Revisiting the 2022 Draft, our hits and misses
Let's see how our commenters and I did last year
It’s still early, but not TOO early to go back to how we regarded the 2022 NBA Draft, and what better way than to revisit our DNHQ Draft Tournament. This was a particularly hard one as we were trying to scout out the #28 pick, which is historically a pick so late that you get a lot of busts. So this is extra likely to make us look bad.
Let’s look at our / my rankings, and then reflect on whether athleticism is overrated in scouting.
The winner of our 2022 DNHQ Draft Tournament is…
E.J. Liddell 37% WINNER
Jalen Williams 35%
Wendall Moore 15%
Christian Braun 13%
Remember, the field was made of players that I deemed likely to fall to #28. (Go to section title link for all the details of who was eligible and how they were chosen.)
So, DNHQ did well picking out Jalen Williams, who ended up second in the Rookie of the Year voting.
As for E.J. Liddell, did we blow it completely? Do you even remember who he is? What happened was he was drafted #41 by New Orleans, and he promptly tore his ACL in Summer League on July 11. Sigh. So, we may never know how good he was on track to be.
Wendall Moore was picked #26 by DAL and then traded to HOU, then traded to MIN where he got buried on the bench. Jury is still out on him.
Christian Braun had a Finals that made him the poster boy for everyone who wanted to complain about how the Warriors didn’t develop the young guys this year. (As it turns out, a careful examination of the Braun case showed that Denver did exactly the same thing as GSW with their young guys.) Nonetheless, Braun shined in the Finals.
Let’s look at Apricot’s Big Board (for players falling to #28)
My big board is recorded for history at void’s site. You should go there to vote on this year’s prospects as well! Let’s see how I did…
1. Jalen Williams. Drafted #12. Direct hit! But I can’t say I was a voice in the wilderness… we all loved him.
2. Dalen Terry. #18. A high risk high reward gamble. He looked like a promising 3 & D wing whose readiness was in question. He got buried on the Bulls bench.
3. Trevor Keels. #42. Can create off the bounce, had an accurate jump shot in high school. Was gambling that the shot would come back. Still only 19 years old, he’s been buried in the Knicks G-League.
4. Jaden Hardy. #37. Worked his way up to being a solid 15ish MPG role player in Dallas in his first year.
5. E.J. Liddell. #41. Discussed above.
6. Jake LaRavia. #19. He was a real cult hero in last year’s Draft Tourney, and MEM played him a bunch through November, and then he just fell completely out of the rotation. I don’t know why.
7. Walker Kessler. #22. I was confident his shot blocking would translate, but I didn’t know if playoff guards would treat him as a traffic cone. The first came true, the second we won’t know until Utah plays playoff games. It was clear from the start that Kessler could give you at least 70% of Gobert right away, which made his inclusion in the Gobert trade a true heist.
8. Christian Braun. See above.
9. Kendall Brown. #48. The immature thermonuclear athlete. Signed a two way with IND and hasn’t been seen since.
10. David Roddy, #23. Stats showed he was a really productive college player. The eyeball said he was too stocky to play in the NBA. MEM loves productive wings like Roddy and turned him into a productive role player in his first year.
Everyone below here I did not want to draft.
11. Wendell Moore Jr. See above.
12. Blake Wesley #25. Went from no playing time to a ton of playing time. But SAS was trying to lose on purpose, so I am not sure how much of a piece he’ll be going forward.
13. Christian Koloko. #33. This is the prototype of athletic bigs with no jump shot that I said I would stop loving in the draft (Okongwu, Garuba) because they take too long to develop. As it turns out, Koloko played serviceable role player minutes (14 MPG for TOR) though his playing time fell off as the year went on.
14. MarJon Beauchamp, #24. Played a bunch for MIL when everyone was injured and then played a much reduced role for the second half of the season.
15. Bryce McGowens. #40. In and out of the lineup, then got a ton of minutes for CHA when they tanked the last third of the season. Time will tell if that’s a real role.
16. Caleb Houstan #32. Got regular playing time for the last dozen games for ORL, but ORL was also trying to tank. Jury is still out.
17. Andrew Nembhard. #31. I missed on this guy. In fairness, I added him in the Bonus Round so I didn’t have much of an opinion about him. His draft stock rocketed up at the last moment due to a great NBA Combine and workouts. He just seemed like an old (22 yo) steady point guard with questions about whether his athleticism translated to the NBA. He turned into a starting guard for IND in his first year. Wow.
18. Nikola Jovic. #27. I thought he was nowhere near ready, and he wasn’t. Basically didn’t play for MIA.
19. Patrick Baldwin Jr. #28. Welp.
Yes, I put PBJ last because the scouting reports said that he was a walking red flag that played terribly, had the worst measurements at the Combine, and went to play for his dad to get all the playing time.
HOWEVER all the scouting reports omitted the crucial information that he had a devastating injury that messed up his senior year and college year, and he went to play for his dad to have the bonding experience and also try to save his dad’s job. If I had known that, I’d have put him on my Okay To Draft list (at the bottom around #12). He hasn’t shown much, but he hasn’t had much time to show what he’s got.
If you’re keeping count, that is THREE CONSECUTIVE YEARS that the Warriors drafted my absolute last choice for them to draft.
2020 - James Wiseman. Discussed infinitely with no hope of anyone changing anybody else’s mind. Most recently for me in A Farewell to Wiseman.
2021 - Jonathan Kuminga. I actually left him completely off my ballot in 2021 on purpose because he was so raw it would take watching a lot of G-League games to come up with an opinion.
2022 - Patrick Baldwin Jr. See above.
I just didn’t want players on such a long timeline. That doesn’t make me smarter or righter than the drafters. I understand the value plays they were making. Having said that, I’ve come around to be more sympathetic towards taking a big swing in the lottery, thus my 2022 board skewing towards boom or bust picks.
This year my last choice is G.G. Jackson, because of the extreme youth but also his stunts like Instagramming in-game to complain about his playing time. I think at long last GSW is going to break their streak of drafting my last choice, but you never know…
We all need to have humility about the draft and appreciate the role of sheer luck in your good picks (and your bad picks!). The best way to do that is to go on the record and then periodically review your past picks. Don’t trust anyone who only tells you about the picks they got right and leaves out the misses.
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