The No 1 Pick: A Blessing or a Curse?
The NBA train just keeps on a-rolling.
Just a week removed from the NBA finals, and already the NBA draft is upon us.
This year’s draft class has all the makings of a primo crop, with players in the Top 5 that could be franchise-changing.
However, while the draft brings forth memories and dreams of finding the next Patrick Ewing or Kevin Durant, there are always plenty of horror stories lurking underneath: those picks that had so much promise and yet either fizzled out or were just simply bad decisions.
Anybody remember Kwame Brown or Greg Oden? Their franchises certainly do:
Sure, the Greg Oden pick, in particular, seemed like a good one at the time. A dominant center who had the potential to be the next Shaq; what’s not to like?
We all know how that ended. His knees couldn’t withstand a breeze, and he's still trying to find a spot in the NBA.
This year, the T-Wolves nabbed the No 1 pick and have the choice of either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor. That's a good problem to have. A team can’t really go wrong with either, but while a No 1 pick should be celebrated, is it also a curse in some regard?
Think about it for a moment:
The Cleveland Cavaliers literally were swimming in No 1 picks over the last five years and really hit on just one player, Kyrie Irving. Yes, they picked Andrew Wiggins, but he was traded.
- In having the No 1 pick, it forces teams to really understand what they want, and depending on the franchise, that can be difficult ... cough ... Minnesota ... cough ... Seriously, the Timberwolves are one of the more entertaining franchises when it comes to the draft.
- The media coverage and all the hype surrounds that one team and puts extra pressure on the management to make the right decision. Essentially, either they're heroes that rejuvenated a franchise, or they looked like fools and set themselves back years.
First off, teams should want the first pick because, more often than not, they expect to get a franchise-changing player. However, when it comes to a draft like this year where multiple players could be franchise-changing, the pressure is on to make the best choice.
There's been news that Minnesota management has already made up their minds and wants Towns instead of Okafor.
Towns and the organization can deny it all they want, but this makes sense. Again, can’t go wrong with either, and it's probably the safest pick for Minnesota, a franchise who hasn't exactly been lights-out with their picks. Missing out on Stephen Curry and grabbing Jonny Flynn instead. Can you say ouch?
Yeah, that'll burn for decades.
What's interesting is that the Lakers have the easiest choice in this draft. They can just pick whomever Minnesota doesn’t grab.
In loaded drafts like these, is it more beneficial for a team to have the second pick? That sounds nuts, and most NBA fans would start riots over that statement. But, that's a comfortable situation to be in. The choice can be easy and the pressure is lifted to some degree.
While we can speculate until the cows come home -- no doubt chased by timberwolves -- only these players can define what their careers look like. Minnesota may not be experiencing the curse of the No 1 pick this year, but they need to battle memories of their poor choices in the past and turn the page, not only for themselves, but for their fan base.
Minnesota has seen it's fair share of stars come and go.
Make the best choice.
The T-Wolves are on the clock. Let the madness begin.