Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Looking Back--the 1995 NBA Draft

By Paul Benedict

Throughout the season, I'm going to reminisce over every NBA draft of the past ten years. It's always fun to look back and see how your favorite team fared, see which guys totally busted, and see which draftees turned out to be the biggest steals. I'll profile each 1st round pick with a little more emphasis on the lottery picks and then discuss some of the noteworthy 2nd round picks. The grades will be based on how each player turned out with regard to their respective draft position. So without further delay, I present to you a look back at the 1995 NBA Draft.


Revisiting the 1995 NBA Draft

· Best Player: Kevin Garnett
· Best Pick: Kevin Garnett
· Steal of the Draft: Michael Finley
· Worst Player: George Zidek
· Biggest Bust: Ed O’Bannon
· Draft Most Known For: Producing a lot of quality NBA players, but few stars
· Overall Draft Grade: C+

Lottery Picks


1. Golden State--Joe Smith, PF, Maryland
Career Stats:
10 Years: 12.7 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 45.1 FG%, 1.1 BPG
Career Highlights:
-1st Team All-Rookie in 1995-96
-Was involved in the most controversial contractual matter in NBA history--which has cost the Timberwolves a 1st round draft pick in each of the past 5 years.
The Lowdown:
Any #1 pick that will best be remembered for signing an illegal contract that broke the league's salary cap rules (what in the hell were the 'Wolves thinking in wanting to hand this guy over $86 million in the first place?!) has to be considered a huge bust. But aside from the incident, Smith never did live up to the expectations of a #1 draft pick. He peaked in his second season (18.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG) and never came close to numbers like these after being shipped off to Philly at the trade deadline the following year. Smith has since spent his career as a serviceable, yet unspectacular power forward
Grade: D+

2. Nuggets (Clippers)--Antonio McDyess, PF, Alabama
Career Stats:
10 Years: 16.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 49.4 FG%, 1.5 BPG
Career Highlights:
-1st Team All-Rookie in 1995-96
-Played in 1 All-Star Game (2000-01)
-3rd Team All-NBA in 1998-99
-Gold Medalist at 2000 Olympic Games
-Played in just 10 games in 2001-02 season and missed entire 2002-03 season due to knee injuries
The Lowdown:
McDyess was among the flock of excellent power forwards in the Western Conference, having 4 straight All-Star-caliber seasons (despite playing in only one All-Star Game) for Denver before seeing his career take a serious hit after having 2 season-ending knee injuries. It's unfortunate for McDyess, because his combination of athleticism and explosiveness had him headed for a bunch more All-Star games, but instead he finds himself about as valuable to a team as Joe Smith--which isn't saying much.
Grade: B-

3. Philadelphia--Jerry Stackhouse, SF, North Carolina
Career Stats:
10 Years: 20.7 PPG, 4.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 41 FG%, 3.4 TPG
Career Highlights:
-1st Team All-Rookie in 1995-96
-2-Time NBA All-Star ('00, '01)
-Averaged a career-best 29.8 PPG for Detroit in '00-01 (2nd in NBA)
The Lowdown:
Stackhouse has been a reliable scorer throughout his career, but never good enough to be the #1 option on a playoff team and that's largely the reason he's been to the playoffs just three times and never made it beyond the 2nd round. To put the blame entirely on Stackhouse's shoulders is unfair because he's never played on great teams, but his poor FG% and proficiency for turning the ball over suggest that he'd probably have been best suited as a #2 or #3 option. Still, there's time for Stackhouse to step up in this exact role starting with this season in Dallas.
Grade: B-

4. Washington--Rasheed Wallace, PF, North Carolina
Career Stats:
10 Years: 15.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 48.9 FG%, 1.0 SPG, 1.3 BPG
Career Highlights:
-2nd Team All-Rookie in 1995-96
-2-Time NBA All-Star ('00, '01)
-Has been to the playoffs every season since 1997, twice reaching the Western Conference Finals with Portland ('99, '00), and winning an NBA Championship last year after being sent to Detroit in a mid-season trade.
The Lowdown:
Statistics will ultimately become as insignificant to Rasheed Wallace's career as to just about anyone who has played the game. Throughout his career, he's been considered the consumate teammate, both on and off the floor and his history of being a member on playoff teams certainly reflects this. Conversely, one could argue that his attitude and demeanor have kept him from being one of the truly elite players in the league over the years. I think when all is said and done, people are going to remember Rasheed Wallace as a positive combination of both--a gifted, dynamic forward whose fiery desire to win led to inspired play by teammates and terrific results by his teams.
Grade: A-

5. Minnesota--Kevin Garnett, PF, Farragut Academy (Ill.)
Career Stats:
10 Years: 20.2 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.8 BPG, 48.9 FG%
Career Highlights:
-2nd Team All-Rookie in 1995-96
-Gold Medalist at 2000 Olympic Games
-4-Time All-Interview Team
-7-Time NBA All-Star
-MVP of 2003 All-Star Game
-5-Time All-Defensive
-6-Time All-NBA
-2003-04 NBA MVP
-Has lead Minnesota to the playoffs in 8 straight seasons, but only once beyond the 1st Round (2004-Western Conference Finals)
The Lowdown:
Kevin Garnett broke barriers for the NBA and will go down as one of the most influential players when his career is over. For starters, he essentially kicked off a new wave of high school players skipping college and heading straight to the NBA--the effects of his decision in 1995 have changed the game forever. KG also introduced a new breed of player to the NBA--the do-it-all 7-footer--something the NBA had never imagined possible until Garnett started nailing 20-footers, running half-court offenses, guarding players of all sizes, etc. And to top it off, the talent he brings to the floor, the consistency with which he plays, and the desire he has to win are all arguably the best in the league.
Grade: A+


There was certainly no Sports Illustrated Jinx for Kevin Garnett who has gone on to have as much impact on the NBA as anyone in this era.


6. Vancouver- Bryant Reeves, C, Oklahoma St
Career Stats:
6 Years--12.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 0.8 BPG, 47.5 FG%
Career Highlights:
-1st ever draft selection of the Vancouver Grizzlies
-2nd Team All-Rookie 1995-96
-Had arthroscopic knee surgery during the 1999 season and never fully recovered, eventually retiring in 2001 due to knee problems that would never fully heal.
The Lowdown:
If you look at the career numbers of 'Big Country', they're not half bad. But you have to wonder what Vancouver was thinking when they took the big fella to be the cornerstone of their franchise knowing that he had a history of back and knee problems. Despite back-to-back solid seasons in '97 and '98 (16 PPG, 8 RPG, 1 BPG), Big Country's career went downhill thereafter and after only six seasons, was forced to retire. 6 injury-riddled seasons out of a #6 pick? Not quite Sharone Wright, but still a bust.
Grade: C-

7. Toronto- Damon Stoudamire, PG, Arizona
Career Stats:
10 Years- 14.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1.2 SPG, 41.0 FG%
Career Highlights:
-MVP of 1996 Rookie Game
-1st Team All-Rookie 1995-96
-1995-96 NBA Rookie of the Year
-Played in 46 playoff games with the Blazers from 1998 to 2003.
-Became the 1st player in NBA history to score 50+ points without recording a single rebound on 1/14/05
The Lowdown:
"Mighty Mouse" put up some monster numbers for the Raptors during his rookie season, of course it was the franchise’s inaugural season and then-GM Isiah Thomas made him his boy in Toronto. A couple years later he was traded to Portland, where he's remained the starting point guard up until this day. Stoudamire has been a capable point guard for years, essentially a solid scorer with average playmaking skills and so-so defense.
Grade: B

8. Milwaukee (Through Portland, Detroit)--Shawn Respert, SG, Michigan St.
Career Stats:
4 Years: 4.9 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 41.4 FG%, 34.0 3PT%
Career Highlights:
-Played just 172 games for four teams over four years, starting just five games.
-Spent four years playing overseas after his NBA career ended before hanging up his kicks. He now works as the head of basketball operations at Rice University.
The Lowdown:
Shawn Respert recently went public about his battle with stomach cancer following his rookie season in Milwaukee, something he had kept under reps for years, letting only a handful of people in the NBA know. Respert claims that the battle with cancer (which he won) wore on him mentally and physically and that his game was never able to blossom because of it. It's hard to fault a guy that dealt with something most of us could never imagine and you also have to give him credit for swallowing his pride throughout the years and not making any excuses as to why he never panned out as an NBA player
No Grade

9. New Jersey--Ed O'Bannon, SF, UCLA
Career Stats:
2 Years: 5.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 36.7 FG%, 22.2 3PT%
Career Highlights:
-Played just 128 games in two seasons before seeing his NBA career come to a screeching halt.
-Has bounced around Europe, the CBA, and the ABA over the years but has not been on an NBA regular season roster since 1997.
The Lowdown:
I'm not sure there's ever been a player who saw his stock drop so emphatically as Ed O'Bannon, who many felt slipped to #9 (after leading UCLA to a National Championship and being the consensus Player of the Year) in the draft because of concerns about his surgically repaired knee. Critics claimed that his biggest problem was that he was too slight and soft to play the 3 in the NBA, and not quick enough or a good enough shooter to handle playing the 2; but ultimately it was O'Bannon himself, who let his shattered confidence get the best of him and allowed his play to suffer as a result. During an interview a couple years ago, O'Bannon claims that he has improved his game to mirror what people were expecting of him years ago, but that the window of opportunity has passed and he just has to move on. "I can name a lot of people in the NBA that I can play better basketball than, but I don't lose sleep over it."
Grade: F

10. Miami--Kurt Thomas, PF, Texas Christian
Career Stats:
10 Years: 10.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 0.8 BPG, 48.6 FG%
Career Highlights:
-Played in 1996 Rookie Game
-After struggling to find roles on the Heat and Mavericks during his first three seasons, found a home in New York and has been a key contributor for the Knicks over the last 7 seasons.
-Was an important player in the Knicks' 1999 run to the NBA Finals.
-Has missed just five games due to injury/illness in his entire stint with the Knicks
The Lowdown:
While there's not much to rave about when discussing Kurt Thomas, he does give you durability and consistency year in and year out from the frontcourt. But like the kid with the perfect attendance record, it doesn't mean he always got the best grades. Kurt has never been more than the 3rd or 4th scoring option for the Knicks (career-best 14.0 PPG in '02-03) and has always been known to get himself into foul trouble against bigger opponents, which is largely a result of him playing out of position nearly his entire career. When Kurt Thomas retires, people outside of New York probably won't remember him too well, but those that do will likely look back and say, "ya know, Kurt Thomas had a solid career."
Grade: B

11. Portland (Milwaukee)--Gary Trent, PF, Ohio
Career Stats:
9 Years: 8.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 50.1 FG%
Career Highlights:
-Finished 3rd in Most Improved Player voting in 1999 after averaging 16.0 PPG and 7.8 RPG.
-Battled injuries in '99-00 and '00-01 for Dallas before bolting to Minnesota where he settled in as a productive bench player for 3 seasons.
-Waived by the Bulls in the Fall of this year and has yet to be picked up by a team since.
The Lowdown:
Gary "The Shaq of the Mac" Trent, always seemed like the kind of player that could have excelled if he was put into the right situation and his career per 48 minute numbers suggest this (21.2 PPG, 11.1 RPG). But after that breakout year with the Mavs in '98-99, he could not seem to stay healthy and ended up finding himself playing a bench role for the 'Wolves. Despite three straight productive seasons with Minnesota, Kevin McHale did not bring him back this season (he signed Eddie Griffin instead) and it blows my mind that no team in the league has a roster spot for a no-nonsense vet like Gary Trent. Nevertheless, Trent hasn't exactly lived up to lottery expectations throughout his career.
Grade: C+

12. Dallas--Cherokee Parks, PF, Duke
Career Stats:
9 Years: 4.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.7 BPG, 47.0 FG%
Career Highlights:
-A career-long journeyman who has played for 7 different teams in 9 seasons
-Had his best season in '97-98 for Minnesota when he averaged 7.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in 21.6 MPG
-After being released by both Miami and Golden State during last season, has yet to land with a team this year
The Lowdown:
Parks never lasted more than two seasons with any club and was only a bonafied starter for one--with the pathetic Vancouver Grizzlies in '98-99--and even then wasn't even playing half the game (23.3 MPG--a career best). Parks falls in line with a string of Duke big-men who had less-than-spectacular NBA careers--Mark Alarie, Danny Ferry, Alaa Abdelnaby, Christian Laettner, and then Cherokee himself before Elton Brand and Carlos Boozer came along and shooshed any naysayers.
Grade: D

13. Sacramento--Corliss Williamson, SF, Arkansas
Career Stats:
10 Years: 11.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 48.9 FG%
Career Highlights:
-Had his best season ever in 1997-98 after receiving his first full-time starting gig for the Kings, averaging 17.7 PPG on 49.5 FG%, 5.6 RPG, 2.9 APG--was the runner-up for the Most Improved Player Award.
-2001-02 Sixth Man of the Year
-Played for the 2003-04 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons
-Has finished in the Top 10 in FG% 3 times in his career ('01, '02, '04)
The Lowdown:
The knock on "Big Nasty" coming out of Arkansas after a stellar college career was that he was way too small to handle the four in the NBA, and his perimeter game was an embarassment for any player trying to settle in at the 3. The Kings took a shot on him because of his natural abilties and killer instinct, but nobody figured he would ever become much more than a role player in the NBA. And for the most part, people were right--but Corliss worked very hard on his game and carved a niche for himself in the league that has earned him a lot of respect throughout the years. He's spent the last 5 seasons as one of the best offensive producers off the bench, coincidentally using his size to his advantage--too strong for opposing 3s, too quick for 4s.
Grade: B

The Rest of the 1st Round

14. Boston--Eric Williams, SF, Providence
Career Stats:
10 Years: 9.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.9 SPG, 41.6 FG%, 31.8 3PT%
The Lowdown:
Williams has endured a career that has seen him go back-and-forth from the starting lineup to the bench, yet his role has remained the same nearly his entire career--a hardworking, defensive-minded forward who could put the ball in the basket when called upon. He's also known as a very positive influence in the locker room and this combined with his ability to fill the role expected of him has allowed him to enjoy a long stay in the league.
Grade: B-

15. Clippers (Denver)--Brent Barry, G, Oregon State
Career Stats:
10 Years: 10.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.3 SPG, 46.2 FG%, 40.5 3PT%, 82.0 FT%
-2nd Team All-Rookie in 1995-96
-Won the Slam Dunk Contest during the 1996 All-Star Weekend
-Led NBA in 3PT% in 2000-01
The Lowdown:
The quintessential combo guard, Barry can shoot, pass, handle the ball, and run an offense with a coach's confidence. Though he's never been a top player on any team he's played for, he quietly contributes in each aspect of the game and has earned a reputation as the kind of player that any team is lucky to have on-board.
Grade: B

16. Atlanta--Alan Henderson, PF, Indiana
Career Stats:
10 Years: 9.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 46.2 FG%
-Most Improved Player Winner in 1997-98 after averaging 14.3 PPG on 48.5 FG%, and 6.4 RPG
The Lowdown:
Henderson would also have won the Comeback Player of the Year Award in 1998 if the NBA had one after coming back from a brutal battle with pancreatis the season before. His career numbers actually exceed what most would expect, but that goes right along with playing 9 nine years in relative anonymity, aka Atlanta.
Grade: C+

17. Cleveland--Bob Sura, PG, Florida St.
Career Stats:
10 Years: 8.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.7 APG
-Narrowly missed becoming the first player since 1997 to record 3 consecutive triple-doubles when the NBA took away a rebound from him last year after he intentionally missed a lay-up in order to notch his 10th rebound.
The Lowdown:
It took nearly a decade before Sura, after battling injuries and struggling to find quality roles with respective teams, finally broke through and established himself as a legitimate NBA starting point guard. While he's probably best suited as a third guard on a playoff team, Sura showed last season in a brief stint with the Hawks (27 games, 14.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 5.3 APG) and this season with the Rockets (10.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.8 APG) that he is capable of running a team. Look for him to build on his resume as he stands as that rare NBA player that blossoms in the league beyond the age of 30.
Grade: B-

18. Detroit (Portland)--Theo Ratliff, C, Wyoming
Career Stats:
10 Years: 8.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 49.5 FG%
-2001 NBA All-Star Team
-Has finished in the top 5 in blocks in 6 different seasons (led the league in '00-01, '02-03, '03-04)
-Two-time All-Defensive 2nd Team ('98-99, '03-04)
The Lowdown:
Ratliff will certainly go down as one of the premier shotblockers of his era, and though his offensive game has hardly ever been a threat, his presence in the middle over the last decade has forced a lot of players to reconsider shooting in the vicinity of his ridiculous wingspan. Theo also deserves credit for shredding the "injury-prone" label that stuck to him for years and for being one of the NBA's model citizens in terms of sportsmanship and community relations.
Grade: A-

19. Detroit (Houston) --Randolph Childress, PG, Wake Forest
*Traded to Portland for Otis Thorpe on draft day.
Career Stats:
2 Years: 7.9 MPG, 2.4 PPG, 1.0 APG, 32.8 FG%, 27.3 3PT%, 0.9 TPG
The Lowdown:
I'm often asked "who was that other really good player on Wake Forest that played with Tim Duncan?"--the answer is Randolph Childress and that question just about sums up his NBA career--short-lived and easily forgettable. Childress was more of a shoot-first point guard and though he struggled during his brief stay in the NBA, he never really received a fair chance. He's had a successful career since in Turkey and Italy.
Grade: F

20. Chicago--Jason Caffey, F, Alabama
Career Stats:
8 Years: 7.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 48.1 G%
-Won 2 rings with the Bulls in 1996 and 1997, and also played for the 2001 Milwaukee Bucks who lost in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Lowdown:
Caffey spent 2+ years as Dennis Rodman's backup for the Bulls which often garnered him a lot of playing time with Rodman's suspensions, ejections, etc. He parlayed this gig into a starting role for Golden State (which really doesn't say much) before settling in as a disgruntled (Caffey reportedly hated playing in Milwaukee) member off the bench for the George Karl-era Bucks. Since being let go by the Bucks in 2003, he's yet to tag along with an NBA team (that's what happens when you bitch and moan AND you're hardly worth a 10-day contract).
Grade: C+

21. Phoenix (Lakers)--Michael Finley, SG, Wisconsin
Career Stats:
10 Years: 39.0 MPG, 19.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, 45.0 FG%, 36.6 3PT%, 80.9 FT%
-1st Team All-Rookie in 1995-96
-2-time NBA All-Star ('00, '01)
-Averaged 20+ PPG for 5 straight seasons ('97-98 to '01-02)
-Member of 2002 USA National Team
-Missed just 2 games in his first 6 seasons
The Lowdown:
He was the steal of the draft during an outstanding rookie season with the Suns (15.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.5 APG and a slew of highlight-worthy dunks) and still stands as the best find of the 1995 NBA draft a decade later. Finley never did quite attain superstar-status, but he's always been reliable for 20+ points, sound defense, durability, and leadership on the floor. You could argue that Michael Finley has been the prototypical model for consistency at the shooting guard position over the last 10 years.
Grade: A

22. Charlotte--George Zidek, C, UCLA
Career Stats:
3 Years: 3.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.09 BPG, 40.8 FG%
The Lowdown:
The Czech 7-footer was UCLA's big man on that 1995 Championship team, the one that was one of the most exciting college basketball teams of the last twenty years yet could not produce a single decent NBA player. Zidek certainly had the size to be an NBA center along with a soft shooting touch, but an even softer physical game which is why he's spent his professional career in Europe.
Grade: F

23. Indiana--Travis Best, PG, Georgia Tech
Career Stats:
10 Years: 7.7 PG, 3.5 APG, 0.9 SPG, 83.4 FT%
-Played in 59 playoff games with the Indiana Pacers from 1996-2001.
The Lowdown:
The Point Guard U. product has spent his NBA career as a backup and with an Assist/TO ratio close to 3, it’s safe to say he was a pretty good one. In 2001-02 and 2002-03 Best was given the chance to start for the Bulls and Heat respectively, but did little to hold down a permanent gig for an NBA team.
Grade: B-

24. Dallas (New York)--Loren Meyer, PF, Iowa St.
Career Stats:
4 Years: 14.6 MPG, 4.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.4 BPG, 43.2 FG%
The Lowdown:
Meyer was forced to miss the entire 1997-98 season while recovering from lumbar spine surgery and played just 14 games the following year before deciding to retire from the NBA. He made a comeback a couple years later and was named league MVO—of the BBL (British Basketball League). By the way—Cherokee Parks and Loren Meyer with 2 1st-round picks?! No wonder Dallas was terrible before Mark Cuban came along.
Grade: D

25. Orlando--David Vaughn, PF, Memphis
Career Stats:
4 Years: 9.8 MPG, 2.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.4 BPG, 42.2 FG%
The Lowdown:
At 6-9 240 lbs, Vaughn brought good size to the NBA, but he forgot to bring along a decent outside shot, and since his athleticism and toughness were limited, his stay in the NBA was abrupt.
Grade: F

26. Seattle--Sherell Ford, SG, Illinois-Chicago
Career Stats:
1 Year: 28 games, 3.2 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 37.5 FG%
The Lowdown:
Ford had some scoring ability, but was buried in George Karl’s doghouse for his non-existent defense and was subsequently waived after his rookie year. He’s since had a chance to travel the world having played in Grand Rapids, Yakima, Venezuela, New Jersey, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Chicago, Russia, Italy, Lebanon, Poland, Israel, Qatar, France, Germany, and Argentina.
Grade: F

27. Phoenix--Mario Bennett, PF, Arizona State
Career Stats:
4 Years: 68 games, 8.9 MPG, 4.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 53.4 FG%
The Lowdown:
A lot of people labeled Bennett as a possible steal for the Suns at #27—a lot of people were obviously way wrong.
Grade: F

28. Utah--Greg Ostertag, C, Kansas
Career Stats:
10 Years: 4.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.8 BPG
-Ranks #21 all-time in career blocks
-Played in 87 playoff games from 1996-2003 with the Utah Jazz, reaching the NBA Finals twice.
The Lowdown:
A lot of people have used Ostertag as a punchline throughout the years, but at #28 you could do a whole lot worse than a 7-2 oaf who played with a mean streak that allowed him to be effective on the defensive end.
Grade: B

29. San Antonio--Cory Alexander, PG, Virginia
Career Stats:
6 Year: 16.0 MPG, 5.6 PPG, 2.7 APG, 0.9 SPG, 39.1 FG%
The Lowdown:
Alexander was a decent backup for the Spurs before the team became just disgusting and he couldn’t quite make the cut as Avery Johnson’s backup anymore. He’s currently the top scoring threat for the Roanoke Dazzle of the NBDL.
Grade: C

Notable 2nd Rounders

34. Golden State--Andrew Declercq, PF, Florida
Career Stats:
10 Years: 4.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 50.7 FG%
The Lowdown:
Declercq has created a place for himself in the league by playing some hard-nosed basketball, and he’s actually been a starter for nearly half of his career (253 games out of 584).
Grade: B

43. Milwaukee--Eric Snow, PG, Michigan State
Career Stats:
10 Years: 7.9 PPG, 5.4 APG, 1.8 TPG, 1.3 SPG, 43.1 FG%, 21.5 3PT%
-6 Year starter for the 76ers (’98-99 to ’03-04)
-2nd Team All-Defensive in 2002-03
-Member of the 2001 Eastern Conference Champion 76ers
The Lowdown:
Nobody really thought Snow had a shot in the NBA due to his horrendous outside shot, but when you can play the kind of defense that Snow does, there’s bound to be a coach out there who will give you a fair shot. Enter Larry Brown, who Eric Snow can attribute his successful career in the NBA to. While he’s returned to a backup role with Cleveland under Paul Silas, Snow plays important minutes down the stretch and has a much better shot at winning an NBA Championship before he retires.
Grade: A-

47. Sacramento--Tyus Edney, PG, UCLA
Career Stats:
4 Years: 21.0 MPG, 7.6 PPG, 4.0 APG, 1.0 SPG,
-2nd Team All-Rookie in 1995-96
The Lowdown:
Tyus had a very solid rookie season with the Kings (10.8 PPG, 6.1 APG, 2.4 PG, 1.1 SPG) sparking some to believe that he would in fact be the steal of the 1995 NBA Draft. Of course it was all downhill from there (unlike the other UCLA draftees, where it was all downhill the minute after they cut down the nets in 1995) and Tyus lost his starting spot the following season. After being released by Boston in 1998, he fled to Europe where he’s since enjoyed tremendous success and become one of the most popular US players overseas ever.
Grade: C

52. Indiana--Fred Hoiberg, SF, Iowa State
Career Stats:
10 Years: 5.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.8 SPG, 39.4 3PT%, 85.3 FT%
-Currently leads the NBA in 3PT% in 2004-05 (53.2%)
The Lowdown:
"The Mayor" has started just 61 games in his 10 year career, but he’s seen consistent minutes as a perimeter threat off the bench for every team he’s played for. Most people know him for his shot, but he’s actually a quality defender as well.
Grade: B

2 Comments:

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Great article Paul, those must absolutely take forever. Great research finding stuff out about Loren Meyer. As usual, I had some disagreements with some of your grades which I'm certain will spark some debate. KG A+???? Are you serious??? Just kidding. Bryant Reeves C-should be a D. He sucked dude and was one of the main reasons the Grizz were so pitiful in their initial seasons. Sura B- was a bit much too. He is having a fine season now with Houston but 8.5 PPG and 3.7 APG does not seem like B material. That's like me or you getting like the short answers right on a Sandy MacMullen test and completely bombing the essay and he gives us a B-...not gonna happen. Jason Caffey C+, I'll assume that's a typo. And finally, Cory Alexander a C? Any player you can ask "is he still alive" is always in the D range. Maybe you should use that as your litmus test next time. Great job though. Can you do the Pierce and Nowitzki Draft next, thanks.

 
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