Draft hindsight is always 20-20.
Years after any draft you can find fans saying “I can’t believe we took Player X over Y and Z” when in point of fact that fan — and more importantly the scouts and GM — really thought at the time Player X was going to be the best of that group. Nothing brings out revisionist history like the draft.
Say, for example, taking Evan Turner over DeMarcus Cousins. Which is what the Philadelphia 76ers did back in 2010. At the time many GMs would have made that move, but now it’s a regrettable decision.
One that former Sixer Elton Brand laid at the feet of former Sixers coach Doug Collins in an interview with LibertyBallers.com (via Ball Don’t Lie).
A year prior, leading up to the 2010 NBA Draft, many players on the Sixers were expecting the team’s front office to draft Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins with the No. 2 Overall pick. Then as Collins’ control of the Sixers’ roster moves increased, it became apparent Philly was going to go in a different direction.
“Doug Collins wouldn’t have coached DeMarcus Cousins,” Brand said…
“Rod Thorn was letting Collins do his thing and coach thought we reached our maximum potential and wanted to go another way,” Brand said.
I think it’s fair to say that the Sixers may have broken up the band and started this aggressive rebuild a little too early. That Sixers team was close but really it was going all in on Andrew Bynum and that miscalculation that set the team back and started them on the path they currently travel.
At the time of the draft, Turner was seen as a poor man’s Brandon Roy (pre-injuries) who had a decent all-around game and who was fantastic in transition. He seemed like a fit next to Jrue Holiday, but there were questions about how high Turner’s ceiling was. Everyone knew Cousin’s ceiling but also knew he would be a real challenge to coach.
Collins made his pick and honestly a lot of other teams would have made the same one at the time. Although now every GM would probably tell you otherwise. The draft and revisionist history go hand-in-hand.