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View Full Version : Surprising Draft Information!! Praise Donnie Walsh



PacerCrazy
12-15-2004, 09:49 AM
I was bored this morning so I went through every team currently in a playoff spot and looked at their roster and made a list of the players on their team that were drafted in the top 10. If you exclude Bender who might as well be cut right now we are the ONLY team with no top 10 drafts. Here is the info!

Suns
10th J Jackson
9th Stodemire
9th Marion

Sonics
5th Allen
4 MCDaniels

Spurs
1st Duncan

Kings
1st Webber
2nd Bibby

T-Wolves
1st Olowokandi
5th Garnett
6th Szczerbiak

Mavs
2nd Bradley
3rd Stackhouse
9th Nowitzki
10th Dampier (Pacers drafted him as we all know)

Denver
1st Martin
2nd Camby
3rd Mello
7th Nene
8th Andre Miller

Lakers
4th oden
7th Mihm
8th Grant

_____

Heat
1st Shaq
5th Wade

Cavs
1st James
4th Gooden
6th Wagner
6th Traylor (Tractor)
10th L Jackson

New York
3rd Hardaway
3rd Houston
4th Marbury
7th T Thomas
8th crawford
8th V Baker
10th K Thomas

Wizards
1st K Brown
4th A Jamison
8th L hughs
9th S. Walker
10th J Hayes

Magic
1st D Howard
2nd S Francis
3rd G Hill
5th T Battie
9th S Augman

Pistons
1st D Coleman
2nd Milliac
2nd McDyess
3rd Billups
4th R Wallace
7th Rip Hamilton
10 L Hunter

Celtics
2nd G Payton
3rd R Lafrentz
1oth P Pierce

Pacers
5th Bender

Fool
12-15-2004, 10:48 AM
Why is this a good or a bad thing?

ChicagoJ
12-15-2004, 10:58 AM
It shows just how remarkable it was for DW to keep this team in the playoffs, despite rebuilding from a contending team that ran its course without ever winning a championship just a few seasons ago.

And/or it disproves the myth that lottery picks help turn teams from losers to winners. But IMO that has more to do with teams like LAC and CHI that just completely butcher a players second or third year. If the player is going to be great they showcase the player and he leaves for big bucks, and if the player is going to be less than great, they give up on him too easily and he becomes a solid contributor for a better team.

Regardless, DW has been able to draft and trade to assemble a team that, under normal circumstances, is a perennial contender even without any [important] top-10 picks.

PacerCrazy
12-15-2004, 11:02 AM
That is exactly the point I was trying to make. Nearly ever contender team has a combination of draft picks from the top ten picks. Either they drafted these players or they spent big bucks to get them on their teams. The Pacers however have been able to rebuld without the high picks and make savy trades to keep the team at the top of the pack without missing the playoffs. This may be another reason why our Pacers never recieve the national attention before the artest detriot mess that we think they deserve. The media follows the top picks from college and high school and often doesn't spend as much time putting others in the spot light.

Fool
12-15-2004, 11:12 AM
So you are saying its more impressive to win without having drafted high or traded for players who were drafted high? I don't know if I would agree with that, but I wouldn't necessarily disagree either.

PacerCrazy
12-15-2004, 11:18 AM
to draft high you have to lose a lot usually. there are afew exceptions. pacers have made the play offs for used never having a year they bombed. They haven't gone way over the cap either like New York to get a roster full of people who look good on paper! That is what this says.

ChicagoJ
12-15-2004, 11:34 AM
So you are saying its more impressive to win without having drafted high or traded for players who were drafted high? I don't know if I would agree with that, but I wouldn't necessarily disagree either.
I think you're reading too much into this. It is what it is, evidence that DW has been a shrewd evaluator of talent in order to keep this team in the playoffs every year but one (Larry Brown's last year) since 1989-90. Even Dick Versace and Isiah Thomas couldn't break that streak.

Kstat
12-15-2004, 11:40 AM
I think you're reading too much into this. It is what it is, evidence that DW has been a shrewd evaluator of talent in order to keep this team in the playoffs every year but one (Larry Brown's last year) since 1989-90. Even Dick Versace and Isiah Thomas couldn't break that streak.

Actually, since Versace STARTED the streak, I don't see how he could have broken it....

ChicagoJ
12-15-2004, 11:42 AM
Only a few of us actually knew that; now you've blown my cover. :D

DisplacedKnick
12-15-2004, 11:48 AM
I will restrain myself to this comment:

DW is a great drafter of players in the middle of the pack but NEVER ALLOW HIM A TOP-10 PICK AGAIN!!!

Fool
12-15-2004, 12:14 PM
I think you're reading too much into this. It is what it is, evidence that DW has been a shrewd evaluator of talent in order to keep this team in the playoffs every year but one (Larry Brown's last year) since 1989-90. Even Dick Versace and Isiah Thomas couldn't break that streak.


If anything I think I am not reading enough into that list to see it as supporting that fact. Now clearly what you say is a fact (as far as message board "facts" go) as the Pacers have made the playoffs all those years and you can't achieve such a thing without being good at judging talent.

However, the list doesn't cite who drafted the players on those teams (many of which are on teams that didn't draft them) and there are teams with few players that haven't been great during that stretch and teams with many players that have done pretty well during that stretch. All I am saying is I don't know if having only one guy on your team who was drafted in the top ten really makes any clear statements on the situation.

(I'm not trying to kill the topic and I definately didn't expect to have posted to it three times. Again, if you judge that the list does make a clear and pertinent statement on the topic I'm not trying to discredit you, I'm just disagreeing.)

ChicagoJ
12-15-2004, 12:51 PM
I think you and I probably agree on this - there's many more layers to this particular discussion.

For a team to consistently be a "final four" team, as the Pacers were in the 1990s, and to get back to that level with an almost-completely revamped team without ever missing the playoffs... that's impressive.

Look at the Pacers peers, final four teams, over the past couple of decades. Boston, post Larry Bird, had a long drought. Detroit, post Joe Dumars, had a shorter drought then won another title. Between Magic and Shaq, LA briefly fell out of the playoffs before winning more championships. NY briefly fell out of the playoffs after Patrick and is not yet a contender. Same for Houston, post-Hakeem. San Antonio went to the WCFs with Bo Hill, then had all those injuries, drafted Duncan, and haven't looked back. That's an unusual exception. Seattle, Phoenix and Orlando have had stretches as bad teams, and haven't been contenders since (although, in Phoenix's case, they could be a contender soon). Utah, NJ, Philly and Portland have fallen. The Kings are at the tail end of their run so who knows how far they'll fall?

Ultimately, however, I'd rather have two rings, a drought in which I miss the playoffs, and then a third ring. So like you, I think the risk here is in overstating this accomplishment. As we tend to say around the office, "interesting, yet meaningless."

Reggie4Three
12-15-2004, 12:54 PM
Donnie Walsh moves that gets us to where we're at today (not necessarily in chronological order)

1. Drafting Reggie Miller
2. Drafting Dale Davis
3. Hiring Larry Brown
4. Trading for Jalen Rose
5. Hiring Larry Bird (coach)
6. Drafting Al Harrington
7. Trading Dale for JO
8. Drafting Tinsley
9. Trading Jalen for Artest and Miller
10. Drafting AD and trading him for Bender (or #5 pick)
11. Extending Foster, Artest, and Bender at the same time
12. Letting one Miller go and keeping the other one.
13. Hiring IT, Bird (GM), firing IT without losing JO
14. Drafting Fred Jones
15. Drafting Scott Haskins
16. Hiring Rick Carlisle (Bird?)
17. Drafting Harrison
18. Drafting/resigning Croshere

Those are the big ones right off the top of my head. I'm sure if you want to get technical you could argue that signing Byron Scott or trading for Derrick McKey helped get them to where they are today too.

At any rate, in terms of player moves, I think the trade for Rose followed by the subsequent trade of Rose while his value was high was his best move. If I remember right we gave up very little in the trade to get Rose and we turned that into Artest and Brad Miller. Of course right now we have neither so you can say that it has blown up in our faces in the form of Artest. Even at that, I bet we could give Toronto Artest for Rose right now and they would take it.

Obviously, the Dale Davis for JO trade was the other big one. To me, that one was more of a no-brainer. We just went to the finals, Smits retires, and Jackson is looking to go elsewhere. Slowly, DW sees he can't keep that team together and all of a sudden Dale Davis demands a trade. You see a young, talented 7-0 footer at the end of a deep Portland roster and offer up Dale to them. Assuming we were already in quasi-rebuilding mode, I think 9 of 10 GM's do that trade.

We have had a few steals in the draft in Tinsley, Reggie, AD. We have potential good picks in Fred Jones and David Harrison. We have had busts in Haskins and Bender (yes, for a #5 pick I'm going to use the word "bust" for him). We've had picks that might be about on target for where they were picked, such as Dale Davis and maybe Croshere. In other words, I think we've been all over the board with our draft picks. I think the trades have been the feather in DW's cap.

You might point out the trade for Bender as one that didn't work out. I say this is essentially the same trade as the trade for JO. Both involved a Davis that wanted to leave for other opportunities. Both involved us getting a player that went straight from high school to the NBA in exchange for a known, but solid, commodity. The JO trade has worked out better than the Bender trade, but willingness of Walsh to pull that type of deal is brilliant in hindsight because even if you bat .500 on one of them becoming a superstar, you're far ahead.

tseramid
12-15-2004, 12:56 PM
Another way of looking at this is that we generally keep our guys and develop them instead of signing FAs or trading for those who happened to be high draft picks, which most of the teams that hover around the top have done a lot of.

The way you look at this list is turn it around slightly. Look at the list of 1st round picks over the course of the past 10-15 years by the Pacers and there are very few that have become complete duds. Those that had have been are mostly due to injuries.

We draft well for the position, but we also apparently have a strong system in place to nurture these players to bring out the best that they have to offer. We also have had the incredible luxury to take our time with the players, such as Croshere, Bender, Foster, Fred Jones, James Jones and others to let them develop without having too much pressure being put on them right off of the top. I guess you could call this something like redshirting the player. They come back fresh and hungry the next year instead of humiliated and thrown away.

BigDawg44
12-15-2004, 02:16 PM
no kidding, I mean, when we traded D. Davis for JO, i was not displeased, but i by no means did i think we had an MVP canidate! I knew that we had gotten a player who could contribute, but now that I look at the trade, this has got to be one of the top trades in NBA history. Donnie is a freakin GENIOUS!

Bball
12-15-2004, 03:24 PM
I think you and I probably agree on this - there's many more layers to this particular discussion.


Ultimately, however, I'd rather have two rings, a drought in which I miss the playoffs, and then a third ring. So like you, I think the risk here is in overstating this accomplishment. As we tend to say around the office, "interesting, yet meaningless."

It could be argued what a great job he's done to get the Pacers into the playoffs and beyond so many times OR it could be argued he's never really been able/willing to make the final move to get the team over the hump.

-Bball

stipo
12-15-2004, 03:44 PM
It could be argued what a great job he's done to get the Pacers into the playoffs and beyond so many times OR it could be argued he's never really been able/willing to make the final move to get the team over the hump.

-Bball
I tend to believe DW's done a good job. I don't know how many of you read the article I saw recently about the meddling Mark Cuban. It basically took the stance of saying that stability is one of the keys for success ( a core group of players staying together for a number of years.) Unless you trade for a top flight player, I think familiarity and developing of players is a good avenue to take.

Los Angeles
12-15-2004, 04:03 PM
I think the only thing that you can get from this info is that Donnie doesn't like to trade for draft picks. He prefers even a little experience over the unknown. I can't say if that's a good or bad strategy, but it seems to be his calling card.

The true testament to his abilities as a GM came in the 00-01 season. He completely dismantled a conference champion team from the players to the coaches and the new team still made the playoffs. Unbelievable.

Maybe it was the Indy crowd's conditioning of being used to winning, but people around the country were awe-struck that that team could make some noise. I personally had fears of Chicago-dom haunting me.

DrBadd01
12-15-2004, 05:36 PM
Wasn't Croshere a top 10 pick?

fwpacerfan
12-16-2004, 08:55 AM
It could be argued what a great job he's done to get the Pacers into the playoffs and beyond so many times OR it could be argued he's never really been able/willing to make the final move to get the team over the hump.

-Bball

Your comment reminds me of a friend of mine who's a huge Steelers fan. He has complained for the last 10 years that Cowher should be fired because he hasn't won the Super Bowl. I tell him that he should enjoy the 6 AFC championship games Cowher has led them to after the Steeler's front office consistently revamps the team. He won't hear of it. He says they should've won a couple of Super Bowls by now.

DW has done a phenominal job of keeping this team in the playoffs. This year is a good example of how good Walsh is. ANY other team in the NBA would have been completely devastated if their top 3 players were suspended and 6 of their top 7 players were out at the same time. Because of the depth and the talent DW has accumlated WITHOUT a lottery pick is unbelievable. Look at who has been helping this team survive - Croshere (his contract doesn't seem so bad to me right now), Freddie, James Jones, Jamal Tinsley (I'm sure glad Walsh didn't listen to many around here who wanted him gone), Eddie Gill, David Harrison (he looks like a potential 15/10 guy very soon). I think that Walsh has a great ability to look at the long term picture and looking at making moves that will help the immediate future and NOT hurting the long term goals of the organization.

DisplacedKnick
12-16-2004, 09:28 AM
I think that Walsh has a great ability to look at the long term picture and looking at making moves that will help the immediate future and NOT hurting the long term goals of the organization.

That's always the DW argument isn't it? That if he had to make a risky move that might put his team over the top but could damage their long-term prospects he'll take the long-term view every time.

Frex, DW would never take on a deal to get Michael Redd for a 60-game rental, such as Dumars did with Rasheed last year - not if it would cost him something substantial - say Freddie.

The other argument could be that having talent such as Freddie, JJ, etc., that can't break into the lineup is a waste and it should be dealt for an impact player who may put you over the top.

Doesn't make him anything but a very good GM BTW - but it may clash with what some fans want.

But if you folks ever get REALLY sick of him, I'd offer a trade ...

ChicagoJ
12-16-2004, 01:22 PM
Your comment reminds me of a friend of mine who's a huge Steelers fan. He has complained for the last 10 years that Cowher should be fired because he hasn't won the Super Bowl. I tell him that he should enjoy the 6 AFC championship games Cowher has led them to after the Steeler's front office consistently revamps the team. He won't hear of it. He says they should've won a couple of Super Bowls by now.
For the record, we've only played in four AFC Championship games under Cowher - 1994, 1995, 1997, and 2001. Although I believe we've been the host team for all four of those, so going 1-3 is, IMO, the only blemish on Cowher's record. Cowher had six AFC Central titles (and now two AFC North titles). IMO, for the reasons you mentioned and also Cowher's personality, which I love, I think he's the best coach in all professional sports today.

But we *should* have at least three more Super Bowl rings. The team we had the year before the famous Colts game was freakin' awesome, with a healthy Rod Woodson - I believe that was the season that no quarterback attempted a single pass against Rod, but that could've been 1993 when he was the league's Defensive MVP - Greg Lloyd in his prime, Blitzburgh, Neil O'Donnell leadng a ball-control offense and Barry Foster running over people. As Bill Cowher's daughter told him the night of *that* AFC Championship game, after Junior Seau played the best single game I've ever seen a linebacker have, he should've given the ball to Foster on the three yard line in the last minute. "Three More Yards". :(

Then you've got Neil O'Donnell, the career leader in lowest interception percentage, throwing the ball to the Cowboys' secondary twice in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl game that was very winnable. :mad:

And the 2001 team - well if Dick LeBeau was the defensive coordinator that season, I don't think New England nor anyone else would've beaten them. :o

Alas, I seem to be stuck with two teams that have been consistently among the very best/ most competitive teams in thier leagues for a long time, but are still riddled with zero championships during that period. :banghead:

PacersandIU
12-16-2004, 11:08 PM
DW is probably the best GM in the league hands down. He makes good decisions for the team and by hiring Bird you know we have an amazing GM in the making. When DW quits we won't miss a beat, because Larry will have been eased into the situation instead of just being thrown to the dogs. Which is just another example of how DW shows he's one of the best CEO/GMs in the league.

Doug
12-16-2004, 11:11 PM
Praise him with great praise!



That would have been funnier if Stryder posted it.

fwpacerfan
12-17-2004, 08:19 AM
For the record, we've only played in four AFC Championship games under Cowher - 1994, 1995, 1997, and 2001. Although I believe we've been the host team for all four of those, so going 1-3 is, IMO, the only blemish on Cowher's record. Cowher had six AFC Central titles (and now two AFC North titles). IMO, for the reasons you mentioned and also Cowher's personality, which I love, I think he's the best coach in all professional sports today.

But we *should* have at least three more Super Bowl rings. The team we had the year before the famous Colts game was freakin' awesome, with a healthy Rod Woodson - I believe that was the season that no quarterback attempted a single pass against Rod, but that could've been 1993 when he was the league's Defensive MVP - Greg Lloyd in his prime, Blitzburgh, Neil O'Donnell leadng a ball-control offense and Barry Foster running over people. As Bill Cowher's daughter told him the night of *that* AFC Championship game, after Junior Seau played the best single game I've ever seen a linebacker have, he should've given the ball to Foster on the three yard line in the last minute. "Three More Yards". :(

Then you've got Neil O'Donnell, the career leader in lowest interception percentage, throwing the ball to the Cowboys' secondary twice in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl game that was very winnable. :mad:

And the 2001 team - well if Dick LeBeau was the defensive coordinator that season, I don't think New England nor anyone else would've beaten them. :o

Alas, I seem to be stuck with two teams that have been consistently among the very best/ most competitive teams in thier leagues for a long time, but are still riddled with zero championships during that period. :banghead:


My point to my friend (and you) is: Would you rather be a Steelers/Pacers fan who wins and makes the playoffs and has a really good shot of getting to the final game/series or would you rather be a Bengals/Clippers fan who has a very slim chance of a winning season or even making the playoffs? I would rather have my teams compete and give me a very good season than I would have the draft day be the highlight of my sports year!

Fool
12-17-2004, 08:33 AM
But thats an easy (and uninteresting) question. You are basically asking, "Would you rather have a good team or a bad team?" No one wants a bad team. The more interesting question is the one asked earlier in this thread. Would you rather have a team that has won it all but then been bad as well or would you rather have the steady "almost there" winning but never have won one?

ChicagoJ
12-17-2004, 10:06 AM
fw, fool,

Gotta say that fw's most recent version of the question is a no-brainer...

But the original question is one I struggle with the answer to. Clearly, I'd prefer a team that wins a championship at least occasionally but is always a contender.

As much as I love attending NBA playoff games, and I keep thinking about how miserable I was in 1995-96 and 2000-01 through 2002-03; our recent first-round losses (I'm not even mentioning the season we do not discuss) - I might just vote for the steady contender that gives me a chance every season.

That is NOT my final answer. (But it might be.)

fwpacerfan
12-17-2004, 10:20 AM
But thats an easy (and uninteresting) question. You are basically asking, "Would you rather have a good team or a bad team?" No one wants a bad team. The more interesting question is the one asked earlier in this thread. Would you rather have a team that has won it all but then been bad as well or would you rather have the steady "almost there" winning but never have won one?

Of course it's an easy answer, that's the point. The other question I'm asking is 'why are you complaining? Things could be much worse.' I think everyone (except my friend who is very pig-headed at times :laugh: ) would agree that rooting for a contender is much more palapable.

ChicagoJ
12-17-2004, 10:28 AM
Yeah, but I really like complaining about my contenders that don't win it all.

:blush:

As Jay's_Dad@Section204 says to me all the time (and BillS borrowed this for his sig for a while, two platforms ago): "You're only happy with the Pacers when you're not happy with the Pacers."

fwpacerfan
12-17-2004, 10:33 AM
Yeah, but I really like complaining about my contenders that don't win it all.

:blush:

As Jay's_Dad@Section204 says to me all the time (and BillS borrowed this for his sig for a while, two platforms ago): "You're only happy with the Pacers when you're not happy with the Pacers."

Yeah Jay - if my friend lived in Chicago I would think you guys were the same person! :)

Fool
12-17-2004, 11:08 AM
If you don't complain about never winning the big one, even while supporting a team that wins the small ones so consistently, then you might as well go be a fan of the team that never wins anything. Because it doesn't mean enough to you.

(thats my TNT, dramatic answer)