Re: Looking Back...
The NBA is in the middle of a transition that includes evolution at nearly every position. How often does a big man like Oden come around? Not too often, but lately, often has been more often than not. 15 years ago, agile 7 footers were a rare commodity and guys like Olajuwon, Robinson, and Ewing were nearly bigger than the game itself. Here we are in the 21st century and that evolution has approached. In the late 80s, no one would of called Kevin Johnson (5'11), Terrell Brandon (5'10), or Tim Hardaway (6'0) undersized point guards. Now, the prototypical size for each position has changed. Athletic 7 footers, though not growing on trees yet, are becoming more and more common. Oden can rebound and block shots, but his offensive game still needs work. Lately, every team is looking for that 7 footer and more times than not, it has become a mistake. Players like Olowokandi, Kwame Brown, Milicic, Shawn Bradley, and Bryant Reeves have yet or have never lived up to their expectations with being lottery picks. The last three #1 picks have been athletic 7 footers (Oden, Bargnani, and Bogut). Next summer, we'll see a bunch of them with DeAndre Jordan, Brooke Lopez, Roy Hibbert, Kostas Koufos, Hasheem Thabeet, Ante Tomic, Semih Erden, Nikola Pekovic, Longar Longar, and a few more. I don't remember seeing that many 7 foot prospects in one draft. As for Oden, he'll be a solid NBA player for the span of his career, but I don't expect much and could be a player closer to Tyson Chandler than David Robinson.