The Suns' (Idiotic) Approach to the NBA Draft

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by Ed O, Jun 22, 2022.

  1. Ed O

    Ed O Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9,569
    Likes Received:
    905
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    This is ESPN Insider, but I read it and pulled a muscle shaking my head while reading it.

    Has anyone else read it and do you have an opinion?

    https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/st...x-suns-plan-nail-nba-draft-mostly-ignoring-it

    Key points:
    • They don't use the word "potential" (they use "capacity")
    • They don't have many scouts; they don't do many scouting reports; they don't have many guys on their draft board
    • They (or at least the article) hold up Cameron Johnson as an example of their heterodoxy in that he was older and they took him much sooner than anticipated (even after trading down five spots)
    To me... James Jones is an idiot about this. It's EASY to say, "We don't care about upside, and we don't need to look deeply at a lot of guys in the draft" and be relatively successful right after your team has drafted Booker in 2015 (and Jones admits he probably would have passed on him if he had been in charge) and Ayton.

    Playing it safe with draft picks results in mediocrity, and the constant hunt for role players (which, essentially, the Suns are reduced to doing by looking at the here and now, rather than projecting) will leave the team in the dust over time as their core ages and is not replaced with new stars.
     
    illmatic99 likes this.
  2. oldmangrouch

    oldmangrouch persona non grata

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    12,010
    Likes Received:
    5,931
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I agree it is a problematic strategy long term. Short term? Is spending a 1st rd pick on someone like Johnson really worse than trading picks for vet journeymen to fill out the roster? If the Suns believe in their core and are looking to contend now and in the immediate future, I would argue that using the draft to acquire players rather than projects is a more cost effective way to build a team than free agency or trades for non-impact vets.
     
    Ed O likes this.
  3. illmatic99

    illmatic99 formerly yuyuza1

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    49,411
    Likes Received:
    42,661
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central OR
    i just read it.

    in what world is getting more information a bad thing?

    it's really easy for him to implement this "strategy" when they're picking in the late twenties and in the second round, but when more is at stake with a top 10 pick, their approach seems foolish. this is how they select dragan bender and josh jackson fourth overall in consecutive drafts.

    i dunno, maybe it's just my nature, and my training in science, but when i encounter a difficult problem, my mindset is to tackle it head on to find as many potential solutions as possible. they just want to get out of it altogether. I'm glad our franchise is now investing heavily in the scouting department.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
    Ed O likes this.
  4. PDXFonz

    PDXFonz I’m listening!

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    16,830
    Likes Received:
    13,116
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I didn’t realize insider was still a thing. I wonder how it has continued… Are there enough subscribers to pay the writers? Are there just like 1 or 2 writers total?

    I remember back when you used to need insider for Hollinger’s stuff. No way it’s even close to that good now, right?
     
  5. Ed O

    Ed O Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9,569
    Likes Received:
    905
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Johnson wasn't a bad pick for them both because they didn't "miss" on him, and because they got Saric when they traded down (assuming Saric was a net-positive, of course)... treating this approach like it's smart just because it's different (which is not what YOU are doing, but the Suns seem to be claiming) is silly to me.
     
    oldmangrouch likes this.
  6. Ed O

    Ed O Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9,569
    Likes Received:
    905
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Agreed. Other than your (obvious) typo/word choice bolded above.

    The thing is that he even says their limitation on scouting/research is not about money... it's a weird restraint he's putting on his staff in the interests of being egalitarian and it's weird to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
    illmatic99 likes this.
  7. CJ_is_Gone

    CJ_is_Gone Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2022
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    43
    It's a moneyball approach.
    If you collect a lot of players who are 1 or 2-base hit types, you probably do a whole lot better than collecting players who are the homerun/nothing types.
     
  8. Ed O

    Ed O Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9,569
    Likes Received:
    905
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I have it because I get it, Hulu, and Disney+ as part of a package. I actually could do without the latter two things, so I should probably cancel them. Insider has stuff I regularly read (fantasy football and otherwise) and honestly I don't pay attention to what's Insider and what's not.
     
    PDXFonz likes this.
  9. Ed O

    Ed O Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9,569
    Likes Received:
    905
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm not following that logic at all. Can you explain what you mean?

    I can guess that you mean zigging when others are zagging (the A's valued OBP and college hitters over high schoolers and "tools"; the Suns look at older college players) but the A's did it because they couldn't compete with larger markets... and because mathematically it made sense to cash in on market inefficiencies.

    The Suns don't have the built-in limitation, and I don't see how paying attention to fewer players is taking advantage of market inefficiencies (since other teams look at those guys, too).
     

Share This Page