Chris Chase at "For the Win" wrote a post on Jalen Rose's "stupid" comments in regards to the draft. The irony, to me, is that while Jalen Rose said some stuff that wasn't conventional wisdom, I didn't find all of his comments that off. And for some of his "sillier" comments, I found them to be pretty standard.

Jalen Rose is right about Busts being a myth

Busted by a different Jason Williams.

Jalen Rose said something I agree with wholeheartedly, namely, there is no such thing as a "Draft Bust." The exact text Chris quotes is here:

I have a number: 3,988. That’s how many people have played a game in the NBA. Can we retire the term “bust and scrub?” For guys that actually make it to the NBA: If you go to college and are making millions of dollars in your post-collegiate career and you’re fortunate enough to buy you mom a house, you’re not a bust. You might be a letdown, you might be a washout, but you’re not a bust.

Chris's problems with this quote seem to be that Jalen Rose pretends to know numbers but probably just had a "poor" intern look them up instead. Rose is an on-air personality at ESPN, so using a professional fact checker to actually use numbers seems like a pretty good thing that I wish more ESPN people did.

Next, Chris points out that Jalen Rose is sitting next to Jay Williams, who I guess was a bust. He then brings up Darko Milicic, another "bust" and says that Jalen Rose using the term letdown or washout vs. bust is just semantics. Here's a quote Chris used, in fact, with some emphasis added by me:

But if you’re a seven-footer, taken with the No. 2 pick and touted to the heavens as a surefire Hall of Famer, then play for six teams from 2004-12, put up a slash line on 6.0/4.2/0.9 to retire at age 28 to become a kickboxer, only to come back to the sport to play in a minor Serbian league then, yes, Darko Milicic, you are a bust.

There are a few reasons this logic is silly. First, Jalen Rose is spot on. Playing in the NBA is impressive. Even highly touted professions at the top companies pale in comparison to the elitism required to make the NBA. Second, an important part about draft picks is they get the worst contracts in the NBA. Take Darko Milicic, notorious "draft bust", who earned roughly $4.2 million a season during his rookie contract. And don't forget, only two of those seasons were guaranteed. Years later after Darko had bounced around the league, he signed a three-year deal with the Timberwolves in 2010 for $4.8 million a year! That's right, Darko, the biggest bust since Bowie, was worth more as a letdown veteran than as a major draft prospect!

And finally, the reality is most players don't pan out in the NBA. There are 300-400 jobs in the NBA at a given time. Most players don't even pan out to be average, let alone good! Even if we restrict ourselves to the top three picks in the NBA, it's a coin-flip you'll get a decent player. And this is why the bust term is silly. If we have years and years of data on the draft that says most players don't become great. And we have people expecting a player to be great....well that's not the player's fault! Jay Williams didn't pan out because of off court injuries. Darko Milicic didn't pan out by lasting a decade in the NBA and earning over $50 million. Color me skeptical.

Jalen Rose's Bad Player Comparisons

Jalen Rose also got some flack for his silly comparisons during the NBA draft. Now, I won't debate this. But the thing is that it's silly to try and call Jalen out on this. As I mentioned above, every year people overrate incoming players. And this leads to ridiculous comparisons. Players are seldom called the next Kevin Ollie*. Instead, they're compared to Hall of Fame players are sometimes a once in a generation player. Heck, ESPN made a fun comparison regarding the Lakers draft pick:

D'Angelo Russell is not only the best Lakers PG since Magic, he has what LA loves the most:

— ESPN (@espn) June 26, 2015

Magic Johnson? Seriously?? That's pretty par for the course. The reality of the NBA draft is it's a bunch of cheap labor for owners with a system that makes no sense for capitalists. But a big part of keeping this charade going is convincing the viewers just how big of a deal each player is. Silly comparisons are just part of the game that everyone participates in every year. Jalen Rose got called out for being too silly, but he wasn't that far off the norm.

Jalen Rose is right about busts and bad at a dumb game that everyone else plays. But none of that takes away from the truth. Most of these players won't turn into stars. Most won't even turn into productive NBA players.Most of the bad franchises will stay bad. The franchises that stay good will likely do so because they already have stars. And I can say with some certainty we'll be having this same conversation next year.

Even after clearing the roster of Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Tyler Ennis at last season's trade deadline, the Suns still hold a full deck of guards if you include their free agents. What does drafting Devin Booker mean for the Suns' futures of Gerald Green, Archie Goodwin, Reggie Bullock, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Jerel McNeal?

For this conversation, let's assume the Suns re-sign restricted free agent Brandon Knight, and hold on to Eric Bledsoe going into 2015-16. Bledsoe and Knight will be starters, leaving the rest of the guards to compete for backup minutes. While the list of players who have been able to contribute at Booker's age 19 (his age at start of this coming season) is tiny, GM Ryan McDonough expressed confidence Booker can earn minutes for this season's Suns.

Here's the forecast for each of the players Booker might compete with for playing time:

Gerald Green

The most senior and accomplished member of this group, Green is also the least likely to wear a Suns uniform in the future. 29 year old Green had a surprisingly fantastic 2013-14 season, followed by a crash back down to Earth last season which seemed to validate the reasons he's been unable to stick with an NBA team. Green didn't help his cause by publicly grousing about his reduced playing time.

As an unrestricted free agent coming off a poor season, Green was unlikely to return even before the selection of Booker. Now, I'll be surprised if the Suns see Green as any more than a last resort, to bring back only on a league minimum contract at the end of free agency if he'll accept his role deep on the bench. In other words, goodbye and thanks for the memories, Gerald.

Archie Goodwin

Goodwin will enter his third NBA season after the Suns selected the athletically gifted guard 29th in the 2013 draft. The Suns hold a small (little over $2M) option for 2016-17 on Goodwin, and if he hasn't proven to be at least a rotation player after three years of development, it might be time to move on to the next project.

Last season, Goodwin showed scant improvement from his rookie year. His FG% dropped overall, and categorically from every distance except for an uptick in 3 point % from an awful 14% to a merely bad 29%. He also looked stronger in the upper body, and more able to withstand contact and finish in the paint, though his stats there don't demonstrate it.

This will be a bit of a make or break season for Goodwin in Phoenix. If he can't beat out fellow Kentucky product and youngster Booker for minutes, it's hard to imagine Goodwin having a future on the Suns. The projected absence of Green should allow him the opportunity to showcase his skills.

Reggie Bullock

Acquired in a "What the hell? Why not?" move by the Suns last season in exchange for only end of bench big Shavlik Randolph, little should be expected of Bullock. If a player is a one-dimensional shooter, he should be great at it, but Bullock is not. He isn't a ballhandler, or much of a defender, so has to bring high end shooting.

Bullock played decently for the Clippers on paper, making 39% of his 3s before the Clips pulled the plug on the 25th choice of the 2013 draft, and dumped him in the quest for a better wing in their failed push for Western Conference supremacy.

When the team that drafts a player and has a need at his position gives up on him, it says something. Also, Bullock is 24 years old and not a proven NBA rotation player. How much upside is left? Under contract for $1.2M this coming season, expect to see Bullock riding the end of the bench.

Bogdan Bogdanovi?

In the future, Booker and Bogdanovi? might overlap and compete for minutes at the two, but let's cross that bridge when we come to it. The Suns hold the rights to Bogdan after selecting him 27th in the 2014 draft (pick acquired from Pacers in exchange for Luis Scola), and the plan was always to stash him overseas for two seasons before bringing him to the NBA.

A two-time Euroleague Rising Star winner (Bulls' Nikola Miroti? also accomplished this), Bogdan shows good size (6'6", 200 lbs) and all-around skills for a combo guard, though he's still a mystery man to us here in the U.S. who have never seen him in full game action.

Important to note is that Bogdan is currently playing for Turkish team Fenerbahçe, coached by fellow Serbian Željko Obradovi?, who is sort of the Gregg Popovich of European basketball. Pay less attention to Bogdan's stats, and even his highlight reels, and know he is being well coached in a winning program in preparation for his NBA career.

Under contract this coming season with Fenerbahçe, Bogdan figures to play in the NBA in 2016-17, but won't be a factor for the Suns in 2015-16.

On second thought, who am I to kill the fun? Please do enjoy this highlight reel of Bogdan. He has a sweet shooting stroke, plus a little swagger.

Jerel McNeal

Called up by the Suns from D-League affiliate Bakersfield Jam late in the season, 27 year old PG McNeal has a non-guaranteed contract with the Suns for 2015-16, and might be a player the Suns want back if conditions are right. None of the players listed above have the true PG skills McNeal does, though the journeyman has only demonstrated them in minor leagues so far.

Bledsoe and Knight figure to stagger minutes so that one of them is on the floor to run point at all times, as the Suns played Bledsoe and Dragic in 2013-14, but there will still be the need for another backup PG. It's entirely possible the Suns will be in the market this summer for a proven veteran PG to fill this role, or McNeal could provide it. Booker is a pure shooter, and not a PG by any stretch, so his presence shouldn't have any impact on McNeal's future in Phoenix.

Which of these players will see the biggest change in their status on the Suns given the drafting of Booker? Answer in the comments and poll.
Which player's role is most threatened by the Suns' drafting of Devin Booker?

  1803 votes | Results

With the arrival of No. 13 draft pick Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns may have a new most likable player. After a season of regression, off-court drama and disappointment, even the individual strides...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Big men Patric Young and Josh Harrellson will join the Suns' summer league team in Las Vegas.


The Suns added former Villanova player Jason Fraser to their staff as a player development coach.


Page 18 of 2038


Web Links

Sponsored Ads