May 20, 2011
I know this is a few days old, but I couldn't let this go. Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo was given a contract extension the other day, fine, and then his team secured the fifth pick in the draft lottery on Tuesday, though it was most likely to draft third, percentage-wise.
And in talking with Sportsnet Radio Fan 590 in Toronto soon after, Bryan needlessly tried to make everything all right. As if dropping from three to five in a terrible draft matters in the slightest.
On the idea that being at pick number five might be better than being at pick number three:
"I absolutely concur. You've kinda hit the nail on the head. After the top two picks and I might've said this last night talking to a few people, I think there is a very clear two picks and then there are several players that we like. If you were to ask me who number three was I'm not sure I would have the answer for you …
The benefit is, if I can look at this with a silver lining, there's going to be a little less of a cap charge for the fifth pick as opposed to the third pick. It's funny a lot of people kept saying you can't pick a guy at three that's too high. Well at five it becomes a little more palatable if you know what I mean."
No, I don't know what you mean. You mean that in some ways it's better to have the fifth pick than the third because of the lessened pressure -- not on the player, mind you, but on the GM -- and legitimacy that would be placed on a fifth pick as opposed to a third pick? Mike Miller(notes) was the fifth pick in the previous Worst Draft Ever, do you think that's finally gotten to him as he fires up brick after brick in Miami this year? Is that why James Dolan won't fully hire Magic GM John Gabriel as Donnie Walsh's clear No. 2 in New York, because nobody can get past the idea that Mike Miller (crazy!) was the fifth pick in an NBA draft?
I follow the NBA for a living, and I can probably tell you maybe three out of the last 10 fifth picks in recent drafts. I can tell you plenty of bad GM moves off the top of my head. Or, worse, bad GM excuses, or ways they try to put something over on fans or media. And the cap charge? As Tas Melas noted the other day, the difference in salary between the third pick and fifth pick this year was 600,000 dollars. Hardly a game-changer even if you're under the cap in the offseason, something Toronto might be this summer (depending on where the cap falls).
Just stop. You're fine. You are allowed to answer with a "nah, not really" every so often while still being optimistic at the same time.