Looking to the Future: Looking to the Past

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Published: April 14, 2012

Looking back at the past of those predicting the future.

Everyone is a draft expert. We all know how good a guy is going to be, why guy X is better than guy Z, and we think anybody who disagrees with us is an idiot that doesn’t deserve our precious time. I am as guilty of this as anyone, as I come on here every week and tell you who the Hornets should pick and who they should stay away from. Occassionally, I am merely a reporter who discloses the facts about the prospects weeks, but I often fall victim to some subjectivity. I have never like Perry Jones III, so I have spent more article space pointing out his bad weeks than highlighting his good ones. I am not proud of this fact, but subconsciously I did it.

Have I been right more than I have been wrong? C’mon, you know how the memory works. We tend to remember what we want to remember, and because of that, I can vividly recall that I knew Samaki Walker was going to be a bust when I saw his draft day suit. But if I am honest with myself, I can also vaguely recall the fact that I thought it was a travesty that John Wallace fell so far in the draft and that he was going to make teams pay for their stupidity. I mean, how could the Hornets (Back then they were in Charlotte, ESPN) pass on him twice for Tony Delk and some kid named Kobe Bryant?

Luckily (and sometimes unluckily, if that’s a word) I get to write for this great site and do podcasts on a weekly basis where my predictions are recorded. I have been dubbed by some as Mikestradamus because I predicted way back in April that CP3 would be traded to the Clippers and that David West would go to Indiana. I also predicted Carl Landry would be traded to the Hornets by the deadline in November of 2010 and in that same CP3 podcast I predicted the Hornets would sell their 2011 draft pick. I also saw something in Norris Cole, Ian Mahinmi, Kenneth Fariad and Brandan Wright when few did.

But I have been wrong many times as well- boy have I been wrong. I loved the Craig Brackins pick and saw him as our stretch four of the future. Now, we did turn him into J-Smitty, so all is well that ends well, but still. I also keep a draft day journal that I exchange with a scouting friend of mine who works for an Eastern Conference team. I have often joked that I could do his job better than he can, so we keep a journal that we write in real time as the draft goes on and exchange them the next day, then grade each other on their predictions after Year Three. Here are some gems from my 2010 journal:

On Wes Johnson

“I see Shawn Marion in his future. I’ll go ahead and say he’ll never be an all-star but will be a guy that scores in the teens, rebounds up to 9 a game but averages 6.5 for his career and will be a solid defender. Nothing wrong with that.”

On Paul George:

….. I hope this is for somebody else or that the NJ trade is happening.  If he stays in Indiana, I see nothing for him with Granger, Jones, Rush and Dunleavy there

You get the point. So to humble myself, and truly understand how fickle this whole process could be, I have gone back and read every article or podcast I could find leading up to the 2009 draft. These guys are finishing up their third year in the league and are getting to that point where their GM’s have to think about paying them soon. They have to answer the question: Are they a part of the future? The Hornets will be in this position in three years with their two picks, and I know everybody here thinks they know the two guys they should take- two guys that can’t fail- you are more than likely wrong on at least one of those guys.

The Knicks had such big plans for Jordan Hill, but he is now on his third team already with no contract guaranteed for next year, getting spot minutes. Hasheem Thabeet would at worst (according to experts) be a guy who gives Memphis defense and rebounding, “any offense will be a bonus” one guy on a DraftExpress podcast claimed. He is also on his third team, riding the bench. Johnny Flynn has one foot out of the league (3rd team), while other lottery picks like Terrance Williams and Earl Clark have bounced around as well. Steph Curry and Brandon Jennings were both the subject of trade rumors this year, and Gerald Henderson and Tyler Hansborough are backups with no real upside. Go ahead and listen to a podcast, read pre-draft or post-draft articles- ALL of these guys are the second coming of player X or will be a foundation piece who will start for 10 years at Y position.

So what’s the point of this article? There’s no gossip or speculation, no rumor, no outrageous statement that is going to get you so fired up that you will have to comment. Isn’t that what blogs are supposed to be about? Well, for one week at least, I am going to break the mold and eat a little humble pie while gaining a little perspective. The Hornets will have two of the top 10 picks in this draft, and the past says that we are not Dennis Green. In three years, we will not be able to look back and claim that, “These Guys are who we thought they were!” 

So I put the challenge to all of the self-righteous right here and right now. Put your predictions in print on this page and forever be held accountable. Or wait a little longer until we know who has what picks. My predictions will be right here on this artificial reality Al Gore created called the Internet until the end of time, so if you are so smart, stand with me and let’s reveal our warts for all to see. In addition, I would advise to keep an open mind, listen to your fellow Hornet fan or blogger, and don’t be so quick to dismiss, because an honest look back at the past will likely show that you probably only truly know that you do not know.

Looking to the Future is a weekly column that runs every Saturday only on Hornets247.com. For past articles, click here.

 

45 comments
neutron
neutron

Bold predictions 1..... Andre Drummond will eventually be best player in this draft by his 3rd or 4th year. Jermaine O'neal entered the league just as raw as Drummond, but his physical tools are more superior. He can already shoot jumpers. If he works hard (I believe he will) He'll be a 21-24 ppg, 10-12rpg, 2-3bpg. He is a high risk but he can be as good as he wants. Teams gotta make his development a priority. Bring in a Hakeem or a Ewing to work with him on his post game with him. Spend your bucks on em. It'll pay dividends. 2..... Harrison Barnes will be a better pro than MKG. Barnes is gonna be an anywhere from 21-23 ppg scorer in his prime, 5-6 rpg, and a very good defender maybe Top 10 in perimeter D a mix of Michael Finley/Sean Elliot/Luol Deng. The NBA game is much better suited for the way he plays and I feel the college game restricted him. MKG will be 12-15 ppg, 6-7.5 rpg, 4-6 apg. More of a Iggy/Thad Young/G Wallace player. Will be a top 5 perimeter defender but to me will not be a great scorer. A 3rd of 4th option at best. Barnes will be a NEAR first option and a 2nd option on a championship level team. 3.....Evan Fournier, and Tony Wroten will be the steals of the draft. 4..... Thomas Robinson has too much talent and intensity to be a bust. I think he'll be Paul Milsap 2.0. Jared Sullinger is tricky. I think he'll either be Drew Gooden or a rich man's Gooden. He has alotta skill. He just needs to trim off 15-20 lbs. 2 solid pieces but T Rob has the edge because of his ceiling on defense. 5...Anthony Davis is still a toss up to me. I would like to see him grow even more although he has great length and height. He def needs to put on 20 lbs of muscle and work on post up. He can be the next Camby, or best case a Ibaka/Garnett/Josh Smith type mix. Don't think he'll be a huge scorer though 16-18 ppg, 10-12 rpg, 2-3.5blkpg, 1.7 spg. All around player stat stuffer 6....NOLA will get 1st pick in draft and use it on Davis.

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

Bold predictions: We will draft Micheal Kidd-Gilchrest and Kendell Marshall with the #2 pick and #8 pick **M.Kidd-Gilchrest will end up being the best player out of this draft and he will develope a 3 point shot that will make him an All-Star player Will sign a Brandon Rush or Micheal Beasley type player to upgrade the bench and trade Jack, Okafor or Ariza for younger talents

saZam
saZam

Tom Benson buying the hornets will increase Hornets ticket sales significantly and not b/c hes just an owner for the Hornets, but b/c he's also the owner of the Saints

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

Thomas Robinson will never make an all-star game. -- My prediction

Andrew denenea
Andrew denenea

We should try to trade for New Orleans own Greg Monroe, if not watchout for detriot with Brandon Knight and Monroe.(don't know what to trade). if they get rid of Rodney Stuckey. Oh and we should draft Drummond #4 (I expect a winning streak to end the season) and try to trade #10 for a solid pg (Knight,Lou Williams, CJ watson or Jrue Holiday) with an expiring big man.

Alex Moore
Alex Moore

I hope we can get either Davis/Kidd-Gilchrist/Robinson, with our top three lottery pick. Now for a guy that no one is really talking about, Damian Lillard out of Weber State. I see him being a Westbrook/Rose type point guard who is explosive and can shoot anywhere on the floor. This guy with the addition of a new contracted Eric Gordon will definitely bring an explosive and big time scoring backcourt which we have lacked so badly for a long time. In general I am SO excited for this franchise. GEAUX HORNETS!!!

AbsurdJoe
AbsurdJoe

Jeremy Lamb will come out of the draft as the best Wing.

504ever
504ever

Minni just lost again tonight and is only two games ahead of both Detroit and Golden State. There is a chance that Minni will finish 8th or 9th to last, not 10th to last. That would have a huge impact on the pick and my prediction for who we pick. It could add Sullinger and/or Lilard into the mix. Leapfrogging Utah, who owns the GS pick, could allow us to have our pick of PGs!

David
David

If we draft sullinger in the top 15, I will lose some confidence in Demps/Monty

Derrick
Derrick

i predict us drafting Drummond and Lamb or trading down if we cant get Davis Trading Meke For a early 2nd pick i would like Siva or Draymond Green if dont get Davis we will resign Carl Landry Bring in Michael Beasley to help at the sf spot rename team to Voodoo Call me crazy but the way the team been playing hard even if they have nothing to play for i fell Tom Benson will win two Championship with the Hornets and the Saints I bet money on it

carpo
carpo

if we bring in beasley i will ditch the hornets support the clippers out of spite (and there are few ppl i hate more than blake griffin and deandre jordan)

Derrick
Derrick

ha if you would stay tune to the twolves you would see Beasley is really good coming off the bench and very when klove got hurt and he should be cheap i should know i did my homework

NoJoke
NoJoke

New Orleans Whoevers (I like Knights) make the playoffs as a 6-8 seed and take a 1-3 seed to at least 6 games to defy the so called "basketball experts".

NoJoke
NoJoke

Also like Gators, Pirates, or even Jazz

Bee dat
Bee dat

has to be "the hot five"

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Draymond Green will be the next Kevin Love. I want him on the New Orleans Sinners next year. Anthony Davis will stick in the NBA, but never be a superstar due to lack of durability. Not as bad as Oden or Yao, but worse than Chandler. Sullinger will piss off whoever his next coach is and ride the bench. I really hope that Demps selects efficient, intelligent players (a la CP3, David West) and avoids the other type (Julian, Hilton, etc.). I'd trade down to get: 1) a very tall project big man 2) Draymond Green 3) Another rebounding big man 4) A quick defensive-minded point guard I will be pissed if we trade any pick or player for cash!

Mike P
Mike P

I don't remember seeing a top 10 pick being traded for cash, so I don't think that will happen

Jordan
Jordan

I disagree with the 6'6 Green to the 6'10 Love comparison.

Jordan
Jordan

1) Davis is going to be one of the greatest defensive players of all time when all is said and done. 2) Andre Drummond will not be a bust. 3) Michael-Kidd Gilchrist will outperform Harrison Barnes in nearly every statistic next year. 4) Damian Lillard will be nearly as productive as Steph Curry was his rookie year. 5) Kendall Marshall will be Rajon Rondo with Vasquez's defense. 6) Thomas Robinson will be Paul Millsap with more intensity and defense. 7) Fab Melo will be a starting center in the league one day. 8) Bradley Beal will underachieve his rookie year on a bad team. 9) Perry Jones III will only develop if placed in a specifically good system for him. 10) Jeremy Lamb, Meyers Leonard, John Henson, Terrence Ross, Arnett Moultrie, Tyler Zeller, Royce White, and Terrence Jones will never start a game after their rookie season. 11) I'm to scared to say anything about Jared Sullinger. 12) This drafts three biggest sleepers are: Andrew Nicholson, Jeff Taylor, Scott Machado - These are my bold predictions.

Jordan
Jordan

That's supposed to be an 8 ) not a 8)

Chuck
Chuck

MKG will become a Shawn Marion/Andre Iguodala/Gerald Wallace clone and will make at least a couple huge plays in the finals that lead to his team winning a championship. Perry Jones will reach his potential if he's playing for a competent organization (i.e. not the Knicks, Bobcats, Wizards, etc), which is Tmac 2.0 Kendall Marshall will be Marcus Williams (from UConn a few years ago) 2.0, minus the whole laptop stealing thing. Drummond will not reach his potential, but he won't be a complete bust either. He'll be a poor man's Tyson Chandler (trying to think of a comparison, maybe Joel Pryzbilla or a taller Okafor). Bradley Beal's career will resemble OJ Mayo's so far: consistent starter who scores well, but due to chemistry/coaching/personnel issues, is relegated to bench duty and his team thrives with him there Jeremy Lamb will barely fall out of the lottery but a team like Dallas will get him and within 2 years he'll be a top 7 "if we re-drafted the 2012 draft today..." pick

sundance
sundance

I tracked Lin in college and thought he would make it in the NBA. I think Jorge Gutierrez can too. But my bold prediction is that some GM is going to be outrageous enough to offer Brittney Griner a contract next year (though I don't think she does it).

Jack
Jack

She would get dominated.

da ThRONe
da ThRONe

Anthony Davis will be a huge let down. He'll be a decent player that bounces around the league. He'll be Tyrus Thomas 2.0 Thomas Robinson will be a perennial all-star. A taller version of Charles Barkley. Andre Drummond will compete for the best center in a few years. Terence Jones will be a huge surprise. He'll be better than Anthony Davis. Perry Jones will continue to frustrate people. Looking like Kevin Durant one night than looking like Darius Miles on other nights. MKG will be a borderline all-star. He'll be a less successful Scottie Pippen. Kendall Marshall lack of quickness of quickness will prevent him from ever being a star PG. He'll be a solid of the bench player Harrison Barnes won't be able to create his own shot at the next level. Which will prevent him from being a star. He'll make a living being a slasher and spot up shooter a la Rip Hamilton. Bradley Beal will be in that Dwayne Wade/Eric Gordon mode. His handles aren't that of Wade/Gordon so he won't be a superstar, but he he's star potential.

NOH Domination
NOH Domination

Beal is a better shooter than Gordon or Wade.. I'd say that makes up for handles.

Jordy
Jordy

Handles gets the separation needed to get off a clean shot. I've never watched Beal play, but if he can't get separation in the NBA, his shooting will suffer.

David
David

Oh, and Dell will figure out a way to grab a few 2nd round picks and stash some Euros for down the line

NOH Domination
NOH Domination

How bout stay local and just give me Hummel with a second round pick.

David
David

1.) Anthony Davis, barring injuries, is going to be the next Kevin Garnett. 2.) T-Rob has NBA athleticism, NBA body, strength, and his biggest asset - rebounding - usually is the skill that translates best from college to the NBA. He will be a guy like Josh Smith. 3.) Sullinger will be, at best, a fringe NBA starter. I think his ceiling is Al Jefferson. His floor is Sean May. His likely spot is closer to Glen Davis. 4.) MKG will be a bulldog on defense, a wing defender that rivals most. He plays HARD. I think he looks like an Iguadala type player. I don't think he busts because, like T-Rob, he has a skill that translates to the NBA and has a motor. Not a franchise guy. I think his floor is Trevor Ariza. 5.) Andre Drummond will either become Dwight Howard or Kwame Brown. I don't think there is much inbetween for him. Either the light will come on or it won't. Same with Perry Jones. I think he looks like a perfect 6th man, Lamar Odom clone. Unfortunately, it may take him 5 years to figure it out like Lamar. 6.) I don't like Zellar (Tyler). I don't like Henson. I don't know enough about Lillard. I think Marshall will be a good player, but I don't think he's a great fit with this team. I like Bradley Beal playing in the same backcourt as Eric Gordon. Again, an NBA tranferable skill (shooting) and a good motor. 7.) Doc's kid hasn't really impressed me much. HORNETS 1.) The name will change. Don't know to what, but it will change. 2.) Our starting backcourt in 2012-13 will be Goran Dragic and Eric Gordon. 3.) Kaman or Okafor will be back. One, but not both. 4.) If we get lucky with the ping pong balls, I wouldn't be suprised to see Dell deal one of our picks for a veteran player 5.) Will be back: henry, vasquez, ayon, aminu, gordon, smith, jack, kamanORokafor. May be back: Ariza, Landry. Wont be back: Bellenelli, Lance Thomas, kamanORokafor 6.) I think the Hornets (or whatever they are) are set up because there isn't a true position defined absolute need. The two needs are upgrading the athleticism of the team and upgrade the shooting/scoring. Whether that comes from a big, a wing, or a point - who cares.

George
George

Anthony Davis becomes a Hall-of Famer, MKG becomes a glue guy on a championship team (think Ariza for the Lakers), Sullinger has a better NBA career than T-Rob, Drummond becomes the 2nd best center in the NBA but it takes him 5 years to get there, and Beal and Rivers both become All-Stars.

Gabe
Gabe

Eric Gordon will NOT get a max contract offer- because of his injury history, and allows the Hornets to get him cheap,and after we get Anthony Davis, the Hornets, not Los angeles, will win the CP3 trade. David Stern will still get no credit, because everyone hates David Stern. Oh, and the team reacquires their old name, the New Orleans Jazz from Utah.

Not J
Not J

It would make my basketball year if 2 of those things happened--as long as one is anthony davis

Eli
Eli

The Hornets WILL get the #1 pick and draft Anthony Davis. David Stern will do everything in his power to make sure it happens so that everybody can forgive and forget about the vetoed trade, and Stern looks like a hero for helping this team rebuild very very quickly.

NOH Domination
NOH Domination

MKG will never be more than a role player and Drummond will be a complete bust.

BRballboy
BRballboy

We take 2 bigs in draft, exchanging 22 mill (Kaman & Landry) in salaries for 6-8 mill in rookie contracts. Davis a cinch #1, but we probably take Drummond with our 1st. Sullinger falling to our 2nd would be great. If not, there's a bunch of good bigs sure to be there.

ImSorryMonty
ImSorryMonty

1. Gordon stays. 2. No new PG with our two top 10ers. 3. Playoffs brah. 4. 10k strong again.

NoJoke
NoJoke

more like 20k strong

Mikey
Mikey

Here's an out-of-the-blue prediction. Jared Sullinger's draft stock will fall in the coming month, and he will not get picked in the top 5. I went to the final four here in New Orleans, and took the opportunity to get a look at some would-be Hornet hopefuls. Here is what I walked away with: Anthony Davis is as advertised, a complete beast. He's basically a young Tyson Chandler with a jumper, and can make FT. This young man has superstar written all over him. Thomas Robinson is a little raw, but is a really solid NBA prospect. He's got a good body (6'10, 235 lbs), a good frame that you could add about 20 more pounds of muscle to without degrading his performance, and can actually handle the ball pretty well for a 6'10 guy. Kinda reminds me of a young Lamar Odom. Jared Sullinger looks.... fat. I was amazed by how out-of-shape he looked, then glanced in my program to see he was over 280 lbs! You could see as Ohio State's game against Kansas went on, that Sullinger began to tire out. He is going to need some serious conditioning prior to playing in the NBA. He has good ball skills, but he is going to be expected to be a banger on the low block. Right now his body is not conditioned to sustain that kind of abuse. As of now, I see him as the next Sean May. Hopefully he can fix it.

CP3nBrees
CP3nBrees

Not sure if Robinson is even 6'9....

edbballin504
edbballin504

I have 2 predictions, 1 which will shock many. 1. Gordon, Kaman, and Landry will all be back with us long term with new deals this summer. 2. Hornets will do whatever it takes to land Harrison Barnes in the draft, either by drafting him with our own pick (in the event it isn't 1 or 2) or trading our MIN pick and another asset to grab a better pick to nab Barnes. Barnes will then put the haters to shame and be a perfect complement to Gordon on the wing. (If we could somehow land either Davis/Robinson/Sullinger/Drummond plus Barnes with our 2 picks, this team will make a huge step forward next year)

sweetpea
sweetpea

I promise to mortgage my house on the proposition that Anthony Davis will be the New Orleans for-now-Hornets equivalent to Bill Russell and that Kendall Marshall and Eric Gordon will make for the next 10 years the best backcourt duo this side of Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas. You can take that to the bank my friends.

Bee dat
Bee dat

i agree wholeheartrdly on all points. keeping fingers crossed for davis andmarshall!!! v excited about gordon

Ron
Ron

EG is going to be an expensive bust who tortures us with his brilliance on the court but spends 50+% of his time on the injury report.