I was poking around, looking for historical perspective on the Yaroslav Korolev draft pick (coming soon, but let's just say it was bad, if not unprecedented) and I came across this recent development in the NBA:
In the 2006 Draft, coming off a 63 win season and needing essentially nothing in the draft, the San Antonio Spurs traded their second round pick, 59th out of 60 mind you, to Milwaukee for the Bucks 2007 second round pick.
OK, let that sink in a little. The Spurs. Pretty much always one of the best records in the league. The Bucks. Around .500 or below for several years. So based on historical precedent, the Bucks were probably trading down about 15 spots to get the Spurs pick a season early. Oh, and the 2007 draft, coming after the first 'Just say No to 18 year olds' draft, would include most of the guys that WOULD have gone first in 2006 (like Oden and Durant) making it significantly deeper. Furthermore, it's the 59th pick. Keep your mouth shut, keep your fingers crossed, and maybe those last two teams drafting don't pick your guy, and you can sign him as a rookie free agent.
But no, the Bucks really wanted Damir Markota, and they pulled the trigger on this swap of second rounders. Their bad luck, they get hit with a ton of injuries and end up with the third worst record in the league, while the Spurs win another title without the services of Mr. Markota. And the Spurs get the 33rd pick in the draft to add to their ring-laden squad (Marcus Williams of Arizona). (Although the Clippers have not done a good job of capitalizing, early second rounders are pure gold in salary-cap land - the talent of late first rounders, without the guaranteed contracts.)
But wait, it gets better. Last week the Bucks waived Markota, one year into a three year deal (probably not guaranteed). And Markota's reputation as a party animal probably had something to do with it.
Is RC Buford that much smarter than every other GM in the league? Is he just lucky? Or did he sell his soul to the devil? You tell me.