The 1990′s NBA draft remix

It’s said that you can’t truly judge a draft class for about five years and that seems like a reasonable statement. What’s also not outside of that logic is that there is bound to be some regret for the selections made by some of these lottery teams.

With that in mind, we’ll take a look at each NBA Draft class from 1990, the year of the first weighted lottery system, through 2007 and do our very own remix of the first five picks. Note that any player that makes a jump into the top five from their original draft position will have the round and pick within that round in parentheses. All remixes are made regardless of position, with each team selecting the best player available.

Here’s part one — the 1990′s.

1. New Jersey Nets – Derrick Coleman remixed to Gary Payton
2. Seattle SuperSonics – Gary Payton remixed to Derrick Coleman
3. Denver Nuggets – Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf remixed to Toni Kukoc (2.2)
4. Orlando Magic – Dennis Scott remixed to Loy Vaught (1.13)
5. Charlotte Hornets – Kendall Gill remixed to Antonio Davis (2.18)

This year was a little tough to remix considering the players available to move around. In the end, Payton has to be considered the top dog of the draft. Coleman is still top two because of talent, however truly untapped, and production. Kukoc was a key member of the Chicago Bulls’ second group of three-peats and was a versatile player on the court. Vaught was somewhat underrated because he played for the Clippers and Davis was a solid member of those Reggie Miller era Pacers teams that did well in the playoffs.

1. Charlotte Hornets – Larry Johnson (no remix)
2. New Jersey Nets – Kenny Anderson remixed to Dikembe Mutombo
3. Sacramento Kings – Billy Owens remixed to Steve Smith
4. Denver Nuggets – Dikembe Mutombo remixed to Kenny Anderson
5. Miami Heat – Steve Smith remixed to Dale Davis (1.13)

It’s possible to put Mutombo at the top because his longevity and defense are noteworthy, but on talent alone, I had to put Grandmama first. If only his back wasn’t so balky. Steve Smith had a pretty good NBA career, although it wasn’t spectacular by any means. Mr. Chibbs could have been so much more, but he wasn’t, and I was a big fan of his since his prep days when he would destroy my high school team. Queens, stand up! Antonio Davis and Dale Davis became a pretty good duo for the Pacers and Dale’s 86.9 Win Shares is second in the draft class after Mutombo’s 117.0.

1. Orlando Magic – Shaquille O’Neal (no remix)
2. Charlotte Hornets – Alonzo Mourning (no remix)
3. Minnesota Timberwolves – Christian Laettner remixed to Latrell Sprewell (1.24)
4. Dallas Mavericks – Jim Jackson remixed to Christian Laettner
5. Denver Nuggets – LaPhonso Ellis remixed to Robert Horry (1.11)

We all know how good Shaq was. If you don’t know, he’ll tell you. Zo was a nasty player whose career was shortened because of a kidney disease, but epitomized being a warrior on the court. Spree was a really good player that didn’t get his props until he left the Warriors. Of course, he’s also known for choking P.J. Carlesimo and fretting about feeding his family. So it goes. Laettner was a very good NBA pro, but not as good as he was at Duke. Horry needs to get props here because he has SEVEN NBA championship rings and has become synonymous with hitting clutch shots to earn those rings.

1. Orlando Magic – Chris Webber (no remix)
2. Philadelphia 76ers – Shawn Bradley remixed to Alan Houston (1.11)
3. Golden State Warriors – Anfernee Hardaway (no remix)
4. Dallas Mavericks – Jamal Mashburn (no remix)
5. Minnesota Timberwolves – Isaiah Rider remixed to Sam Cassell (1.24)

C-Webb was an excellent big man that could do it all. Big fan since the Fab Five days. Houston was a solid scorer (17.3 PPG) and is above the next two because they suffered injuries that shortened their career. Penny was as a big a star as any during his prime and Mashburn was a great scorer that wasn’t shy about shooting the rock. Cassell started off his career pretty well with two titles his first two seasons in the league, before eventually becoming a scoring threat that could find his teammates, making him extremely dangerous whenever he had the pill.

1. Milwaukee Bucks – Glenn Robinson remixed to Jason Kidd
2. Dallas Mavericks – Jason Kidd remixed to Grant Hill
3. Detroit Pistons – Grant Hill remixed to Glenn Robinson
4. Minnesota Timberwolves – Donyell Marshall remixed to Eddie Jones (1.10)
5. Washington Bullets – Juwan Howard (no remix)

This remix seems somewhat appropriate as the five remixed players are the only five from this class to ever make an All-Star team. Kidd is one of the best point guards ever, able to set up his teammates, as well as play top-notch defense. The second and third spots can be argued, but I put Hill second for his perseverance after suffering major injuries and playing for years afterward. However, Robinson does own the best career scoring average from this class, but Hill’s 100.1 Win Shares and longer playing career trumps the Big Dog. Jones has the second-highest Win Shares (100.6) after Kidd’s 133.1, but Eddie actually has the highest Win Shares per 48 at .147. Howard was really good when he first entered the league, but as expected, 40 years later, his numbers have leveled off. Despite that, he finds himself playing for a title this season, which would be the first ring for any of the Fab Five.

1. Golden State Warriors – Joe Smith remixed to Kevin Garnett
2. Los Angeles Clippers – Antonio McDyess remixed to Rasheed Wallace
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Jerry Stackhouse remixed to Antonio McDyess
4. Washington Bullets – Rasheed Wallace remixed to Jerry Stackhouse
5. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Garnett remixed to Michael Finley (1.21)

Is there any question that Garnett takes the top spot here? KG is one of the best NBA players to ever grace the hardwood and is probably the best help defender ever. He’s no longer 20-10-5, but the career numbers are right there. Sheed played hard when he felt like it, but was still one of the most talented big men of his generation. The third and fourth spots can be switched dependent on preference and I just dug Dice since his college days. However, there’s no questioning Stackhouse’s ability to put the ball through the net. I almost went with Damon Stoudemire for the fifth spot and I’m sure some of you would say I should have included this draft class’ Rookie of the Year, but I had to go with Finley because of longevity, consistency, and having the third-best Win Shares (85.2) of the class after Garnett (181.6) and Sheed (104.5).

1. Philadelphia 76ers – Allen Iverson remixed to Kobe Bryant (1.13)
2. Toronto Raptors – Marcus Camby remixed to Allen Iverson
3. Vancouver Grizzlies – Shareef Abdur-Rahim remixed to Steve Nash (1.15)
4. Milwaukee Bucks – Stephon Marbury remixed to Ray Allen
5. Minnesota Timberwolves – Ray Allen remixed to Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Kobe is arguably the second-best shooting guard of all-time and is an easy choice for this remix to be the first overall pick. Iverson is the greatest scoring little man to ever play the game, and while he was great, I feel like he could have given more. Both Nash and Allen could make arguments to jump into AI’s spot, but I kept them at third and fourth here. Nash is one of the best offensive point guards to ever take the court, but his defense, well … you know. Allen is a great scorer and one of the best perimeter shooters ever, particularly behind the three-point arc. Abdur-Rahim was an excellent player that basically played in anonymity throughtout his career.

1. San Antonio Spurs – Tim Duncan (no remix)
2. Philadephia 76ers – Keith Van Horn remixed to Tracy McGrady
3. Boston Celtics – Chauncey Billups (no remix)
4. Vancouver Grizzles – Antonio Daniels remixed to Stephen Jackson (2.14)
5. Denver Nuggets – Tony Battie remixed to Tim Thomas (1.7)

Duncan is the best power forward to ever play, so, yeah he can stay where he is. McGrady was a supreme offensive force at one point during his career and has had a pretty good career overall. Billups a.k.a. Mr. Big Shot was never a true superstar, but it seems like he was always on the cusp because all he did was win (119.8 Win Share; one championship ring). Jackson’s actions during the Malice in the Palace will probably trump anything he does or did for his career, which is too bad because he turned out to be a solid player, especially as a second round draft pick. Next up is Thomas — a classic underachiever — which says a lot for this kind of horrible draft class.

1. Los Angeles Clippers – Michael Olowokandi remixed to Dirk Nowitzki (1.9)
2. Vancouver Grizzlies – Mike Bibby remixed to Paul Pierce (1.10)
3. Denver Nuggets – Raef LaFrentz remixed to Vince Carter
4. Toronto Raptors – Antawn Jamison (no remix)
5. Golden State Warriors – Vince Carter remixed to Rashard Lewis (2.3)

Nowitzki showed that the “soft” European big man could not only play in the NBA, but excel and lead his team to a championship. Pierce should go down as one of the all-time best Celtics and that says a lot. Vince Carter was yet another “next Michael Jordan” type of players, but he was his own man (see: attending his college graduation the day of a crucial playoff game) and not like Jordan (see: no rings). At one point, he captivated the masses with his dunking ability, but also did more than just throw it down, eventually scoring more than 21,000 points. Jamison has put up some impressive numbers in his career, but always seemed underappreciated. Lewis came straight out of high school and became one of the more consistent scorers and three-point threats while with the Seattle SuperSonics. He is now consistently mentioned when it comes to bad contracts, so there’s that.

1. Chicago Bulls – Elton Brand (no remix)
2. Vancouver Grizzlies – Steve Francis remixed to Manu Ginobili (2.28)
3. Charlotte Hornets – Baron Davis remixed to Shawn Marion (1.9)
4. Los Angeles Clippers – Lamar Odom (no remix)
5. Toronto Raptors – Jonathan Bender remixed to Andre Miller (1.8)

Brand gets to stay where he is because he put up some excellent overall numbers and is second behind Marion (113.6) with 101.8 Win Shares. Brand was always a candidate to average 20-10, achieving that mark in six of his first seven seasons. I just love Manu’s ability to do everything, both offensively and defensively. Plus, he’s a winner and will do anything it takes to get a victory. Marion is another one of those jack-of-all-trades type of players, and if you played fantasy basketball during his time with the Suns, you were probably the only one among your friends that knew who he was and how well he played. Odom sticks at four as he’s very talented, capable of doing many things on the floor and, of course, a two-time champion. Miller slides in at five as his stats can stand on their own when compared to the two guards that were the second and third picks of this draft.  Also, unlike Baron and Bibby, Miller is still productive to this day.

Comments (26)

  1. Wow, you had a chance to draft Steve Nash to the Raptors and you blew it ;) Great list, and a really good idea. Amazing to look back and see how off base some of the drafts were – the top of the 1998 draft really sticks out in retrospect.

  2. This is bad.

    Almost information whatsoever, no challenge (not taking the team already in place into account), almost no argument made… I make these kind of lists too, but I have the decency to keep them to myself.

  3. Nice article as a fun distraction, but the use of “remix” over and over drove me crazy and almost made me not finish it. Would have been better to always list 5 other players who made it, I can’t really argue this because I don’t know who else was drafted in 1997…

  4. Great premise…awful execution.

    I was exciting to read this but couldn’t make it through ’92. Also way to set the record for most uses of remixed of all time, obnoxious.

    Put this fool on the Matt Austin list

  5. For 1996, I’d have Jermaine O’Neal and Ben Wallace over Shareef

    • Hell, in hindsight I’d still take Starbury over Shareef without hesitation… It’s easy to only remember the antics later in his career, but for many years Starbury was one of the top players in the NBA.

    • Completely agree! JO was an MVP candidate at one point of his career and averaged a near 20-10 for 6 seasons straight in Indy. Loved Shareef, but his injuries certainly should be taken into consideration here.

      As for Wallace – at least 11 rb and 2 blks for seven seasons straight, as well as NBA champ, 4 x DPOY, 5 x NBA All-Defense 1st Team, 4 x All Star, 3 x All NBA 2nd Team, 5 x Best Afro?! I’m thinking that Mr Velasco just plain forgot about this man.

  6. Win Shares and longevity aside how can Steve Francis not be one of the top 5 players of that draft? Bad teams, bad teammates, and a poor attitude killed his career but I’d take his peak over anyone but Manu and Brand. On a pure talent point he was as good as any of the guys mentioned.

    • Steve Francis only lasted 5-6 years. once he was in Orlando it was a wrap from him. He just did not last long.

  7. Interesting topic, but you’re looking at the players from their whole career as opposed to how they were seen at the time. For example, it’s easy to say you’d take Kevin Durant over Greg Oden now, but any team that won the lottery in 2007 would have taken Oden with the first pick, so you can’t really blame the Blazers. But I guest that’s the whole point of your topic.

    Anyway, here are the All-Rookie teams for every year:

    For example, look at the ’91 All-Rookie team. Dee Brown, Derrick Coleman, Kendall Gill, Dennis Scott, and Lionel Simmons are all on the First Team ahead of Gary Payton. Obviously Payton had the best career out of anyone in that Draft, but he didn’t emerge as an All-Star level player until ’93 or ’94.

    And with Coleman, who won Rookie of the Year, Kenny Anderson, and Drazen Petrovic, the Nets became a decent team, which they hadn’t been for like a decade at that time. So, I don’t know..

    • I was going to say that too about the Nets, but Payton, Mutombo, and Petrovic? …and coached by Chuck Daly? :)

  8. Also, you’re not taking trades into consideration. For example, after the Kings drafted Billy Owens in 1991, my Warriors were stupid enough to trade Mitch Richmond to Sacramento for him. So you can’t really fault the Kings for drafting him.

  9. That picture up top got me thinking. I was too young to really follow at the time, but 89-90 was an interesting year in college basketball, especially for frontcourts. Mainly, you had Zo and Deke at Georgetown, but there was also Shaq and Stanley Roberts at LSU, Dale Davis and Elden Campbell at Clemson, Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens at Syracuse, and even, to really stretch it, Loy Vaught and Terry Mills at Michigan.

    Georgia Tech also had an interesting team, with their trio of 20ppg guys- Kenny Anderson, Brian Oliver, and Dennis Scott. Scott even averaged 28ppg. I know it was a faster paced game then, but how many college teams have gotten so much offense from three different players?

  10. I’ll take Van Horn’s career 16 pts, 7 rebs and 2 Finals appearances over Tim Thomas 11.5 pts & 4 rebounds. Also, KVH ws/48 = .110; TT ws48 = .079. Also, Van Horn actually tried.

  11. Allan Houston over Penny? Off the pipe, DV.

  12. 1999 should be


    brand had a couple good years for the clippers, but fell off after serious injuries..

  13. And for that 1996 draft class, I’m not sure about Shareef still in the top 5. He was a solid big but did not elevate the grizzlies franchise much. I believe he was a 20-8 guy but he did not even sniff the playoffs until he got to Sacramento. By then he was washed up.

  14. I am not sure he said it, but i believe by reading the article, that he looked at each draft year, and looked at the players 5 years after that years draft. At least I think that is what he did. I am not a big basketball fan, so you experts take a look and see if that makes more sense. Rather then thinking the guy who wrote the article used career stats.

  15. Regardless of the details behind the method, a great exercise, and a much more interesting than the all too common fare on this blog of finding a player’s off-the-cuff remark, removing the context, dissecting it beyond all reason, and reacting as though the guy has had it emblazoned across his chest since childhood, that it is his life-mantra. I know original content does not arise at the snap of the fingers, but the blog needs more of this.

    The live show … don’t change a thing, except perhaps heading back to the apartment for a retro show every once and a while.

    • That’s a pretty on-point criticism of some of the filler here.

      But also, C’mon, Drop Velasco. He can’t write, he doesn’t seem to know much about basketball, and he’s constantly wrong.

      Manu>Brand. That’s all the argument I need.

  16. Antoine Walker played just as long as shareef abdur-rahim, had better stats, started for a championship team, made the eastern conference finals another year with a different team and did the shimmy. I don’t see how shareef makes it over ‘toine

  17. This was a lot fun to read, and I agree with everything…except for the Iverson over Nash/Allen part. It’s obviously a shoutout to what Iverson represented as an individual and his ferocity as a player, but in terms of longevity, MVP’s, and a Championship both Nash and Allen trump him. Championship-caliber teams are going to give Nash and Allen a lot of money next year – Iverson is delivering a game ball to an Eastern Conference Semi-Final Game that Ray Allen participated in.

    To me it’s a total no-brainer and I still rock Questions.

  18. i think its marcus camby > shareef abdur rahim

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