Wednesday, April 13, 2011

7 comments 2007 NBA Draft Do-Over

Since second guessing is so fun, I decided to take a look back at the 2007 NBA draft and see how badly teams messed up their future. And since every NBA team should clearly hire me as their GM, I figured I'd just redo the entire lottery so they can relive the pain and misery of their failure. And yes, I know all NBA GMs read Bottom of the Barrel.

As a ground rule, I'm solely looking at this in terms of how guys have turned out so far.I have also ignored injuries as a predicting factor. Meaning that the team who drafted Greg Oden did not know they were acquiring a set of microfracture surgeries, but a guy who has averaged 10 points and 8 boards in 22 minutes per game over 2 full seasons.

Anyway, here's what should have happened on that fateful day in June 2007.

1. Portland Trail Blazers – Kevin Durant, SF, Texas

Brandon Roy may be the shooting guard of the future after his ROY season, but Portland does not pass up a future NBA scoring leader. A foundation of Durant, Roy and Aldridge has championship potential written all over it.

2. Seattle Supersonics – Al Horford, PF, Florida

Unlike 2007, Portland does not pick incorrectly and Kevin Durant does not fall neatly into Seattle’s lap. Instead, they select the second best player out of this draft who has turned into a perennial All-Star and dominant inside presence. For a team clearly rebuilding, Horford is a nice starting block.

3. Atlanta Hawks – Joakim Noah, PF Florida

At this point in his career, Josh Smith had not yet unleashed his inner beast, but instead was continuing his love affair with the three-pointer. Marvin Williams is only two years removed from being drafted 2nd overall and still has the potential to develop into a big time scorer. Joe Johnson, regardless of whether he can live up to his contract, is being paid to be the number one scorer. The most noticeable void, then, is the frontcourt strength. Noah fills the rebounder/shot-blocker/energy role with the exuberance and tenacity that Atlanta lacks.

4. Memphis Grizzlies – Rodney Stuckey, PG, Eastern Washington

With Rudy Gay beginning to fulfill his future role as the primary perimeter scorer and Pau Gasol already a well-established finesse post player, Memphis needs someone to get them the ball. Memphis’ knowledge of his future informs them that they are drafting a quality NBA point guard (13.8 ppg, 6.8 apg) with potential.

5. Boston Celtics – Greg Oden, C, Ohio State

This situation is especially complicated considering the circumstances that surrounded the pick. Remember that Garnett was not acquired until July 31st, 2007, well after the NBA draft (the draft day deal fell apart). Also remember that this pick was traded to Seattle in exchange for Ray Allen. Assuming Boston does not make this trade and understands that the probability of a Garnett trade is unlikely (which it was once a deal could not be completed the first time), they simply select a defensive anchor to take Garnett’s place (Remember that we’re ignoring injuries per the draft do-over rules.)

6. Milwaukee Bucks – Wilson Chandler, SF, DePaul

Andrew Bogut and Charlie Villanueva leave Milwaukee little reason to go big, and Michael Redd and Mo Williams provide plenty of backcourt chucking. A reliable small forward scorer who can get to the basket is (well, one of) Milwaukee’s missing link. Williams, Redd and Villanueva can get back to their favorite roles, open three-point shooting, with Chandler’s driving ability opening things up on the perimeter.

7. Minnesota TimberwolvesJeff Green, SF, Georgetown

We may not know his final destination, but Garnett is on the way out. The gaping hole he leaves at power forward may be the most glaring need, but the utter lack of talent in Minnesota is even more blatant. For this reason, Minnesota drafts the best player available.

8. Charlotte Bobcats Marc Gasol, C, Spain

Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton and Adam Morrison are a solid foundation for the future and fill the 1,2,3 and 4 slots. Gasol is the final piece to the starting five puzzle.

9. Chicago Bulls – Glen Davis, PF, LSU

Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon have the backcourt scoring taken care of. The only problem is someone to clean up the misses. That’s where Big Baby comes in. Although this pick was Joakim Noah in 2007, Chicago does not have that luxury now. Instead, they’ll settle for the next best thing.

10. Sacramento Kings – Mike Conley, PG, Ohio State

Although power forward is a big need, the value simply isn’t there. If the Kings are hell-bent on need, Carl Landry is the pick. If not, they draft the future at point guard in Mike Conley. Bibby is getting up there in age and the

Kings are looking to rebuild for the long-term.

11. Atlanta Hawks – Aaron Brooks, PG, Oregon

Remember when the Hawks had 17 guys who played shooting guard/small forward? That was circa 2006-2007. Although Brooks may be trigger-happy, he’s a significant upgrade from the likes of Speedy Claxton and Tyronn Lue.

12. Philadelphia 76ers – Rudy Fernandez, SG, Spain

With Andre Iguodala and his get-to-the-basket mentality beginning to establish himself as the centerpiece of the future, Philadelphia needs to surround him with more shooters than just Kyle Korver.

13. New Orleans Hornets – Nick Young, SG, USC

Chris Paul and David West have already established their pick and roll chemistry, but Paul has few shooters with whom he can complete the drive and dish. More importantly, Young adds a second scoring threat to relieve some of the pressure on Paul.

14. Los Angeles Clippers – Arron Afflalo, SG, UCLA

The frontcourt future is secure with Chris Kaman and Elton Brand leading the charge. The backcourt, however, is in disarray. Shaun Livingston’s devastating knee injury has put his career in jeopardy, Sam Cassel is on the verge of retirement and Corey Maggette is hardly the light at the end of the tunnel. Afflalo’s versatility and hard-working attitude is the right step in turning around the Clippers’ losing culture.


rich said...

As a Sixers fan, I'd say that they'd draft Thad Young again.

At that point they had Andre Miller, Kevin Ollie and Lou Williams. They had their PG of the present in Miller and their PG of the future in Williams who they had just drafted in 2005.

At the time, the hope was that Iggy would be a 2/3 and split time at the 3 with Thad which I think was a pretty solid plan considering the fact that the Sixers only pure SG was Willie Green.

So while Rudy Fernandez would have been an interesting pick, the long term plan the Sixers had going into the draft was one that was pretty solid.

ivn said...

I'm confused; if injuries are not a factor, how does Oden slip past the second pick? especially considering injuries are most likely the only reason a team would pass on him.

ivn said...

just saw this:

Meaning that the team who drafted Greg Oden did not know they were acquiring a set of microfracture surgeries, but a guy who has averaged 10 points and 8 boards in 22 minutes per game over 2 full seasons.

where are you getting these stats? over his career (82 games, which equals ONE full season) he's he only averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 boards, and 1.4 blocks on 57% FG and 66% FT; in his second actual season he was averaging 11.1/8.5/2.3 (on 60% FG and 76% FT) at age 22 before getting hurt again. I don't see how a team would pass him up, much less for Rodney Stuckey. if injury wasn't a factor (which means not only would he have been able to play in his rookie year but also practice a lot more often) there's no way an NBA GM would pass him up over anybody except Durant.

Anonymous said...

As a C's fan I am happy this did not happen

Bengoodfella said...

I knew Dylan would give the Celts Greg Oden. He's just becoming prematurely bitter before the Celts v. Knicks playoffs matchup, so he wants to give the Celts a player who will have knee problems and frustrate them for 3-5 years.

Ivn, I get what you are saying. I think even if Oden was a star center (which I know is projecting) then Dylan is saying he would still take Durant. I can't answer for Dylan after the 1st pick. Maybe he is saying he would rather have Horford/Noah than a healthy Oden, which is debatable.

Anon, I am VERY happy this did not happen. I really liked Oden out of college and even defended him on this blog a few times. If the Celts had Oden, I would walk around with the permanent stunned voice I had while doing the podcast after learning they had traded Perkins for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic.

Dylan said...


I understand the Thad Young pick. I figured Rudy would be the pick just because Iguodala could fit into that 3 spot on a full time basis, and Fernandez at the 2.


I totally messed up the stats. I just looked again, and I'm not sure how I got those numbers. Regardless, I'm still sticking with my order. A team would only know that Oden is a shotblocker/rebounder, whereas Noah is a better version of that and Horford is an all-around better player. The reason why I have the Grizzlies passing up on Oden is because they already have Pau down low, and absolutely no one at PG.


I wish it had happened that way. The Knicks' road would have been a bit easier.

Bengoodfella said...

Dylan, I think the Knicks have a shot against the Celtics. Though if the Celtics had Oden then maybe he wouldn't have knee injuries and could actually be on the court. You know, the whole "luck of the Irish" thing.