FanPost

Detailed analysis of the past 30 years of the NBA draft! Which direction should the Rockets take?

Ok, so my last fanPost was a pretty simple look at the last 12 years of the NBA draft. And after reading many of the reply's in that post, as well as continuing to read countless daily posts about how the best only bet for the Rockets to get back to the glory days is for us to somehow get a top 5 pick in an upcoming NBA draft, I decided to look at the last 30 years of the draft.

Only this analysis is much more detailed and thorough than the last as I wanted to better understand the truth behind using the draft as a tool to set the "modern franchise" back on its feet again. I did this analysis because something in my mind was telling me over and over again that all the recent blog chatter about the draft being the Savior for a franchise is just plain wrong.

Here are the highlights of the analysis of the last 30 years of the NBA draft so you don’t have to read the following (after the jump) in its entirety.

- Only (6) teams since 1981 have WON the NBA Championship with the same player they drafted in the top 5 spots still on the roster.

- Only (9) other teams since 1981 have made an APPEARANCE in the NBA Finals (without winning) with the same player they drafted in the top 5 spots still on the roster.

- Drafting a "superstar" that takes you to the NBA Finals Appearance = 15 (6+9)/150 (30 years x 5 spots) = 10% chance

- Drafting the franchise "superstar" that wins you that NBA Championship = 6/150 = 4% chance

(someone please correct this if these mathematical calculations are not proper use for statistical purposes)

- The average number of years from drafting a player in the top 5 spots to WINNNING first championship was a little over 7 years.

- The average number of years from drafting a player in the top 5 spots to reaching the finals WITHOUT EVER WINNING the championship was a little over 5 years.

- Only 5 players in NBA history have won a championship while being the only NBA All-Star on their team. Dirk Nowitzki is the latest to do so. I didn’t bother looking up the other four. Do you know who that my be? I regarded this as a telling statistic because this goes back to the argument that even if you draft that franchise "superstar" with a top 5 pick, you still have to put a team of great players around him, before he walks, in order to win it all.

HOF Players (including Probable’s) drafted in the top 5 spots since 1981

22 Total

13 Current HOF Players

9 Probable HOF Players (Gary Payton, Iverson, Duncan, Wade, L. James, D. Howard, Kidd, Garnett, R. Allen)

HOF Players (including Probable’s) drafted between 9 and 28 since 1981

10 Total

6 Current HOF Players

4 Probable HOF Players (Bryant, Dirk, Nash, and Pierce)

(Parker could be in the HOF one day but he might need more time to prove himself without Timmy)

- The L.A. Clippers have had (11) top 5 picks and (26) total top 14 picks in the last 30 years while only making the playoffs a total of (4) times. (0 NBA Finals or WCF appearances)

- The Utah Jazz have only had (3) top 5 picks and only (10) total top 14 picks. During this same 30 years they made it to (2) consecutive NBA Finals appearances and (4) other WCF appearances. In these 30 years the Jazz qualified for the post-season a total of 25 times.

If you want to see all the detailed analysis then take a look after the jump! Oh, and I can't get it to Auto Tag and Link.

Warning! It may take you 20 - 30 minutes to read all of the detailed analysis. This took me about 10 hours over 4 days to put together.

Since 1981 how many teams that have drafted in the top 5 spots have WON the NBA Championship with the same player drafted still on the team? Take a look below if you are having trouble thinking of more than a handful…wait, there aren’t.

This does not include players that were traded away and then re-signed at a later date nor does it include Darko Milicic who was drafted #2 in 2003 a year before Detroit won the NBA finals and only played 18 minutes in the entire series.

Number of years indicates years until first championship won.

1) L.A. Lakers* in 1985, 87, 88 – 3 years after drafting James Worthy #1 in 1982

2) Detroit Pistons in 1989, 90 – 8 years after drafting Isaiah Thomas #2 in 1981

3) Chicago Bulls in 1991, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98 – 7 years after drafting Michael Jordan #3 in 1984

4) Houston Rockets in 1994, 95 – 10 years after drafting Hakeem Olajuwon #1 in 1984

5) San Antonio** in 1999, 2003, 05, 07 – 2 years after drafting Tim Duncan #1 in 1997 and 12 years after drafting David Robinson*** #1 in 1987

6) Miami Heat**** in 2006 – 3 years after drafting Dwyane Wade #5 in 2003

* This L.A. Lakers team is different than any other team on this list because they did not "build" this team the normal way. Wikipedia states, "In the NBA draft, Worthy was chosen first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Shrewd and opportunistic trade moves made by the Lakers front office, combined with a coin flip victory against the then-San Diego Clippers the year before provided them with the first overall pick, the year after winning the NBA Championship. But it is what it is. Hey Morey is shrewd isn't he? Now how do we get that coin flip?

** In my opinion this S.A. Spurs team should not even be on this list because they did not "build" this team the normal way. They only became a "dynasty" because Robinson got hurt in 1996 and S.A. dropped all the way down into the basement for one year and then drafted Duncan with the first pick in the 1997 draft. S.A. had been in the playoffs 7 out of the 8 previous years before Robinson got hurt; including the conference semis the year before Robinson got hurt. That would be like Durant and Westbrook getting hurt last year which caused them to fall into the basement this year and then in this year’ draft they take Anthony Davis with the No.1 pick. Not the typical way to build a franchise.

*** Using David Robinson’s 12 years instead of Tim Duncan’s 2 years, the average number of years from drafting a player in the top 5 spots to winning first championship was a little over 7 years. My plan was to use Duncan’s 2 years instead of Robinson’s 12 years but after looking up Robinson’s stats for the 1999 Finals I had to include his 12 years because he averaged 16/10/3/2blks a game (it is probable that without his contribution S.A. would not have won that year). Someone please correct me if somehow I should have used both Duncan’s and Robinson’s number…not that strong in mathematical calculations.

**** Only team that did not win multiple championships.

--------------

Since 1981 (same 30 years) how many teams that have drafted in the top 5 spots have reached the NBA Finals but NEVER WON the NBA Championship with the same player drafted still on the team?

This list does not include the 1988 Detroit Pistons or 1983, 84, 89 L.A. Lakers because these teams lost in the finals with same teams that won the championships in 1989, 90 (Detroit) and 1985, 87, 88 (L.A.)

The1986 Houston Rockets team is included in this list because they had an entirely different team when they won the finals in 1994, 95.

The 2011 Miami Heat team is on this list because they won the finals with an entirely different team in 2006.

Number of years indicates years until first finals appearance.

1) Houston Rockets in 1986 – 3 years after drafting both Ralph Sampson* #1 and Rodney McCray #3 in 1983 and 2 years after drafting Hakeem Olajuwon #1 in 1984

2) New York Knicks** in 1994, 99 – 9 years after drafting Patrick Ewing #1 in 1985

3) Orland Magic* in 1995 – 5 years after drafting Dennis Scott* #4 in 1990 and 3 years after drafting Shaquille O’Neal #1 in 1992

4) Seattle Supersonics in 1996 – 6 years after drafting Gary Payton #2 in 1990

5) Philadelphia 76’s in 2001 – 5 years after drafting Allen Iverson #1 in 1996

6) New Jersey Nets in 2002 – 2 years after drafting Kenyon Martin #1 in 2000

7) Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007 – 4 years after drafting LeBron James #1 in 2003

8) Orlando Magic in 2009 – 5 years after drafting Dwight Howard #1 in 2004

9) Miami Heat in 2011 – 8 years after drafting Dwyane Wade #5 in 2003

* Without knowing exactly how to calculate the years because of two teams having multiple picks before making it to the finals, I chose to use Ralph Sampson/Rodney McCray’s 3 years and Dennis Scott’s 5 years. Using these figures the average number of years from drafting a player in the top 5 spots to reaching the finals without ever winning the championship was a little over 5 years. Give me a little help on these statistical calculations if you can.

** The only team that made more than one trip to the NBA finals and lost while having the same "superstar" (Patrick Ewing); all others were one and done (of course that is likely to change with the current Miami Heat squad).

-------------

So in the last 30 years even though there have been 150 opportunities for a team to draft that "superstar" that actually would take them to the NBA Finals, only (15) have resulted in a NBA Finals appearance and only (6) teams have drafted that franchise "superstar" that actually delivered that coveted championship once getting there.



Drafting a "superstar" that takes you to the NBA Finals Appearance = 15/150 = 10% chance



Drafting the franchise "superstar" that wins you that NBA Championship = 6/150 = 4% chance


***** Again, help me out if these mathematical calculations are not correct.

---------------

It is possible that we will be able to add another two teams to the above two lists pretty soon:

Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 – 5 years after drafting Kevin Durant #2 in 2007 and 4 years after drafting Russell Westbrook #4 in 2008

Chicago Bulls in 2012 – 4 years after drafting Derrick Rose #1 in 2008

***** These two teams are close to the yearly averages for losing teams in the NBA Finals but would be ahead of the yearly averages for winning the championship.

---------------

HOF Players (including Probable’s) drafted in the top 5 spots since 1981

22 Total

13 Current HOF Players (Including Dominique Wilkins, Pippen, and Barkley who weren't mentioned above)

9 Probable HOF Players (Gary Payton, Iverson, Duncan, Wade, L. James, D. Howard, Kidd, Garnett, R. Allen)

Other Notables – Old School

Yao Ming (where else would I put him?)

Vince Carter

Chauncey Billups

Grant Hill

Marcus Camby

Dikembe Mutombo

Alonzo Mourning

Penny Hardaway

Mitch Richmond

Chris Webber

Mark Aguirre

Rasheed Wallace

Other Notables – Young Guns with several having chance to make HOF one day

Pau Gasol

Carmelo Anthony

Kevin Durant

Derrick Rose

Russell Westbrook

Kevin Love

Chris Paul

Deron Williams

LeMarcus Aldridge

Chris Bosh

HOF Players (including Probable’s) drafted between 9 and 28 since 1981

10 Total

6 Current HOF Players (Including Joe Dumars)

4 Probable HOF Players (Bryant, Dirk, Nash, and Pierce)

50 Greatest Players in NBA History as of 1997 (also in HOF)

Clyde Drexler # 14 in 1983

John Stockton #16 in 1984

Karl Malone #13 in 1985

Other Hall of Fame Players

Dennis Rodman #27 in 1986

Joe Dumars #18 in 1985

Reggie Miller #11 in 1987

Probably Future HOF Players?

Dirk Nowitzki #9 in 1988

(one of only 5 players in NBA history to win a championship while being the only NBA All-Star on the team).

Paul Pierce #10 in 1988

*Kobe Bryant #13 in 1996

Steve Nash #15 in 1996

(similar achievements with Charles Barkley who is in the HOF and Greatest 50 Player)

Quite Possibly a Future HOF Player?

Tony Parker #28 in 2001

Other Notables

*Tracy McGrady #9 in 1997

NBA Most Improved Player (2001)

NBA All-Star (20012007)

NBA Scoring Champion (20032004)

All-NBA First Team (20022003)

3× All-NBA Second Team (2001, 2004, 2007)

2× All-NBA Third Team (2005, 2008)

Tim Hardaway #14 in 1989

NBA All-Star (19911993, 19971998)

All-NBA First Team (1997)

All-NBA Second Team (1992, 19981999)

All-NBA Third Team (1993)

NBA All-Rookie First Team (1990)

Robert Horry #11 in 1992

NBA Champion (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002,2005, 2007)

NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1993)

NO BIG STATS….ALL HE DID WAS WIN BABY!!!!!

* Player was drafted straight out of high school. It is my opinion that if these players were bound by today’s NBA draft guidelines (responsible for producing the one-and-done players of today) they would have been drafted in the top 5 spots of their NBA draft. So they probably would not have been considered draft “sleepers.”

Players that the Rockets fan-base here on TDS have talked about trading for

David West # 13 in 2003

Andre Igoudala #9 in 2004

Josh Smith # 17 in 2004

Andrew Bynum #10 in 2005

Danny Granger #17 in 2005

David Lee #30 in 2005

Monta Ellis #40 in 2005

Rajon Rondo # 21 in 2006

Marc Gasol #48 in 2006

Joakim Noah #9 in 2007

Brook Lopez #10 in 2008

Roy Hibbert #17 in 2008

JaVale McGee #18 in 2008

Our Own Rockets and Others

Luis Scola #56 in 2002

Kevin Martin #26 in 2004

Kyle Lowry #24 in 2006

Courtney Lee #22 in 2008

Goran Dragic #45 in 2008

Rolando Blackman #9 in 1981

Jason Terry #10 in 1999

Carlos Boozer #35 in 2002

Jared Jeffries #11 in 2002 J

Rafer Alston #38 in 1998 J

Derek Fisher #24 in 1996 J

The Model Consistent Franchise (believe me I know…I dislike them just as much as you do!)

In the last 30 years, Utah has had only (3) top 5 picks and have only had (10) total top 14 picks. During this same 30 years they made it to (2) consecutive NBA Finals appearances and (4) other WCF appearances. In these 30 years the Jazz qualified for the post-season a total of 25 times.

Top 14 draft picks since 1981

1981 # 5 Danny Vranes

1981 # 8 Tom Chambers

1982 # 3 Dominique Wilkins

1983 # 7 Thurl Bailey

1985 #13 Karl Malone

2004 #14 Kris Humphries

2005 # 3 Deron Williams

2006 #14 Ronnie Brewer

2010 # 9 Gordon Hayward

2011 #12 Alec Burks

The Never Ever To Be Modeled After Franchise

In comparison to the Utah Jazz, the L.A. Clippers have had (11) top 5 picks and have had (26) total top 14 picks in the last 30 years. During the same time that the Jazz were making the playoffs at an 83% clip, the Clippers have made it to (0) NBA Finals, (0) WCF, (1) WC semifinals and (3) other first round exits; that is a total of (4) playoff appearances in 30 years.

Top 14 draft picks since 1981

1984 # 8 Lancaster Gordon while passing on Otis Thorpe and Kevin Willis

1984 #14 Michael Cage

1985 # 3 Benoit Benjamin (ok but 9 teams in 15 seasons) while passing on Chris Mullin*, Detlef Schrempf, Charles Oakley, and Karl Malone*/**

1987 # 4 Reggie Williams while passing on Scottie Pippen*/**, Kevin Johnson, Horace Grant, Reggie Miller* and our own Kenny Smith (haha J)

1987 #13 Joe Wolf

1988 # 1 Danny Manning

1988 # 6 Hersey Hawkins

1989 # 2 Danny Ferry passing on Sean Elliott, Glenn Rice, and Tim Hardaway

1990 #13 Loy Vaught

1993 #13 Terry Dehere

1994 # 7 Lamond Murray passing on Jalen Rose

1995 # 2 Antonio McDyess (ok with 12ppg/8rpg and 1 year all-star) passing on Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett***

1996 # 6 Lorenzen Wright passing on Kobe Bryant***

1997 #14 Maurice Taylor

1998 # 1 Michael Olowokandi passing on Mike Bibby, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki***, and Paul Pierce***

1999 # 4 Lamar Odom

2000 # 3 Darius Miles

2001 # 2 Tyson Chandler passing on Pau Gasol****

2002 # 8 Chris Wilcox passing on Amare Stoudemire

2002 #12 Melvin Ely

2003 # 6 Chris Kaman

2004 # 4 Shuan Livingston passing on Devin Harris, Luol Deng, and Andre Igoudala

2005 #12 Yaroslav Korolev

2007 #14 Al Thornton

2008 # 7 Eric Gordon

2009 # 1 Blake Griffin

* Passed on 4 Hall Of Famers

** Passed on 2 of the 50 greatest players in NBA History as of 1997 (part of the 4 HOF players)

*** Passed on possibly another 4 future HOF’s

**** Passed on Pau Gasol who might even end up in the HOF one day if the Lakers win more titles with him down low.

That's it! There is no poll and there are no comments. I will save my comments for later.

No cursing in title. No pirated material, such as links to online game streams. Do not cut/paste entire sections of content from other websites. Thanks.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join The Dream Shake

You must be a member of The Dream Shake to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Dream Shake. You should read them.

Join The Dream Shake

You must be a member of The Dream Shake to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Dream Shake. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker