Dub Nation HQ Draft Tourney Wrap-up: 2020 takes revisited and humility

The Draft humbles everyone (with self-awareness)

The whole tournament is at 2021 Dub Nation HQ Draft Tournament.

And so we reach the end. The final winner of the Tourney was:

  • #7 Moses Moody vs #9 Alperen Sengun (61% - 39%). To my amazement, Sengun wins the Twitter poll, but the DNHQ comment vote is a strong majority for Moody.

DFiB did some weighting of the votes and computed this average Non-Top-6 Big Board by DNHQ voters.

  1. Moody

  2. Sengun

  3. Wagner

  4. Bouknight

  5. Kispert

  6. Giddey

  7. Williams

  8. Mitchell

  9. Jones

  10. Duarte

  11. Johnson

  12. Garuba

  13. Butler

  14. Johnson

  15. Springer

  16. Jackson

Also, DNHQ community member void went the extra mile to write a Big Board compiler which lets us immortalize our own personal Big Boards for future humiliation, and aggregates the results.

Why did I run the Tourney this way?

Some people wondered why we don’t collectively build a Big Board instead (Reddit Warriors did something like that). I don't have any problem with other people doing that (see DFiB and void’s work above), but that’s not what I wanted to accomplish. Frankly, everyone should have a DIFFERENT Big Board because we all differently value things like certainty and “Win Now” and shooting and thrilling and driving and college success and athleticism and size.

For the Tourney, I wanted a framework where fans (including me) who didn’t know ANY of the prospects could slowly learn from the scouting reports I provided and from commenters who were more informed or at least more opinionated.

I also didn’t want to just have one profile at a time, as commentary tends to be about them against the whole field and then people tend to push their pet prospects. I find it very helpful to have to force myself to compare two candidates at a time. You get more interesting comments as well.

For instance, I came into this whole exercise wanting Moses Moody, but I also found myself forced to think harder than I wanted to about Wagner, Giddey, Garuba and Sengun … prospects that I initially dismissed but came to really be intrigued by. And I came away with better understanding of the promise of every single prospect (yes, even Davion Mitchell).

Thanks to everyone who commented along the way, I definitely achieved my goals for my own growth. I learned a lot and definitely had my mind shift along the way and I hope the same is true for you.

The draft and humility

It doesn’t pay to be too sure of yourself in examining the Draft.

The same person who wrote my favorite piece on Sengun and who was colossally right on the 2014 draft, also completely blew other drafts (e.g. was convinced that it was an “unequivocal error” to not draft Dragan Bender below #3). Another draft analyst I enjoy was right on LaMelo but also was convinced that Aleksej Pokuševski was an elite prospect.

So scratch that: it obviously does pay to be too sure of yourself — just look at every single person on ESPN — but if you don’t just want to be a blowhard for attention, humility is a must.

Discount every Draft opinion that is convinced or certain. Being wrong is part of the job, but being loudly wrong and certain about it is discourse pollution.

In fact, every draft commenter should be required to do a regular retrospective on their past takes. So…

Apricot’s 2020 Draft takes revisited

Here is a look back at our 2020 Draft Pick Tournament, and you can decide whether we were right or wrong. Of course, it’s too early to close the book on any of the rookies. (Just look at the history of Rookies of the Year and 1st Team All-Rookie!). But it’s also good to look back.

I wanted to draft them

  • Onyeka Okongwu. Don’t fully understand why he was in ATL doghouse after his injury, but this pick looked silly for most of the year. He had a coming out party in the playoffs before the recent news that he’ll miss 6 months for torn labrum surgery.

  • Tyrese Haliburton. A great pick to take a victory lap on, if I don’t feel like being reflective.

I was curious

  • Obi Toppin. I thought he could be at least an inning-eater volume scorer. But never got a chance with Coach Thibodeau. Maybe I over-value college success.

  • Devin Vassell. 17 min a game for Popovich. I thought he’d be readier to contribute than that, and so did the huge Devin Vassell Army.

  • Tyrell Terry. I guess it’s harder in the NBA for a small, smart, college-successful point guard than I thought. See College Success, Overvaluing, above.

  • Saddiq Bey. I’m a sucker for shooters with defensive upside. And Bey racked up an effective 27 mpg for a crap team. But before I take my bows for this pick…

  • Aaron Nesmith. I’m a sucker for shooters with defensive upside. And this one didn’t work out so well.

Lukewarm

  • Isaac Okoro. Ended up playing a ton of minutes for the CLE team, which was barely in the NBA, so he’s a pro, but it’s not completely clear how good of one.

  • Deni Avdija. A lukewarm role player for WAS, who was hyped as the next Luka-lite.

I was not excited at all

  • LaMelo Ball. He’s fun as hell as a passer, isn’t he? I don’t feel bad about missing on him, as it was a crapshoot whether he would translate to the NBA. And I’m not completely convinced that he’ll be a star either. Hard to tell with all the LaMelo backers loudly overhyping him and yelling how right they were.

  • Killian Hayes. Unexcitement confirmed.

  • Cole Anthony. He actually looked not bad as an innings-eater out there.

  • Kira Lewis Jr. Some people were really high on his speed.

  • R.J. Hampton. Yeah.

  • James Wiseman. It’s complicated…

On that James Wiseman fellow

Okay, I was completely against the pick.

After the pick, I wrote a number of historical studies as therapy and a way of coping with the pick. They’re all linked here:

I was concerned we’d get a lanky guy who struggled to play a basic JaVale McGee role. He turned out to be a lanky guy who struggled to play a basic JaVale McGee role, but also was very likable, was absurdly athletic, showed a shocking three-point range, and just started to show a JaVale competence when he was injured, despite having essentially no practice in two years since high school due to Final Destination levels of bad luck.

So he was better than I expected. And it’s very easy for me to root for him, and if we keep him and the new development coaches are good, then I’m really eager to see his progress this year.

So, enjoy the ride

At least the Warriors are IN the draft and have some pretty high picks. And GSW still have a good team with some great players that are an honor to root for. Tomorrow, there will be new Warriors to root for.

So enjoy the ride! You have no choice, anyway. Unless you’re in the Warriors front office, in which case, get off the internet and go back to analyzing prospects and trades!!