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To see the system at work, take the Nuggets' selection, at No. 16, in the 1986 draft. Their choosing of Maurice Martin, a bust, counts -3. In his stead they could've had Mark Price (-2), Dennis Rodman (-2) or Scott Skiles (-1). That's a net of -8. Also, a team does not get bonus points if a perspicacious selection blossomed on another team. So the Mavs do not receive +10 for drafting second-rounder Price, because they immediately dealt him to the Cavaliers.
Surprisingly, the winners—losers?—(chart, right) are the two-time defending champion Bulls, who scored -50, worse than the Nuggets (-49), Kings (-47), Clippers (-46) and Mavs (-45).
How did Chicago do it? Among their big losers were top 10 near-busts Quintin Dailey (1982) and Brad Sellers ('86). Among the players they passed over were Ricky Pierce in '82; Malone, Dumars and Terry Porter in '85; and John Salley, Price and Dennis Rodman in '86.
The deftest drafters? The Pistons, who tallied a +4, the only positive score among the teams. Like 11 other teams, Detroit could've had Clyde Drexler ('83). But the Pistons have had no other major screwups and got a +10 for the second-round selection of Rodman ('86).
We found out one thing about the SI polices this week—they're not a bunch of wild-eyed gamblers. Before the start of the 1993 NCAA basketball tournament they were asked to select the eventual national champion; 15 of the 16 voters named a No. 1-seeded team. Only Seattle's Eddie Johnson, who chose second-round loser Seton Hall, the No. 2 seed in the Southeast, failed to name one of the No. 1 seeds, Indiana (Midwest), Kentucky (Southeast), Michigan (West) or North Carolina (East). Let's hope Johnson didn't enter the office pool; the Pirates were stunned 72-68 last Saturday by seventh-seeded Western Kentucky and thus were eliminated from the tournament.
The only voter with the chance to be a homer, the Nets' Sam Bowie, a Kentucky alumnus, did exactly that, choosing the Wildcats, who beat Rider and Utah in the first two rounds. Four others also picked Kentucky—the Bullets' Michael Adams, the Pacers' Reggie Miller, the Knicks' Doc Rivers and the Kings' Wayman Tisdale. Said Adams: " 'I like [Wildcat coach Rick] Pitino's style, having three-pointers and a [Jamal] Mashburn inside."
Indiana, which reached the regional semifinals with wins over Wright State and Xavier, also collected five votes—from the Warriors' Tim Hardaway, the Nuggets' Scott Hastings, the Celtics' Xavier McDaniel, Malone and Drexler.
Michigan, which defeated Coastal Carolina and UCLA en route to the regional semifinals, drew the votes of the Bucks' Danny Schayes, the Hawks' Dominique Wilkins and Dumars, who claimed he was not merely giving the nod to his home-state Wolverines. "Now they've got the experience and the best talent." he said. "They've also got the hunger."
North Carolina, which reached the Sweet 16 for the 13th straight year with impressive victories over East Carolina and Rhode Island, got the final two votes. "The Tar Heels have the depth," said the Mavs' Derek Harper, "and [coach] Dean Smith will find a wav." We'll see.