Evaluating Larry Riley's draft legacy


Evaluating Larry Riley's draft legacy

The NBA draft can make or break a franchise, with one pickcapable of turning a team around. For evidence of that, look how far the Oklahoma City Thunder havecome on a series of successful first round selections (Kevin Durant in 2007,Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka in 2008 and James Harden in 2009).It's no great revelation that one of the most importantdecisions a general manager makes is selecting whom to draft.CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman has designed a formula forevaluating how successful every NBA general manager has been at drafting qualityplayers. Ignoring all other transactions such as trades and free agentsignings, Goodman looks at just the draft choices and how those players'careers developed.The formula has two dimensions. The first is obviously thequality of the player, broken down into categories ranging from"Elite" -- think Durant, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant -- to"OverseasOut of league" -- a mishmash of the Joe Alexanders orAlexlis Ajincas of draft history.Secondly, Goodman considers when the player was taken in thedraft. Although James has become a star, it was no great feat ofscouting when Cavaliers general manager Jim Paxson pulled the trigger to draftJames in 2003. A bigger steal, and therefore a sign of a better general manager,was a pick like Rajon Rondo, who went 21st in the 2006 NBA draft. Goodmanrewards those types of later picks that blossomed in great players moreheavily.Given that Bob Myers has yet to make a selection as generalmanager of the Warriors, he was not rated by Goodman. Still, it is worthconsidering how his predecessor, Larry Riley, would have been rated had heretained his title as general manager.2008: Riley's first draft at the helm was rather mediocre.The Warriors selected Anthony Randolph out of LSU with the 14th pick. Though Randolph averageddouble-digit points in 2009-10 and 2010-11, he has regressed since, and hisminutes have decreased.Randolph'scareer so far fits under Goodman's criteria of a rotation player, which Goodmanexemplifies with the careers of Ronny Turiaf, Patrick Patterson and Ryan Gomes.Given that Randolphwas the 14th overall pick, that earns Riley zero points in Goodman's system.Richard Hendrix, the Warriors' second round pick in 2008, isnow playing overseas from Olimpia Milano in Italy, a Euroleague team. Becausehe was selected 49th overall, he too earns Riley zero points.2009: Riley scored his biggest draft success by landingStephen Curry with the seventh pick in the 2009 draft. Curry has posted verystrong numbers to begin his career, and if he can stay healthy, his career istracking along with Goodman's examples of occasional All-Stars: Joe Johnson,Rudy Gay, Danny Granger and Devin Harris.This pick earns Riley six points under Goodman's scale.2010: With the sixth pick in the 2010 draft, Golden Stateopted for Ekpe Udoh out of Baylor. Though still young, Udoh has not developedas the Warriors likely hoped a sixth overall pick would, and they traded him toMilwaukee aspart of the deal to bring in Andrew Bogut.Though possibly still with the potential to improve, Udohfor now fits the criteria of a rotation player, and due to his high draft pick,Udoh costs Riley one point.2011: In Riley's final draft as general manager, theWarriors selected Klay Thompson with the 11th pick. Thompson's career got offto a decent start, averaging 12.5 points this season.Assuming Thompson builds off his promising rookie season,his career could align with Goodman's "Solid Starter" players, suchas Arron Afflalo, Luke Ridnour and Raymond Felton. With Thompson's position in the draft,he earns Riley 4.5 points.It is too early to evaluate Charles Jenkins in Goodman'ssystem. Jenkins contributed 5.8 points in 17.5 minutes in his rookie season.Though it is unlikely Jenkins will be a star, his career could develop into avariety of the middle categories -- quality reserve, rotation player, benchplayer.With Riley's five draft picks whose careers can beevaluated, he averages 1.9 points per selection. That would have been goodenough for 10th among the 21 general managers Goodman evaluated. Riley wouldhave fallen between Indiana's Larry Bird and Toronto's BryanColangelo.What do you think of Larry Riley's track recorddrafting players? Comment below.
Colin Becht is an intern with CSNBayArea.com and a senior at Northwestern University

Report: Derrick Rose 'has committed to sign' with Cavs


Report: Derrick Rose 'has committed to sign' with Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be adding a former MVP to the roster.

Free agent point guard Derrick Rose has "committed to sign" with the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, according to The Vertical.

The pact is expected to be a one-year, $2.1 million deal, according to ESPN.

In one season with the Knicks, Rose appeared in 64 games. He averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 32.5 minutes.

News of Rose joining the Cavs comes as trade winds swirl around starting point guard Kyrie Irving.

Drafted No. 1 overall in 2008, Rose spent the first eight years of his career with the Bulls and won the 2010-11 NBA MVP.

Adam Silver feels bad for Cleveland: 'Where there's smoke, there's fire'


Adam Silver feels bad for Cleveland: 'Where there's smoke, there's fire'

When Adam Silver speaks, you listen (or in this case, you read what he said).

The NBA Commissioner joined The Rich Eisen Show on Monday morning and was asked the following question:

"Are you ecstatic of all this news, all the drama that's being played out in all these rosters in free agency?"

Silver's answer was kind of surprising.

[RELATED: Report: LeBron won't waive no-trade clause for any team]

"I love the interest. I'm not ecstatic about the drama," Silver began. "I feel bad for whatever is going on in Cleveland, and I have no first-hand information.

"But I assume where there's smoke, there's fire. Brian Windhorst has sort of been cataloguing LeBron's career for a long time, and he usually has very accurate insights from that team."

Last Friday, Windhorst broke the news that Kyrie Irving requested a trade.

LeBron James was reportedly "blindsided and disappointed."

"It's upsetting to hear that, when you see superstar players who have co-existed -- who had so much success together, obviously three Finals in a row, one championship -- to hear that for whatever reason, there's a sense that they can't continue to co-exist," Silver added. "Yeah, that's drama, but it's not necessarily the kind of drama that the league wants."

The Cavs selected LeBron with the No.1 overall pick in 2003.

The Cavs selected Kyrie with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

LeBron can become a free agent next summer, while Kyrie can hit the open market in July 2019.

Will the Cavs give in to Kyrie's request? Stay tuned...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller