Ainge's second round picks

InstaFace

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Says something about which franchises scout the deep end of the draft well.

Were there other 2nd rounders who made an impact in the regular season? Frank Mason I guess.
 

InstaFace

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When was the last Celtics 2nd rounder to do anything of note? Powe?
When it comes to giving credit to deep scouting, rather than looking no further than "pedigree", I think we have to credit them for Isaiah Thomas.
 

kenneycb

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When it comes to giving credit to deep scouting, rather than looking no further than "pedigree", I think we have to credit them for Isaiah Thomas.
Great job figuring out a guy who scored 20 a game in the NBA in his third season might be good when he’s not the third PG on a new team. Still have no idea how it actually supports the statement you made.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Says something about which franchises scout the deep end of the draft well.

Were there other 2nd rounders who made an impact in the regular season? Frank Mason I guess.
Dillon Brooks played 28 mpg averaging double figures. Overall, Ainge has not drafted very well in the 2nd round though. It's not easy to hit that late but he's missed nearly every time.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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DA's 2nd round picks:

Brandon Hunter
Justin Reed
Orien Greene
Ryan Gomes
Gabe Pruitt
Semih Erden
Lester Hudson
Luke Harangody
E'Twuan Moore
Kris Joseph
Marcus Thornon
Jordan Mickey
Nader
Bentil
Demetrius Jackson
Bird
Allen
Semi

Gomes and Moore have been starters. Semi looks like he'll be in the NBA for a while. Of the rest, Erden played 4 seasons and generated 1.8 WS (didn't know that); Harangody played 4 seasons and generated 0.9 WS; and Hudson played in the NBA for 6 years (though he played less than 600 minutes). Mickey might get to that level.

Given bonus points for Jae Crowder and without checking on other GM's success my intuitive guess is that DA probably is average to above average.
 

HomeRunBaker

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DA's 2nd round picks:

Brandon Hunter
Justin Reed
Orien Greene
Ryan Gomes
Gabe Pruitt
Semih Erden
Lester Hudson
Luke Harangody
E'Twuan Moore
Kris Joseph
Marcus Thornon
Jordan Mickey
Nader
Bentil
Demetrius Jackson
Bird
Allen
Semi

Gomes and Moore have been starters. Semi looks like he'll be in the NBA for a while. Of the rest, Erden played 4 seasons and generated 1.8 WS (didn't know that); Harangody played 4 seasons and generated 0.9 WS; and Hudson played in the NBA for 6 years (though he played less than 600 minutes). Mickey might get to that level.

Given bonus points for Jae Crowder and without checking on other GM's success my intuitive guess is that DA probably is average to above average.
I don't know why Ainge would get draft credit for Crowder for passing on him twice late in the first round. There have been many impact players taken in the 2nd round and Ainge has passed on every one of them while having Gomes and Moore, two guys he quickly moved, as the two feathers in his cap (along with short term role players Baby and Powe). It isn't easy to hit on 2nd rounders but to even consider his 2nd rounders as "above average" shows a large bias. That Sullinger/Melo draft alone netted Draymond, Will Barton, and Khris Middleton (my Combine binkie that year), along with Crowder in the 2nd round.

Of the 5 teams I randomly choose just now to research (without recognizing GM at the time), I see 4 of them with better 2nd round history over the past 20 years than Gomes, Moore, Baby and Powe. We were better than the Knicks while behind the Bucks (Brodgon, Lauer, Meeks, Mbah a Moute, Sessions, Bogans, Elyasova, and Michael Redd) who have KILLED it, the Spurs (Manu, Scola, Blair), Lakers (Gasol, R.Patterson, Turiaf), and Sacramento (Isaiah Thomas and Whiteside)

Then recognizing that the big hits alone of the Draymond's, DeAndre Jordan's, Millsap's, etc catapult those teams above Boston in the 2nd round and its easy to see that the Celtics 2nd round picks not only are not above average but well below average due to literally not hitting on any player who was a regular starter for us (aside from Gomes on a 24-win tanking team) much less all of the impact players which he passed on.

EDIT: I'm not Ainge-bashing at all, simply analyzing this topic, as I've stated numerous times how he will go down as an Auerbach/Belichick-type of GM with the larceny he's pulled over the years. It is just that finding gems in the 2nd round is not one of the highlights of his career. It's his one flaw albeit not a large one in the big picture.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Well, what can be expected from an average GM with respect to second round success? Ainge hasn’t had a great deal of success, he hasn’t hit on a big second round find, but where does that leave him vs a typical GM?
 

TripleOT

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Although Denver drafted Leon Powe in the second round, he should be credited as an Ainge pick if he's being credited for the Glen Davis pick from Seattle.

Powe, BBD, Moore, Gomes, have been successes. To be fair to Ainge, most of his second round picks were late in the round. He's had a couple of picks at the top of the round, a miss on Gabe Pruitt at 32 in 2007, Mickey at 33, and Semi at 37, BBD at 35.

Ainge hasn't pulled a full time long time starter out of the second round, which is surprising considering how many chances he's had.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Well, what can be expected from an average GM with respect to second round success? Ainge hasn’t had a great deal of success, he hasn’t hit on a big second round find, but where does that leave him vs a typical GM?
According to this website, in the spoiler is the expected WS over replacement value (looking at drafts 2004 to 2016) for each draft spot over the first four years of their contract. Note that second round draft picks have a negative value over that time so in fact, DA picking 5-7 guys out of 17-ish is likely to be a comparatively good record versus the rest of the league, though admittedly, like HRB point outs, he doesn't really have any home runs.

Here's another way of putting it. According to this Reddit post, from 2001-2015, here's the breakout of 2nd round draft picks (447 total):

All star = 11 (2.5%)
borderline All star = 15 (3.4%)
Solid role player = 68 (15.2%)
Low impact player = 47
5 Dark grey End of the bench, short NBA career 175
6 Light grey Did never play in the NBA 131

To be average, DA should have picked (numbers don't total due to rounding):

All star = .4
borderline All star = .6
Solid role player = 2.6
Blue Low impact player = 1.8
End of the bench, short NBA career = 6.7
Did never play in the NBA = 5

Without really looking at DA's results, all of this makes me think that DA could be considered average, with plus or minus depending on how one sees his lack of an All-Star or borderline All-Star in his 17 picks.
 

amarshal2

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According to this website, in the spoiler is the expected WS over replacement value (looking at drafts 2004 to 2016) for each draft spot over the first four years of their contract. Note that second round draft picks have a negative value over that time so in fact, DA picking 5-7 guys out of 17-ish is likely to be a comparatively good record versus the rest of the league, though admittedly, like HRB point outs, he doesn't really have any home runs.

Here's another way of putting it. According to this Reddit post, from 2001-2015, here's the breakout of 2nd round draft picks (447 total):

All star = 11 (2.5%)
borderline All star = 15 (3.4%)
Solid role player = 68 (15.2%)
Low impact player = 47
5 Dark grey End of the bench, short NBA career 175
6 Light grey Did never play in the NBA 131

To be average, DA should have picked (numbers don't total due to rounding):

All star = .4
borderline All star = .6
Solid role player = 2.6
Blue Low impact player = 1.8
End of the bench, short NBA career = 6.7
Did never play in the NBA = 5

Without really looking at DA's results, all of this makes me think that DA could be considered average, with plus or minus depending on how one sees his lack of an All-Star or borderline All-Star in his 17 picks.
Nice analysis, thanks.

I have a different takeaway though. I think the lack of a borderline all-star or better (your analysis says 1.0), is a pretty clear indication he's been at least a bit below average, if not solidly below. It takes a lot of Powe's and Gomes' to add up to one guy like that.

Another point is that nobody has really demonstrates evidence that suggests picking studs out of the second round is a repeatable skill. Perhaps the argument is out there but I'm guessing it's a tough one.

My overall takeaway is that this is likely just small sample size noise. 1.5 years ago you could've made a credible argument Danny is a below average drafter in the first round. Now?

<Crickets>

It's very clear from the sum total of his GM career that Danny is good at finding value, particularly in guys who are underappreciated. He didn't draft IT4, but he gets a lot of credit for what he (and Brad) did with him. He's going to have plenty of JR Giddens misses in the future, but consider me extremely skeptical of the argument that we should expect Ainge to be below average in the second round going forward. I also think his experience counts for something and if we could measure drafting skill we'd see Danny's on the rise.

This discussion is good and should be broken out if a mod is willing
 
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bosox79

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Can someone really get credited for a HR pick in the 2nd round? The fact the player lasted that long means he had some doubts attached to him. is it a skill or is it just dumb luck?

Jabari Bird has some potential anyway, but probably won't develop it much.

Who is the most athletic player Ainge has taken in the 2nd round? That list isn't really full of athletes.
 

nighthob

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I don't know why Ainge would get draft credit for Crowder for passing on him twice late in the first round. There have been many impact players taken in the 2nd round and Ainge has passed on every one of them while having Gomes and Moore, two guys he quickly moved, as the two feathers in his cap (along with short term role players Baby and Powe). It isn't easy to hit on 2nd rounders but to even consider his 2nd rounders as "above average" shows a large bias. That Sullinger/Melo draft alone netted Draymond, Will Barton, and Khris Middleton (my Combine binkie that year), along with Crowder in the 2nd round.

Of the 5 teams I randomly choose just now to research (without recognizing GM at the time), I see 4 of them with better 2nd round history over the past 20 years than Gomes, Moore, Baby and Powe. We were better than the Knicks while behind the Bucks (Brodgon, Lauer, Meeks, Mbah a Moute, Sessions, Bogans, Elyasova, and Michael Redd) who have KILLED it, the Spurs (Manu, Scola, Blair), Lakers (Gasol, R.Patterson, Turiaf), and Sacramento (Isaiah Thomas and Whiteside)

Then recognizing that the big hits alone of the Draymond's, DeAndre Jordan's, Millsap's, etc catapult those teams above Boston in the 2nd round and its easy to see that the Celtics 2nd round picks not only are not above average but well below average due to literally not hitting on any player who was a regular starter for us (aside from Gomes on a 24-win tanking team) much less all of the impact players which he passed on.

EDIT: I'm not Ainge-bashing at all, simply analyzing this topic, as I've stated numerous times how he will go down as an Auerbach/Belichick-type of GM with the larceny he's pulled over the years. It is just that finding gems in the 2nd round is not one of the highlights of his career. It's his one flaw albeit not a large one in the big picture.
Not all draft positions are created alike. Ainge has been in Boston since 2003, so we're not going to be giving other teams credit for finds they made 20 years ago. And for most of his time here he's been drafting players in the 41-60 range (aka the Draft Dregs). So to be at least somewhat fair we're going to do our best to compare likes to likes. And since I'm at work, and have a busy schedule today (birthday dinner at 7, then the fucking game), I'll just be looking at the Bucks for the moment.

Milwaukee has had a grand total of two guys that stuck in the NBA drafted from the dregs, Ramon Sessions and Jodie Meeks (we're not counting guys like Keith Bogans or Patrick McCaw that they drafted for other teams). Otherwise known as bench fodder. In that same range Boston produced Ryan Gomes, Leon Powe, and E'Twan Moore. Also pretty much bench fodder. The hit ratio on the picks was about one in three for both teams, so it seems the same.

Now, Milwaukee has had a shitload of picks in the 30-40 range to fatten their second round results. But even there four of their nine picks at the top of the second round got meaningful NBA careers (I guess this depends on how meaningful you think Jon Leuer's NBA career is, it certainly didn't help Milwaukee at all), Brogdon, Mbah a Moute, and Ilyasova. Boston got two players with four picks in their top of the second selections (The Baconator and Semi Ojeleye, who looks like a clear win). So, again the hit rates seem pretty similar (the minuscule sample sizes are obviously a problem).

So all in all, Ainge looks to be par for the course in the crapshoot portion of the draft. Maybe if I have some time this weekend I'll run a more in depth look at draft slots and win shares (for a quick & dirty comparison) to see how he rates out.
 

oumbi

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This article may contribute to this discussion.

https://the-cauldron.com/the-2nd-round-and-misuse-of-probability-402639df1038

The players that qualify for this distinction out of 244, is, ironically also 86 (again, roughly 26 percent). So on a flat base, the odds that a team will find a player who sticks in the league for three-plus years in the second round are roughly the same as finding a player who isn’t good enough to ever play.

It’s easy to look at those 11 drafts and pick out the highest impact players taken in the second round. Among the 330 players, six have been named an NBA All-Star at least once (Mo Williams, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Marc Gasol, Isaiah Thomas, and Draymond Green). DeAndre Jordan and Goran Dragic, meanwhile, have made All-NBA Teams, despite not being selected as All-Stars. This, however, is a somewhat limited insight; All-Star and All-NBA teams aren’t the sole indicator of what makes a good player, after all. Still, this means the odds a team will find an All-Star or All-NBA player among second rounders is just around 2.4 percent.

...

Looking at these figures at even the most basic levels reveals the assured truth of the “crapshoot” tag attached to the draft’s second round. The odds of finding a decent player — not even an All-Star — was just around seven percent over an 11-year period.
 

maufman

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Another point is that nobody has really demonstrates evidence that suggests picking studs out of the second round is a repeatable skill. Perhaps the argument is out there but I'm guessing it's a tough one.
This is the beginning and the end of the discussion as far as I am concerned.

If someone wants to make the case that drafting well in the second round (and especially past the first ten or so picks in that round) is a repeatable skill, I’ll consider the argument on its merits. Absent that, however, saying Danny is “good” or “bad” at making second-round picks misses the mark — there is only “lucky” and “unlucky.”
 

Big John

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It seems to me that to make a proper evaluation of any GM's second round drafting ability you have to look at

1. Where the GM was picking
2. What players were available after he picked (both drafted and undrafted)
3. Of the undrafted players, which ones were were willing to sign with that GM's franchise
4. What second round picks were traded away, and for what.
5. Team needs. I believe that a GM should always take the best player available, but rational people may disagree.

As others have noted, Ainge--along with many other GMs-- passed on some "star" caliber players taken in the second round: Marc Gasol (2007), DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic (2008) and Isaiah Thomas (2011) . He passed on some other decent players, e.g. Wesley Matthews (undrafted 2009) and Malcolm Brogdon (2016), but no one who would really have made a difference.

The big mistakes were in 2001 in the first round. I'll forgive Kedrick Brown, but Auerbach insisted on Joe Forte when everyone else wanted Tony Parker.

That led to the next big mistake, after Ainge was hired in 2003. They moved up to take Marcus Banks because they "needed" a point guard. They could have stayed where they were and drafted David West. So the failure to take Parker in 2001 bit them in the ass twice.
 

maufman

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It seems to me that to make a proper evaluation of any GM's second round drafting ability you have to look at

1. Where the GM was picking
2. What players were available after he picked (both drafted and undrafted)
3. Of the undrafted players, which ones were were willing to sign with that GM's franchise
4. What second round picks were traded away, and for what.
5. Team needs. I believe that a GM should always take the best player available, but rational people may disagree.

As others have noted, Ainge--along with many other GMs-- passed on some "star" caliber players taken in the second round: Marc Gasol (2007), DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic (2008) and Isaiah Thomas (2011) . He passed on some other decent players, e.g. Wesley Matthews (undrafted 2009) and Malcolm Brogdon (2016), but no one who would really have made a difference.

The big mistakes were in 2001 in the first round. I'll forgive Kedrick Brown, but Auerbach insisted on Joe Forte when everyone else wanted Tony Parker.

That led to the next big mistake, after Ainge was hired in 2003. They moved up to take Marcus Banks because they "needed" a point guard. They could have stayed where they were and drafted David West. So the failure to take Parker in 2001 bit them in the ass twice.
This is the 20/20 hindsight standard. Every GM sucks by this standard.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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There are entire cottage industries built around the NFL and NBA Drafts in particular...and as such, nobody wants to admit just how slanted the luck vs. skill ratio is in favor of luck when it comes to drafting players in either sport, and that starts at the top of the first round. It's not just digging nuggets of gold out of the second round in the NBA - it's Bowie vs. Jordan, Oden vs. Durant and Fultz vs. Tatum (etc.) right at the start. As such...
If someone wants to make the case that drafting well in the second round (and especially past the first ten or so picks in that round) is a repeatable skill, I’ll consider the argument on its merits. Absent that, however, saying Danny is “good” or “bad” at making second-round picks misses the mark — there is only “lucky” and “unlucky.”
...are we really sure that drafting well in *any* round is a repeatable skill?
 

Big John

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This is the 20/20 hindsight standard. Every GM sucks by this standard.
It's not a hindsight standard. It's just a list of factors. As for every GM sucking, sure, they all do in the second round, because the top 30 players are taken. But some suck a little less than others, e.g. Popovich and Buford (who have had their share of misses as well). If it's pure chance based on the odds of picking a good player at every draft position, don't bother to scout. Just throw darts.
 

maufman

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There are entire cottage industries built around the NFL and NBA Drafts in particular...and as such, nobody wants to admit just how slanted the luck vs. skill ratio is in favor of luck when it comes to drafting players in either sport, and that starts at the top of the first round. It's not just digging nuggets of gold out of the second round in the NBA - it's Bowie vs. Jordan, Oden vs. Durant and Fultz vs. Tatum (etc.) right at the start. As such...

...are we really sure that drafting well in *any* round is a repeatable skill?
The best argument for drafting being skill vs. luck is the degree to which the league as a whole has gotten better over time at identifying top talent. In the NFL, I think there has been significant improvement. In the NBA, it’s less clear that’s so. For example, looking at the 11 pro players on the 1992 Dream Team, 8 were top-10 picks, and the other 3 were picked in the top 20. Using this list to identify the top 11 pros today, there are 7 top-10 picks, 2 top-20 but not top-10, one late 1st rounder, and one 2nd rounder. The two sleepers are Draymond Green and Jimmy Butler, who are arguably overrated by whoever assembled this list, but the point stands — no significant improvement (though there does seem to be a higher proportion of hits in the first 5 picks). So maybe it’s true that an informed fan with a few draft preview mags would fare no worse than your average GM in the draft.

Edit: An important factor I overlooked in my rough analysis above is that top players are entering the league at a younger age than in the 1980s. So even if GMs aren’t getting better results, they are still arguably doing better than their forebears by getting similar results in a process with a much higher degree of difficulty.
 
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moondog80

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It's tough to separate an organization's draft skill and and developmental skill. If the Kings had drafted Jaylen Brown or Kawhi Leonard, would they be on the same developmental path they are now? What would D'Angelo Russell look like if he was drafted by Ainge and played under Brad Stevens?
 

bosox79

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It's tough to separate an organization's draft skill and and developmental skill. If the Kings had drafted Jaylen Brown or Kawhi Leonard, would they be on the same developmental path they are now? What would D'Angelo Russell look like if he was drafted by Ainge and played under Brad Stevens?

I tend to think people overrate just how much impact the team has in development. Why didn't James Young develop? How did Paul Piece and Antoine Walker? Different front office, but lt was a losing atmosphere.

I do think Ainge deserves credit for Tatum and Brown, but I think they would have developed anywhere. They are driven guys.
 

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This announcing crew is scrambling right now. Jackson finally says that trash talk doesn’t equal a shove.
 

Big John

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The best argument for drafting being skill vs. luck is the degree to which the league as a whole has gotten better over time at identifying top talent.
Yes, particularly international talent. There's no way that players like Ginobili, Marc Gasol, Okur, Scola, Varejao, Ilyasova, Pekovic, Asik or Dragic would be second round picks nowadays. Nowitzski would be a top 3 pick, not #9, and Tony Parker would be top 15, not #29.. Teams like San Antonio and Dallas discovered Europe first, and the rest of the league followed. The 2002 world championships and the 2004 Olympics also opened some eyes.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This is the beginning and the end of the discussion as far as I am concerned.

If someone wants to make the case that drafting well in the second round (and especially past the first ten or so picks in that round) is a repeatable skill, I’ll consider the argument on its merits. Absent that, however, saying Danny is “good” or “bad” at making second-round picks misses the mark — there is only “lucky” and “unlucky.”
Are you implying that scouting and personnel evaluation is purely luck? To me this is an outrageous claim.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Has Ainge ever picked up a second round pick during the draft (ie, a situation where he jumps in to grab a guy who slid)?
 

maufman

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Are you implying that scouting and personnel evaluation is purely luck? To me this is an outrageous claim.

The claim I’m making is much more limited — that the difference in value between good scouting, average scouting, and poor scouting is much less than commonly supposed, and virtually nonexistent once you get past the 40th pick if the draft. If a few GMs fired their amateur scouts and just read a bunch of stuff on the Internet to prepare for the draft, then we could test the hypothesis that “scouting and personnel evaluation is purely luck.” But no one’s going to do that, probably for good reason.

It’s not news to anyone that drafting well is partly luck. Given the paucity of data (only one draft a year, only two rounds, and the rules and environment change often enough that there’s only a decade or two of data that might be probative), it would be extremely hard to measure the role that luck plays. But it certainly appears to me that we tend to underestimate the role of luck. It’s unclear whether luck holds sway because scouting can only do so much, or because it’s not realistically possible to sustain an advantage in scouting over other teams for any length of time.
 

Devizier

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The best argument for drafting being skill vs. luck is the degree to which the league as a whole has gotten better over time at identifying top talent. In the NFL, I think there has been significant improvement. In the NBA, it’s less clear that’s so.
NBA drafting has gotten a lot better. There's a reason why they reduced the draft from 7+ rounds to the 2 rounds we have today. The absolute best players have almost always been picked at the top of the draft -- that's the standard you're applying here -- but the general migration of useful players to the top of the draft has been an ongoing project as a result of improved scouting (especially international). Plus it's a lot easier to get TV coverage of games, including HS games.

I also think, getting into the player development side of things, teams are a lot more predisposed to get use out of the marginal players. So you have a lot of second round and/or fringe talent getting burn whereas a lot of guys in the past were buried and just stayed buried. Has to be a product of minutes opening up since 40+ MPG is no longer the expectation from starters.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Are you implying that scouting and personnel evaluation is purely luck? To me this is an outrageous claim.
I haven't kept on this but as of 2014 I believe the consensus was that there is no evidence that drafting well is a repeatable skill. For instance: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no-team-can-beat-the-draft/.

That's one reason the Ravens try to get so many supplemental draft picks. AFAIK, they believe the only way to increase your draft success rate - other than picking high in the draft - is to increase the number of picks the team has.
 

Jimbodandy

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I tend to think people overrate just how much impact the team has in development. Why didn't James Young develop? How did Paul Piece and Antoine Walker? Different front office, but lt was a losing atmosphere.

I do think Ainge deserves credit for Tatum and Brown, but I think they would have developed anywhere. They are driven guys.
I think that this raises a good point, especially on the heels of the combine.

While I think that there is a real development component, what's different about Tatum, Brown, and Rozier is that they are driven guys. Drafting driven guys is important.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Has Ainge ever picked up a second round pick during the draft (ie, a situation where he jumps in to grab a guy who slid)?
I know he tried to move into it to select Amir Johnson coming out of HS after he had Orien Greene shut down workouts with a promise. Apparently Ainge didn't expect Amir to last as long as he did .