Posts Tagged ‘potential’

The NBA Draft of 2010 has now officially come to a close.  All of the speculation of where these amateur athletes would land is now over.  The speculation of how good these players will be can now begin.  Overall I thought the draft was full of intriguing players.  It seemed like there was some talent available, but we all are generally unsure of how these players will translate to the NBA.  This year’s draft didn’t see a senior selected until the twenty third pick.  This was first time this happened since the NBA implemented the lottery system in 1985. 

Every year more and more underclassmen are entering into the draft.  With the bulk of prospects only being in college for a year or two this doesn’t give scouts a lot of information to appropriately determine how well these players will transition to the professional game.

In this unpredictable draft there were three players in that really stood out to me. Each of these players’ talents and attributes affected me in a different way.  And they are….

Boom = Greg Monroe

I could’ve easily picked John Wall as the player I think that could be the best in this draft class but how boring is that?  That’s like picking the Lakers to win the title again next year.  There is no risk involve in that selection.  So I will stick my neck out there a little bit with Monroe.  I am confident that he will have the most successful NBA career out of anyone in this year’s draft.  What I like best about Monroe is that scouts say that he is the most NBA ready player out of anyone of his peers.  I like the sound of this along with his measurables and his attributes. He is a 6-11, 240 pound true power forward.  He already possesses a decent offensive game that includes the ability to put his back to the basket and also the ability to face up his defender.  He is also a willing and good passer that average almost four assists a game, a strong rebounder, and he shows the ability to be able to defend by averaging one and a half blocks per game.  At Georgetown they ran a Princeton style offense which required the forwards and centers to handle the ball at the top of the key.  This style of offense definitely helped Monroe developed into a solid basketball player.  I am confident that once Monroe adjusts to the NBA game and adds some bulk he will be the best player of this draft class.

Cole Aldrich, Greg Ostertag, and Nick Collison All Went To Kansas. Not A Great History of Big Men.

Bust = Cole Aldrich

Cole Aldrich actually had a decent career at Kansas.  He was a good rebounder and a decent shot blocker.  It’s nothing personal against Aldrich honestly because I actually like the guy, but unfortunately I see him as nothing more than a journey man in the NBA.  If Aldrich was drafted in the second round then I would’ve never said nothing negative about him, but when a player is drafted in the first round he is automatically subjected to expectations.  A first round selection is considered a top thirty prospect and is oftentimes a team’s first selection.  When I think of a first round selection, I am envisioning a future starter for an NBA team.  Aldrich is just another run of the mill big man that will always be a role player.  I understand that he defends well and he blocks shots. That’s fine.  What about his offensive game? It’s very limited.  Aldrich possesses an elementary post game with a simple jump hook over both shoulders and he has very little face up skills. This past season he tried to develop a jumper with mediocre results.  His jump shot makes Shawn Marion’s look decent. It was very awkward, flat, and inconsistent.   Aldrich needs a lot of work for a supposed lottery pick and he only averaged about eleven points in his last year.  Sure Aldrich can prove me wrong and develop into a nice player, but he is a high risk project for an eleventh overall pick.  Besides it doesn’t help that with his buzz cut he reminds me of  another Kansas alum Greg Ostertag. He was just another example of a big man that was a journey man in the NBA.   

Huh? = Daniel Orton

Orton was the fifth Kentucky Wildcat taken in the first round.  He was probably the most interesting Wildcat as well.  In is only year at Kentucky he averaged just thirteen minutes and three points at the center position. 

The Orlando Magic selected him late in the first round so it isn’t like he is needed to be an impact player right away but still he is a first round selection? He barely played in his freshman year so that means that most of his highlights would be from high school.  Scouts have to judge his talents based off what he did against sixteen year olds?  Scouts also have to include his height and his potential.  If you have read my past blogs you would know how much I dislike the word potential.  There is just not enough information on this guy that allows him to be a first round selection.  If I were a general manger I would even question selecting him in the second round.  It’s just another example on how big men are viewed in the NBA.  Big men are constantly given so many chances when honestly most of the time they don’t deserve it.  If this was a shooting guard or point guard I would be talking about the mistake this guy made in leaving early and NOT getting drafted.

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The NFL Draft was held this past weekend New York.  Lifelong goals and dreams of playing NFL was fulfilled. The NFL teams that selected these players are confident that the player will become caliber of players at their respective positions. 

As much hype as the draft receives it is very instrumental in the success of a team.  The draft allows teams to draft college football players to fulfill the needs of necessary positions.  This process however can be a gift and a curse.  Teams can be rewarded by selecting a player like Peyton Manning. The former first overall pick has become one of the best quarterbacks in league history by winning many games, setting numerous passing records, and winning a Super Bowl for his organization. On the other hand, failed first round selections can be the curse of any organization.  Look at Kentucky Wildcat alum Tim Couch.  In 1999,” Couch signed a 7 year contract for $48 million” (King, 1999). He rewarded the team by going out and becoming one of the biggest busts in NFL history.  He was cut after just four seasons in Cleveland.

Tim Couch had the potential to be great. He never lived up to the expectations

The draft can be an enigma.  Players that are projected to be selected in the first round are supposed to be destined for stardom. Sometimes this happens, but other times they fail miserably and become punch lines to jokes. Then there are players selected in the later rounds with no expectations and then they become superstars.

The 1st round draft picks can be the most intriguing.  These are the players that generate the most notoriety and the most hype.  Along with this they command millions of dollars.  They all were college All- Americans and they dominated their opponents and now they will take their skills and attempt to prove themselves on the professional level.   With their attributes and intangibles these players have the potential to flourish in the league and earn numerous accolades and awards right? Not necessarily.

First, I don’t care for the word potential.  Scratch that I don’t like the word potential at all! To me potential is an excuse as to why a player isn’t where he needs to be right now.  People use the word to try and sell a person on a particular player and make them sound even better.  It’s come to a point now where potential is being used along with other abilities. For example, “This wide receiver is great I’m telling you! He has great hands, great speed, and he has potential!  The last time I checked potential doesn’t score touchdowns and doesn’t win football games.  Tangible talent that people can see is what makes fans buy tickets and wins football games.

Potential is just a better word for hope.  Think about it.

 Look I hope to be a millionaire one day. I hope to have mansion next to the beach with chefs preparing all of the meals for my family.  That sounds nice but there is no guarantee that those situations will ever happen for me. Hope or potential is what these NFL teams are banking on for these college athletes.  Look I understand that almost of these players will need time to develop.  A team can’t expect a college player to step in and dominate like they did in college.  They need to adjust to the speed of the game and learn the perspective playbooks of their side of the ball. I completely understand this, however if I am NFL team and I’m selecting a player in the first round I am going to select the player that I am confident will excel at his position once he adjusts to playing at the professional level.

Look the at the 2005 NFL draft.  The top two project players in that draft were quarterbacks Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers.  There wasn’t a huge difference in talent between them.  Some people liked Smith better and others liked Rodgers.  One small element that people saw in Smith was potential.  Smith was a couple years younger than Rodgers and felt that in the long run Smith would be the better quarterback.  The same people that felt this way thought that Rodgers had already peaked in his career and didn’t think that he would develop into much better quarter back then he already was in college.  Ultimately Smith was selected with the first overall pick to San Francisco and Rodgers was selected later in the first round by the Green Bay Packers.  Potential wasn’t the main reason why Smith was chosen over Rodgers, however it was element that discussed by experts and other teams. 

Currently, Alex Smith is viewed by many as a bust and Aaron Rodgers has developed into a top tier quarterback in the league by already participating in the Pro Bowl and leading his team into the playoffs. Potential is a dangerous word.

49ers fans are would love to Rodgers in San Francisco.

These first round selections costs too much money have to the word “potential” attach to it.  If these picks don’t live up to their potential then the organization will be out of a lot of money and a few members within the organization can potentially lose their jobs.  In order for teams to have success in the draft they need to eliminate any thoughts of potential and rely on confidence in selecting players.

King, P. (1999, April 17). Inside Game. Retrieved April 24, 2010, from Sports Illustrated : http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/peter_king/news/1999/04/17/king_insider/