What Could Have Been...
I don't know why I did this to myself, or better yet why I want to pass this misery along to all of you, but I had a little free time a few days ago and came up with this:
Players we drafted and in parentheses, players we passed over either immediately after or pretty close after:
1980: (Kiki Vandeweghe - refused to sign, forced a trade)
1981: Mark Aguirre + Rolando Blackman - NICE picks
1982: Bill Garnett (Fat Lever)
1983: Dale Ellis (Clyde Drexler) + Derek Harper
1984: Sam Perkins (Charles Barkley) + Terence Stansbury (John Stockton)
1985: Detlef Schrempf (Karl Malone) + Uwe Blab (Joe Dumars) + Bill Wennington (AC Green or Terry Cummings)
1986: Roy Tarpley + traded pick (Arvydas Sabonis) + traded pick (Dennis Rodman or Mark Price)
1987: Jim Farmer (Reggie Lewis)
1988: traded pick (Brian Shaw) + Marlon Wiley (Steve Kerr)
1989: Randy White (Tim Hardaway or Shawn Kemp) + Pat Dunham (Cliff Robinson)
1990: traded pick (Elden Campbell)
1991: Doug Smith (Terrell Brandon or Dale Davis) + Mike Iuzzolino (Darrell Armstrong)
1992: Jim Jackson - the only option here
1993: Jamal Mashburn - same thing + Eric Riley (Nick Van Exel)
1994: Jason Kidd - great pick
1995: Cherokee Parks (Michael Finley)
1996: Samaki Walker (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jermaine O'Neal or Peja Stojakovic) + Darnell Robinson (Ben Wallace)
1997: Kelvin Cato (Brevin Knight) + Chris Antsey (Bobby Jackson)
1998: Robert Traylor (DIRK!!!) + Bruno Sundov (Cuttino Mobley) + Greg Buckner (Brad Miller)
1999: traded (Shawn Marion - although I think this was for Finley or Nash) + Wang Zhi Zhi (Manu Ginobili) + Gordon Giricek (Raja Bell)
2000: Courtney Alexander (Hedo Turkoglu) + Donnell Harvey (DeShawn Stevenson) + Eduardo Najera (Michael Redd)
2001: traded pick (Gerald Wallace or Tony Parker) + Kyle Hill (Carlos Arroyo) + Kenny Satterfield (Jamario Moon)
2002: traded (Carlos Boozer) + Sekulares? (Luis Scola)
2003: Josh Howard - great pick
2004: Devin Harris + traded pick (Kevin Martin) + Pavel Podkolzin (Delonte West) + Vasiliuos Spanoulis (Andres Nocioni)
2005: traded pick (David Lee) + traded pick (Jose Calderon)
2006: Mo Ager (Paul Milsapp)
2007: Renaldus Seibutis (Ramon Sessions) + Reyshawn Terry (Marc Gasol)
2008: traded (George Hill, Kosta Koufos or DeAndre Jordan) - this is the Devin Harris pick for last year
Now there are quite a lot of traded picks that hurt, but we probably received some good players in those trades. But look at how awesome we could have been with Vandeweghe, Blackman, Aguirre, Drexler, Derek Harper, Barkley, Stockton, Malone, Dumars, AC Green, Tarpley, Rodman and Sabonis in the 80's?
or Shawn Kemp, Cliff Robinson, Elden Campbell, Dale Davis, Darrell Armstrong, Jim Jackson, Jamal Mashburn, Nick Van Exel, Jason Kidd, Michael Finley in the 90's?
or Kobe Bryant, Ben Wallace, Brevin Knight, Bobby Jackson, Dirk, Brad Miller, Cuttino Mobley, Shawn Marion, Manu Ginobili, Raja Bell in the 90's transitioning to the 2000's?
or Hedo Turkoglu, Michael Redd, Tony Parker, Carlos Boozer, Josh Howard, Devin Harris, Kevin Martin, David Lee, Jose Calderon, Paul Milsapp, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan in the late 2000's?
At least we hit on Dirk...that was huge.