we ought to take a look at their draft records. Now, it’s not entirely fair to either guy to do this, in that neither Presti nor Sheppard had the final say in who their franchise selected, but it is interesting to see who they’ve pulled out of the draft while they’ve been employed.
SHEPPARD: Jarvis Hayes, Steve Blake, Peter John Ramos, Andray Blatche, and Oleksiy Pecherov.
PRESTI: Tony Parker, Robertas Javtokas, Bryan Bracey, Johan Salmons, Luis Scola, Randy Holcomb, Leandro Barbosa, Sergei Karaulov, Romain Sato, Beno Udrih, Ian Mahinmi, Damir Markota.
Just from that brief glimpse, you have to give Presti a huge advantage. Sheppard’s big “find” has been Jarvis Hayes, and that’s not exactly something you post on your resume. (Note to those that will mention the Wizards’ drafting Devin Harris; the Mavericks actually drafted Harris, they just had the Wiz do it for them). Presti, meanwhile has produced Udrih, Parker, and Barbosa – all from the bad end of the rounds.
We’ll take a look tomorrow at the trades the two candidates have been involved in, just to shed some more light on the guy responsible for the future of the Sonics.
But before I quit for the day, I’d like to throw my two cents in that a GM’s drafting skills are what sets him apart. In today’s league, the best way to improve your team for the long-term is through the draft. Because of salary issues, it’s almost impossible to continue adding free agents to fill holes, you have to find guys in the draft. As much as we skewer Rick Sund and the Sonics, finding Collison and Ridnour in one draft is an exceptional example. There’s no way the Sonics could have gotten players like that through free agency at the salaries they were being paid.
On the flip side, piling up “projects” like Petro and Sene have the opposite effect, especially when you’re paying those projects close to $4 million a year to sit on the bench.