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In Petrie We Trust. But Why?

So the Kings fell to the 5th pick.  The common refrain has been "In Petrie We Trust."  So I went throughout each and everyone of the drafts where Petrie has been a GM (including the Portland era) to see how he has done, and if he could have done better.  I also thought to myself that in most drafts, there's a least one or sometimes two busts in the top 5, and that there's always at least a couple or sometimes more players that aren't in the top 5 that end up being one of the top 5 best players from that draft (These "Top 5s" are listed in the order in which they were drafted to avoid some of the "You think so-and-so is better than whats-his-face?!?" arguments).

So without further ado, a full Geoff Petrie draft history, as well as some analysis. (Undrafted players were not included when mentioning notable prospects missed, as every team missed out on these players. To view the full draft board, simply click the link I provide for each draft).

Petrie's Draft History:

1990 NBA Draft:

#25: Alaa Abdelnaby PF, Duke, Sr. - Petrie really didn't miss out on much with his first ever pick in the NBA draft.  It was a very weak draft (one that saw the Kings have 4 first round picks and come away with Simmons, Mays, Causewell, and Bonner).  Notable players that Petrie (and pretty much everybody) missed on include Toni Kukoc (29th), Cedric Ceballos (48th), Elden Campell (27th), and Antonio Davis (45th). 

Portland did not have a 2nd round pick this year.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Derrick Coleman (1st)
  2. Gary Payton (2nd)
  3. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (3rd)
  4. Kendall Gill (5th)
  5. Toni Kukoc (29th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Dennis Scott (4th)

1991 NBA Draft:

Portland owned the #27 pick (last in the first round) and traded it with Byron Irvin and a 1992 2nd round pick (Brett Roberts) to the Sacramento Kings for Danny Ainge.  Pick #27 ended up being Pete Chilcutt.  Ainge was on the downside of his career, but Chilcutt never amounted to much of anything.

Portland also had the last pick in the draft at 54 and took Marcus Kennedy.  He never played in the NBA.  But there really aren't any notable players taken in this 2nd round other than Bobby Phills at 45.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Larry Johnson (1st)
  2. Kenny Anderson (2nd)
  3. Dikembe Mutombo (4th)
  4. Steve Smith (5th)
  5. Dale Davis (13th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Billy Owens (3rd)

1992 NBA Draft:

#26: Dave Johnson, SF, Syracuse, Sr. - Again, not really a big deal to miss out on the draft when you're going this late and your team is in contention.  I'm guessing Petrie went with Seniors to try to have as little a learning curve as possible.  He didn't really miss out on any notable players though.  

Portland also took Reggie Smith at 31, with again, nobody really of note after. 

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Shaquille O'Neal (1st)
  2. Alonzo Mourning (2nd)
  3. Christian Laettner (3rd)
  4. Jim Jackson (4th)
  5. Latrell Sprewell (24th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:

None really.  You could say LaPhonso Ellis was a bust, but he did have some stellar years. 


1993 NBA Draft:

#21 James Robinson, SG, Alabama, Jr. - This time Petrie did miss out on a few guys (although Robinson was a nice role player for a couple years).  Notable misses include Chris Mills (22nd), Ervin (Not Magic) Johnson (23rd), Sam Cassell (24th), Evers Burns! Evers Burns! (just for you Section), Nick Van Exel (37th), and Bryon Russell (45th).

Portland also picked Kevin Thompson at 48, with nobody notable after.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Chris Webber (1st)
  2. Penny Hardaway (3rd)
  3. Jamal Mashburn (4th)
  4. Allan Houston (11th)
  5. Sam Cassell (24th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Shawn Bradley (2nd)
  2. Isiah Rider (5th)

1994 NBA Draft (start of Kings-era)

Now we're talking.  1994 is when Petrie first becomes GM of your Sacramento Kings and given control over a team trying to make it over the hump.  Portland had been in contention for much of the time Petrie was in charge.  This also marks the first time Petrie drafted in the Lottery.

#8 Brian Grant, PF, Xavier, Sr. - This was a pretty damn good pick.  Only real notables taken after him were Eddie Jones (11th), Jalen Rose (13th), and perhaps Wesley Person (23rd).

#35 Michael "The Animal" Smith - This was the original Mancakes and fan favorite.  And there really was only one player the Kings could have picked that might have been better and that was Voshon Lenard (46th).

#51 Lawrence Funderburke - Funderburke was another great selection considering where he was picked.  He played some key minutes for the glory day Kings (as well as sop up Shaq fouls).

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Glenn Robinson (1st)
  2. Jason Kidd (2nd)
  3. Grant Hill (3rd)
  4. Juwan Howard (5th)
  5. Eddie Jones (10th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:

Donyell Marshall was drafted 4th but he had a very solid career, even if it might not have been 4th pick worthy.


1995 NBA Draft:

#13 Corliss Williamson, PF, Arkansas, Jr. - Another lottery pick for Petrie and another good pick.  Corliss was a tenacious player, and eventually played a key role on the Detroit Championship team.  Only notables picked after him were Brent Barry (15th), Theo Ratliff (18th), Michael Finley (21), Greg Ostertag (28) and Eric Snow (43).  Of those players I think the only one that really ended up better than Corliss was Finley, maybe Ratliff.

#47 Tyus Edney - Petrie really hit it off well to start in the 2nd round for the Kings.  Edney had a very productive couple of years with the Kings before leaving for Europe.  Only notable player after Edney was Hoiberg, and he likely wasn't better at the time.

#51 Dejan Bodiroga - Petrie's first Euro pick never decided to come play in the NBA, but he has been considered the best European player to never have played in the NBA.  Good pick considering absolutely nobody of note came after it.  It's a shame Bodiroga never came over.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Antonio McDyess (2nd)
  2. Jerry Stackhouse (3rd)
  3. Rasheed Wallace (4th)
  4. Kevin Garnett (5th)
  5. Michael Finley (21st)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Joe Smith (1st)

1996 NBA Draft:

#14 Peja Stojakovic, SF, Yugoslavia - This is the year Kings fans were clamoring for John Wallace (taken 18th).  Instead he opted for little known Stojakovic, who would not play in the NBA for two more years.  This draft was absolutely bonkers early on, but after Peja, there's only one player who has had a better career: Steve Nash (15th).  You could make a case for Jermaine O'Neal (17th), but Peja was absolutely phenomenal prior to the back injuries that plague him now.  Big Z was notable at 20, but he shouldn't be in the conversation with Peja, Nash or O'Neal.

#41 - Jason Sasser - Yeah I don't know who this is either.  Petrie missed out on Malik Rose (44th), and Shandon Anderson (54th), not really big losses.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Allen Iverson (1st)
  2. Ray Allen (5th)
  3. Kobe Bryant (13th)
  4. Peja Stojakovic (14th)
  5. Steve Nash (15th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Marcus Camby (2) - Camby is a solid player, but in a draft that was this deep, taking him with the #2 was a big mistake.

1997 NBA Draft:

#11 - Tariq Abdul-Wahad, SF, San Jose St., Sr. - First off, what a crappy draft after Duncan, Billups and McGrady (only All-Stars to come out).  Abdul-Wahad was probably Petrie's worst lottery pick, but who did he have left to choose from?  Austin Croshere (12th)? Derek Anderson (13th)?  These guys were better, but they're really not making me curse the Abdul-Wahad pick.  Stephen Jackson was likely the 4th best player in this draft and he was taken at 43. 

#40 - Anthony Johnson - A good, solid 2nd round pick.  Johnson has always been a perennial backup, but its a testament to his talent that he is still in the league now (and actually in the playoffs with the Magic).  Other than Jackson, there really isn't anybody else after him I would've rather had.  Maybe God Shammgod (46th), because that has to be the best name ever.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Tim Duncan (1st)
  2. Tracy McGrady (9th)
  3. Chauncey Billups (3rd)
  4. Stephen Jackson (43rd)
  5. Keith Van Horn (2nd)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Antonio Daniels (4th)
  2. Tony Battie (5th)

1998 NBA Draft:

#7 - Jason Williams, PG, Florida, Jr. - My favorite Kings draft pick of all time.  Yes, the Kings could have had Pierce (10th), Nowitzki (9th), or Rashard Lewis (32nd), but Williams brought excitement back to Sacramento, and eventually netted us the guy picked #2 in this draft, Mike Bibby.  I'm pretty sure the Kings don't regret taking Jason Williams one bit.

#36 - Jerome James - One of the few players in this 2nd round to make an impact (mainly AGAINST the Sacramento Kings when he was with the Sonics), but there were a couple better players picked after him: Rafer Alston (39th) and Cuttino Mobley (41st). Still, not a bad draft pick.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Antawn Jamison (4th)
  2. Vince Carter (5th)
  3. Dirk Nowitzki (9th)
  4. Paul Pierce (10th)
  5. Rashard Lewis (32nd)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Michael LOLowokandi (1st)
  2. Raef Lafrentz (3rd)

Kings did not have a first round pick.

#45 - Ryan Robertson.  Only player that would've been better is Manu Ginobili at 57, and pretty much every single team in the league passed on him (including San Antonio the first time, as they took Leon Smith with the 29th pick).


Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Elton Brand (1st)
  2. Baron Davis (3rd)
  3. Rip Hamilton (7th)
  4. Shawn Marion (9th)
  5. Manu Ginobili (57th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Jonathan Bender (5th)

#16 - Hedo Turkoglu, SF, Turkey - What a great pick in an absolute Craptastophre of a draft.  Hedo probably ranks as the 3rd best player in this whole draft, and the Kings managed to pick him up at 16.  Possibly Petrie's greatest find, since this draft was so terribly bad.

#45 - Jabari Smith - You remember seeing this guy play right?  He was ok as far as 2nd rounders go.  Nothing special, but good enough to stay on the roster as an extra body for practice.  And of the players picked after him, only Jason Hart was really ever better, and he's one notch above Will Solomon as least favorite King in my book.


Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):

  1. Kenyon Martin (1st)
  2. Mike Miller (5th)
  3. Jamal Crawford (8th)
  4. Hedo Turkoglu (16th)
  5. Michael Redd (43rd)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Stromile Swift (2nd)
  2. Darius Miles (3rd)
  3. Marcus Fizer (4th)

#25 - Gerald Wallace, SF, Alabama, Fr. - Another good find by Geoff Petrie, Wallace didn't blossom into the player he is today until given much more freedom in Charlotte.  He struggled to find a niche in a championship caliber team, but was a fan favorite garbage time player and it was obvious he had talent (which he later proved).  Many make the argument that the Kings should have protected him, but when you are focusing on trying to win a championship, guys who can barely get off the bench shouldn't be given as great a priority.  And if Wallace had stayed, who knows if he would have ever been able to become the All-Star he is now without that freedom?  Anyways, notable players picked after Wallace: Samuel Dalembert (26th), Jamaal Tinsley (27th), Tony Parker (28th), Gilbert Arenas (31st), and Mehmet Okur (39th).  Of those players, only Parker or Arenas have really ended up better than Wallace, although Okur or Dalembert might've been better fits and able to make more immediate impacts for the contending Kings.

#55 - Maurice Jeffers - Nobody of note drafted after.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):
  1. Pau Gasol (3rd)
  2. Joe Johnson (10th)
  3. Zach Randolph (19th)
  4. Tony Parker (28th)
  5. Gilbert Arenas (31st)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Kwame Brown (1st)
  2. Tyson Chandler (2nd)
  3. Eddy Curry (4th)

#28 - Dan Dickau, PG, Gonzaga, Sr. - This pick was almost immediately traded to the Atlanta Hawks for a future first round pick, which later got traded to Detroit along with Jon Barry for Mateen Cleaves.  Notable players picked after Dickau include Carlos Boozer (34th), Flip Murray (41st), Matt Barnes (45th), Darius Songaila (49th) - the Kings would later send their 2003 and 2005 2nd round picks for the rights to Songaila, and Luis Scola (55th).  Not Petrie's best draft per se, but again, the team was coming off the best record in the NBA and even some of the lotto picks turned out about the same as Dickau.

#57 - Corsley Edwards - Last pick in the draft.  You try picking a good guy here.  Not saying its impossible, just very, very unlikely, no matter how good your talent evaluation is.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):
  1. Yao Ming (1st)
  2. Nene Hilario (7th)
  3. Amar'e Stoudemire (9th)
  4. Caron Butler (10th)
  5. Carlos Boozer (34th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Jay Williams (2nd)
  2. Mike Dunleavy Jr. (3rd)
  3. Nikoloz Tskitishvili (5th)
  4. You can also argue Drew Gooden (4th), but I think he's had a very solid career and in comparison to the rest of this draft, can't really call him a bust.

In perhaps one of the best drafts in history, the Kings did not have a pick.  The pick they did have was traded to the Magic when the Kings traded Tariq Abdul-Wahad for Nick Anderson.  That pick became Kendrick Perkins.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):
  1. LeBron James (1st)
  2. Carmelo Anthony (3rd)
  3. Chris Bosh (4th)
  4. Dwyane Wade (5th)
  5. David West (18th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Darko Milicic (2nd)

#26 - Kevin Martin, SG, Western Carolina, Jr. - A stellar pick for the Kings as time showed.  Before he was traded and Tyreke Evans came along, Martin became one of the most efficient and deadliest scorers in the league.  He was never good enough to be the main guy, but he is definitely good enough to be the 2nd or 3rd best guy on a great team, and at 26, this is as close to a home run pick as you can get.  Nobody picked after Martin has ended up as good yet, although only time will tell with Trevor Ariza (43rd)

#48 - Ricky Minard - All I remember about Minard was that the Bee was projecting the Kings taking him with the 26th pick the day of the draft.  I thought it was funny that we still got him with our 2nd rounder.  Nobody of note was taken after him, although Vassilis Spanoulis (50th) has been one of the best guards in Europe for a while, although his ego wouldn't let him sit on the bench in Houston, so he returned to Europe.

Top 5 players from this draft (in order they were drafted):
  1. Dwight Howard (1st)
  2. Devin Harris (5th)
  3. Andre Iguodala (9th)
  4. Al Jefferson (15th)
  5. Josh Smith (17th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Shaun Livingston (4th) 

#23 - Francisco Garcia, G/F, Louisville, Jr. - Cisco was a good pick at this spot.  Not many players were missed below him.  David Lee (30th) was the only one in the 1st round, while a lot of teams passed on Ersan Ilyasova (36th), Monta Ellis (40th), Louis Williams (45th), Andray Blatche (49th), Amir Johnson (56th) and Marcin Gortat (57th).  A pretty good haul for the 2nd round this year actually.  

Top 5 picks from this draft (in order they were drafted):
  1. Andrew Bogut (1st)
  2. Deron Williams (3rd)
  3. Chris Paul (4th)
  4. Danny Granger (17th)
  5. David Lee (30th) or Monta Ellis (40th).  I prefer Lee.
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Marvin Williams (2nd).  He's a nice player, but didn't deserve to be picked 2nd in this draft.

#19 - Quincy Douby, G, Rutgers, Jr. - The infamous Douby pick that everyone mentions when they say Petrie isn't a perfect drafting GM.  Well nobody is perfect.  Everyone mentions the Kings could have had Rondo (21st).  I don't know that Rondo fulfills his potential without Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers to guide him.  And other than Rondo, the next picks that would have been better are Kyle Lowry (24th), Shannon Brown (25th), Jordan Farmar (26th), Sergio Rodriguez (27th) and Paul Millsap (47th).  Of those players, only Lowry and Millsap are real upgrades to me.

Disclaimer: Starting here, Top 5s and Notable Busts become slightly more blurry and subject to change because the time that has elapsed has gotten a lot smaller.  

Top 5 players from this draft:
  1. LaMarcus Aldridge (2nd)
  2. Brandon Roy (6th)
  3. Rudy Gay (8th)
  4. Rajon Rondo (21st)
  5. Paul Millsap (47th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Too early to tell for Bargnani (1st), could still turn into very dangerous scorer.
  2. Adam Morrison (3rd) - Just a turd of a pick.
  3. Tyrus Thomas (4th) - Can still have a good career, but definitely a bust for the Bulls.
  4. Shelden Williams (5th) 

#10 - Spencer Hawes, C, Washington, Fr. - Spencer's pick was questioned at the time, and still questioned now.  But for where he was picked and how young he still is, it was a pretty good pick.  It's fair to say he's shown more promise than a lot of guys drafted after him.  Aaron Brooks (26th) is really the only first rounder in this draft that has played better than Spencer, and Carl Landry (31st) and Marc Gasol (48th) are the only clear cut better players in the 2nd round.  Plus, the jury is still out on Spencer due to his age and the fact that 3 years is not enough time to know how a player will turn out.

Top 5 players from this draft (in the order they were drafted):
  1. Kevin Durant (2nd)
  2. Al Horford (3rd)
  3. Joakim Noah (9th)
  4. Aaron Brooks (26th)
  5. Carl Landry (31st) or Marc Gasol (48th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:
  1. Greg Oden (1st) - Really too early to tell, but so far he's been a bust, but only because of injury.  The times he has been able to play he's shown a lot of promise.  But thats the thing, he hasn't been able to play a lot.
  2. Mike Conley, Jr. (4th) - Conley is inconsistent and doesn't seem to fit well in Memphis.  If he does break out into a great player, I don't think its with Memphis.

#12 - Jason Thompson, F, Rider, Sr. - Another solid pick in the lottery for Petrie, Jason looks to be a solid player in the NBA for years to come, although probably not a star.  No player drafted after him has really outperformed him yet, although it remains to be seen if players like Anthony Randolph (14th), Roy Hibbert (17th),  Javale McGee (18th), J.J. Hickson (19th) fulfill their potential.  This draft looks like it will end up being full of very solid players.

#42 - Sean Singletary
#43 - Patrick Ewing, Jr. - These two picks were really bleh, but the Kings didn't really have many options.  Of players picked afterward, Goran Dragic (45th), Bill Walker (47th), and Mike Taylor (55th), all likely would've been better choices, but this is where the draft almost becomes a crapshoot.

Top 5 picks from this draft:
  1. Derrick Rose (1st)
  2. OJ Mayo (3rd)
  3. Russell Westbrook (4th)
  4. Eric Gordon (7th)
  5. Brook Lopez (10th)
Notable Busts in Top 5:

Too early to tell, but so far looks like possibly Michael Beasley (2nd).

#4 - Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis, Fr. - #RekeRoY, 'nuff said.  The future will bear witness to whether Reke is actually the best player in the draft, but the fact of the matter is that he is a franchise cornerstone.  He is the reason why I am not really that upset about losing out on the John Wall.  The Kings already sort of won the lottery last year by drafting Reke, a franchise changing talent.  The Kings now simply need to load up on talent, and the 5th pick will provide that.  Stephen Curry (7th) looks like the only person drafted behind Reke that could possibly usurp him as best player from this draft.  Possibly Rubio at 5 but I doubt it.

#23 - Omri Casspi, F, Israel - Before the All-Star Break, Omri was widely regarded as one of the top 5-10 rookies in this draft.  He brings a lot of skill to the table and his potential is huge.  Another good pick by Petrie, and although other rookies like Beaubois (25th), DeJuan Blair (37th), Jonas Jerebko (39th), Marcus Thornton (43rd), Chase Budinger (44th), or someone else who hasn't shown what they're made of yet could end up better, Casspi definitely looks like he can make a case for being one of the best drat picks in this draft, along with Reke, when all is said and done.

#38 - Jon Brockman - The Brock Ness Monster was statistically the best offensive rebounder in this draft so far and he can find a place in this league if he adds a decent jump shot.  There's always a role for players who can do one thing extremely well, and Brockman rebounds extremely well.  Jerebko, Thornton, or Budinger, could and will likely end up being better than Nessie, but still a good solid pick in the 2nd round by Petrie.

Top 5 picks from this draft (in order they were drafted):
  1. Tyreke Evans (4th)
  2. Stephen Curry (7th)
  3. Brandon Jennings (10th)
  4. Eric Maynor (20th)
  5. Darren Collison (21st)
Notable Busts in Top 5:

Way too early to tell on either Griffin, Thabeet, Harden or Rubio. 

So really, Geoff has been pretty exceptional at finding talent and impact players, especially in the lottery, where he only really ever had one miss (Tariq Abdul-Wahad).  The #5 pick in this years draft is still the second highest Petrie has ever had, and the more choice he has, the better player he's likely to choose.  He has a very good eye for talent, so I'm very hopeful that whoever he chooses at #5 becomes a very good to great player one day.  In Petrie We Trust, and as you can see, for a very good reason.