ESPN Study: Isiah Thomas best drafting GM since 1989


isiah-thomasIsiah Thomas is the best drafting general manager in the NBA, according to an empirical study conducted by ESPN.

While with the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks, Thomas had a Net Expected Wins Average of +1.7 per pick.

Thomas drafted Damon Stoudamire seventh overall in 1995 and Tracy McGrady at ninth during his tenure with the Raptors.

David Lee, Trevor Ariza, Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson were all high value picks with the Knicks.

Jim Paxson ranks second with the picks of Carlos Boozer, Anderson Varejao and Jason Kapono standing out.

Kiki Vandeweghe, Sam Presti and Jeff Bower round out the top-five.

The worst drafting general managers of the period are David Kahn, Jerry Reynolds, Elgin Baylor, John Gabriel and Pete Babcock.

Thomas, a Hall of Famer, has accomplished a lot in the NBA, becoming a 12-time NBA All-Star, and leading the Detroit Pistons team to 2 NBA championships in 1989 and 1990.

He played in 979 NBA games (971 started) – all for the Detroit Pistons, averaging double figures in scoring in all of his seasons in the NBA. He averaged double figures (scoring and assists) in 4 straight seasons.

Thomas averaged career high 22.9 ppg for the Pistons in 1982-1983. He also led the NBA with an average of 13.9 assists per game (also career high) in 1984-85.

From 1994, when he retired as a player, through 2008, Thomas stayed attached to the NBA as either a team executive, a coach or a television commentator, with a two-year break to run the Continental Basketball Association from 1998 to 2000.


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