This draft class was widely considered one of the best of all time. This draft produced a hand full of superstars, as well as some quality starters. It also had a good amount of superb bench players as well. This was a deep draft and there were a good amount of capable players, even in the second round as well. But this team was pretty top-heavy in terms of the star players though. Let’s get started!
1. Cleveland Cavaliers- (Original pick- LeBron James) First Overall pick- LeBron James
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. As much as I don’t like LeBron, he is still the best player in the modern era. LeBron has been putting up great stats since he first got into the league, with no season ever scoring under 20 points per game, he is one of the most consistent players. As he has gotten older, he has increased his rebounding to about 8 rebounds a game and he also became a stronger shooter, he is making around 2.1 threes a game this season. He has won three NBA championships and has been an all-star 15 times with many more accolades so far. Without James, Cleveland wouldn’t have ever gotten a championship and they probably wouldn’t have been nearly as relevant without him. LeBron was the only choice here at the first pick, no need to talk about fit because we already knew LeBron did fit really well with this team. LeBron’s best season was when he averaged 31.4 points per game, 1.6 steals a game, 6.6 assists and 7 rebounds a game. A very balanced season on both sides of the ball.
2. Detroit Pistons- (Original pick- Darko Milicic) Second Overall pick- Carmelo Anthony
As much as Dwyane Wade deserves to be the second pick, Richard Hamilton was already cemented as the starting shooting guard for the Pistons. At the small forward position was Tayshaun Prince. As good as he was, Carmelo was much better. Carmelo is easily one of the best offensive players of this decade. Whether he is attacking from the post or on the outside. He was a player that you could use to stop a run from the other team or a player to play through the entire game. Anthony was also one of the most exciting players to watch on offense. The way he operated on the block was masterful. His footwork was second to none in terms of small forwards. In terms of his fit, I believe he would be a solid piece to this Pistons team. This was the year that they would go onto win the finals, so maybe if they didn’t pick Darko, Carmelo might have a ring by now. Carmelo’s best season in the NBA was when he averaged 28.7 points per game on 44.9% from the field and he also grabbed 6.9 rebounds per game.
3. Denver Nuggets- (Original pick- Carmelo Anthony) Third Overall pick- Dwyane Wade
This would feel so weird to see Wade on a different team other than the Miami Heat. But, Denver goes best available here and they select Dwyane Wade. Back then, Denver had a huge need for a shooting guard at this point so this is a perfect match. I don’t believe the Nuggets really miss a beat in terms of missing Carmelo and his offense because Wade is better on the defensive side and I would argue that he is better on the offensive side as well. Wade was able to lead a team to win the finals in just his third NBA season. Wade’s best season was when he averaged 30.2 points per game, 1.3 blocks a game, 2.2 steals a game, 7.5 assists a game, and 5 rebounds a game. That is a great season on both sides of the ball. Wade could have a very similar career with Denver, with this redraft, Wade County gets to enjoy the snow in Denver instead of the sun in Miami.
4. Toronto Raptors- (Original pick- Chris Bosh) Fourth Overall pick- Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh was definitely a great example of a player that came before his time. Bosh was a stretch big, something that is coveted now in the NBA. Nonetheless, he was still a great player for the Toronto Raptors. Bosh had a great mid-range jump-shot and a good assortment of post moves when he was in Toronto. He was obviously a great fit for the Raptors because he averaged around 20.2 points per game with them. He played seven seasons with the Raptors for his career and in this time, I believe that he was one of the best big men in his era because of his ability to shape his game to his surroundings. With his time in Miami, he wasn’t going to be the main option, but he was still able to average 18 points per game for his career with the Heat. He was also able to become a great three-point shooter as well. He made 34.4% of his threes with the Heat, while with the Raptors, he only made 29.8%. That is an impressive improvement for a big man. For his whole career, Chris Bosh averaged 19.2 points per game, 1 block a game, and 8.5 rebounds a game. His career did sadly end earlier than it should because of blood clots in his left leg.
5. Miami Heat- (Original pick- Dwyane Wade) Fifth Overall pick- David West
The Miami Heat are the first to feel the sting of this redraft. With all the franchise changing players already selected, they go with David West. A very good power forward that could play both sides of the ball. He may not have been the best rim-protector, but he was a big body in the middle that would be able to make it difficult for the offensive player to score. Miami was in need of a point guard at this point, but a center and power forward were also needed as well. Davis West had a silky smooth mid-range jumper for a big man along with some of the best foot work in the post. As his career progressed, West also became a great passer for a big man as well. He was able to find cutters out of the post or even find open shooters. West averaged 13.6 points per game, 6.4 rebounds a game, and he also shot 49.5% from the field.
6. Los Angeles Clippers- (Original pick- Chris Kaman) Sixth Overall pick- Mo Williams
Clippers are in dire need for a point guard at this point, so they select Mo Williams. He will see the biggest movement so far in this redraft. Mo was a very good scorer and a decent passer as well. He is the best available point guard at this point in the draft. He fits the Clippers pretty well as a good outside option for a pass to the outside from Elton Brand or even a go-to scorer when a bucket is needed. Corey Maggette was also on this team as well so an offense that features these three, might have a pretty volatile amount of scoring. I don’t think this team would have been a playoff contender, but it is a step in the right direction as a young franchise. Chris Kaman was not worth the sixth overall pick because he never really blossomed into a starting caliber center. Mo Williams averaged 13.2 points per game, 4.9 assists a game, 0.9 steals a game and he shot 43.4% from the field as well.
7. Chicago Bulls- (Original pick- Kirk Hinrich) Seventh Overall pick- Kirk Hinrich
In this redraft, the Bulls take the second point guard in a row. Kirk Hinrich was originally selected by the Bulls and they are also in need of a point guard. In this redraft we have to pretend that they still believe in Eddy Curry at this point so Chris Kaman is off the table for the Bulls. They also have Tyson Chandler at the center position, so as far as it goes for bigs, they’re set. They do need a point guard to feed the big men, so Hinrich is the pick here. He was a decent passer and a decent scorer. He still beats out Luke Ridnour here for point guards because of the ability to pass and score. In his time in the NBA, Hinrich was well known for being a pretty reliable option. He never really stepped too far outside of what he was supposed to do, but he also never really stood out in terms of being worth a top ten pick. Fortunately for him, this draft was very top-heavy. Hinrich did become a good off the bench option for the Bulls as they would eventually select their future MVP, Derrick Rose. For his career, Hinrich would average 10.9 points per game, 4.8 assists a game, and he shot 41.1% from the field.
8. Milwaukee Bucks- (Original pick- T.J. Ford) Eighth Overall pick- Chris Kaman
The Milwaukee Bucks lacked size and offense for the center position so they select Chris Kaman with their pick. I would also say that Kaman is pretty much the best available option at this point. He wasn’t the best center in the NBA, but with no starting caliber center on the roster as of now, Kaman would be the pick. He was an all-star once in his career, which was pretty much a fluke as rookie sensation Blake Griffin was hurt this season. But, Kaman was able to score a career high 18.5 points per game that season which is pretty impressive. He was a post-first big man that could protect the rim as well as an above-average rebounder. Kaman is a good fit for this Clippers team because of his size and his offensive style would be a good compliment for Elton Brand. For the Caveman’s career, he averaged 11.2 points per game, 7.6 points per game, and 1.3 blocks per game.
9. New York Knicks- (Original pick- Mike Sweetney) Ninth Overall pick- Boris Diaw
This Knicks team was pretty decent. They really messed up on this pick originally. Sweetney would play just four seasons in the NBA and by 2008, he was out of the league. Boris Diaw is the pick for the Knicks in the redraft here. He has the ability to play nearly all positions because of his playmaking and height. He pretty much came up as a oversized point guard and with this height, he was able to play as a big man as well. He has some solid playmaking for someone his size, but the only problem for Diaw was he was on the heavier side. Since he was slower, he had trouble on the perimeter for defense, but oversized playmakers are always useful because of the mismatch that they are able to create. Diaw was a decent scorer and a very consistent player as he shot 49.3% from the field for his career. Diaw is the pick here because of the lack of playmaking and height on this Knicks roster. For his career, he averaged 8.6 points a game, and 3.5 assists.
10. Washington Wizards- (Original pick- Jarvis Hayes) Tenth Overall pick- Josh Howard
Josh Howard was one of the biggest steals of this draft. There were a couple of guys that could have fit this pick, but I felt like Howard fit this team better in terms of scoring and rebounding. Jerry Stackhouse was the starting small forward but he only played 26 games this season. Howard could have been able to take over and start for the Wizards instead. He was a good shooter that was able to score at many different angles. With his time in Dallas, he was the a great second-option to Dirk Nowitzki, and he was a great steal for the Mavericks that night. Josh Howard would fit with this team because Gilbert Arenas, Larry Hughes, and Brendan Haywood would have made a great young core. For Josh Howard’s career, he scored 14.3 points per game, 5.7 rebounds a game, and he shot 44.8% from the field. He is lower on this list because of the issues that Howard carried with him for his career, from injuries to attitude and off-court problems.
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