Worst Picks of the NBA Draft
Dion Waiters - Cleveland Cavaliers - 4th Overall
This is kind of a tough one. I guess the Cavs just really wanted a shooting guard, and I can't knock them for that. Had Brad Beal fell to them, I'm sure they would have opted for him over Waiters, and that would have been a great pick. Having just drafted power forward Tristan Thompson last season, Thomas Robinson may not have made much sense to them. It was a little early to draft a prospect as raw as Andre Drummond. I can see them passing on those guys, but what would I have done? Traded out of there. I'm sure there were plenty of teams that would have loved to jump up and get a guy like Thomas Robinson. If the Cavs moved down to around the 9th-11th pick range, they could have had a shot at getting Waiters (though my guess is Toronto would have taken him) or could have gotten a guy like Jeremy Lamb, who I think has a good chance of being better than Waiters. Waiters just doesn't seem skilled or quick enough to me to be effective in the NBA. He never impressed me with his quickness in college and at 6'4'' he'll often be facing lengthier NBA shooting guards, so I wonder if he'll be able to penetrate as he did at Syracuse. I don't think he will.
Austin Rivers - New Orleans Hornets - 10th Overall
Despite the fact that I simply don't like Austin Rivers' game, I just think he's a bad fit for the Hornets. They plan on signing their excellent young shooting guard, Eric Gordon, to an extension, so if they project Austin Rivers as a starter their thinking the back court will be Rivers and Gordon. They need a distributor. Rivers averaged more turnovers than assists in his one season at Duke, and while Gordon is a better distributor, his career assist average is still only 3.3. Jarrett Jack just had a solid year for the Hornets at point guard, averaging 15.6 points with 6.3 assists. I would have liked to see the Hornets go bigger. Maybe get Meyers Leonard to put next to Anthony Davis, draft Terrence Jones and slide Davis to center, go for a small forward like Maurice (formerly Moe) Harkless. If they really wanted to go with a guard, at least get someone like Kendall Marshall who can distribute. I don't see Rivers and Gordon as a back court that could ever have good chemistry.
Maurice Harkless - Philadelphia 76ers - 15th Overall
I have no problem with drafting Harkless here in terms of talent and skill. What I do have a problem with is that the Sixers are loaded with 1-3's and have no big men. Between Holiday, Williams, Turner, Iguodala, Meeks, and Young they have a good perimeter game, yet they were starting some guy named Vucevic at center last year. I understand that Iguodala is likely to be traded this summer, but Elton Brand's contract is up after this season and their front court is going to be miserable. I know they traded to get Arnett Moultrie and I thought that was a great move. As a matter of fact, it probably should have been in my favorite picks segment. But with the 15th pick they could have gotten Tyler Zeller or even TERRENCE JONES. And if you haven't noticed by now, I have a HUGE man crush on Terrence Jones. Now they just have another player to crowd their perimeter rotation.
Miles Plumlee - Indiana Pacers - 26th Overall
I just felt like the Pacers added another one of those decent players that they're already loaded with. Another guy who just works super hard to help out but is nothing more than a minute eating role player. I understand that you can't expect to find Kobe Bryant with the 26th pick, but you can at least go after someone who shows potential. Guys like George Gervin, Rashard Lewis, and Gilbert Arenas were selected in the second round, so it's not like the well is always dry come pick 26. Plumlee averaged 4.8 points per game in his four years at Duke and a very modest 4.8 rebound (though he never played a ton of minutes). His potential is limited to becoming a minute eating big man who uses his 6 fouls to send guys like Dwight Howard to the line. The Pacers already had that. I would have liked to see them take a shot at a guy who could eventually turn into a really good player, such as Perry Jones, Arnett Moultrie, Marquis Teague, or Draymond Green.