A couple weeks ago, after we KNEW that John Wall was going to the Wizards, I wrote a post about the fact the Wizards have not been the greatest franchise in the world at developing its draft picks. The teams 2 best recent players (Arenas and Jamison) were both free agents and not drafted by the Wizards. But, now that we know where all 5 UK guys are headed, I thought I would look at all 5 teams and just how well they have drafted and developed their first round draft picks.
I have also noted where new GM’s have taken over franchises so you get an idea of how the current front office of each team has performed.
Good Picks in Blue
Bad Picks in Red
Still Not Proven in Green
(If a guy never averaged over 10 PPG at any point in his career, I consider that a bad pick)
ERIC BLEDSOE (LA CLIPPERS)
2000: Darius Miles (3rd)
2002: Chris Wilcox (8th), Melvin Ely (12th)
2003: Chris Kaman (6th)
2004: Shaun Livingston (4th)
2005: Yaroslov Korolev (12th)
2007: Al Thornton (14th)
2008: Eric Gordon (7th)
NEW GENERAL MANAGER
2009: Blake Griffin (1st)
NEW GENERAL MANAGER
Recap:There is no doubt that the Clippers are a DISASTER as a franchise. They barely even attempt to try and make the playoffs, get rid of any good players and generally have ignorance running their front office, like Elgin Baylor. BUT, they actually haven’t been half bad with their draft picks. Their last 3 picks, Thornton, Gordon, and Griffin, all seem to be top level NBA players, assuming Griffin comes back from his knee injury OK. Chris Kaman has been a consistent performer in the middle for the Clippers his entire career. Darius Miles gave the Clippers 3 decent years, but was not spectacular. And even though I call Shaun Livingston a bad pick, that’s simply because he suffered the worst leg injury this side of Joe Thiesmann, but up until then he was making his way as the Clippers starting point guard.
Like most teams, the Clippers have had busts in Wilcox, Ely and Korolev. But, their overall ratio of good picks to bad is better than the Wizards and the Rockets. So on that level, the Clippers choosing to take Bledsoe might be a good sign. But of course we all know that Eric will get no attention as a Clipper, and is stuck behind Baron Davis and Eric Gordon. While some would argue that means he will get good teaching from those players, I would argue it just means he won’t see many minutes.
The Clippers have always been rumored to be wanting to get rid of Davis, and if that comes to fruition, maybe Bledsoe has a chance. Gordon is likely there for a couple more years. But for his rookie season, Bledsoe will have a difficult time to find the floor, and it will be interesting to see how he reacts to that situation.