Scouts Honor? Projecting NBA Draft Hits Isn't An Exact Science

Revisionist history is easy. If I could go back in time, I wouldn't waste my time trying to whisper in Jerry Krause's ear "Hey Jay Williams is gonna crash his bike, I like the upside of this Amare Stoudemire kid." Instead, I would invest in Google, take in a live Frank Sinatra show, sleep with Marylin Monroe before DiMaggio and them get in her and maybe, just maybe, tell George H.W. Bush to pull out.

I always find it odd that experts have a professional comparison for amateur athletes. Sure, Andre Wadsworth had size and speed, but he never became Bruce Smith. Kerry Wood had a rocket for an arm, but he never became Nolan Ryan. Jeffrey Jordan has Michael's DNA but he's going to business school. The point is some of these guys get labeled without much consideration.

According to past projections, the Bulls should have a starting line-up of Shaquille O'Neal, Dennis Rodman, Larry Bird, Paul Pierce and Derrick Rose ... with Kevin Garnett coming off the bench.

How? Let's take you through time.

2006 - With the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft, the Bulls passed on Larry Bird. What were they thinking? Coming out of college, this player was "Old school right down to the stripes on the socks ... Like a coach on the floor ... The game comes very easily to him ... Can create offense for himself or others ... Very good scorer with complete offensive repertoire ... Great intangibles, competes and inspires others to play hard ... "

The Bulls could have teamed Bird with one of the great rebounders of all time, Dennis Rodman. Rodman was "Long, wiry athletic forward with great energy level ... Excellent rebounder who hits the glass hard ... His bread and butter will be defensively." ... and "Has a unique personality ... A free spirit with a "carefree" attitude. which can be a positive and a negative"

2007 - Chicago could have added a real clutch player had they drafted Paul Pierce instead of Joakim Noah in this draft. Sure, Noah became a rebounding force in the playoffs, but Pierce was described as an "Elite level athlete ... Extremely fluid and explosive ... Blessed with incredible gifts ... Has great length for a wing player. ..." He could play the two or the three in this system.

2001 - Always searching for a low-post presence, the Bulls actually did draft Shaquille O'Neal with the No. 4 overall pick. And to add to the frontcourt firepower, the Bulls ended up trading Elton Brand in exchange for Kevin Garnett.

This is why Jerry Krause is among the best executives in all of sports.

* Adam Morrison ended up playing like bird sh*t rather than Larry Bird.. Renaldo Balkman ended up being Dennis Rodman, without the wedding dress. Thaddeus Young could evolve into Paul Pierce if he wished upon a star. Eddy Curry lived up to the hype and ate Shaquille O'Neal. Tyson Chandler matured and became Kevin Garnett in a wild dream that involved drinking with a panda while Chris Paul watched in amusement.