With the 2nd pick of the 2005 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks select ……… How we would all like to have hindsight and wish that Billy Knight had picked either Chris Paul or Deron Williams. I have read many articles ( sorry...way too many articles) in the ajc lamenting why the Hawks did not select Chris or Deron.But looking back, and knowing what you know now, would you pick Chris Paul or Deron Williams? …Well, I wouldn’t.
While a very good point guard makes a team better, it is extremely difficult to win a championship with a point guard as your best player. Whichever way you look at it, the NBA is a game of height. Point guards, no matter how good they are tend to shoot below 50%.It is extremely rear for a point guard to shoot over 50%. The Hornets had 2 legit all stars to complement Chris Paul. Yet they could not beat the Spurs 2 years ago when all their players were healthy. Unlike bigger and taller guys, it is easier to limit a point guard to do one thing (i.e. either pass or shoot). This limits the point guard effectiveness especially in a 7 game series. You want to stop a point guard like Chris Paul over a 7 game series? Well, just let him shoot all he wants. Just clog the paint and limit his assists. Heck look at the Spurs last year that struggled against the Mavericks despite the excellent play of their point guard Tony Parker. The Jazz also struggled 2 years ago against the Lakers despite the excellent play of Deron Williams (Note: I did not use last year because of the injuries to key players in both the Jazz and the Hornets).
Which team would you rather have today? The Atlanta Hawks or the Jazz/Hornets ? Note the Jazz and Hornets have at least 2 All -Stars to complement Chris Paul and Deron Williams yet, I would rather have the Hawks team today than either team. NOTE: The Hawks beat the Hornets home and away last season and split the 2 games against the Jazz. So the premise that the West is stronger might not hold.
Chris Paul/Deron Williams means no Al Horford- If we had gotten Chris or Deron, we would not have gotten Al Horford. No doubt either player would have made us a better team and hence we would not have been in the position to get Al. Please give me Al and Marvin over Chris and any average center.
Bad Idea to have a point guard as a max player. I think giving a point guard a max deal, limits the team’s ability to go all the way (see reason in point 1 above). Both Chris and Deron are both max players. Hence if either player was with the Hawks, they would have commanded a max deal. This would have limited the Hawks management’s ability to get a good supporting team around them. You only need to look at the way the Hornets and Jazz are struggling financially today. Also, when you put in place the conservative nature of the Hawks management, it is safe to say that if the Hawks had selected Chris or Deron, the supporting cast would have been at best average and at worst BAD. Yes even with a team of josh Smith, Joe Johnson and Chris Paul, with no legitimate big, there is no way the team would have been better than what it is now(the 3 players alone would have taken up over 70% of the teams salary).
So rewind back to 2005 with a crystal ball into the future???? Here we go. With the second pick of the 2005 draft..The Atlanta Hawks select …DANNY GRANGER !.
TO BE CONTINUED….PART II Why Danny Granger