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NLL Insider - Top 10 picks in the 2005 – 2014

by CarlSpackler, updated on Monday, June 19 2017, 06:46 am EST

With each draft, every team has visions of landing their next star. In fact, many teams will sacrifice a season in order to land a spot in the lottery. But as many are painfully aware, a lottery pick is by no means a guarantee that a star will be found. Maybe not even a starter. NLL GMs follow the NBA draft closely, poring over the various mock draft sites to determine which players will be the next ones to take the league by storm.

As one might expect, the NLL draft fairly closely mirrors the NBA draft. But some NLL GMs will take a flyer and diverge from their real life counterparts. So, do those flyers pay off, or would they have been better off sticking to the choices made in the NBA? We examined 10 years of drafts and, since it takes a few seasons for players to really show how well they’re going to fare in the league, the most recent draft we looked at was the 2014 draft. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the top 10 picks in the 2005 – 2014 drafts.

*Bold players indicate they’ve been selected to the NBA All-Star game or All NBA Team.

2005

Overall, 2005 was not a great draft in terms of star players. Chris Paul is really the only one in the draft who has established himself as a superstar. There are a handful of others who’ve made it to an All-Star game or were named to an all NBA team – Andrew Bogut, Deron Williams, and even Andrew Bynum made one. In the NBA, CP3 was taken 4th. The NLL didn’t see the same magic in him, as Utah, opted for Channing Frye instead. And Chris almost slipped out of the top 10 until Seattle selected him at #9.

NBA GMs +1.

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut

2

Marvin Williams

Marvin Williams

3

Deron Williams

Gerald Green

4

Chris Paul

Channing Frye

5

Raymond Felton

Danny Granger

6

Martell Webster

Deron Williams

7

Charlie Villanueva

Raymond Felton

8

Channing Frye

Martell Webster

9

Ike Diogu

Chris Paul

10

Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum

 

2006

In the 2006 draft, Charlotte was not on the Bargnani bandwagon, rejecting the example set in the NBA draft. Instead, they wisely chose LaMarcus Aldridge, while Bargnani slipped to 4th. Another smart move by an NLL GM was San Antonio’s choice to select Rudy Gay with the 5th pick, even though he slipped to 8th in the NBA. While he may not have been selected to an All-Star or all NBA team, he’s been a very good NBA player throughout his career. Brandon Roy was the immediate star post-draft but, unfortunately, injuries derailed his career prematurely. Unfortunately, nobody in the NLL or the NBA was able to see that Adam Morrison was going to be such an ineffective pro player.

NLL GMs +1.

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Andrea Bargnani

LaMarcus Aldridge

2

LaMarcus Aldridge

Adam Morrison

3

Adam Morrison

Tyrus Thomas

4

Tyrus Thomas

Andrea Bargnani

5

Shelden Williams

Rudy Gay

6

Brandon Roy

Shelden Williams

7

Randy Foye

Brandon Roy

8

Rudy Gay

Randy Foye

9

Patrick O'Bryant

Ronnie Brewer

10

Mouhamed Sene

Patrick O'Bryant

 

2007

Unfortunately, neither Portland in the NBA or Atlanta in the NLL were able to predict that Greg Oden was made of glass. The rest of the top 10 was very similar with picks 1-4 being identical between the leagues. The rest of the picks varied only slightly. There were 4 big stars in this draft and it was clear who they were.

Both were too similar to call a winner.

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Greg Oden

Greg Oden

2

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

3

Al Horford

Al Horford

4

Mike Conley

Mike Conley

5

Jeff Green

Corey Brewer

6

Yi Jianlian

Brandan Wright

7

Corey Brewer

Yi Jianlian

8

Brandan Wright

Jeff Green

9

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

10

Spencer Hawes

Julian Wright

 

2008

Scouts were pretty unanimous in their assessments at the time that Derrick Rose was the clear #1 in this draft. But NLL’s Golden State GM said scouts be damned and selected Michael Beasley. While Beasley hasn’t been bad, he never seemed to reach star status. Rose became the star that scouts predicted he’d be, though injuries have tempered that. The UCLA boys, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love went 4 and 5 in both leagues, but they just swapped places. Both still stars, though Westbrook is the one true superstar of this draft. In a brilliant bit of foresight, Sacramento didn’t agree with the NBA’s selection of Danilo Gallinari and instead chose Brook Lopez.

NBA wins on the Rose move, but NLL wins on Lopez. We’ll call it a tie.

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Derrick Rose

Michael Beasley

2

Michael Beasley

Derrick Rose

3

O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo

4

Russell Westbrook

Kevin Love

5

Kevin Love

Russell Westbrook

6

Danilo Gallinari

Brook Lopez

7

Eric Gordon

Jerryd Bayless

8

Joe Alexander

Eric Gordon

9

D.J. Augustin

Danilo Gallinari

10

Brook Lopez

Joe Alexander

 

2009

Big credit is due to the NLL GMs in this year’s draft. For some reason, the NBA and various other sources were high on Hasheem Thabeet. The GMs of the NLL recognized that nonsense for what it was. Utah instead selected James Harden with the #2 pick. Unfortunately, Thabeet didn’t slip too far, and was eventually picked up with the 5th pick. Some of bits of wisdom from the NLL was picking up Steph Curry at #6 (he went 7th in the NBA) and DeMar DeRozan at 8 (9 in NBA).

NLL wins this one big. ++1

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

2

Hasheem Thabeet

James Harden

3

James Harden

Tyreke Evans

4

Tyreke Evans

Ricky Rubio

5

Ricky Rubio

Hasheem Thabeet

6

Jonny Flynn

Stephen Curry

7

Stephen Curry

Jordan Hill

8

Jordan Hill

DeMar DeRozan

9

DeMar DeRozan

Jonny Flynn

10

Brandon Jennings

Tyler Hansbrough

 

2010

The NLL made a few smart moves in the 2010 draft and one glaring error. The Bucks wisely grabbed Boogie with the 4th pick while the while the Timberwolves in the NBA opted for Wesley Johnson with their #4 pick. And Atlanta was not deterred when Gordon Hayward went 9th in the NBA. The Hawks instead grabbed him at #6. But the big error sits down at the #10 spot in the NBA. With that pick, the Pacers selected Paul George. With the 10th pick in the NLL, San Antonio selected Ed Davis. The 11 – 14 picks all went by as Ekpe Udoh, Patrick Patterson, Larry Sanders, and Xavier Henry were grabbed before Paul George’s name was announced, heading to Sacramento at #15.

Two slightly smarter picks by the NLL, but the NBA gets the +1 only because George fell as far as he did.

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

John Wall

John Wall

2

Evan Turner

Evan Turner

3

Derrick Favors

Derrick Favors

4

Wesley Johnson

DeMarcus Cousins

5

DeMarcus Cousins

Wesley Johnson

6

Ekpe Udoh

Gordon Hayward

7

Greg Monroe

Al-Farouq Aminu

8

Al-Farouq Aminu

Greg Monroe

9

Gordon Hayward

Cole Aldrich

10

Paul George

Ed Davis

 

2011

This was a pretty similar top 10, with one fairly notable exception. Kemba Walker wasn’t grabbed until #9 in the NBA, but Chicago’s GM saw something the potential in Walker and grabbed him with the 6th pick in the NLL. Two guys who should have been top 10 selections but, unfortunately, neither league was able to anticipate how good they’d become, were Klay Thompson (11th in NBA and NLL), and Kawhi Leonard (15th in NBA, 13th in NLL).

For the Walker selection, NLL gets the +1.

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

2

Derrick Williams

Derrick Williams

3

Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter

4

Tristan Thompson

Jonas Valanciunas

5

Jonas Valanciunas

Brandon Knight

6

Jan Vesely

Kemba Walker

7

Bismack Biyombo

Jan Vesely

8

Brandon Knight

Bismack Biyombo

9

Kemba Walker

Tristan Thompson

10

Jimmer Fredette

Jimmer Fredette

 

2012

Anthony Davis was an obvious #1 in 2012. But the rest was fairly uncertain, which is probably why there was such a variance between the two leagues. Outside of #1, no other pick in the NLL was the same as the pick in the NBA. Damian Lillard was selected #6 in the NBA, but was passed over by a few teams and  Philly was ecstatic to grab him at #10. Chicago did make a pretty smart move, grabbing Harrison Barnes with the 4th pick, despite the fact that he didn’t go until #7 in the NBA.

We’ll call this one a wash. 

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

2

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Bradley Beal

3

Bradley Beal

Thomas Robinson

4

Dion Waiters

Harrison Barnes

5

Thomas Robinson

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

6

Damian Lillard

Jeremy Lamb

7

Harrison Barnes

Dion Waiters

8

Terrence Ross

Andre Drummond

9

Andre Drummond

Austin Rivers

10

Austin Rivers

Damian Lillard

 

2013

2013 was a fairly underwhelming draft. Though, to be fair, we are getting into the timeframe where players haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully show what kind of players that may or may not be. Though a number of players have already shown that they are not going to be much. The Sixers had the first pick in this year’s NLL draft and were smart to see that Anthony Bennett was a pile of hot garbage. Unfortunately, they took a gamble by selecting Ben McLemore who hasn’t yet done too much in the league. But credit goes to the Thunder in this draft by seeing the potential in C.J. McCollum and picking him at #5, even though he didn’t go until #10 in the NBA.

NLL +1

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Anthony Bennett

Ben McLemore

2

Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo

3

Otto Porter

Anthony Bennett

4

Cody Zeller

Nerlens Noel

5

Alex Len

C.J. McCollum

6

Nerlens Noel

Trey Burke

7

Ben McLemore

Otto Porter

8

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Michael Carter-Williams

9

Trey Burke

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

10

C.J. McCollum

Cody Zeller

 

2014

This was viewed as a pretty loaded draft and, though it’s still early, some players are showing that they are clearly going to be stars, if they aren’t already. There wasn’t much difference between the two leagues. Players shuffled by 1, maybe two spots, but that was about it.

Not enough difference to determine a winner here.

Pick

NBA

NLL

1

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins

2

Jabari Parker

Jabari Parker

3

Joel Embiid

Dante Exum

4

Aaron Gordon

Joel Embiid

5

Dante Exum

Marcus Smart

6

Marcus Smart

Aaron Gordon

7

Julius Randle

Noah Vonleh

8

Nik Stauskas

Julius Randle

9

Noah Vonleh

Elfrid Payton

10

Elfrid Payton

Gary Harris

 

So what does this tell us as we head into the 2017 draft? Absolutely nothing. Some years, the NLL GMs have diverged from what happened in the NBA and it worked out very well. Other years, they’ve diverged and gotten burned. So, the lesson here is that, barring a few exceptions, the draft is largely a crapshoot. Best of luck to all you in landing the next NBA star. Luck being the operative word here.

 

  Comments (2) 
sheed36
06/19 03:58 pm
2013 was the worst draft in years
merencio
06/19 01:57 pm
Nice job, man! Thanks! For the record, CJ McCollum was picked by Utah in a pre-draft deal with OKC :)

Archive

· Nenjabin's (too nice) Draft Grades

· Smokey's Draft Grades

· MVP! MVP!

· 2017 NLL Lottery Mock Draft

· Top 10 picks in the 2005 – 2014

· NLLs Most Improved!

· NLL Draft: Top 10 Player Reviews

· Mock Draft

· Spurs are the NLL Champions!

· 6th Man of the Year

 

 

 

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