Box? What Box? - or Kahn don't know sh#t about drafting

This post has a very precise origin:

This is the first time in the Wolves' draft history they own a pick as high as No. 2. Even with Kahn's drafting record -- seven first-round picks and little to show -- it's hard to screw this one up. You take Williams, or Irving if he somehow falls, and decide from there.

I'm in the camp that thinks Kahn is mediocre - middle of the road - as a GM. Drafting is clearly his most obvious weakest area, but I think an argument can be made that his ability to choose a head coach that matches his vision is an even bigger weak suit, but that isn't the point of this post. Instead, I got to does Kahn's drafts compare to say...McHale's?

Unapologetic cherry picking follows after the jump.

Since Kahn has arrived, the TWolves have selected in the first round (and kept) or ended up with: Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, Wayne Ellington, Wes Johnson, Lazar Hayward, and maybe Martell Webster (who I'm not going to include in my analysis). If you count all those players up you will arrive at a number that is not seven. ??? Ty Lawson was traded to Denver for a future first Kahn's first year (one of the missing seven), and one of the picks from last year was traded to Portland for Martell. OK, so I'll include Martell in my analysis, as he's essentially a 'draft pick.' Understand, though, that including Martell skews the numbers a little (OK, a lot), but not necessarily unfairly.

The collective career WS of the players Kahn has drafted (and by 'drafted' I mean the players we ultimately ended up with on our roster) is 12.9, heavily influenced by Martell's career 11.8 WS and the fact that these guys have 2 years or less of playing time under their belts. The average collective WS/48 is .026 (or 1.1 WS per 2000 minutes). Also of note - Rubio hasn't played yet.

For comparison I thought to myself, 'Why not look at McHale's lean years?' I'm skipping Kevin Love and starting with Corey and the previous six first round picks (more on why I'm skipping Love later).

If you don't recall who those seven picks were, here's a reminder: Corey, Randy, Shaddy, nobody, Ndudi, nobody, and nobody. Is it fair that I'm including the picks we forfeited because of Joe Smith? You're absolutely right it's fair! No one had to go under the table. McHale can sleep in the bed he agreed to make, be it Taylor's idea or his own.

So, the collective career WS of McHale's Glorious Seven - 16.4 WS, led by Randy's 10.3. Of sad note is that Rashad McCants still has a higher career WS than Corey Brewer, although Dallas' system and veterans will soon inflate Corey's WS to the point where we'll look silly for trading him away. Anyways, their average WS/48 is .040, or 1.7 WS per 2000 minutes.

Kahn's players - 12.9 WS, .026 WS/48 (1.1 WS per 2000 minutes), average age/experience: 23.2 / 2.4 seasons

Mchales guys - 16.4 WS, .040 WS/48 (1.7 WS per 2000 minutes), average age/experience: 24 / 3.75 seasons

Martell and Ndudi skew the season and age averages respectively. Without them, Kahn's guys only have 1.5 seasons of experience on average, and without Ndudi (who crapped out at age 20), McHale's guys have an average age of 25.3 years old (or 2.1 years older than Kahn's guys).


Anyways, as bad as everyone thinks Kahn is, the truth is that this organization has really only 'hit' on two draft picks in the last 10 years - Randy Foye and Kevin Love.


That sucks.


So why didn't I include Kevin Love in McHale's guys? Mainly because I believe that drafting a franchise player is more than 50% dumb luck, and because I wanted to highlight how big of a difference getting even one of those guys can make in how we perceive a GM. Consider this:

- What do all these guys have in common? Cory Alexander, Bill Curley, Tracy Murray, and Dwayne Schintzius.

Give up? They were the Spurs' first round draft picks for the six years immediately prior to drafting Tim Duncan. Like I said, franchise players = getting lucky more often than not.

I don't think Kahn is great at drafting, but I don't think his picks are innately horrible either. His biggest sin has been not snuffing out Rambis' belief in the triangle during the interview process. There is still time, and I think, at worst, his track record will prove to be mediocre.




In looking at the Spurs draft history, I more fully appreciated the state of this team through the ages. I don't know who owns the Spurs, how long they've owned them, or even how long RC Buford and Co have been doing the draft, but whatever they're drinking down there, we need some.

McHale's career first round picks (who've played for us): 382.5 WS, .071 WS/48 (on average - or about 3 WS per 2000 minutes).

- of all those WS, 90% of them come from just 4 players: KG (45.67%), Stephon Marbury (20.26%), Wally World (13.93%), and Rasho (10.43%). Of course, half or more of the WS from 3 of those guys came while playing with teams other than ours, but I digress.

The Spurs career first round picks (who've played for them): 346.9 WS, .128 WS/48 (on average - or about 5.4 WS per 2000 minutes).

- of all those WS, 83.8% of them come from just three guys: Tim Duncan (49%), Antonio Daniels (13.55% - and not technically a first rounder of theirs, but traded for as a second year guy coming in), and Tony Parker (21.25%).

- where the Spurs will blow your mind is in the collective amount of WS produced by their second round picks and guys they drafted and traded away during that time: 178.4 WS, average of .122 WS/48 (or 5 WS per 2000 minutes). That, my friends, is how you do business in the NBA.

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