Tuesday , Dec , 09 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Always ‘go-big’: why Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks passed on Deron Williams and Chris Paul at 2005 draft

Deron Williams and Paul’s star-power would have put Milwaukee and Atlanta on the NBA map. Both are top point guards and key members of Team USA’s international squad. ‘D-Will’ and ‘CP3’ would have brought the national spotlight to two of the league’s smaller markets …

Always 'go-big': why Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks passed on Deron Williams and Chris Paul at 2005 draftNBA executives have a rule for teambuilding: go big. After all, posts are rare; perimeter players are a dime-a-dozen.

This rule, like most rules in life, is meant to be broken.

Rewind to the 2005 NBA Draft. Milwaukee and Atlanta owned the first two picks. The Bucks and Hawks followed the go-big rule, selecting size in center Andrew Bogut and forward Marvin Williams over point guards Deron Williams and Chris Paul.

I like Bogut and Marvin Williams. ‘The Aussie’ is averaging a ‘double-double’; Marvin Williams has helped ‘The ATL’ once again become relevant. Breaking the go-big rule and drafting Deron Williams or Paul would have altered Milwaukee and Atlanta on-and-off court.

The Bucks and Hawks currently have All-Star shooting guards in Michael Redd and Joe Johnson. Imagine if they had Deron Williams or Paul. These two Eastern Conference clubs would suddenly possess exceptional backcourts.

Deron Williams and Paul’s star-power would have put Milwaukee and Atlanta on the NBA map. Both are top point guards and key members of Team USA’s international squad. ‘D-Will’ and ‘CP3’ would have brought the national spotlight to two of the league’s smaller markets.

In fairness, hindsight is a luxury. Milwaukee’s former executive Larry Harris likely loved Bogut’s rare combination of size and skill. And Atlanta’s front office had just seen Marvin Williams win the NCAA Title with North Carolina. As mentioned, both are fine players.

Also, the top of the 2005 NBA Draft was point guard heavy. Of course, there was Deron Williams and Paul, while Charlotte scooped up Ray Felton with the fifth overall pick. Nate Robinson, Jarrett Jack, and combo guard Luther Head were projected as mid-to-late first round picks. The supply of lead guards likely reinforced the go-big philosophy for Milwaukee and Atlanta.

There is nothing wrong with going-big. You can’t teach height. But great organizations, not necessarily Milwaukee and Atlanta, think outside the box and sometime go against conventional thinking.

Can you blame Milwaukee and Atlanta for going big at the 2005 NBA draft? Should they have taken Deron Williams or Paul over Bogut and Marvin Williams? Get at us in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe the Blog for further NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of jerpro.