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Discussion Starter #1
In the classic modern American film , Magnolia , the central recurring theme throughout the film is :

We may be through with the past , but the past isn't necessarily through with us
Both of these guys have skills . But there are plenty that have gone before them that have had the skills but have had stained pasts.

I will be very surprised if either of these guys go top 5. There is too much at stake for a team to invest anywhere between $10M - $16M in a contract when you are drafting that player on the presumption that they are going to be a centerpiece for your team.

At some point in these guys past they have displayed poor judgement and a lack of discipline. There has to be a risk factor associated with this which rationalises their value .

Let he who hasn't sinned cast the first stone they say. I am the first to admit that my judgement and discipline wouldn't hold up under close scrutiny. But I am not someone that is asking someone to invest between $10M - $16M in me, and rely on me , to develop and ultimately lead a high profile endeavour - at often times under intense pressure that comes with such expectation.

It is when the this pressure is unrelenting that people's auxillary units come into play. Some thrive. Some wilt. And if in their pasts , Butler and Woods have made poor choices when under pressure or taken the easy way out when there was a harder and more correct path to take, then this must place a question mark over their character and their ability to come through when pressure is at the most extreme.

OK well Butler led the Huskies beyond expectation in the tourney. So what ? This was but for a few weeks. Can he drag a team up with him say like Denver and put them back on the rise ? Can he play in a system where he is but a part of the sum or is he compelled to numero uno ? If so , we are back to the original question - Can he drag a team up with him over a 3 - 4 year period or will he only get so far and fall back to his mental auxillary where his flaws lay ?

Qyntel Woods on the other hand hasn't really proven anything to anyone except that he is fragile goods. Worth a punt in the first round and who knows someone may get lucky on him . Do you build on him as a top 5 pick ? I don't think so.

People may think too much is made of the character issue , and additionally , it is grossly unfair to pidgeon hole someone for past indiscretions without offering the opportunity for redemption. Maybe so. But for every immature action of a young man that perhaps signified serious character flaws , there are mature actions of young men like Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry who always knew where they were heading and showed tremendous discipline, commitment and courage to sidestep the pitfalls that claim other young talented men and women.

There is a difference. That is why Jay, Yao , Mike Jr, Dajuan , Drew make more sense as top 5 picks.

There are a couple of other factors that may play a large hand in the fate of guys like Butler and Woods.

Firstly, if the character issue pushes them toward the back half of the lottery , then history has shown us in recent times that there are "bolters" that come from the pack in Chicago. Quite simply, there may be one possibly two lottery spots that get claimed out of Chicago that may knock someone like Woods out of the lottery due to a game of musical chairs and Qyntel not having a chair when the music stops in Chicago.

Secondly, the positions that they play are quite common - neither a pure two guard nor a pure 3 . Perimeter scoring swingmen. Dime a dozen . They grow on trees you know. Every year . Year in and Year out. There is always someone new and better. So replaceable. In normal course, it is far more preferable to lay your hands on a genuine center, point guard, a genuine point forward, or a 3 - 4 combo forward that can be used cleverly with different matchups.


Are Butler and Woods hyped? And if so , why so ? Do those that bow down at their altar covet them for what they represent - the glamourisation of the bad boy from the mean streets who rebels in the poor choices that they make - thus representing a powerful counter culture - for all ye who are disaffected , disaffiliated , disenchantered, disqualified - just plain flat out dissed by the structure of the conventional Judeo Christian model of society - sign on here with the poster boys we have reppin you .

Skills are one thing . Risk and being deserving are another ballgame alltogether.

I still see them in the lottery ( Woods just ) but Butler in the 7- 10 range ( as Eddie Griffin slipped to last year ) and Woods between 10 - 14 or perhaps out of the lottery alltogether.
 

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Great post FJ, excellent read on the situation. Need you here more often so I can stop shooting up on RealGM. it takes too much time to gain so little.
Got to ask, what is Rockaway? I assume that is not Far Rockaway in NY.
As for Butler, while he can play, his 15 arrests for drugs, etc. by the age of 15. would increase the per capita arrests of our active roster to 1.25 per as opposed to 0.0.
You were the champion for JWill during his sophmore season and I only disdained because I wanted some size i.e., Curry who we got and Chandler who was a bonus to boot. While I won't be disappointed if we trade the 2 for Baron Davis as he is a proven, playoff excelling vet, I am not convinced JWill won't be better than Davis by the time he reaches Davis ancient age of 23.
Hope to see you here more often and help me get the RealGM needle out of my veins.
 

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Originally posted by Songcycle
Great post FJ, excellent read on the situation. Need you here more often so I can stop shooting up on RealGM. it takes too much time to gain so little.
Got to ask, what is Rockaway? I assume that is not Far Rockaway in NY.
As for Butler, while he can play, his 15 arrests for drugs, etc. by the age of 15. would increase the per capita arrests of our active roster to 1.25 per as opposed to 0.0.
You were the champion for JWill during his sophmore season and I only disdained because I wanted some size i.e., Curry who we got and Chandler who was a bonus to boot. While I won't be disappointed if we trade the 2 for Baron Davis as he is a proven, playoff excelling vet, I am not convinced JWill won't be better than Davis by the time he reaches Davis ancient age of 23.
Hope to see you here more often and help me get the RealGM needle out of my veins.
I had to bump up this same article over at realgm a while ago and i was the first one to cooment on it after 8 views. No one was going to say anything. Yes by all means FJ, Songcyle said it right. Come back more often!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the kind words guys - and yes Song , it is for Rockaway in New York .

A tribute to the Ramones and their timeless classic , Rockaway Beach.:cool:
 

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I see your point FJ, and it's a good one. But don't some of these kids deserve a break? Everything has to be viewed in context. Caron Butler didn't have the same middle class upbringing as some of those other guys. By no means do I have a full biography on any of these guys, but some people have it tough. While that's no excuse, and pity is a poor reason to commit millions of dollars to a player, we owe it to everyone to see who they are , not who they were. If the past really is in the past for Woods and Butler (and this is why GM's hire all kinds of private investigators and perform background checks), then that souldn't keep us from recognizing the talent and hard work of these players. The one thing I put faith in Krause for is that he'll make sure that our draftee is a good person and a good player.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sep . Fair comments you make

And I am not such much of a heartless bastard that I think no one deserves a second chance. Forgiveness and redemption are powerful and life affirming elements in human behaviour.

All I am saying is that it is questionable choice to give someone one of the highest positions possible when there is still so much to prove surrounding their character and choices that they make when pressured.

Let them get their chance at redemption lower down the queue.

If you were recruiting a CEO for a multinational financial services company and one of the candidates had previously been embroiled in a sexual harrassment charge , it would be unlikely he would get the job as the office that he holds demands the highest of standards - both professional and personal . What faith would the shareholders have in Management ?

However the guy may be a very talented executive and could find placement in a less conspicuous role where he would still be a valuable contributor.

Also , being from a poorer socio economic walk of life is no excuse. Sure it is harder to drag yourself up and to not fall by the wayside , but this is the whole point. Those that do come from this backfground , and who no doubt have a tougher road to take , end up being the stronger for it. Tyson Chandler is a good example and there are countless others.

For the top spots - say in the top 5 , where the leaders should be - I personally think that you have to preference someone that has had a tougher road to take and has not wilted - but come through the other side with the mental toughness in tact to complement their physical skills.

And everyone talks about Odom and that it was only failing a test for grass. "Who cares" they say. The fact is he went missing without authorisation , disappeared before the draft and whether he was smoking hooch or throwing back Grape Kneehighs with Radar O'Reilly is not the point - and frankly I could not care less what he was doing. The point is is that when pressured , the auxillary unit that is supposed to be backing him up fails him and he can't maintain discipline and focus .

These are not the personal traits of a champion or a potential champion which is why I personally don't want guys like he , Woods or Butler on my team.
 

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I see your point FJ, though I also see NC's. Every year, in every sport, players slip in the draft because of these issues. Usually, it is not for the idealistic principle of employing good people of upstanding character, but for the fear that the player will get in trouble again. While Warren Sapp and Randy Moss probably won't be winning community service awards anytime soon, they've both kept their noses clean, and a few GM's who lost their jobs might've not have if they hadn't passed on those guys. Nick Van Exel slipped to the 2nd round on character issues, and made a lot of GM's look foolish for passing on him (I believe Corie Blount was our haul that year). By the same token, Jason Williams (WHITEBOY) is absolute garbage, and all who let his potential blind them to the fact are getting burned.

Here's what makes it harder. Unless you have the #1 pick in the draft, you're taking a gamble with everyone. A lot of these guys drafted #2-#13 turn out to be nothing more than occasional contributors off the bench. By taking a guy with a checkered past, you assume the risk that he's going to falter when the pressure is on. By taking a less talented, though trouble-free player, you assume the risk that he's just not going to be good enough to do the job. If you're a GM, you have to weigh both, and choose the lesser risk. All things being equal, a player with a past will slip, as he should. It should speak to the magnitude of that player's talent, however, if he is still considered a top draft choice.

If I'm sufficiently convinced a person's problems are behind him, and believe in his skills enough, then I'd be willing to look beyond those troubles.
 

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Let me add that I am by no means sold on Butler and Woods being out of the woods forever. While I've heard the same things as NC about Butler, there's a couple of little things that don't sit right. He seems a little too aware of the money he'll earn, and made a few comments last year that made me feel like he was working hard on his game so that he could get the NBA payday. He seems like the kind of guy who'll work hard for a couple years, get his max contract, and then relax. Then again, I felt the same way about Ron Artest (though I might not be wrong about him either).

As for Woods, I don't know enough, but his JUCO coach's ringing endorsement was, "I haven't had any problems with him." That seems awfully vague. JUCO coaches tend to look the other way on a lot of guys. There's no problems, as long as he's showing up and dropping 30 every game. I thought he seemed a little too eager to get into the draft also. When his name first got thrown around, he was like, "well if I'm top 5, then I've got to go." Then it was, "well if I'm lottery, I've got to go." Then it was "Kedrick Brown went first round last year, and I'm better than him." It didn't seem to me like he had the confidence to go to college, dominate, and see his stock rise. Looked like he was trying to cash his lottery ticket before anyone saw it was fake.

Just my opinion

Ali
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry NC , I just had to put the violin down before I replied to you :)

Without boring you all with my own family history I have witnessed and lived first hand that people can be in difficult circumstances and still pull through and improve their lives immensely.

I do not look down or judge any kid that turns to drugs or makes other serious mistakes pertaining to their health that stem from their societal surrounds. I understand how it happens and I also understand how the poor stay poor ( in real terms and in spiritual terms ) in society.

Believe you me - if you dwelled on the countless millions of individual tragedies that occur everyday to anyone in any corner of the globe - that all have poverty and diminished choices and options pertaining thereto , you would drive yourself mad.

Divorcing myself from my social conscience for one minute ( yes I do have one ! ) and as the Darwinist in me comes to the fore , all I am saying that if I were charged with the responsibility of making a top 5 draft pick , someone's background and choices they have made along the way are as every bit as important as their physical skills. I say this because it reveals a trait in their make up somewhere deep inside , that sure may have been buried for some time , but in the back of your mind you know they failed themselves somewhere along the way.

I am not saying that the top 5 picks should be totally risk free but I think where you have a chance to mitigate your risk as best you can without overtly compromising on your choice of talent than you should do it.

You bring up excellent points ( as usual ) about how Butler's actions and maturity over the last 3 - 4 years may atone for earlier indiscretions. And how this may be seen as a sign of strength as to how he has overcome hardship. I agree that this may go in his favour.

But what we do not know about Butler is how he is without his support systems in place. Meaning in college he was nurtured , brought along slowly without the same level of pressure and expectation that he will have in the NBA. Maybe his self esteem was restored and this confidence/belief instilled in him propelled him to step up this year for the Huskies and carry them on his back in the tourney.

What if this carefully fabricated rebuilding on Caron Butler gets shat on when he is back out in the less protected big bad world. What if he needs delicate man management and does not get it ?

You can probably say this about all of them though I guess.

As for Woods , he has openly come out and admitted a drug problem ( hooch ) from what I understand . I remember seeing something in the wiretaps about this a couple of weeks ago. And yes he is a dufus for playing on a busted knee. If sport was his love and his "way out" why risk such a foolish and needless permanent injury in an unimportant football game ( in the grand scheme of things )

I am not saying that they do not deserve a chance - they do . I just believe Butler should get his in the 7 - 10 range and Woods in the back half of the lottery ( or maybe just outside it ).

If they succeed they will have made it out and made a motza and everyone ( including me ) will be as happy as a pig in poo for them. But they have some things to prove in this L first and they do not deserve to leapfrog other candidates in the top 5 spots
 

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Towards the end of your post, you mention whether players "deserve" to be picked in a certain spot. I think that blurs the issue. Picking a player or signing a free agent is a business decision and good GMs pick the players with the highest expected value.

They factor in risk differently depending on their circumstatnces. Last year, by trading Brand for Chandler, we actually appeared to place a positive value on risk (there is both upside risk and downside risk), which I think under the circumstances made sense. At the time (although maybe not now), Brand probably had a higher expected value. At the time, Krause probably reasoned that most likely Brand would be better than Chandler (perhaps even much better if Chandler turned out to be a bust), but Chandler had a much better chance of being a superstar. The Bulls needed a superstar, so the trade made sense for the Bulls. The Clippers needed a good player, since they probably figured they already had plenty of potential superstars in their stable. So the trade made sense for them as well.

Now this year we are much more like the Clippers were last year, so it makes sense to go for the player with the highest expected value. Except for Ming who I have no idea how to evaluate, it sounds like Woods may have the best shot of anyone in the draft of turning into a superstar, i.e. a top 5 player in the NBA. But he also probably has a much greater possibility of being a bust than most of the other folks in the lottery.

Now I think someone will take him early if his workouts are impressive - not because he deserves it (whatever that means), but because they are like we were last year and are looking for a superstar that could turn them eventually into a contender. I haven't heard the drug allegations about Woods, but if they are true and fairly recent, this could hurt him badly.

(I still think you are wrong about him playing with the ACL injury. He had only played one year of organized basketball before he got hurt, so he probably thought his chances of "making it" in football were worth the risk of jeopardizing his very uncertain prospects in basketball. Once he got hurt, he apparently didn't play football again. He did play basketball, given that he had very little choice if he wanted to impress college recruiters.)

Butler, on the other hand, is a completely different story, in my opinion. His coaches rave about his maturity and compare him favorably in that regard to several other alums already in the NBA. Given what he has went through and given the glowing reports he gets now, I actually think there is less risk associated with Butler than almost anyone else in the draft. No one knows how Dunleavy, JWill, Gooden, Wilcox, etc. will respond to setbacks. We already know with Butler, or at least we have a much better idea than we do with these other folks who never really have faced adversity.
 

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Originally posted by NCBullsFan
They factor in risk differently depending on their circumstatnces. Last year, by trading Brand for Chandler, we actually appeared to place a positive value on risk (there is both upside risk and downside risk), which I think under the circumstances made sense. At the time (although maybe not now), Brand probably had a higher expected value. .
Not to get too technical, but Krause valued Maximum[value] more than Average[Value]. Yes, he was willing to take a higher risk, but it was to get the best Maximum[Value] not because he placed a postive value on risk.

I agree that the Bulls could switch gears now if Krause believes in the current players on the roster.

Looks like Houston is doing the same thing as the Bulls last year. Yes!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Originally posted by NCBullsFan
Towards the end of your post, you mention whether players "deserve" to be picked in a certain spot. I think that blurs the issue. Picking a player or signing a free agent is a business decision and good GMs pick the players with the highest expected value.
No blurring of the issue at all . My central context throughout this entire thread has been all about the deservation of risk within the top 5 picks - where the stakes ( and expectations pertaining thereto ) are much higher - or should be in my opinion anyway.

If there is any "blurring" to my mind it surrounds your objectivity with regard to Butler with much "raving" and "glowing" in the reports what his coaches say about him. "Raving" and "Glowing" are your words that betray an obvious love you have for Caron Butler - which is why ( if I may be so presumptious to say ) it may compel you to so passionately defend his cause.

They factor in risk differently depending on their circumstances. Last year, by trading Brand for Chandler, we actually appeared to place a positive value on risk (there is both upside risk and downside risk), which I think under the circumstances made sense. At the time (although maybe not now), Brand probably had a higher expected value. At the time, Krause probably reasoned that most likely Brand would be better than Chandler (perhaps even much better if Chandler turned out to be a bust), but Chandler had a much better chance of being a superstar. The Bulls needed a superstar, so the trade made sense for the Bulls. The Clippers needed a good player, since they probably figured they already had plenty of potential superstars in their stable. So the trade made sense for them as well.

Now this year we are much more like the Clippers were last year, so it makes sense to go for the player with the highest expected value.
You have lost me here , NC.

If we are like the Clippers of last year would we not go for the "good player" that had less issues and where the risk factor is lower?. Someone like Jay Williams or Drew Gooden say for example?? Be the brick that Elton was/is ??

If we are like the Clippers of last year and have enough talent in our foundation , why would we put another project into the mix like Woods who you then nominate may have the highest expected value??

Am I missing something or is this not confusing and contradictory??

it sounds like Woods may have the best shot of anyone in the draft of turning into a superstar, i.e. a top 5 player in the NBA. But he also probably has a much greater possibility of being a bust than most of the other folks in the lottery.

Now I think someone will take him early if his workouts are impressive - not because he deserves it (whatever that means), but because they are like we were last year and are looking for a superstar that could turn them eventually into a contender.
Yeah but we always draft on skills and character - not just skills remember? Curry and Chandler checked out in this regard impeccably. This is not meaning to say we were not wearing any risk surrounding this singular issue of character - but with all known things and in a comparative sense in this singular context - we boxed and satisfied this risk as best we could.

Could teams looking at Woods this year as a top 5 pick satisfy themselves ( with all known things ) accordingly ??

Butler, on the other hand, is a completely different story, in my opinion. His coaches rave about his maturity and compare him favorably in that regard to several other alums already in the NBA. Given what he has went through and given the glowing reports he gets now, I actually think there is less risk associated with Butler than almost anyone else in the draft. No one knows how Dunleavy, JWill, Gooden, Wilcox, etc. will respond to setbacks. We already know with Butler, or at least we have a much better idea than we do with these other folks who never really have faced adversity.
I have already acknowledged that your counter point on Butler is fair enough - even if I do feel it is emotively charged. We will just agree to disagree that if we were GM's with a top 5 pick ,that he would be deserving ( in terms of risk ) of a top 5 pick , or not.
 

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FJ, I saw you were logged on, so I figured that I would reply to a couple of your questions.

1. Darn it. I was heading out to get an engagement ring for Caron, and now you have blown my cover. I just am going to have to find someone else to love.

2. Yes, I think I was confusing, because I was agreeing with you. If we had the team we had at the end of 2000-2001, I think Woods could be far more attractive, since we were in desperate need of a potential superstar. We hope we have that covered now, so we have a lot lower tolerance for risk than we used to, since we don't value the upside risk as highly as we used to.

[If the typical evaluation is that player A is going to become a solid starter. The upside risk is that he becomes an All-Star or superstar. The downside risk is that he is a solid bench player or does not stick around in the NBA.]

3. I noticed today that Jerry West made a similar positive comment to mine about players like Butler who have had to struggle through adversity. I was trying to point out the positive things said about Butler's character to contrast them with the lack of positive things said about Woods' character. I think it is misleading to lump those two together.

I have only seen Butler in a couple of games on TV, so I am not going to pretend to argue that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Engagement ring ?:laugh:

Yea I saw where Jerry West made those points about C-Butt. Fair enough.

West is wiley though and pushes stalking horses early . From memory he was plugging Rodney White hard ( and early ) last year as being the most talented player in the draft. Clearly there was a favour he was providing somebody by throwing such smokescreens.
 
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