On the day before the NBA Draft Lottery, the HQ takes a look at how Bryan Colangleo has fared during his previous trips to Seacaucus...
Billy Owens, Christian Laettner, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Jerry Stackhouse, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Chauncey Billups, Raef LaFrentz, Baron Davis, Darius Miles, Pau Gasol, Mike Dunleavy Jr, Carmelo Anthony, Ben Gordon, Deron Williams, Al Horford, OJ Mayo, James Harden, Derrick Favors...and Adam Morrison.
What do all these players have in common?
They were all taken third overall in the NBA draft in the past 20 years.
Outside of poor Adam Morrison, there's not a dud among them.
Now Favors of course has a ways to go, guys like Miles and Laettner didn't have the NBA impact maybe that most expected, and others like LaFrentz and Dunleavy Jr. unfortunately had their careers impacted by strings of injuries, but that's a pretty solid list is it not?
For us Raptors' fans, tomorrow night we find out if Toronto will be adding a name to the list above.
The team finished with the third-worst record last season, and therefore may end up picking in this spot when the NBA draft rolls around in June.
Of course there's a chance they pick higher than third, or drop below, depending on how the ping pong balls fall.
But as we discussed last week, getting anywhere in that top five, and especially top three, historically has paid off quite nicely for lottery teams.
Today, I thought we'd take a quick look at Bryan Colangelo's lottery history.
Apparently Colangelo will be representing the Raptors again this year in Seacaucus, and hopefully he'll strike it rich once more. Remember, five years ago BC hit solid gold, grabbing the first overall pick despite only having the fifth-best chance of doing so.
Before we break down Colangelo's lottery history though, it's interesting to note that BC's teams in Phoenix didn't visit the lottery very often. In fact, only three times during his tenure were the Suns in the lottery. It's his time in Toronto so far that's been a lot more "lottery-bound," with a third trip on the way in only six off-seasons.
Let's take a look at his choices to date:
1. Shawn Marion - F, UNLV - 9th Overall Pick in 1999 Draft.
BC had some solid picks previously during his time as Phoenix GM, but none up until this selection were via the lottery. Players like Michael Finley, Steve Nash and Stephen Jackson were all taken outside of lottery-land, so Shawn Marion was his first "lottery at-bat" so to speak, and boy did he ever hit a home run.
Marion became an integral part of the Suns' blitzing offense that dominated the Western Conference for over half a decade, and was a player who helped redefine the small forward position. Now every team wants an athletic 3 who can guard multiple positions and get out in transition. "The Matrix" went on to play in four All-Star Games and was a member of the All-NBA Third Team on two occasions.
Looking back at the 1999 draft, Marion would no doubt be a top five pick if there was a redo, bested only by Manu Ginobili and perhaps Lamar Odom, Elton Brand and Ron Artest.
2. Amar'e Stoudemire - F, Cypress Creek High School - 9th Overall Pick in 2002 Draft.
When Colangelo took to the lottery plate again three years after drafting Shawn Marion, he again struck lottery gold, this time with a young forward straight out of high school. While Shawn Marion's impact was more subtle in games, Amar'e Stoudemire immediately dominated and was the NBA's rookie of the year in the 2002-03 season.
He's since gone on to make six All-Star appearances, receive an all-NBA first team honour in 2007, and four all-NBA second team nods.
Looking back at the 2002 draft, the selection of Amar'e was an even bigger coup than Marion. A redo would certainly have him being taken with the top overall pick considering Yao Ming's injury issues, and the less-than stellar careers of other lottery picks like Dajuan Wagner and Nikoloz Tskitishvili.
3. Luol Deng - G/F, DUKE - 7th Overall Pick in 2004 Draft.
Does this one even count? The Suns traded their lottery pick in 2004 to the Chicago Bulls in order to save loot and therefore Deng was never a member of the Suns. Deng was taken by Phoenix for Chicago, but you have to wonder if the Suns hadn't moved this pick, if Deng still wouldn't have been the selection here. At the time, Deng was slated to fall no further than 7th and while I can maybe see Colangelo taking a close look at Andre Iguodala, who else would this pick have been?
4. Andrea Bargnani - F/C, Benetton Treviso - 1st Overall Pick in 2006 Draft.
As mentioned, the Toronto Raptors had the fifth best odds at landing the top pick this year, but overcame them to grab Bargs.
Was he the best choice?
That's been one of the most-discussed topics ever on this site, as players like Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo have gone on to All-Star or near All-Star careers while Bargs has been a great scorer...but that's about it.
However it's important to remember that in reality, the consensus five players everyone mentioned as options for that top spot didn't include Roy or Rondo, and instead, featured names like Adam Morrison and Tyrus Thomas.
If you redid the 2006 draft now, Bargs would still be taken in the lottery, definitely in the top 10, and most likely in the top 7 considering how weak this draft class turned out to be.
5. DeMar DeRozan - G, USC - 9th Overall Pick in the 2009 Draft.
Unlike Colangelo's two previous picks at number nine, you can't say yet that DeMar has been a home run. A solid double? Definitely. But we probably need at least another year before being able to properly assess how this choice turned out.
Safe to say though that he was a much better selection than Hasheem Thabeet, and probably Jordan Hill and Jonny Flynn, players selected above him.Unfortunately players like Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, and various others look to have as good or better NBA careers in front of them so for now, the jury is out. But barring a sudden precipitous drop in play, DeMar at least looks like a solid lottery selection.
6. Ed Davis - F, UNC - 13th Overall Pick in the 2010 Draft.
The jury's still out on Eddy too however based on year one, it's hard not to think that this pick by Colangelo could end up being one of the biggest draft steals when all is said and done. Davis started slow due to injury but finished as one of the top rookies in terms of rebounding, shot-blocking and PER, and has an extremely bright future ahead.
Bottom line then?
While I've been quite critical of Bryan Colangelo's draft history, really, his main struggles have been with finding value later on in the draft.
When he's been in or right around lottery land, he's been pretty on target, something that bodes extremely well for the upcoming draft.