2010 NBA Draft and Offseason Blog

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
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Larry Bird Ranked Worst NBA GM - July 27

When I first saw that SB Nation had ranked the Indiana Pacers' Larry Bird as the worst GM in the entire NBA, I was kind of surprised.

For one thing, Bird hasn't continued to spend money on stupid contracts like David Kahn in Minnesota. In fact, he has been busy the past few seasons trying to get the Pacers out from under the contracts of Jermaine O'Neal and Jamal Tinsley. While the Pacers still have a year to go in that process, they are at least on their way out of the financial hole they have dug for themselves.

Then I saw Bird's draft record.

The Pacers are famous for swinging and missing when it comes to the NBA Draft. While Danny Granger has been a big hit, the rest of Bird's draft record has been atrocious. Here are his following picks since taking over in 2003:

2003: James Jones - A nice second-round selection, Jones has made a name for himself with playing time as a result of the Brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills. He was Indiana's only pick in 2003. He was traded to Phoenix in 2005 and will be a key reserve with the Heat this year.

2004: David Harrison - Harrison only played in 189 games over four seasons and averaged five points per game. He is now playing for the Beijing Ducks. He also was one of many players who had an off-the-court incident with a five-game drug suspension. The Pacers could have drafted Anderson Varejao, who went one pick later to Orlando.

Rashad Wright - A second-round selection who never made the roster and is now playing in Germany.

2005: Danny Granger - A fantastic pick. One of Bird's few positive selections.

Erazem Lorbek - As usual, the Pacers threw away their second-round pick on an unproven European player who is still playing in Europe for FC Barcelona. He may finally join the Pacers this coming season.

2006: Shawne Williams - This pick was an unmitigated disaster. Williams played in only 111 games with six starts in two seasons. He averaged 5.2 points per game and was traded to Dallas before the 2008-09 season. He also a drug arrest (possession of marijuana), had another issue in which an associate was charged with a crime while driving his car, and has since had two more drug charges. His most recent arrest was on July 24. To make matters worse, the Pacers are still in search of a point guard and Rajon Rando was taken four picks later.

Alexander Johnson - Johnson was traded on draft night to Memphis, where he started 16 games before moving to Miami in 2007-08. He is now trying to make the Rockets' roster. Indiana ended up also trading its second-round pick for each of the next two seasons for James White, who never made the roster and played briefly for the Spurs before going to Europe.

2007: Indiana did not have a single pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, but traded for the rights to Stanko Barac. Their first-round pick was dealt to Atlanta with Al Harrington. The 7-1 Barac is still playing in Europe.

2008: Jerryd Bayless - Bayless is emerging as a key reserve playing critical minutes... in Portland. He was traded on draft night with Ike Diogu for Brandon Rush, Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts. Rush has disappointed, but started 64 games last season. Jack was allowed to walk as a free agent to Toronto after just one season. McRoberts is a hometown guy from nearby Carmel, but has averaged 3.3 points in 83 games and 3 starts.

Nathan Jawal - Jawal is a 6-10 center who was traded to Toronto when the Pacers got rid of Jermaine O'Neal. He never played a game in Indiana.

2009: Tyler Hansbrough - Hansbrough was all-everything in college, but injuries troubled his rookie season. He appeared in only 29 games, but averaged 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds. There is still time for him, but a point guard like Eric Maynor might have been a better pick.

A.J. Price - The Pacers have gotten good value out of Price. As a rookie second-round pick, he appeared in 56 games with two starts and averaged 7.3 points per game. Those aren't fantastic numbers, but considering he is the first second-rounder to actually see the floor for the Pacers since 2003, they aren't bad.

2010: Paul George - Any time you can draft a second-team All-WAC selection 10th overall you have to do it (sarcasm). George wouldn't be a bad pick of the Pacers didn't already have Hansbrough, Granger, Mike Dunleavy, Dhantay Jones and Troy Murphy as players just like him. A proven power forward like Trevor Booker just made too much sense, apparently.

Lance Stephenson - He's another swingman, but the Pacers (who have been defensively challenged) could have selected defensive specialist Jarvis Varnado. It is a shock that they didn't pick yet another overrated white forward with Luke Harangody to go with Murphy, Hansbrough and Dunleavy.

Ryan Reid - With three picks in the 2010 NBA Draft and a glaring need at point guard, the Pacers chose two forwards and a shooting guard. Reid was traded on draft night to Oklahoma City for Magnum Rolle, yet another forward.

As you can see, Bird's draft record is suspect at best. Many praised him for the Danny Granger selection, but he has missed on numerous other selections and the Pacers are in the midst of their worst stretch of basketball since the mid-1980s. The local media is already projecting 2010-11 as a make-or-break year, but there is little evidence this team can even make the playoffs; let alone contend.

Recent NBA Draft and Offseason Blog Entries:

Four-Team Trade - 8/12
More with Ted Leonsis: Turning around the Washington Wizards - 8/11
Ted Leonsis Taking Washington Wizards on a New Path - 8/8
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 8/5 (Shaq)
NBA Announced Nationally Televised Game Schedule - 8/4
Michigan State Dismisses Chris Allen - 8/4
2011 NBA Free Agents - 7/30
2010 NBA Offseason Losers - 7/29
2010 NBA Offseason Winners - 7/28
Larry Bird Ranked Worst NBA GM - 7/27
Chris Paul Possible Trades - 7/26
Tracy McGrady to Chicago looking Extremely Likely - 7/26
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/24 (Kurt Thomas)
2011 NBA Draft Trades - 7/24
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/23 (Jefferson)
John Hammond May Have One More Transaction Up His Sleeve - 7/23
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/20 (Kleiza)
Evan Turner vs. Purdue Fans in Heated Twitter Trash Talk - 7/19
Top 10 2010 NBA Free Agents Available - 7/18
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/18 (Brad Miller)
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/17 (Brewer)
Magic Match Offer Sheet for J.J. Redick - 7/17
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/16
How Does Wesley Matthews Fit in Portland? - 7/16
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/15
Jefferson-Chandler Trades Analysis - 7/14
Michael Redd Era Over in Milwaukee - 7/14
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/13
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis (Last Weekend's) - 7/13
Childress-Turkoglu-Morrow Trades Analysis - 7/13
Sixers' Evan Turner Struggled in Summer League - 7/13
Specific Details of NCAA Tournament Expansion Announced Today - 7/13
Bulls Sign Kyle Korver, Offer Sheet to J.J. Redick - 7/11
Brainwashed Timberwolves Fans Fail to See the Light - 7/10
Winner in LeBron Sweepstakes? Milwaukee Bucks - 7/10
Larry Sanders Brings a Unique Skill Set to Milwaukee - 7/10
LeBron James to Miami Heat Recap - 7/9
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/9
Knicks-Warriors David Lee Trade Analysis - 7/9
Timberwolves-Heat Michael Beasley Trade Analysis - 7/9
Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to Miami Heat - 7/8
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/8
The LeBron James Show - 7/8
Carlos Boozer Signs with Bulls - 7/8
Profiling Milwaukee's Potential Point Guards - 7/8
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/7
2010 NBA Summer League Recap - 7/7
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/6
2010 NBA Summer League Recap - 7/6
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/5
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/4
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/3
It's Not LeBron or Bust for the Bulls - 7/3
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/2
2010 NBA Free Agency: Day 1 - 7/2
Former NBA Player Kendall Gill on the Bulls Free Agent Prospects - 7/2
2010 NBA Draft Day Trades - 6/25
Foreign Flavor Losing Flair in NBA Draft - 6/24
Bucks-Warriors Corey Maggette Trade - 6/23
2010 NBA Draft Mailbag - 6/22
76ers-Kings Samuel Dalembert Trade - 6/18
2010 NBA Draft Mailbag - 6/3
2010 NBA Draft Lottery Odds Breakdown - 5/17
Evan Turner's Flaws - 5/13
Where Will Joe Johnson Go? - 5/12
Bulls Could Use Oklahoma State's James Anderson - 5/10
2010 NBA Draft Mailbag - 5/9
2010 NBA Draft Early Entries - 5/9
Debate's Over: Deron Williams is the Best Point Guard - 5/8
Someone to Be Drafted from DePaul? Yes, Really - 5/7
Gani Lawal: Testing the NBA Draft Waters - 5/6
Can De'Sean Butler Be Mr. Clutch in the NBA? - 5/5
Derrick Favors: No. 1 Big Man on 2010 NBA Draft Boards - 5/4
Jordan Crawford: More Than the Guy Who Dunked on LeBron - 5/3
Devin Ebanks is an NBA Draft Wildcard - 5/3
Where Will Dwayne Wade Go? - 5/1
Where Will Chris Bosh Go? - 5/1
2010 NBA Trade Deadline Grades - 2/19
NBA Offseason and Draft Blog - Home

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2017 NBA Mock Draft - June 23

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