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Thread: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

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    Default Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    It's article's like this that make Chad Ford one of my favorite reads. I love this way of drafting!
    -----------------------------
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft...e=Tiers-090617

    Originally Published: June 17, 2009
    Ranking draft prospects by tiers


    By Chad Ford
    ESPN.com
    Archive


    Every time I put up a new mock draft (Mock Draft 5.0 came out Tuesday), I get a lot of feedback from readers who wonder how I put it together and how it differs from the Top 100.

    This is how it works: Both pieces are reported pieces. In other words, I talk with NBA scouts and executives to get a sense of:

    A. Which teams like which players (mock draft).

    B. What the consensus is among all 30 NBA teams about who the best players in the draft are (Top 100).

    I use the word "consensus" lightly. Often, even GMs and scouts employed by the same team can't agree on rankings of players.

    "I fight with my scouts constantly," one prominent GM told me last year. "Everyone has their own ideas, their own preferences, their own methodology. There really is no consensus, and, I hate to say it, I'm not sure there's even any real right or wrong."

    Obviously, both pieces are imperfect because the draft is an inexact science. NBA teams do more than watch prospects play games. They work out players, give them psychological tests, do background checks and conduct personal interviews. All of this factors into the process and can change opinions.

    Factor in the ranking wars with another age-old debate -- do you draft for need or for the best player available? -- and it's no surprise the draft can be so volatile. Many teams take into account holes at certain positions (i.e., the team has no small forward) or coaching/system preferences (i.e., the Jazz draft players who can fit into coach Jerry Sloan's system) when making their decisions.

    To make sense of disparate rankings and debates over team needs, last year I chronicled a draft ranking system employed by several teams that have been very successful in the draft, what I call a tier system. Instead of developing an exact order from one to 60 of the best players in the draft, these teams group players, based on overall talent, into tiers. Then, the teams rank the players in each tier based on team need.

    This system allows teams to draft not only the best player available, but also the player who best fits a team's individual needs.

    So what do the tiers look like this year? After talking to several GMs and scouts whose teams employ this system, I put together these tiers. (Because the teams do not want to divulge their draft rankings publicly, the teams will remain anonymous.)

    Players are listed alphabetically in each tier.

    Tier 1

    Blake Griffin
    Note: Not only is Griffin the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft, but he seems to be a mile ahead of the next prospect in the draft. This is the first time we've had just one person in this, or any, tier.

    Tier 2

    James Harden
    Ricky Rubio
    Hasheem Thabeet Note: Virtually every team I spoke with has these three players in the top five, regardless of team needs. A few teams argued Rubio should have this tier all to himself and Thabeet and Harden should be in Tier 3, but the majority saw all three in this tier.


    Tier 3

    Stephen Curry
    DeMar DeRozan
    Tyreke Evans
    Jonny Flynn
    Jordan Hill
    Jrue Holiday Note: It was pretty easy to get consensus for Tier 3. Virtually every team I spoke with had all these players here. A few teams had Hill in Tier 2, and two teams had Brandon Jennings in this tier. But for the most part, this is pretty set and why a number of GMs say this draft really goes 10 deep. The Nets' Rod Thorn obviously is hoping someone from Tier 4 will creep up and push someone from Tier 3 down.

    Tier 4

    DeJuan Blair
    Earl Clark
    Austin Daye
    Tyler Hansbrough
    Gerald Henderson
    Brandon Jennings
    James Johnson
    Ty Lawson
    Eric Maynor
    B.J. Mullens
    DaJuan Summers
    Jeff Teague
    Terrence Williams
    Sam Young Note: This is a huge tier and shows the parity in the draft. Theoretically, teams are saying you can get the same quality of player at 11 that you will get at 24. This is where the real depth of the draft is. A few players like Blair, Clark, Hansbrough, Henderson, Jennings, Johnson, Teague and Williams were unanimous selections. Summers was borderline between here and Tier 5.

    Tier 5

    Derrick Brown
    Chase Budinger
    DeMarre Carroll
    Omri Casspi
    Darren Collison
    Toney Douglas
    Wayne Ellington
    Taj Gibson
    Patrick Mills
    Jeff Pendergraph Note: This is what I would call the first-round bubble group and where the consensus really started to break down. A number of teams had Budinger in Tier 4, but not quite enough for him to make the cut. Carroll, Gibson and Pendergraph were borderline picks here. Every one of these players dropped out of the top 30 on at least one NBA team's draft board.

    Tier 6

    Jon Brockman
    Victor Claver
    Nando De Colo
    Danny Green
    Jonas Jerebko
    Jermaine Taylor
    Marcus Thornton
    Note: If you do the math, 41 players are on the list. Why 41 guys for 30 slots? I included in Tier 6 every player a team told me was in its top 30. All of these guys got one vote, with the exception of Jerebko, who had two.
    So how does the tier system work?
    A team ranks players in each tier according to team need. So, in Tier 3, if swingman is the biggest need, DeMar DeRozan is ranked No. 1. If power forward is the biggest need, Jordan Hill is ranked No. 1.
    Here's an example:

    TEAM A
    Needs:
    1. PG
    2. SG
    3. PF
    4. C
    5. SF Tier 3
    1. Stephen Curry
    2. Tyreke Evans
    3. Jonny Flynn
    4. Jrue Holiday
    5. DeMar DeRozan
    6. Jordan Hill

    TEAM B
    Needs:
    1. PF
    2. SF
    3. PG
    4. C
    5. SG
    Tier 3
    1. Jordan Hill
    2. DeMar DeRozan
    3. Jonny Flynn
    4. Stephen Curry
    5. Jrue Holiday
    6. Tyreke Evans


    The rules are pretty simple. You always draft the highest-ranked player in a given tier. Also, you never take a player from a lower tier if one from a higher tier is available. So, for example, if the Bobcats are drafting No. 12 (Tier 4 territory) and Jrue Holiday (a Tier 3 player) is on the board, they take him regardless of position. If they have DeJuan Blair ranked No. 1 in Tier 4, they still take Holiday, even though power forward is a more pressing need.

    BOBCATS

    Team needs
    1. PF
    2. PG
    3. SG

    Tier 3
    5. Tyreke Evans
    6. Jrue Holiday
    Tier 4
    1. DeJuan Blair
    2. Earl Clark
    3. James Johnson
    4. Tyler Hansbrough

    This system protects teams from overreaching based on team need. The Bobcats won't pass on a clearly superior player like Holiday to fill a need with Blair.

    However, the system also protects a team from passing on a player who fits a need just because he might be ranked one or two spots lower overall. Let me give you an example from one of the the worst drafting teams over the past few years, the Atlanta Hawks.

    Former Hawks GM Billy Knight said every year that he would take the best player on the board, regardless of team need. He took Marvin Williams ahead of Chris Paul and Deron Williams in 2005, and Shelden Williams ahead of a point guard such as Rajon Rondo in 2006.

    A source formerly with Atlanta's front office told me that the Hawks had Marvin Williams ranked No. 1, Andrew Bogut ranked No. 2, Deron Williams ranked No. 3 and Paul ranked No. 4 in 2005. So on draft night, Knight took Marvin Williams with the No. 2 pick after the Bucks selected Bogut No. 1 overall.

    In a tier system, however, the source conceded that all four players, in his mind at least, would have been Tier 1 players -- in other words, the Hawks thought all four had equal long-term impact potential. If the Hawks had employed a tier system, they would have ranked inside the tier based on team need and fit, rather than just ranking the prospects from one to 30.

    In that case, the Hawks likely would have ranked either Bogut (they needed a center) or Deron Williams (they still need a point guard) No. 1. Marvin Williams actually would have been ranked No. 4 under that scenario.

    Like every draft system, the tier system isn't perfect. But the teams that run it have found success with it. It has allowed them to get help through the draft without overreaching. Compared to traditional top-30 lists or mock drafts, it seems like a much more precise tool of gauging which players a team should draft.

    Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Tier 4 is massive. So that means if we deemed PF a more pressing need than PG it would look like:

    Johnson
    Blair
    Hansbrough
    and maybe Clark or Young

    over PGs (if that was 2nd)

    Jennings
    Lawson
    Maynor
    Teague.

    I hope that we wouldn't take Hansbrough or Blair if all of those PGs were there.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by ESutt7 View Post
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    Tier 4 is massive. So that means if we deemed PF a more pressing need than PG it would look like:

    Johnson
    Blair
    Hansbrough
    and maybe Clark or Young

    over PGs (if that was 2nd)

    Jennings
    Lawson
    Maynor
    Teague.

    I hope that we wouldn't take Hansbrough or Blair if all of those PGs were there.
    I think teams would still rank each player in the tier as the best availiable player. So Jennings would be ahead of Hans.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    So Jennings would be ahead of Hans.

    I agree, plus I'd have Maynor over Lawson.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Funny, this is how I do my fantasy football draft too.

    Jennings is a wild card in this, I think.

    I'm glad Flynn is in that upper group, it enhances the potential of players falling.

    I'd say from group 4, they'd be ranked like this.

    Brandon Jennings-too young
    James Johnson-conditioning
    DeJuan Blair-limited niche player
    Ty Lawson-low ceiling, is he a starting caliber player, replication

    Earl Clark-effort
    Gerald Henderson-limited ceiling
    Jeff Teague-2 in a 1s body
    Eric Maynor-limited ceiling

    Sam Young-at ceiling
    Tyler Hansbrough-at ceiling
    Terrence Williams-limited on offensive side of ball


    B.J. Mullens-determination? too long term
    DaJuan Summers-I don't know about him
    Austin Daye-lack of strength-too long term

    Just a quick stab at it. I think probably Jennings and Clark are the big question on whether Bird thinks the talent makes up for any potentila problems.
    Last edited by Speed; 06-17-2009 at 02:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    As talented as Jennings is I still have trouble seeing us picking him because he is going to need time to develop and his brashness. Not sure if Bird would like that or if it'd just irritate him that a rookie is bringing so much attention on himself. I think he'd have some of the more proven guys above Jennings, even if Jennings has a higher ceiling.

    Of all of the guys we've drafted based on potential more than production, who has ever achieved anything close to their ceiling? Bender, Harrington, Williams, White (he counts...), etc. We've had a lot more luck going with guys that are proven at a high level and have good character.

    I'd guess they think:
    Johnson
    Lawson
    Blair
    Henderson

    Jennings
    Maynor
    Teague
    Clark

    Hansbrough
    Young

    And the rest aren't even on our radar.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by ESutt7 View Post
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    As talented as Jennings is I still have trouble seeing us picking him because he is going to need time to develop and his brashness. Not sure if Bird would like that or if it'd just irritate him that a rookie is bringing so much attention on himself. I think he'd have some of the more proven guys above Jennings, even if Jennings has a higher ceiling.

    Of all of the guys we've drafted based on potential more than production, who has ever achieved anything close to their ceiling? Bender, Harrington, Williams, White (he counts...), etc. We've had a lot more luck going with guys that are proven at a high level and have good character.

    I'd guess they think:
    Johnson
    Lawson
    Blair
    Henderson

    Jennings
    Maynor
    Teague
    Clark

    Hansbrough
    Young

    And the rest aren't even on our radar.
    I like this list alot, I bet this is really close to what the Pacers have.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    Just a quick stab at it. I think probably Jennings and Clark are the big question on whether Bird thinks the talent makes up for any potentila problems.
    Nice job, Speed; I think you're right on the mark.

    I find myself revisiting Clark. Putting together comments from UncleReg, Seth, Tbird and others, as well as rereading/watching videos, reports, etc., I think his concerns/limitations are worth the risk. A year of experience, 10-15 pounds of muscle and some more aggression and dedication down low, and that's the PF we need to blend with our current team. That's the guy ... .

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    I'm not wild about Clark. He's not nearly ready to contribute and there are questions about his work ethic. Physically he could be very, very good. He's one of those guys I am sort of on the fence about, I think I would have to interview him personally and see what he's all about before making a decision. But from a fan's perspective, we need a solid contributor in this draft who has low bust potential and good character, and Clark does not seem to be that guy.

    If Clark was more like DeRozan, a project with a known work ethic, I would be more for him.

    Clark is a perfect example of why the media is horrible at predicting the draft itself and how certain players will turn out. Outside of GM's and college coaches, little is known about the character of these guys, and character is more important than we could ever realize. I mean, how many kids were NBA-capable ballers but got into drugs or something else in high school and completely wasted their talent? Their lack of character/intangibles destroyed them.
    Last edited by idioteque; 06-17-2009 at 03:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    This is a huge tier and shows the parity in the draft. Theoretically, teams are saying you can get the same quality of player at 11 that you will get at 24. This is where the real depth of the draft is.
    In other words what I've been saying the last few weeks, there is poor value around 13th. Why? Because you can get the same player cheaper, both in pick spent and guaranteed contract, farther down the list.

    Frankly I think this falls into typical Pacers luck, but then the flipside is that they've pulled some really talented guys outside the top 10, including Dale, Reggie, Tony and Granger.



    I'm no huge Maynor fan but I do like him much more than Lawson. Still not getting how Flynn is so highly ranked by so many.


    In that case, the Hawks likely would have ranked either Bogut (they needed a center) or Deron Williams (they still need a point guard) No. 1. Marvin Williams actually would have been ranked No. 4 under that scenario.
    Yeah, because the problem there was that they didn't use a tier system, not that they had Marvin Williams #1 on their board and would have had him in that same tier.

    Let me show you just how horribly flawed this is as justification for this system. Let's say that you flip the tables and the Hawks had a PG and had a need for Marvin Williams instead. Let's also say they correctly identified by Deron and Paul as better than Marvin but still had him in the same tier.

    Billy Knight would have taken Deron or Paul, but the tier would have taken Marvin and failed miserably.


    Chad has been talked into this idea of a system that's still got the SAME FUNDAMENTAL FLAW as 1 by 1 rankings - if you rank the player really wrong then you are going to fail. You can't have Marvin Williams #1 on your board or in tier 1 either. That's the problem, poor scouting in the first place.

    Not only that, but does Chad really think this is a discovery? That if faced with Kobe or Duncan a team won't go by need first? NO TEAM DOES WHAT HE'S SAYING, not even Knight. If GMs see guys as really close to equal in talent then they go with the top talent.

    You can always trade that talent for a better version of your need than you were going to draft.

    Teams fail when they gamble on potential or just flat-out scout poorly. But none of them totally ignore need outright and always take #5 over #6 even if they are the same talent but #6 is a position of need.

    Knight's issue was that he obviously thought Marvin was significantly better than Deron or Paul, or thought that PG was an easier void to fill later on, or he was just a 100% idiot.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFife View Post
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    Nice job, Speed; I think you're right on the mark.

    I find myself revisiting Clark. Putting together comments from UncleReg, Seth, Tbird and others, as well as rereading/watching videos, reports, etc., I think his concerns/limitations are worth the risk. A year of experience, 10-15 pounds of muscle and some more aggression and dedication down low, and that's the PF we need to blend with our current team. That's the guy ... .
    He's tempting, but I hate how dumb he plays and how he struggles to be "the man" during games. But what if his potential is to develop that awareness and leadership with the right situation and influences?

    I won't hate it if they draft him, that's for sure. But I'll wring my hands for the first few months at least.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    I like the breakdown of his reasoning....but this ( of course ) doesn't explain why he picked Daye for the Pacers in one of his past mock drafts .

    It's obvious that many of us would think that we need either a PG or a PF....which one we rank ahead of another depends on which positional need you'd prefer over the other.

    If we go PG 1st, then my top 4 would be:

    Ty Lawson
    Eric Maynor
    Brandon Jennings
    Jeff Teague

    If we are to go with PF 1st, then my top 4 would be:

    Earl Clark
    James Johnson
    DeJuan Blair
    Tyler Hansbrough

    If I were to rank them...in order:

    1 ) Ty Lawson
    2 ) Earl Clark
    3 ) James Johnson
    4 ) DeJuan Blair
    5 ) Eric Maynor
    6 ) Brandon Jennings
    7 ) Tyler Hansborough
    8 ) Jeff Teague

    For me, it would be easier to figure out which position of need is greater given what TPTB intend to do with Jack. If we either move Ford ( which some of us are praying for ) and intend to keep Jack or keep Ford while allowing Jack to leave....then the position of need would be PG 1st. Whereas the opposite would be true where we ( for whatever reason ) decide to continue our Ford/Jack experiment.....our position of need would then change to PF 1st.

    My assumption is that we will make a decision on either Ford or Jack...but not both....so my 1st guess is that PG will be a greater need.
    Last edited by CableKC; 06-17-2009 at 04:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFife View Post
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    Nice job, Speed; I think you're right on the mark.

    I find myself revisiting Clark. Putting together comments from UncleReg, Seth, Tbird and others, as well as rereading/watching videos, reports, etc., I think his concerns/limitations are worth the risk. A year of experience, 10-15 pounds of muscle and some more aggression and dedication down low, and that's the PF we need to blend with our current team. That's the guy ... .
    Me too....I didn't want to go with him at first since I viewed him as a SF that could learn to be a PF....but given his athleticsm, wingspan and his somewhat decent shotblocking skills....I guess I can "warm up" to him.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    My hope is that whoever slips to us at 13 has a GM later in the draft with a man crush on him.

    We trade back a little, still get a good qaulity guy & maybe pick up a 2nd pick.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Jose Slaughter View Post
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    My hope is that whoever slips to us at 13 has a GM later in the draft with a man crush on him.

    We trade back a little, still get a good qaulity guy & maybe pick up a 2nd pick.
    Or get rid of Tinsley and get that team's pick!

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    I agree Jose. I just don't know if we are going to get that lucky. And having them take Tins as part of this...dare to dream, but it seems more than a little impossible.


    Like I did with my W-L prediction last year I've now resigned myself to the likely outcome of an okay, but not game changing pick at #13 and an overall "dull" night. I can accept AND ENJOY just that. Slowly they are coming to the end of their problems. By next summer things should really be picking up for them in terms of contracts and the ability to adjust the roster enough to push into the playoffs hard.

    I can wait it out.


    For me, it would be easier to figure out which position of need is greater given what TPTB intend to do with Jack.
    This is another part of it that Chad leaves out. It's just not as simple as "here's my group of guys and I take the one of need first".

    In fact now that I think about it how is his version different from an absolute list anyway? Let's look:

    Tier 1
    PG1, PG2, PF1

    Tier 2
    C1, SF1, PG3

    Tier 3
    C2, SG1, SG2, PG4, PF2

    Okay, your order of need is: PF, PG, C, SG, SF
    So using the tiers you rank them as follows
    Tier1
    PF1
    PG1
    PG2
    Tier2
    PG3
    C1
    SF1
    Tier3
    PF2
    PG4
    C2
    SG1
    SG2

    It's still a regular old sequential list of best to worst players and you still always take the highest guy on your board because he's either a guy from the higher tier or greater need in the same tier.

    All of this "system" is just about acknowledging that groups of players are typically about the same and that the tie breaker among those players is your own needs. Again, no s***. They already think that way.

    Billy Knight used the same system when he put Marvin at #1, he just had Marvin as a tier 1 player and Deron as a tier 2 player. So even though he needed a PG more, there was still a tier 1 guy available. How do I know? Because that's how he ordered his list, he ordered it so that it would be better to get Marvin than Deron.

    The issue is that his reasoning or scouting was wrong, not that he had the wrong magic system which isn't even a system at all.



    Sorry this is now my personal vendetta but seriously ask yourselves this - how do YOU CHOOSE your own rankings? When you make your list of Pacers to get did you not consider a bunch of factors, and not just raw talent but things like: potential, personality, intelligence, team need, players on the team.

    Oh, and a major factor Ford leaves out - HOW RARE IS THAT TYPE OF PLAYER. Another solid SF is not the same thing as another solid C, we all know this. Size is an impact on things. SF's are becoming a dime a dozen, so you must devalue them simply because of the market.

    You want a Hedo, you can get him. What you can't get is a Gasol or Duncan because their just aren't that many around.

    So even if you have young Lebron vs young Duncan, you take Duncan and "settle" for Rashard Lewis as your SF.


    And as this post started, you also have to consider what pieces you already have, who is expiring sooner, what you can get with a replacement piece, etc.

    I mean let's just consider this, say you can draft Sam Young and then trade Danny Granger for Chris Paul. Wouldn't you do that or would you say "well, I hope Maynor works out as my PG"?

    So your draft rankings also have to consider your own roster options and flexability.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 06-17-2009 at 08:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Beautiful, Seth. Well said!

    For example, if, by a very strange twist of fate, DeRozan falls to us, and immediate phone calls do not produce a sufficiently attractive trade offer, do we take him without regard to any of our default choices simply because he's in the next-higher tier? If you wholly belong to the BPA school, then you must say yes. Then be sure to attend one of the first home games so you can wave a Brandon Rush feather-stroker.

    Another supply-demand issue is in regard to rooks vs. vets. With so many "potentially decent" PGs coming out, TJ Ford's stock can't be very high right now ... unless his veteran status carries extra value in the eyes of a Washington or other win-now team. Given this, I wonder if our Ford/Jack grumblings have grown too loud. Perhaps we're not considering a PG at all (with the possible exception of generous-sized Holiday), at least at #13. If Jack does move on, we'll just react with a patchwork FA signing for the short term.

    And then there's still the possibility that something will happen that none of us saw coming. Maybe an extraordinary salary dump or something.

    BTW, whoever does draft Jrue Holiday, will you please also draft Dionte Christmas. I so want to see a Christmas Holiday backcourt.

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    . . . This is another part of it that Chad leaves out.

    . . . Oh, and a major factor Ford leaves out

    . . . this is now my personal vendetta . . .

    . . . your draft rankings also have to consider your own roster options and flexability.
    Gee Seth, everyone knows, or at least should know that the only people that have all the information on roster options, etc. are the people in NBA front office's, so there's not a mock draft out there that doesn't leave some considerations out.

    All that these public mock draft's are really good for is discussion, so why get worked up about any of them and make it a personal vendetta?

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth
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    All of this "system" is just about acknowledging that groups of players are typically about the same
    True, and that ain't exactly nothing. There is so much talk about swapping picks and moving down a few spots and "So-and-so is a good player but not at such-and-such a spot" and what we can expect to get at the Nth draft slot and so on.

    This article is useful to remind us that, as you say, "groups of players are typically about the same." That is just one of several factors that make the draft fundamentally chancy. A reasonable amount of information diminishes the risk of a bust by about half, but beyond that teams have to just pick a kids and then see what he grows into. It is not exact science, and no amount of talk can make it exact science. As Will Galen says, it is all about conversation and media. The teams themselves spend less time perplexing themselves over the draft than some fans do.



    I think Ford is saying exact orders of draft picks is silly (this year), which is surprising from the guy who makes his living putting up all those insignificant mock drafts. He just isn't putting all the possible arguments into this article.
    Last edited by Putnam; 06-18-2009 at 10:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    I liked Chad Ford much better when he was at NBATalk.com and it was his job to gather all of the articles published each night and write an executive summary of them and point out the highlights.

    When he starts spouting off his opinion, it makes me cringe. I don't believe he's a trained journalist. He certainly has no background in the sport other than starting a website based off a computer program to aggregate news articles published on NBA teams and the league. He's an expert solely because ESPN says he is. The irony with ever calling these guys "insiders" is that they were the epitome of "outsiders" before ESPN acquired them.

    He is now qualified to be a source of front office rumors because he got some introductions to those people when he joined ESPN. That's all he is, folks. He is not evaluating talent, and he has no idea how it works. He just has access to talk to people that do.
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  26. #21
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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFife View Post
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    BTW, whoever does draft Jrue Holiday, will you please also draft Dionte Christmas. I so want to see a Christmas Holiday backcourt.

    Nice work, still can't touch the potential of the Gay/Love era that could have been last year. I'll never forgive the league for not making it happen. At least they could have made one of the teams take Luther Head. Come on Stern, you can bend corners and freeze oversized lottery cards, but you can't work out this one!!

  27. #22

    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    I can hear the Lou Gossett, Jr. barks about "steers & queers" and "May-o-naise!" loud and clear ... .

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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    He is not evaluating talent, and he has no idea how it works. He just has access to talk to people that do.
    And that's why you read his mocks.

    Not because he's a great judge of talent, but because he hears things that we don't hear. For talent evaluation I'd take tbird over anybody at ESPN (and I mean anybody), but Tbird can't say "I hear the Pacers are really high on X" because he doesn't know.

    Ford's early mocks are worthless because he can't scout players. As we get closer, though, he gets pretty accurate because his mocks are based not on what he thinks of the players but on what he's hearing from front offices.
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    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    And that's why you read his mocks.

    Not because he's a great judge of talent, but because he hears things that we don't hear. For talent evaluation I'd take tbird over anybody at ESPN (and I mean anybody), but Tbird can't say "I hear the Pacers are really high on X" because he doesn't know.

    Ford's early mocks are worthless because he can't scout players. As we get closer, though, he gets pretty accurate because his mocks are based not on what he thinks of the players but on what he's hearing from front offices.
    Agreed. You read him for the rumors, not because of his opinions.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  31. #25

    Default Re: Ranking draft prospects by tiers, by Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    As we get closer, though, he gets pretty accurate because his mocks are based not on what he thinks of the players but on what he's hearing from front offices.
    Yeah, and his website is also useful just to keep all the information organized. He remembers the faces, the places, the names, though the draft's never over, it's relentless as the rain.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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