This is probably not the best time to mention this ... and it is hindsight ... and it is water over the dam and under the bridge, but Bleacher Report does an extensive re-look at why so many teams, including the Nets, passed on Paul George in the 2010 Draft. John Wall was the supposed gem of that draft, called a transformational point guard but as it often turns out, the real gem was someone else ... George, drafted at No. 10.
Bleacher Report uses a post-draft analysis by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated to, well, illustrate the error of the nine teams' ways in not taking George, a rising star out of Fresno State, a mid-major. Quoting Mannix, the writer, Poch de la Rosa, notes that the Pacers were desperate to find a starting power forward and point guard. Also, they loved Derrick Favors.
In a season which was small forward Danny Granger's first as the Pacers' franchise player, Indiana desperately needed help at point guard and power forward.
According to Mannix, the Pacers initially "dangled Granger and the No. 10 pick (which turned into George) to Jersey" for Devin Harris and Favors. He goes on to say the Nets "didn't bite" and Indiana wound up with George in spite of a potential logjam at small forward with Granger.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports also wrote back then of what one unnamed Eastern Conference scout told him about George, "In five years, Paul George will be the best player to come out of this draft. Trust me." It took three.
Rod Thorn took Favors, knowing he could be a big trade chip, and then later in the first round, traded the rights to Jordan Crawford and Tibor Pleiss, a German seven-footer, for Damion James. And in the second round that night, the Nets considered buying a pick to take Brooklyn's Lance Stephenson but because of his high profile off-court troubles, declined.
Like we said, hindsight.
- How Did so Many Teams Pass Up on Paul George in the NBA Draft? - Poch de la Rosa - Bleacher Report