Landing a marquee player in the NBA Draft is never easy, especially if the ball doesn’t fall your way and you’re stuck with a mid-lottery pick, one of the toughest positions to be during the Draft night.
With the top 3 prospects and the can’t-miss talent already out of the way, teams are in the position to either draft by need-fit or reach out to the best player available, and more often than not, that just doesn’t work at all.
And, for some reason, the 8th overall pick has been historically cursed, as players took 8th have almost never been able to outplay their Draft stock and prove their worth, or are just flat out major busts.
Obviously, there have been a couple of exceptions to that rule, but for the most of it, it looks like the 8th pick is pretty much deemed to have a mediocre career in the NBA or not even be in the league for that long:
2018 Collin Sexton, Alabama – Cleveland Cavaliers
2017 Frank Ntilikina, France – New York Knicks
2016 Marquese Chriss, Washington – Sacramento Kings
2015 Stanley Johnson, Arizona – Detroit Pistons
2014 Nik Stauskas, Michigan – Sacramento Kings
2013 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia – Detroit Pistons
2012 Terrence Ross, Washington – Toronto Raptors
2011 Brandon Knight, Kentucky – Detroit Pistons
2010 Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest – L.A. Clippers
2009 Jordan Hill, Arizona – New York Knicks
2008 Joe Alexander, West Virginia – Milwaukee Bucks
2007 Brandan Wright, North Carolina – Charlotte Bobcats (Draft rights traded to Golden State Warriors)
2006 Rudy Gay, Connecticut – Houston Rockets (Draft rights traded to Memphis Grizzlies)
2005 Channing Frye, Arizona – New York Knicks
2004 Rafael Araujo, BYU – Toronto Raptors
2003 T.J. Ford, Texas – Milwaukee Bucks
2002 Chris Wilcox, Maryland – L.A. Clippers
2001 DeSagana Diop, Oak Hill Academy (Va.) – Cleveland Cavaliers
2000 Jamal Crawford, Michigan – Cleveland Cavaliers
That’s not exactly great news for the Atlanta Hawks, who were dealt a major blow last week when they were entitled with the 8th overall pick of this Draft even though they had one of the best odds to make it to the top 4.
Also, this year’s Draft isn’t exactly deep, and it looks like there’s a major gap in talent once the first three players (Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, RJ Barrett) are gone, so the Hawks are in a bit of a predicament right here.
What to do? Should they try and trade up by pairing their 8th and 10th pick? Should they trade out? Or should they just take what’s there at 8th? For most boards, that’s likely to be Duke’s, Cameron Reddish.
Reddish looks like a vastly talented player that needed way more touches in Duke’s offense with Barrett and Williamson drawing most of the attention, but then again, he’s likely to be the third scoring option again for a Hawks team that also features Trae Young and John Collins.
He’s got the tools to become a deadly scorer at the NBA level, but his inconsistency and worrisome shooting splits raise a lot of questions over his head right now. Will he be able to break the curse of the 8th overall pick after his Draft stock fell from the top 5 throughout the NCAA season? We’ll have to wait and see.