(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic parted ways with Otis Smith, their President of Basketball Operations, on May 21st after firing coach Stan Van Gundy. Smith had served as General Manager since 2006 and earned a promotion to President of Basketball Operations in 2010. One of Smith's weaknesses as a personnel boss was his weak drafting ability.
In the lead-up to Thursday's 2012 NBA Draft, Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com rated the league's GMs on their draft expertise, using a numerical system for weighing the production of the picks they made. Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder leads with a 2.79 rating, just ahead of of the Sacramento Kings' Geoff Petrie at 2.58, while David Kahn of the Minnesota Timberwolves brings up the rear at 0.5.
Goodman didn't rate Rob Hennigan, Orlando's new GM and Presti's protégé in OKC, because he's yet to make any draft picks. However, I wanted to see how Smith might have rated in Goodman's system, so I set out to evaluate Smith's draft picks using Goodman's criteria.
After the jump, the results of that evaluation.
|Otis Smith's NBA Draft Record|
|2006||J.J. Redick||11||Quality Reserve||3|
|2008||Courtney Lee||22||Quality Reserve||5|
|Stanley Robinson||59||Out of League||0|
Not counting the incompletes Harper and Liggins received, Smith's five draft picks earned nine points on Goodman's scale for a 1.4 rating, which would have ranked 15th among the 21 qualified GMs in Goodman's scale, behind Joe Dumars of the Detroit Pistons (1.5) and ahead of John Hammond of the Milwaukee Bucks (1.36).
However, if one includes the disastrous selection of Spanish big man Fran Vázquez on Smith's record--he and Dave Twardzik were co-assistant GMs when the team selected Vázquez--then Smith comes up looking much worse. On Goodman's scale, a player picked within the nine-to-14 range who is overseas or out of the league counts as -5 points, giving Smith four points on six draft picks, for a 0.667 grade. Only Kahn rates worse.
Smith was with the organization for the 2004 NBA Draft, in which the Magic came away with a Hall-of-Famer in Dwight Howard and a one-time All-Star in Jameer Nelson. However, John Weisbrod was the GM then, so those selections do not count on Smith's record for the purposes of this exercise.
There's no telling how Hennigan will fare on Draft day, but it's safe to say it'd be almost impossible for him not to rank as an improvement over Smith.