The Decade In Wasted NBA Draft PicksS

Everyone should hurry over to HoopsHype, which has a fantastic story and graphic looking back on the last decade of NBA draftees—specifically, which ones signed contract extensions before their rookie deals expired.

Since players are eligible for extensions three years after being drafted, the data covers the 2000-2009 drafts, and tells you oh-so-much about good and bad draft classes, and good and bad front offices. While an extension doesn't necessarily mean that player is great, it means his team wanted to keep him around, and knew he'd be a target in free agency.

Some notes:

  • The popular wisdom holds on the 2000 draft being one of the worst of all-time. Just four first-round picks—Mike Miller, Desmond Mason, Jamaal Magloire, and Primož Brezec(!)—re-upped with their teams before their deals expired.
  • The loaded 2003 draft saw 15 first-rounders receive extensions. The only one in the top eight not to get an offer? Darko Miličić, naturally.
  • Just three first-overall selections over the decade didn't get extensions: Kenyon Martin (who the Nets did trade for a nice haul), Kwame Brown, and Greg Oden.
  • The Knicks are the only NBA franchise that never extended a first-round pick over the time frame. (Their list of draft picks is a chronicle of sadness.) The Sonics/Thunder led the league, re-upping six of their first-rounders.

Like I said, go look at the story. Drafting's not the entire picture of NBA success, but it's a huge part.

Which players on rookie deals got extensions? [HoopsHype]