FanPost

why all the commotion about first round draft picks?

Why all the commotion about draft picks to help get marquee free-agents-to-be?

We have heard recently that the knicks need draft picks to consummate big deals.
This does not make sense.

The nba draft, especially round 1, is not in favor of the drafting teams.
My review of the last six years drafts shows that you have a 42% chance of being successful with a first round pick.
That does not strike me as good odds for a guaranteed 3 year contract that currently pays on average:
$5.5mm for a top pick;
$2.3mm for the 11th pick;
$1.4mm for the 21st pick; and
$1.1mm for the 30th pick.

I know that this review is incomplete based on time, as players do get better (or worse) from today.
I will note that the results from 2004 are not very different from 2009.
And my judgments are subjective, so I gather we might quibble over some of the classifications.

More importantly, when you break down the results by draft order, the results are more striking.
The worst position to be in the nba draft is 11-20.
Oh, by the way, that is where a Donnie walsh is most likely to be going forward, at least for this year.
So, if you're a smart gm, you don't want the knicks #1 draft pick as your asset.

Here's a summary of my review of the last 6 years (2004-2009) nba draft:
For the first 10 draft picks,
55% (33 out of 60) have been valuable components to their respective teams.
For picks 11-20,
ONLY 28% have been real contributing players.
That's less than 1 out of 3!!! 17 out of 60 players over the last 6 years.
And for picks 21-30,
41% (25 out of 60) have been valuable.
So you are better off trading down into the final 1/3 than drafting 11-20.
And paying about one-half the price.
But still with less than a 50-50 chance of success.

This makes a lot of sense.
In the investment business, the highest risk investments have big payoffs when they work, but aren't sure things.
The lowest risk investments are usually better than a 50-50 chance of success.
But most often, YOU OVERPAY FOR MODERATE RISK INVESTMENTS; MORE RISK, LESS REWARD.

So too for the NBA draft.
Donnie walsh, who is likely to have a #11-20 draft pick, doesn't need first round draft picks to dangle for trades.
If you end up happy with any of andy rautins, landry fields or timofey mozgov, knick fans will not want to have a first round draft pick at all.

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