#3. 2005 NBA Draft
- Selected Danny Granger (#17)
- Selected Erazem Lorbek (#46)
Bill Simmons once recounted a tale about the Pacers 2005 draft room. Apparently, Bird was on the phone, wheeling and dealing in an attempt to possibly move the 17th pick if the player he wanted was selected 15th or 16th.
Meanwhile, a highly praised kid from New Mexico was still on the board, falling further and further, apparently due to concerns about his knee.
Then, after the Raptors took Joey Graham with the16th pick, Bird hung up, saying only ¨I just got Danny Granger,¨or something to that effect.
The 2005 draft featured Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and a high-school phenom named Andrew Bynum. Other than that, it was very unimpressive. You could easily argue that Granger was the third best selection in the whole thing given that Andrew Bynum turned out to be, ya know, Andrew Bynum.
And Bird got Granger — who would be the only ray of light on a moribund franchise for a full half decade — with the 17th pick.
I guess the lesson here is obvious: Sometimes the key to drafting well is just being in a competition with dummies.