NBA Draft: Stan Van Gundy Draft History


The NBA Draft might mean more to the Pistons this year than it did in years where they were looking to rebuild the franchise. Not because they need more assets than every before. The already have a franchise player in Andre Drummond, whom they selected with the ninth pick of the 2012 draft.

It seems certain that the front office is going to do everything it can to bring back Greg Monroe at power forward. Upon further evaluation, we’ll find out what the plan is for Josh Smith and if the Pistons run an efficient offense with all three bigs on the court.

Van Gundy made it pretty clear that his team needs perimeter players that can help spread the floor. With a tight cap, it seems the best way to improve quickly and find the pieces necessary to win right away would be through the draft.

SVG the coach is one of the best in the league at knowing what it takes to win. Yet as an executive he has zero experience drafting a key piece to move your franchise forward.

Fans want to know that if the power recently put in place has the ability to find the diamond in the rough or place the clear talent that is the right fit for the Pistons.

Stan Van Gundy has never drafted a player as a general manager.  Today, we take a look at the moves he’s made as an influence at head coach.

Of course this list has to be taken with a grain of salt. As head coach, you’d think that SVG would have a voice in the draft, but with a team like Miami — I’m sure it was an indoor voice.

Also included in the draft chart below is the 2003 draft, despite Van Gundy still being a Miami assistant. He took over as head coach after the draft in 2003. Adding Dwayne Wade though really gives you an idea just how much it pays off to have a top five pick.

 Stan Van Gundy Draft History

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Draft Analysis

Again, when breaking down the draft history of Stan Van Gundy, it’s got to be taken with a grain of salt. Since he’s never had final say in an organization. Yet there are some common denominators in his short lived draft history.

Apr 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Orlando Magic forward Andrew Nicholson (44) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Because of a handful of transactions and having success, his teams have never picked above 19th. In 2007, it was the 15th pick the Magic dealt to the Pistons for Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo. In 2009, the Magic sent the 27th overall pick to Memphis as part of a three way trade with Houston, and acquired Rafer Alston.

Those two picks turned into Rodney Stuckey and DeMarre Carroll. Two serviceable players in the NBA to this day.

Beyond trades, it’s also hard to gauge how you do in a draft when you are selecting so late in the first and second round.

In 2004, SVG’s first draft as head coach of the Heat, the organization went with Dorell Wright in the first round. Hindsight 20/20, it seems like the Heat made the right pick. Kevin Martin, Anderson Varejao and Trevor Ariza went much later in the draft and might have been more productive, but Wright has always flashed an ability in this league. He was green out of high school and Miami knew it.

2005’s draft though might not be as excusable. Van Gundy and company selected Wayne Simien out of Kansas with the 29th overall pick. The Heat missed out on David Lee, Monta Ellis, Andre Blatche, Martin Gortat, and Amir Johnson.

All players that came into their own at their own pace. Simien played in a grand total of 51 games.

Another questionable pick came during the 2008 draft when the Magic selected Courtney Lee. Orlando really needed a shooting guard and put need before talent. Lee turned out to be a top weapon for them from three and has developed into a decent guard.

Could you have imagined though Serge Ibaka and Dwight Howard together? How about Goran Dragic at point or shooting guard alongside Jameer Nelson?

Overall the move fits the SVG bill and ended up helping out his team, but there was better talent on the table.

Same can be said for 2011 when Orlando traded up in the second round to get Justin Harper when Kyle Singler, Shelvin Mack, Chandler Parsons, and Isaiah Thomas were still on the board. In 2012, the Magic took center Andrew Nicholson with Jared Sullinger, Miles Plumlee, Perry Jones III, Draymond Green, Quincy Acy, and Mike Scott still undrafted.

Nicholson still has a future in this league, but the window on that future is closing quickly.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to evaluate Stan Van Gundy’s drafting ability from the cards he was dealt through trades and what power he actually had in those decisions. It’s safe to say that from 2003-05, he answered to Pat Riley when it came to any major decision.

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In Orlando, Van Gundy battled adding players at spot where they needed depth compared to going with best player available. Besides trading up for Justin Harper in the second round of the 2011 draft, you can give the coach the benefit of the doubt.

At #22 he got a player that contributed right away in Courtney Lee in 2008. Andrew Nicholson was a high value pick that the franchise hoped would develop into Dwight Howard’s replacement some day.

This draft will be different than any other Stan Van Gundy has been a part of. He will be the eyes from the front office, looking to find what could be the final piece to what turned into an ugly puzzle last year.

There isn’t any doubt that he can develop players and the first step to developing is being able to eye talent ready to be unlocked.

Don’t let the lack of experience fool you.

Stan Van Gundy is qualified to draft the players needed to unscramble the puzzle and fill in the missing pieces.