One way us outsiders like to evaluate general managers is by their draft record.
If, for example, you drafted Mike Conley, Jr. with the fourth overall pick in 2007 instead of Joakim Noah (ninth) or Jeff Green (fifth), then you could be a bad GM.
Or perhaps you drafted Alando Tucker 29th instead of Carl Landry, who went 31st, then you might be a ... oops.
The reality is the draft is a crap-shoot under the best of circumstances and, in almost all cases, is a team effort. Scouts, front office executives, owners, coaches and King LeBron all have something to say.
With that warning given, let us look at the Cleveland Cavaliers draft history since Blanks joined the team in 2005.
2005 - No picks. Well done, Lance!
2006 - Shannon Brown, 25th pick. The Cavs traded Brown to the Bulls (who later moved him to the Bobcats, who shipped him to the Lakers) as part of the trade that sent Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden to Chicago in exchange for Ben Wallace and Joe Smith.
Brown didn't do much for the Cavs (or Bulls or Bobcats) and was a throw-in in that trade, but with four years of hindsight, Shannon Brown as a 25th pick seems about right. Let Shannon Dunk!
2006 - Daniel "Boobie" Gibson, 42nd pick. For a 42nd pick, Boobie turned out pretty well. Remember his rookie season where he nailed a lot of threes in the playoffs? And his nickname is "Boobie". We can't argue with this pick.
2006 - Ejike Ugboaja, 55th pick. Enough said ... except Paul Milsap went 47th, so maybe a savant genius moves up a couple of spots to grab him like the Suns did with Goran Dragic.
2007 - No picks. Well done, Lance!
2008 - J.J. Hickson, 19th pick. I think it's fair to say that this was a good pick. A very good pick, actually, as it looks like J.J. will pan out and be a legit starting power forward in the NBA. Of course, this was a pretty deep draft, so Lance could have had Courtney Lee (22nd), Nic Batum (25th) or ... wait for it ... Goran Dragic (45th) if he only had been a sorcerer with his own Crystal Ball.
Still, the Cavs would probably take Hickson again, given the Hot Tub Time Machine do-over chance.
2009 - Christian Eyenga, 30th. Eyenga hasn't done much in the NBA yet, but he's got plenty of talent and will probably be a decent rotation player. That's about what you hope for with the last pick in the first round.
2009 - Danny Green, 46th. Danny is no Taylor Griffin (48th), but that doesn't make him a bad pick in the middle of the second round.
What can we surmise from this short draft history?
Move along now and let's wait and hear what he was to say tomorrow when he will be introduced to the local media via conference call.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 08/05/10 6:30 PM MST ]
You should read nothing into the fact that I misspelled Blanks name when this story was originally posted. It doesn't reflect on him or how well known he is. Nope, not at all.