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Thread: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

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    Default Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago


    Sam Smith, Chicago Tribune, draft review:
    1. Orlando, Dwight Howard. "Big mistake. ... Is he Kwame Brown? One thing's for sure, he's no Kevin Garnett."


    2. Charlotte, Emeka Okafor. "This isn't fair. 15 minutes in league and they already have better player than anyone on Bulls. ... Could be one of best defensive players to come into NBA in years."


    Postscript: Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008-09 NBA defensive player of the year ... Dwight Howard!


    Jeff Jacobs, Hartford Courant:

    The fact Okafor is a man and Howard is still a boy is not the reason the Magic will regret this night in 10 years. The NBA draft has become a futures market of high schoolers and unknown foreigners and, by that 21st-century yardstick, the Magic's great mistake is their failure to realize how much Okafor will still improve. Their failure is they have underestimated Okafor's unparalleled will to improve.

    Postscript: Okafor was the NBA's rookie of the year after averaging 15.1 points and 10.9 rebounds. He hasn't reached those averages in any season since, save for one year with 11.3 rebounds.

    Jenna Fryer, Associated Press:
    A crowd of 10,000 fans at the Charlotte Coliseum erupted in cheers when Orlando selected Howard and it was clear Okafor would wear orange next season and represent the NBA's newest team.


    Postscript: And that's the last time anyone has seen 10,000 people gathered to watch the NBA in Charlotte.


    http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_12491669

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    I love these kinds of posts! Is there anything better than hindsight?
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Dicky V. also was railing against the Magic pick.

    The fact is the "safe pick" is often times a huge mistake. I always, always, always want the Pacers to pick who they believe will be the best player (that is still available) in 5 years. And if that means that we will occassionally draft a Jonathon Bender - I have no problem with that. And that is why I have never criticized the Pacers for drafting Bender - or I maybe should say the idea the concept of drafting Bender. I would rather gamble and lose on getting Dwight Howard then be safe and take Okafor.

    The other thing I always say - I don't care if you have 3 allstar point guards on your roster - if the best player on the draft board is a point guard - take him. I never believe in drafting for need. (obviously if you have what you think are two even players - then you can draft on need)

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I never believe in drafting for need. (obviously if you have what you think are two even players - then you can draft on need)
    But what if they play the same position ??

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Haha, I remember this. Looks like Orlando made the right move.

    The college-biased guys like Vitale and Bilas were pimping Okafor as the number one pick leading up to draft day. I guess that's not surprising since they spend so much time analyzing obsessing over college basketball. It had to be unfathomable to them that a high school kid could be better than the guy who just led his team to the NCAA title.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Dicky V. also was railing against the Magic pick.

    The fact is the "safe pick" is often times a huge mistake. I always, always, always want the Pacers to pick who they believe will be the best player (that is still available) in 5 years. And if that means that we will occassionally draft a Jonathon Bender - I have no problem with that. And that is why I have never criticized the Pacers for drafting Bender - or I maybe should say the idea the concept of drafting Bender. I would rather gamble and lose on getting Dwight Howard then be safe and take Okafor.

    The other thing I always say - I don't care if you have 3 allstar point guards on your roster - if the best player on the draft board is a point guard - take him. I never believe in drafting for need. (obviously if you have what you think are two even players - then you can draft on need)
    Agreed. You take who you think will be the best player 4-5 years from when you're taking him. You shouldn't draft simply based on how much a draft pick is going to help you his rookie season.

    The vast majority of draftees in the league will make no noticable impact in their rookie seasons. Even the older ones with more college experience usually don't do a heckuva lot their rookie years.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Not that it's really relevant anymore, but I think a lot of people are just biased against high school players. These guys seemed to take it personally that the Magic would dare to select Howard over Okafor, and it makes sense on some level. Okafor was the country's most celebrater college player that year, leading his team to the championship. None of the general public had ever really even seen Howard play (save for some highlights here or there). I think the bias exists in part for 2 reasons:


    1) people may interpret it as an affront to college sports, that some kid from high school could challenge the premier college player (and lots of people just -revere- college athletes)

    2) it sort of removes the public's (and this includes everyone but scouts) ability to play along. How are any of us really supposed to know how some 17 (or w/e) year old kid is going to develop in the NBA? We haven't watched him play at all. So the time we spend getting to know these kids in college (from a basketball standpoint) becomes somewhat meaningless because really the best player is some young kid playing in a different league.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Good thread.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    To be honest, at the time, I thought they should've taken Okafor. If the high school thing had any impact on my thought, it may have been simply because of the recent Kwame experience, but I thought Okafor would be better.

    Oh, well...won't be the last time I'm wrong.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The other thing I always say - I don't care if you have 3 allstar point guards on your roster - if the best player on the draft board is a point guard - take him. I never believe in drafting for need. (obviously if you have what you think are two even players - then you can draft on need)
    Should the Houston Rockets have drafted Michael Jordan over Hakeem Olajuwon? Two HOF players, but you'd have to say MJ was better. I strongly agree with your philosophy, this is the one exception I could think of, and maybe Dream & MJ are close enough to not count as an exception.

    One think is clear, the Blazers should have taken MJ over Sam Bowie, no matter how much they were happy with Clyde Drexler as their SG!

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by pacertom View Post
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    Should the Houston Rockets have drafted Michael Jordan over Hakeem Olajuwon? Two HOF players, but you'd have to say MJ was better. I strongly agree with your philosophy, this is the one exception I could think of, and maybe Dream & MJ are close enough to not count as an exception.

    One think is clear, the Blazers should have taken MJ over Sam Bowie, no matter how much they were happy with Clyde Drexler as their SG!
    I always thought the Olajuwon pick made sense, but the Bowie pick didn't. I definitely think Jordan ended up being the better player, but everybody (IMO) comes up short when compared to Jordan. You could go either way, but Houston went for the the potentially (and eventually) great big man, and that's an easy-to-understand temptation...and, of course, they reached the NBA finals just two seasons later, falling to one of the all-time great teams: the 86 Celtics.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    FWIW, I thought Howard was the right pick by Orlando.

    I did however, expect Okafor to be a better player than he's turned out. Don't get me wrong, the guy is a very good NBA player. He's a double double guy and he's excellent defensively, but where the Hartford Courant guy was clearly wrong was that Okafor was actually much closer to his ceiling coming out of UCONN than he had realized.

    Okafor is a very good kid and he's worked very hard, but he's just never really developed an offensive game to be a top flight bigman. He spent a lot of time with Hakeem working out offensive moves in the post during the offseason, yet he's really not much better of an offensive player than when he first came into the league.

    It's ultimately about talent. There's a lot of good character guys who work hard on their games but still there are aspects of their game that don't develop. Okafor is an example of that. Guy is an excellent player and I'll have him on my team anyday, but realize he's basically the same player now as when he came out of college.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    FWIW, I thought Howard was the right pick by Orlando.

    I did however, expect Okafor to be a better player than he's turned out. Don't get me wrong, the guy is a very good NBA player. He's a double double guy and he's excellent defensively, but where the Hartford Courant guy was clearly wrong was that Okafor was actually much closer to his ceiling coming out of UCONN than he had realized.

    Okafor is a very good kid and he's worked very hard, but he's just never really developed an offensive game to be a top flight bigman. He spent a lot of time with Hakeem working out offensive moves in the post during the offseason, yet he's really not much better of an offensive player than when he first came into the league.

    It's ultimately about talent. There's a lot of good character guys who work hard on their games but still there are aspects of their game that don't develop. Okafor is an example of that. Guy is an excellent player and I'll have him on my team anyday, but realize he's basically the same player now as when he came out of college.
    I agree with this, but also don't forget that what hurt his early development was a really bad ankle injury- maybe he lost some explosion as a result.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The other thing I always say - I don't care if you have 3 allstar point guards on your roster - if the best player on the draft board is a point guard - take him. I never believe in drafting for need. (obviously if you have what you think are two even players - then you can draft on need)
    I'd be okay with this if the team would then turn around and trade two of the allstar PGs to round out its roster. Or use that PG to trade down to get the player that makes your team better. You are right that it would be a mistake to pass over the PG in your example, but that doesn't mean you are bringing him to training camp.

    You are advocating the draft as a collection of assets. But basketball is a team game in which you piece together a roster to perform better than a collection of individuals. You must balance "drafting for need" with "drafting the best player available."

    That's why - for all of Shade's ranting about Bayless - I ignored him because I thought Rush and Jack - mature, winners, leaders, very solid basketball players - were the perfect way to trade down when Bayless fell to us. And for "need", I do agree that it isn't for next season's need. Rush and Jack were brought in to be the future starting backcourt, not necessarily the immediate starting backcourt. Although, by the end of the season, that is what we had and those two guys had a lot to do with a late-season playoff push.
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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I'd be okay with this if the team would then turn around and trade two of the allstar PGs to round out its roster. Or use that PG to trade down to get the player that makes your team better. You are right that it would be a mistake to pass over the PG in your example, but that doesn't mean you are bringing him to training camp.

    You are advocating the draft as a collection of assets. But basketball is a team game in which you piece together a roster to perform better than a collection of individuals. You must balance "drafting for need" with "drafting the best player available."

    That's why - for all of Shade's ranting about Bayless - I ignored him because I thought Rush and Jack - mature, winners, leaders, very solid basketball players - were the perfect way to trade down when Bayless fell to us. And for "need", I do agree that it isn't for next season's need. Rush and Jack were brought in to be the future starting backcourt, not necessarily the immediate starting backcourt. Although, by the end of the season, that is what we had and those two guys had a lot to do with a late-season playoff push.

    Couldn't say it better than that.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I'd be okay with this if the team would then turn around and trade two of the allstar PGs to round out its roster. Or use that PG to trade down to get the player that makes your team better. You are right that it would be a mistake to pass over the PG in your example, but that doesn't mean you are bringing him to training camp.

    You are advocating the draft as a collection of assets. But basketball is a team game in which you piece together a roster to perform better than a collection of individuals. You must balance "drafting for need" with "drafting the best player available."

    That's why - for all of Shade's ranting about Bayless - I ignored him because I thought Rush and Jack - mature, winners, leaders, very solid basketball players - were the perfect way to trade down when Bayless fell to us. And for "need", I do agree that it isn't for next season's need. Rush and Jack were brought in to be the future starting backcourt, not necessarily the immediate starting backcourt. Although, by the end of the season, that is what we had and those two guys had a lot to do with a late-season playoff push.
    I think the draft is still more for asset building than anything else. Piecing together a roster that fits together is where trades come in, and that's what GMs win the Executive Of the Year award for. It's almost always for a trade/trades they've made and not a draft pick.

    Taking a look at the top contenders for the past few years, they've either been hitting the jackpot with the no brainer #1 overall picks or they've been making trades with the assets they've built up (Boston/Miami are good examples of that).

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    I think the important thing about the draft is to figure out how to take what it can give you, rather than trying to force what you need out of it. d_c is right...trades are where you shape the roster and target needs.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    You are advocating the draft as a collection of assets. But basketball is a team game in which you piece together a roster to perform better than a collection of individuals. You must balance "drafting for need" with "drafting the best player available."

    I realize I am using as extreme example here, but I bet the Blazers wish they had decided to use the draft as a way to collect a bunch of assets when they decided to pass on Jordan. Really I think that is exactly what the draft is for.

    I think you always take the best player available, doing anything other than that will hurt a team in the long run.

    Look at the pacers in the late 80's and early 90's. They collected a few assets, Smits, Wayman, Person, Reggie, Kellogg, Herb Williams - but that as a group wasn't a very good team (I realize I am being very liberal with my application here as far as who played with who and when) but the Pacers didn't become a very good team until they molded the roster with players like McKey, Workman, Byron Scott, Mark Jackson. The only players that were drafted that "fit" perfectly were Dale and Antonio (although AD was twop years later) But if you look back at that draft Dale was an excellent pick - it isn't like we passed Kobe to take a fit player such as Dale.


    Look at the two teams in the Finals - you have Howard and Kobe (although Kobe was a draft day deal) that were drafted, but almost all the other complimentary players were acquired by trades.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 06-02-2009 at 01:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    FWIW, I thought Howard was the right pick by Orlando.

    I did however, expect Okafor to be a better player than he's turned out. Don't get me wrong, the guy is a very good NBA player. He's a double double guy and he's excellent defensively, but where the Hartford Courant guy was clearly wrong was that Okafor was actually much closer to his ceiling coming out of UCONN than he had realized.

    Okafor is a very good kid and he's worked very hard, but he's just never really developed an offensive game to be a top flight bigman. He spent a lot of time with Hakeem working out offensive moves in the post during the offseason, yet he's really not much better of an offensive player than when he first came into the league.

    It's ultimately about talent. There's a lot of good character guys who work hard on their games but still there are aspects of their game that don't develop. Okafor is an example of that. Guy is an excellent player and I'll have him on my team anyday, but realize he's basically the same player now as when he came out of college.
    What were you basing that on? I thought Okafor was going to be really good but I didn't know if he was going to be better than Howard simply because I had never watched Howard play. Not to mention that you never know with these high schoolers. I mean, how could you say that?

    I thought it was one hell of a risk - especially just a few years removed from Kwame Brown, who had looked just as impressive in high school IIRC. It was a tough pick, especially with such a great big man on the board as Okafor. Was the risk/reward of Howard worth missing out on Okafor? I thought no. I don't remember that many people disagreeing with that and even if they were, what could they possibly be basing that on in June of 2004? It's not like Okafor flopped - he was the Rookie of the Year.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    What were you basing that on? I thought Okafor was going to be really good but I didn't know if he was going to be better than Howard simply because I had never watched Howard play. Not to mention that you never know with these high schoolers. I mean, how could you say that?

    I thought it was one hell of a risk - especially just a few years removed from Kwame Brown, who had looked just as impressive in high school IIRC. It was a tough pick, especially with such a great big man on the board as Okafor. Was the risk/reward of Howard worth missing out on Okafor? I thought no. I don't remember that many people disagreeing with that and even if they were, what could they possibly be basing that on in June of 2004? It's not like Okafor flopped - he was the Rookie of the Year.
    My only point in this thread is I would rather swing for a homerun and strikeout occassionally with a Kwame Brown, with the hope that you hit a homerum some of the time and get a Dwight Howard, then to take the safe sure thing such as Wally, Okafor, Battier. Reason being you don't win with Battier, Okafor, Wally being your best player - but you do with Howard.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 06-02-2009 at 01:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    My only point in this thread is I would rather swing for a homerun and strike occassionally with a Kwame Brown, with the hope that you hit a homerum some of the time and get a Dwight Howard, then to take the safe sure thing such as Wally, Okafor, Battier. Reason being you don't win with Battier, Okafor, Wally being your best player - but you do with Howard.

    Adam Dunn, is that you?

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    What were you basing that on? I thought Okafor was going to be really good but I didn't know if he was going to be better than Howard simply because I had never watched Howard play. Not to mention that you never know with these high schoolers. I mean, how could you say that?

    I thought it was one hell of a risk - especially just a few years removed from Kwame Brown, who had looked just as impressive in high school IIRC. It was a tough pick, especially with such a great big man on the board as Okafor. Was the risk/reward of Howard worth missing out on Okafor? I thought no. I don't remember that many people disagreeing with that and even if they were, what could they possibly be basing that on in June of 2004? It's not like Okafor flopped - he was the Rookie of the Year.
    Any draft pick is a risk, but Howard had everything going for him, based on his talent, physical attributes, family background and character. And you simply can't base your pick on what happened with some other guy with some other team 3 years prior. You can't let that control what you do.

    As for Kwame, realize that the guys picked around him were every bit as risky: Curry, Chandler and Gasol.

    Guys picked after this group like Shane Battier and Jason Richardson obviously turned into very solid players, but you can't spend the #1 pick on guys like that (you can't build a team around good but not great wing players). Doesn't work that way.

    As for Okafor, I thought he'd be good but I also saw some limitations in his game even in college. He had decent size for his position, but he wasn't a freak and he always seemed a bit mechanical offensively. I still thought he'd be better than he turned out offensively.

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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    That's why - for all of Shade's ranting about Bayless - I ignored him because I thought Rush and Jack - mature, winners, leaders, very solid basketball players - were the perfect way to trade down when Bayless fell to us. And for "need", I do agree that it isn't for next season's need. Rush and Jack were brought in to be the future starting backcourt, not necessarily the immediate starting backcourt. Although, by the end of the season, that is what we had and those two guys had a lot to do with a late-season playoff push.
    Technically, the "pick" was Bayless... the (hypothetically) highest talent left on the board. We drafted Bayless to accrue the asset, not because we wanted him to play for us.

    We just traded him quickly, is all.
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    Default Re: Some Okafor vs. Howard quotes from 5 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Technically, the "pick" was Bayless... the (hypothetically) highest talent left on the board. We drafted Bayless to accrue the asset, not because we wanted him to play for us.

    We just traded him quickly, is all.
    Agreed, and that's my point. I think those of you that are trying to nitpick at my post are proving my point. Take the best player available to you AND THEN make another decision about whether to keep the draft pick or keep your experienced player. Be very careful, however, about bringing both of them to camp to compete with each other. Don't stockpile for the sake of stockpiling.

    What should Portland have done with our pick from the terrible Tom Owens trade? Draft Bowie?? Heck no. Draft Jordan and figure out which player (Jordan or Drexler) to keep, and then trade Drexler before training camp starts for a C. Imagine a lineup of Porter, Jordan, Kersey, Uncle Cliff, Buck, and Duckworth.
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