With the Finals upon us, and the NBA Draft weeks away, I thought it would be interesting to combine those two activities into one piece of information. Listed below are the players with noticeable playing time during the playoffs for both teams, followed by where they were selected in the draft.
R. Allen, 5
T. ALLEN, 25
That’s a total of 21 players, and only four of them were picked in the top ten of the draft. Also of note, six of the Lakers’ 10 players are home-grown, while only five of the Celtics’ 12 players came via a Boston draft (and, it should be noted, Andrew Bynum is nowhere on that list; the 10th overall selection was picked by LA in 2005).
What does all of that matter, though? Well, one point in particular may be derived: The majority of a team’s roster comes by way of either the bottom of the first or the second rounds. True, you’re not going anywhere without a superstar, but a superstar alone does not a champion make. Give some bonus points to Mitch Kupchak for finding people like Vujacic and Walton long after other teams bypassed them.
With the Sonics holding four second-round picks this season, in addition to dual first-rounders, it is crucial for the future of this franchise that Sam Presti find at least one player who can contribute to the team’s on-court success, other than what he finds with the #4 overall selection. It’s unfortunate that the Sonics need so much help at so many positions at this time, but that is the messy bed in which Presti is awakening. Personally, I can’t fathom why the Sonics would want someone like Roy Hibbert with the second of their two first-rounders, and the idea that Jeff Green’s talents would improve by having his old friend around is laughable.
At that point in the draft, you come up with one of two players: the Wayne Simiens of the world and the Luke Waltons. For Presti’s sake, for Seattle let’s hope he finds more like the latter (Courtney Lee, please!) than the former.