Also a propos of the NBA draft, the fine drinking establishment I entered after work today was showing the NBA Draft on a couple of TVs, which threw me for a loop as the draft isn't scheduled to take place until Thursday. It wasn't until Joe Forte's face popped up as Boston's latest pick that I picked up on the fact I was watching the 2001 Draft, notable to UNC fans as the one that selected Forte, Brendan Haywood, and Shane Battier. I'm wondering, is it a particularly bad draft, or does the bottom third of the first round typically have such dismal results? Forte, whose own professional career was spectacularly poor, was followed in the draft order by Jeryl Sasser, Brandon Armstrong, and Raül López, none of whom I recognized at all. The remainder of the first round was Gerald Wallace, ignored by the team that drafted him but later a starter for the Bobcats, journeymen Samuel Dalembert and Jamaal Tinsley, and lastly, Tony Parker. (Gilbert Arenas went two picks later in the second round, permanently affixing a chip to his shoulder).
If 2001 is typical of your lesser talent drafts (as this year's is said to be), does this bode well for the four Tar Heels in the draft, all projected as late first rounders to second rounders? The success rate at those slots are low, but of 2001's five future All-Stars, three were selected at 28 or lower. (Compare that to one of the more talent-laden drafts, 2003, which had four All-Stars in the first five picks, but only three after that.) Are NBA teams less adept at spotting talent in down years? Or will none of this year's Carolina alums make much of a name for themselves in the pros?