Sixers' Draft 2010: Bust Factor - Guards vs. Non-guards

The Sixers have the number two pick, and it seems like a no-brainer to take Evan Turner. However; there's rumors of the Sixers possibly shopping the pick, or at least fielding offers - the thought process being: "we can move down a few spots and still land a can't-miss big man prospect". But just how "can't-miss" are non-guard prospects? I reviewed the top 5 draft picks from 1998-2007 to see what the bust factor was for guard prospects compared to non-guards.

*I couldn't come up with a scientific way to determine which players were busts and which weren't, so I used my own judgement. Feel free to disagree in the comments. Busts are in bold.

1998:

  1. Michael Olowokandi - non-guard
  2. Mike Bibby - guard
  3. Raef LaFrentz - non-guard
  4. Antawn Jamsion - non-guard
  5. Vince Carter - non-guard
1999:
  1. Elton Brand - non-guard
  2. Steve Francis - guard
  3. Baron Davis - guard
  4. Lamar Odom - non-guard
  5. Jonathan Bender - non-guard
2000:
  1. Kenyon Martin - non-guard
  2. Stromile Swift - non-guard
  3. Darius Miles - non-guard
  4. Marcus Fizer - non-guard
  5. Mike Miller - guard
2001:
  1. Kwame Brown - non-guard
  2. Tyson Chandler - non-guard
  3. Pau Gasol - non-guard
  4. Eddy Curry - non-guard
  5. Jason Richardson - guard

2002:

  1. Yao Ming - non-guard
  2. Jay Williams - guard
  3. Mike Dunleavy - non-guard
  4. Drew Gooden - non-guard
  5. Nickoloz Tskitishvili - non-guard
2003:
  1. LeBron James - non-guard
  2. Darko Milicic - non-guard
  3. Carmelo Anthony - non-guard
  4. Chris Bosh - non-guard
  5. Dwyane Wade - guard

2004:

  1. Dwight Howard - non-guard
  2. Emeka Okafor - non-guard
  3. Ben Gordon - guard 
  4. Shaun Livingston - guard
  5. Devin Harris - guard
2005:
  1. Andrew Bogut - non-guard
  2. Marvin Williams - non-guard
  3. Deron Williams - guard
  4. Chris Paul - guard
  5. Raymond Felton - guard

2006:

  1. Andrea Bargnani - non-guard
  2. LaMarcus Aldridge - non-guard
  3. Adam Morrison - non-guard
  4. Tyrus Thomas - non-guard
  5. Shleden Williams - non-guard
2007:
  1. Greg Oden - non-guard
  2. Kevin Durant - non-guard
  3. Al Horford - non-guard
  4. Mike Conley - guard
  5. Jeff Green - non-guard

-------------------------

According to my calculations, two of the guards drafted in the top 5 from '98-'07 turned out to be busts (14%). Meanwhile, 17 of the non-guards drafted in the top 5 from '98-'07 turned out to be busts (47%). For whatever reason, guards seem to be safer bets when making a top 5 selection.

What does this mean for the Sixers? Don't be too cute - just take Turner. There's no time to be messing around with Favors (Will he live up to his potential? Is he too laid back?) or Cousins (Will his conditioning be a problem? Does he have an attitude problem? Is his work ethic a problem?). A gamble might be worth the risk outside the top 5, but the Sixers have a golden opportunity sitting at number two, and they should take advantage of it.

 

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