Timberwolves: bad at drafting

Benjamin Polk —  October 26, 2011 — 4 Comments

I would have included this in my links yesterday but it hadn’t been written yet. Not my fault. But today at Truehoop, Tom Haberstroh opens eyes by revealing that while “draft efficiency alone explains 34 percent of the variability in a team’s record over the past decade” payroll size explains just seven percent. So much for economic inequality explaining competitive imbalance, I guess. (Effing hysterical, by the way, that some of the country’s most bloated plutocrats are whinging about economic inequality. As Dave Berri recently put it in this radio interview, “Americans love socialism in their sports.”)

Of perhaps more interest to us Wolves’ followers: Haberstroh includes a chart detailing the league’s best-drafting and worst-drafting teams over the past decade. Guess what is not surprising: the Wolves came in second-worst. This, more than any other reason–more even than market size or chilly winters–is why they are bad.

Benjamin Polk

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4 responses to Timberwolves: bad at drafting

  1. Yes, although in fairness it does seem like the Wolves often have the third pick in a two-man draft, the fourth pick in a three-man draft, and so on. And they were quite good in the first half of this decade and had to forfeit a couple of picks due to the Joe Smith debacle so to put them in the same camp as the Clippers and Bobcats as “perennial doormats” of the last decade to bolster his point is a bit historically disingenuous. Haberstroh isn’t wrong per se but sometimes you can’t just say “hey dummy draft better”.

  2. Right, success in the draft is part luck, part skill and the Wolves have had very little of either. Still, though, it seems that Haberstroh was simply saying “if you don’t draft well, your team probably won’t be that good” which seems manifestly true. And the Wolves, for many reasons, have really not drafted well.

  3. Yes, its true. The Twolves have been the laughing stock of the the NBA in terms of building through the draft and draft related trades, etc. The franchise its widely criticized by every NBA city in America, including the Twin Cities. But…they did get D. Williams and R. Rubio to join up with an interesting young group of talent, all in the same draft year (albeit two years after Ricky was actually drafted). If they can put Williams at the 2, Rubio 1, Beast 3, Love 4, and Randolph/Darko 5…thats a pretty good shot at success with talent to spare on the bench.

  4. Rubio has been playin with top NBA talent on the Spanish National team for several years now…should be ready to take over as the starter in MN

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