“With the first pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select Greg Oden, from Ohio State University”
“With the second pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the Seattle SuperSonics select Kevin Durant, from the University of Texas.”
A whole lot has happened since then. The SuperSonics became the Thunder, the Celtics won a championship, LeBron moved to Miami, the Wizards big three became John Wall, and the Lakers have won two championships, as well as the retirement of Phil Jackson. But, if anything, the change in the best player in the league. Two years ago, you might’ve said Kobe or LeBron. But now, it’s Kevin Durant.
Kevin Durant was picked second in the 2007 NBA Draft, since the Blazers believed Greg Oden was a man they could build their franchise around. But they were wrong. Since then, he’s been hurt three times, and his PPG hasn’t averaged over 11 in the two seasons he’s played in. Why he was picked first? In college, he had 15 points and ten rebounds a game.
Kevin Durant was picked second, and after that, he would never be second to anybody again. Just this season, he’s averaged 28 points and 8 rebounds a game – the best player in basketball in my opinion.
The odds of the NBA Draft are much different than any other draft in american sports. In the MLB, only two number one picks haven’t made it to the majors, and even if they do have negatives, they are worked out in the minors. In the NFL, the constant offseason camps familiarize the rookies with the veterans, and most top 3 picks turn out very well. In the NBA, however, it’s really taking a shot in the dark.
While Andrea Bargnani has taken a slow but steady road up, Derrick Rose only needed one season to get past the 20 points per game mark. Blake Griffin brought excitement to a boring Clippers team. But other times, you fail completely or make a bad choice, with players like Kwame Brown (6.6 ppg) Greg Oden, and Kenyon Martin.
You really never know. But what I do know is that one pick can be the difference between making a playoff franchise and a lottery pick team.