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RandBall: A revisionist looks back at the 2013-14 NBA draft

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • May 22, 2014 - 1:51 PM

The NBA released its all-rookie first and second teams today, and they are as follows:

First team: Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia; Victor Oladipo, Orlando; Trey Burke, Utah; Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn; Tim Hardaway Jr., New York

Second team: Kelly Olynyk, Boston; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; Gorgui Dieng, Minnesota; Cody Zeller, Charlotte; and Steven Adams, Oklahoma City.

These are not a perfect representation of 2013-14 success, and they certainly aren't a perfect predictor of future success. But they are interesting in a couple of ways if you are a Wolves fan.

*You clearly see Dieng listed there on the second team. He was one of three players drafted No. 20 or later in the 2013 draft to make his way onto one of the teams. Only two players picked in the top eight made the list (Oladipo and Zeller). This would indicate that the draft was pretty deep, and/or that teams at the top either made mistakes, picked players who are more long-term projects, or a little bit of both. (Last year, by contrast, every member of the first team was a top-7 pick).

*You also see Trey Burke, the No. 9 pick, on that list. Burke was drafted by the Wolves, with the intention of trading him to Utah for Shabazz Muhammad (No. 14) and Dieng (No. 21). Had the Wolves stayed up at No. 9 and either kept Burke or drafted someone else, they might have made out pretty well. Carter-Williams (No. 11), Adams (No. 12), Olynyk (No. 13) and Antetokounmpo (No. 15) also made one of the all-rookie teams.

Bottom line: The late-season surge by Dieng -- and contributions from Muhammad, as well -- turned what could be looking like a lopsided draft-night swap into something pretty even, particularly considering a lot of the players the Wolves could have had at their original draft spot ended up having pretty nice rookie seasons. 

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