Yesterday we took a look at how the NBA drafts of the 1990′s might turn out in today’s day and age. Now, we’re going to do the same with the 2000′s, keeping in mind we’re assuming you need five years to properly evaluate a draft class. Remember, we’re always going with best player available.
1. New Jersey Nets – Kenyon Martin becomes Michael Redd (2.14)
2. Vancouver Grizzlies – Stromile Swift becomes Jamal Crawford (1.8)
3. Los Angeles Clippers – Darius Miles becomes Kenyon Martin
4. Chicago Bulls – Marcus Fizer becomes Mike Miller
5. Orlando Magic – Mike Miller becomes Hedo Turkoglu (1.16)
This was a bad draft, as if you couldn’t tell from the names and where they were drafted. That out of the way, we go with the second rounder, Redd, to lead this draft class. He’s been injured the past few seasons, but it’s hard to ignore the six consecutive seasons of 21+ points before that. I’m not really sure why I have Crawford second, but it’s probably his scoring and ability to pass the ball, as well as the slim pickings. Martin put up decent numbers, but was never really healthy enough to make as much of an impact as he could have had. Miller has a decent career going on, but that’s about it. Winning a title with the Miami Heat would be just dandy. Turkoglu leads the pack with 61.8 Win Shares and that’s embarrassing for a leader for a draft class.
1. Washington Wizards – Kwame Brown becomes Pau Gasol
2. Los Angeles Clippers – Tyson Chandler becomes Tony Parker (1.28)
3. Atlanta Hawks – Pau Gasol becomes Joe Johnson (1.10)
4. Chicago Bulls – Eddy Curry becomes Gilbert Arenas (2.2)
5. Golden State Warriors – Jason Richardson becomes Zach Randolph (1.19)
Gasol has a rep for being soft, but the guy still bangs inside and gets his boards and blocks. He’s also a very skilled player, and among a solid group of players, he gets the top spot like he did when he won Rookie of the Year for this draft class. Parker is further proof of how well the Spurs have drafted late and is also almost unstoppable at getting to the rim. Johnson does so many things on the court well and fills up the stat sheet. Unfortunately, he’s known more for having one of the more bloated contracts in the NBA. I was on the fence with placing Arenas in the top five, but it was hard to ignore the production from Agent Zero when he was healthy. HIBACHI! Z-Bo began his career as a “me-first” type of player, but has evolved nicely to play within the team and while still getting his double-doubles.
1. Houston Rockets – Yao Ming becomes Amar’e Stoudemire (1.9)
2. Chicago Bulls – Jay Williams becomes Yao Ming
3. Golden State Warriors – Mike Dunleavy Jr. becomes Carlos Boozer (2.6)
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Drew Gooden becomes Caron Butler (1.10)
5. Denver Nuggets – Nikoloz Tskitishvili becomes Tayshaun Prince (1.23)
Both STAT and Yao have been bothered by injury during their careers, but the nod goes to Stoudemire who is at least still playing and does own slightly better overall numbers. However, when healthy, both were difference-makers. Boozer is one of those players you feel a natural tendency to crap on in some way because of his contract or his broken promises, but he at least puts up numbers and is a double-double threat every season. Butler, in his prime, was a player that could score, get boards, drop dimes and get steals easily. He’s still a very good producer, but has lost a bit of his step since leaving the Washington Wizards and has been injury prone his entire career. Almost went with Luis Scola for the last spot, but Prince has a larger body of work and a championship ring that trumps the Argentinean big man. Prince doesn’t have stats that scream out at you, but if you’ve watched him play, you know how valuable he is.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron James (none)
2. Detroit Pistons – Darko Milicic becomes Dwyane Wade
3. Denver Nuggets – Carmelo Anthony (none)
4. Toronto Raptors – Chris Bosh (none)
5. Miami Heat – Dwyane Wade becomes David West (1.18)
LeBron is the best player in the game today and Wade is (arguably) in the top five. Melo can score in bunches but ball-stops the offense and can’t seem to get out of the first round of the playoffs. Bosh is the third wheel of the Heat’s Big Three, but when LBJ and Flash are the first and second, kudos to Bosh for still being able to impact a game. West is a very good player in the post that can score and board, but it’s obvious that he missed playing with Chris Paul this season.
1. Orlando Magic – Dwight Howard (none)
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Emeka Okafor becomes Andre Iguodala (1.9)
3. Chicago Bulls – Ben Gordon becomes Al Jefferson (1.15)
4. Los Angeles Clippers – Shaun Livingston becomes Luol Deng (1.7)
5. Washington Wizards – Devin Harris becomes Kevin Martin (1.26)
Howard is the best center in the league, although let’s see how he does this upcoming season after back surgery. He should be fine because he’s still relatively young, but Andrew Bynum is gunning for that number one spot. Iguodala does so many things on the hardwood, but sometimes if feels like something is missing, like he could do more. Maybe it’s just the need for me to feel like he’s validating his contract. Jefferson is an undersized center who has the ability to average 20-10 every season. Deng has quietly made himself into one of the better small forwards in the game, but has suffered some injury woes since his breakout third season. After five straight seasons of 20+ points, and a 17.1 points per game last season, it’s quite obvious that Martin is one of the better scorers in the league and has provided great value relative to his draft position.
1. Milwaukee Bucks – Andrew Bogut becomes Chris Paul
2. Atlanta Hawks – Marvin Williams becomes Deron Williams
3. Utah Jazz – Deron Williams becomes Andrew Bynum (1.10)
4. New Orleans Hornets – Chris Paul becomes Danny Granger (1.17)
5. Charlotte Bobcats – Raymond Felton becomes Monta Ellis (2.10)
Paul will probably end up being the second-best point guard ever, should he remain healthy and win at least one title. Magic, of course, is first and I have Zeke second, although a strong case can be made for Stockton. D-Will is very talented, but his teammates on the Nets have not been. Where will the unrestricted free agent end up during the offseason? Having Bynum third here speaks more to his production when healthy. After this season, he’s basically cemented his position as the second-best after D12, but has the tools to actually be better. But will his mentals be right to do so? Wait … will D12’s? Granger is the main gun on the Pacers, can score in a lot of ways, and is arguably a top-five three. Ellis is one of the better second-rounders ever as he has become one of the league’s top scorers.
1. Toronto Raptors – Andrea Bargnani becomes LaMarcus Aldridge
2. Chicago Bulls – LaMarcus Aldridge becomes Rajon Rondo (1.21)
3. Charlotte Bobcats – Adam Morrison becomes Rudy Gay (1.8)
4. Portland Trail Blazers – Tyrus Thomas becomes Paul Millsap (2.17)
5. Atlanta Hawks – Shelden Williams becomes Andrea Bargnani
Aldridge turned into the franchise player most thought he could be when coming out of Texas and is one of the better bigs in the game. Rondo started out as a role player for the Big Three in Boston, but has become better than them in value and is one of the best overall point guards in the NBA. Gay can definitely score and can be an important piece for the Grizzlies, but when they made a strong playoff run sans Gay last year, his importance came into question. However, with potential new ownership, Gay may be too important to trade. Millsap only needed some burn to handle business. In the past two seasons with starter-type minutes, Millsap has been putting up the stats. Bargnani is the typical Euro big man that likes to work from the outside, and while he can shoot, what else can he do?
1. Portland Trail Blazers – Greg Oden becomes Kevin Durant
2. Seattle SuperSonics – Kevin Durant becomes Marc Gasol (2.18)
3. Atlanta Hawks – Al Horford (none)
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Mike Conley becomes Joakim Noah (1.9)
5. Boston Celtics – Jeff Green becomes Mike Conley
We all know the unfortunate luck of Oden and the Blazers, while Durant is right up there in the argument for best player in the league right now and will be one of the best for a while. Sorry, Portland. Gasol was almost an afterthought in the trade for his brother, Pau. However, he’s proven to be one of the better bigs and could be just as good as his big bro. Horford has been playing out of position at the five, but still producing big. Noah continues to hustle and play strong defense as he did during his stellar college career. Conley has improved the past two seasons and has become a solid point guard that can score, drop dimes and rip pills.
If you could remix the above drafts, how would you change it up? Agree or disagree with the remix, hit me up on Twitter or below in the comments. Chikka-chikka-reeeeemix!