29 – Dallas Mavericks – Jarvis Hayes
Jarvis Hayes didn’t exactly live up to his 10th overall selection in 2003, but Hayes had a good seven years as a scorer off the bench. Hayes averaged 8.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game for his career, and he played meaningful minutes on two teams that made the playoffs with the 2007 Wizards and the 2008 Pistons. Now that Dallas lost Josh Howard in the re-draft, Hayes is the next best option at the wing.
28 – San Antonio Spurs – Jason Kapono
Jason Kapono is one of the best shooters in NBA history. He wasn’t anything more than that, but he won two three point shooting competitions during the 2007 NBA All-Star breaks, and he led the NBA in three point percentage behind insane marks of 48.3% from behind the arc in 2008, and 51.4% from deep in 2007. No team has historically utilized shooting as much as the Spurs franchise, and Kapono with his 5th all-time career three point percentage (43.4) would have been gladly welcomed there.
27 – Memphis Grizzlies – Willie Green
At this point in the draft, Willie Green is the best player available. Green didn’t do anything of great significance, but he did average double digit points per game for two seasons (2007 and 2008,) and he averaged 8.3 points per game on 42.5% shooting primarily off the bench. There have been worse two guards, and Green was more efficient than Troy Bell, Wesley Person, or Bonzi Wells were for the Grizzlies in 2004 and going forward.
26 – Minnesota Timberwolves – Travis Outlaw
Travis Outlaw was one of those players who went straight from high school to the NBA, which is sad because he could have been a good player with the right training. Outlaw was never on any teams that could seriously win, but he enjoyed a solid career for the Portland Trailblazers mainly, and the Clippers, Nets, and Kings after that. For a two year stretch, Outlaw averaged 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game while 44.2% shooting from the field with 38.3% on threes. On Minnesota, who knows? Maybe Outlaw could have learned from another player who skipped college to go to the NBA (Kevin Garnett.)
25 – Detroit Pistons – Keith Bogans
Keith Bogans was an amazing player in high school and college, finishing 2nd in his 1999 high school recruting class and as an all-American at Kentucky, but Bogans was not a very good player when he got to the NBA. Bogans averaged 6.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in his career, and has never been a significant player on any team of his. Bogans could be useful as a back-up shooting guard on Detroit because the Pistons gave up Bob Sura in the trade to get Rasheed Wallace, but Bogans’ value is pretty limited on this team.
24 – Los Angeles Lakers – Dahntay Jones
Dahntay Jones had a forgettable NBA career, but then again, so did everybody else that the Lakers put at small forward in 2004. After filling in the other four positions with hall of famers Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O’Neal, the small forward position was manned by Devean George, a washed up Bryon Russell, Rick Fox, and Luke Walton. In Jones’ best season, he averaged 10.2 points per game and shot a very respectable 46.1% from the field. He would be worth a shot at this point in the re-draft.
23 – Portland Trailblazers – Darko Milicic
Darko Milicic is one of the more famous busts in NBA history as he was selected over every player in this draft besides LeBron James, but Milicic was selected number two overall for a reason. 7’0″ European athletic players don’t grow on trees, and if there wasn’t so much pressure on Milicic, there is a chance he could have developed better. Portland went into rebuilding mode during this season, and Milicic’s development could have been prioritized over the championship aspirations the Pistons had. Milicic did show signs of becoming a great rim protector, as he is 89th all-time in blocks per game (1.3,) and he finished in the top ten in block percentage for three seasons and defensive box plus/minus for two seasons.
22 – New Jersey Nets – Mickael Pietrus
Mickael Pietrus didn’t live up to his lottery selection, but he was still a good back-up wing player while he was in the league. Pietrus was a member of the Orlando Magic team that made it to the NBA Finals, and he played a very legitimate 24.6 minutes per game for that team. Pietrus averaged a career 8.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, and he shot 43.5% from the field until the 2010-2011 season. The Nets had no listed back-ups for Richard Jefferson in 2004, and Pietrus could surely do a good job giving Jefferson and the Nets’ other players a spark off the bench.
21 – Atlanta Hawks – Steve Blake
Steve Blake isn’t the most amazing player, but he can shoot the three ball (career 38.2% from three) and run the offense (career 4.0 assists per game.) In some ways, that is all Atlanta needed from a point guard. Instead of opting for a true point guard, Terry Stotts played Jason Terry at point guard. Had Stotts played Terry (16.8 points and 5.4 assists) at the shooting guard, and kept Stephen Jackson (18.1 points) at small forward, Shareef Abdur-Rahim (20.1 points and 9.3 rebounds) at power forward, and Theo Ratliff (8.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks) at center. This team could have thrived with a true point guard like Steve Blake setting the table.
20 – Boston Celtics – Luke Ridnour
Luke Ridnour was forced into a starting role in his career, a role at which he was very underwhelming in, but as a back up point guard, Ridnour could have been one of the best there was. The one year Ridnour got to be a back-up point guard; the 2009-2010 season as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Ridnour played all 82 games, posted offensive and defensive ratings of 116 and 106, shot 47.8% from the field and 38.1% from three, set a career high in win shares (6.2) and win shares per 48 minutes (.168,) and the Bucks made the playoffs. Ridnour, as an unathletic 6’2″ 175 guard, wasn’t meant to be a starter, but he very much so thrived as a back-up. Ridnour could have been a back-up on the Celtics, and thrived in that role just like he did in Milwaukee.
19 – Utah Jazz – James Jones
The only thing James Jones can do at an NBA level is shoot, but that’s okay. Jones has been a member of some of the best teams in the NBA because of his floor spacing ability. He is a favorite of LeBron James, and Jones and James have played about half of their careers together. Jones shoots a career 39.8% from behind the arc, which is good for 43rd all-time. Jones also is a two time champion, and he holds career offensive and defensive ratings of 115 and 108, and playoff offensive and defensive ratings of 117 and 108. In Utah, the Jazz were 27th in the NBA at three point shooting percentage in 2004, and three point shooting would have helped them tremendously going forward as well.
18 – New Orleans Hornets – Carlos Delfino
Carlos Delfino’s NBA career was short, but it was full. As a late first round pick, Delfino passed any expectations that were set upon him by the teams that had him. Delfino was a premier reserve wing player who could shoot from anywhere on the court, and defend his postion. Delfino averaged 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 0.9 steals per game. He shot 37.2% from three the last five years of his eight year career, and 41.1% from the corner threes those years. The Hornets would have been better off with Delfino at small forward than George Lynch (4.8 points) or Stacey Augmon (5.8 points) after Jamal Mashburn got injured in 2004 and going forward.
17 – Phoenix Suns – Matt Bonner
Matt Bonner has just about one purpose as to why he has even had an NBA career, and that purpose is stretching the floor. Matt Bonner is one of the best shooting big men in the league, and it is why the almighty San Antonio Spurs organization has kept him for ten seasons and counting. Bonner shoots three pointers at a 41.5% clip, which is 14th all-time, and is unbelievable for a big man. This floor spacing has done wonders for the Spurs, and it is why he holds career offensive and defensive ratings of 119 and 106 respectively. The thought of having a big man with Bonner’s shooting prowess in the seven seconds or less D’Antoni offense is fascinating. They had big men who could knock down the occasional three like Kurt Thomas, Tim Thomas, Matt Barnes, and Boris Diaw, but none of them were the pure marksman that Bonner is.
16 – Boston Celtics – Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins is washed up now. There is no denying that as he plays sparingly for a New Orleans Pelicans team that has just collapsed since last season. Perkins, however, was a premier interior defender for about a two-three year window for the Boston Celtics, who acquired Perkins from Memphis on draft night. Perkins was a champion with the Celtics in 2008, and he is 80th all-time in rebounding percentage, 37th all-time in block percentage, 81st all-time in defensive rating, and 24th all-time in defensive box plus/minus. Perkins was integral to Boston winning the championship in 2008, and that is why they keep him in the re-draft.
15 – Orlando Magic – Zaza Pachulia
Zaza Pachulia is a great center, and it appears as though he is getting better with age. After playing starting center for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, a season in which the Bucks were 11.5 points per 100 possessions better with Pachulia on the court, Pachulia is now the starting center for the Dallas Mavericks, where he holds offensive and defensive ratings of 113 and 104 respectively. He is currently averaging 8.9 points and 9.7 rebounds for Dallas, and holds career averages of 7.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Pachulia was also the long-time center for the Atlanta Hawks, but he began his career with the Magic, coincidentally, as a second round pick. The 2004 Magic were a terrible team that finished only 21-61, but Pachulia could have been utilized more instead of playing a measly 11.3 minutes per game for them.
14 – Seattle Supersonics – Nick Collison
The Supersonics went with Nick Collison in the real draft too, and he has been great for the franchise. Collison is the guy who doesn’t always come up in the box scores, but every coach wants on their team. Collison has spent his whole career with the Supersonics/Thunder franchise, and he has been crucial each step of the way. Collison has always been one of the team’s best bench players, and during the rebuilding years, his presence and mindset were imperative to the Thunder’s success in returning to the playoffs. Collison’s teams have been 4.7 points per 100 possessions better with Collison on the floor in the regular season, and 11.1 points per 100 possessions better in the playoffs. Collison is 50th all-time in offensive rating, 35th all-time in field goal percentage, and 39th all-time in offensive rebounding percentage.
13 – Memphis Grizzlies – Boris Diaw
Boris Diaw has never blown anyone away with his physical attributes, but he is one of the most versatile big men in the league with his passing, shooting, and general guard like skills. Diaw was a huge part of San Antonio’s NBA Championship team in 2014 and Western Conference Championship team in 2013. Diaw holds career averages of 8.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game on 49.6% shooting. In his prime, however, Diaw averaged 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game, as he stepped in brilliantly for the injured Amare Stoudemire. Diaw won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in that 2005-2006 season. Diaw is also 52nd all-time at two point shooting percentage.
The 2004 Memphis Grizzlies were a great team. They had great contributions from Jason Williams (10.9 points and 6.8 assists,) James Posey (13.7 points and 10.0 win shares,) Shane Battier (8.5 points,) Mike Miller (11.1 points,) and Pau Gasol (17.7 points and 7.7 rebounds.) With Diaw, however, the Grizzlies would have enough depth at the front court to start their most effective line-up without worrying about the bench. Starting Williams, Posey, Miller, Battier, and Gasol would have been even more effective than having Lorenzen Wright starting at center, and Miller coming off the bench. With the new starting line-up, and with Earl Watson, Willie Green, Bonzi Wells, Diaw, Bo Outlaw, Stromile Swift, and Wright all coming off the bench, this would have been a very good team. A team even better than the original, which already won 50 games.
12 – Seattle Supersonics – T.J. Ford
T.J. Ford didn’t have the longest career in the NBA, but there were some very good years in there. As an undersized point guard (6’0″ 165 pounds,) Ford did not have much left to contribute when his athleticism abandoned him, but Ford was a great player for the Bucks, Raptors, and Pacers. Ford held career averages of 11.2 points, 5.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game on 43.3% shooting. Ford made the playoffs in over half the years he played despite playing for relatively unsuccessful franchises like Milwaukee, Toronto, and Indiana were at this time.
The Supersonics had some great talent. They had Ray Allen (23.0 points and 5.1 rebounds,) Rashard Lewis (17.8 points and 6.5 rebounds,) Brent Barry (10.8 points and 5.8 assists,) and Vladimir Radmanovic (12.0 points and 5.3 rebounds,) but they didn’t have any pure point guards. Barry was the closest to one, but he played most of his minutes backing up Allen. A starting line-up of Ford, Allen, Lewis, Radmanovic, and Vitaly Potapenko, with Ronald Murray, Antonio Daniels, Barry, Reggie Evans, and Calvin Booth off the bench is a very talented team, at least offensively.
11 – Golden State Warriors – Leandro Barbosa
Leandro Barbosa is another late pick (28th overall) who has made a great career for himself. Barbosa was never a starter for the Suns or other teams he played with, but he was among the highest level of reserves for a very long time, and he even won the 2007 NBA 6th man of the year award. Barbosa averaged 18.1 points, 4.0 assists, and 1.2 steals per game that year, which is better than most starters’ averages. He’s shot 46.0% from the field for his career, an excellent mark for a guard that scores in volume. He’s also shot 38.7% from three for his career, and when he was one of the fastest players in the NBA during the 2000s, there were very few ways to guard him. Barbosa is also a champion, something he became just last season with the Golden State Warriors, and he looks to win another one this season as well.
The Warriors had some good players, but they could have used a spark like Barbosa off the bench. They had some great starters like Nick Van Exel (12.6 points and 5.3 assists,) Jason Richardson (18.7 points and 6.7 rebounds,) Mike Dunleavy (11.7 points and 5.9 rebounds,) and Erick Dampier (12.3 points and 12.0 rebounds,) but they just didn’t have enough fire power. Barbosa could have helped with that.
10 – Washington Wizards – Josh Howard
Josh Howard was a very good small forward in the NBA, who sadly was unable to overcome injuries to be the same player he was before them. Howard was an all-star for a 67-15 Dallas Mavericks team behind averages of 18.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 45.9% from the field and 38.5% from three. Howard could really do it all, and it was such a shame that the NBA saw him fade out after injury. Howard’s teams were 5.2 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court in the regular season, and 12.1 points per 100 possessions better in the playoffs. Howard was also a two-time player of the week, and he is 21st all-time in turnover percentage.
A team with Gilbert Arenas (19.6 points and 5.0 assists,) Larry Hughes (18.8 points and 5.3 rebounds,) Howard, and Jerry Stackhouse (13.9 points) in 2004 would have been hard to guard, and even harder to guard if the Stackhouse for Antawn Jamison trade still goes through. Howard could have given the Wizards his best years instead of his horrible post-Dallas years he gave Washington after being traded for Caron Butler in 2010.
9 – New York Knicks – Kyle Korver
Kyle Korver is one of the best off the ball players in NBA history. Unathletic wing players dont usually make much of a career for themselves, and that’s probably why Korver fell all the way to 51st overall in this draft, but Korver has been one of the most analytically savvy players ever. The teams he plays for always seem to succeed, whether it was the 76ers of the early 2000s, the Jazz of the late 2000s, the Bulls of the early 2010s, or the current Atlanta Hawks, Korver always does amazing things for his teams that go beyond the box score. It is why Korver was an all-star last season despite only averaging 12.1 points per game from the shooting guard position. Korver is a one time player of the month, is 8th all-time in three pointers, 8th all-time in three point percentage, and 85th all-time in offensive rating. Korver averages 10.0 points per game for his career on 44.2% from the field and 42.9% from three.
The Knicks are a team that historically lack any favor from advanced stats, going instead for mislabeled “star power” with teams led by Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, and Eddy Curry. This 2004 Knicks team was the last one that made the playoffs for seven seasons before the Knicks aquired Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony for the 2010-2011 season. Regardless, the 2004 Knicks had a legitimate team. Stephon Marbury was in fact a point guard with star numbers (19.8 points and 9.3 assists per game,) Allan Houston still had 18.4 points per game in his last season with the Knicks, The Knicks had Keith Van Horn (16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds) before trading him for Tim Thomas (15.8 points,) and they had Kurt Thomas (11.1 points and 8.3 rebounds,) Dikembe Mutombo (6.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks,) and Antonio McDyess ( 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds.) This team had plenty of talent, and maybe it could have taken a glue guy like Korver to bring it all together.
8 – Milwaukee Bucks – Mo Williams
Mo Williams had some of the best years of his career as a Milwaukee Buck. After being just a mid-2nd round pick by Utah, Williams became one of the best scoring guards in the NBA, and he was even an all-star in 2009 for Cleveland. Williams holds career averages of 13.2 points and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 43.5% from the field and 37.9% from three. Williams, on top of being an all-star, is a three-time player of the week, 63rd all-time in three pointers, 23rd all-time in free throw percentage, and 67th all-time in assist percentage. Williams has completely outplayed the expectations set for the second round pick he was.
The Bucks originally used this pick on T.J. Ford, but Williams has had much more longevity in his career than Ford, and his prime was better than Ford’s as well. Making Williams the floor general of this team that already made the playoffs and has Michael Redd (21.7 points and 5.0 rebounds,) Desmond Mason (14.4 points,) Tim Thomas (14.1 points) / Keith Van Horn (15.7 points and 6.3 rebounds,) and Joe Smith (10.9 points and 8.5 rebounds) in 2004, they could have been even better than the playoff team they were.
7 – Chicago Bulls – Kirk Hinrich
Kirk Hinrich has enjoyed a great career for primarily the Bulls, but also the Wizards and Hawks. He was a fringe all-star in his prime, averaging 16.6 points and 6.3 rebounds during his best season in 2007 for the Bulls. He got 10.1 win shares that season, and the Bulls had their best season since the Jordan era at that point. Hinrich is also a gritty defender as he had an All-NBA 2nd Defensive team selection in 2007. He is the Bulls all-time leader in threes, and the NBA’s 51st all-time leader in threes. Hinrich is also 89th all-time in assists, and he just does a great job running his team’s offense.
The Bulls should not change anything after getting Hinrich in the original draft too. The Bulls with Hinrich returned playoff basketball to the city of Chicago for ten (and possibly eleven) of the past twelve seasons.
6 – Los Angeles Clippers – Chris Kaman
Chris Kaman was essentially cursed on draft night being drafted to a horrible team like the Clippers, but he still managed to find some success, and he is the best remaining player on the board, so the Clippers go with him again. Kaman made the all-star game in 2010 behind averages of 18.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. For his career, Kaman averages 11.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game on 48.9% shooting. Kaman is 46th all-time in block percentage, and he is 32nd all-time in defensive rebounding percentage. Kaman was essential to the Clippers making one of their only playoff appearances in franchise history (before the Chris Paul era) in 2006, and he played great for this team as well as the Hornets, Lakers, Mavericks, and Blazers.
The Clippers had a talented team with Kaman, but between the coaching, chemistry, and defensive willingness (or lack thereof,) the team just never put it together to live up to their potential. Some of these great players included Elton Brand (20.0 points and 10.3 rebounds,) Corey Maggette (20.7 points and 5.9 rebounds,) and Quentin Richardson (17.2 points and 6.4 rebounds.) When the Clippers were able to get a solid point guard in Sam Cassell, their improvement was noticeable, and they made the playoffs.
5 – Miami Heat – David West
The Heat experience a significant down-grade in the re-draft by going from Dwyane Wade, the 1st ballot hall of famer to be, to David West, the mere two-time all star, but West is still that, and he has enjoyed a great career for himself after slipping all the way outside the lottery in the original draft. West is a player who epitimizes toughness, and there are few who were better pick and pop big men like West was with Chris Paul on the New Orleans Hornets. West holds career averages of 14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.
The Miami Heat would likely still make the playoffs in 2004 with West (instead of Wade.) They also had Lamar Odom (17.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists,) Eddie Jones (17.3 points,) a young Caron Butler (9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds,) Rafer Alston (10.2 points and 4.5 assists,) and a good supporting cast led by Brian Grant, Udonis Haslem, and Rasual Butler. With Alston, Jones, Butler, Odom, and West starting, can easily make the playoffs again, and the pieces for the Shaquille O’Neal trade are all still on the roster.
4 – Toronto Raptors – Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh’s production took a dip when he joined the Miami Heat in 2010 to create the Big Three, but the post-LeBron Heat Bosh and Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh was and is one of the best bigs in the entire NBA. He made the all-star game his last five of seven seasons in Toronto, and he averaged 20.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 0.8 steals per game while shooting 49.2% from the field. In his whole career, Bosh is an 11-time all-star, 67th all-time in win shares, 56th all-time in PER, 49th all-time in minutes per game, 92nd all-time in offensive rating, and he has a 99.5% probability of making the hall of fame.
The Raptors took Bosh in the original draft, and the pick payed dividends for them even if Bosh left after a seven year stint. The Raptors made the playoffs two of the entire franchise’s eight all-time playoff appearances while being led by Bosh, and had they been able to better surround Bosh with two-way talent, there could have been more playoffs, deeper playoff runs, and possibly even Bosh staying in Canada. Instead, Bosh only played one season with Vince Carter (22.5 points, 4.8 assists, 4.8 rebounds in 2004,) and he played on teams that had no business contending in Toronto.
3 – Denver Nuggets – Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade has had an amazing career. He is a 3 time NBA-champion, 12 time NBA All-Star, and a definite hall of famer to be. Wade is 2nd all-time in usage rate, 9th all-time in PER, 50th all-time in win shares, 36th all-time in win shares per 48 minutes, and 15th all-time in box plus/minus. Wade has a career 23.7 points (19th all-time,) 5.8 assists (68th all-time,) 4.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals (52nd all-time,) and 0.9 blocks per game from the shooting guard position. Wade has enjoyed a brilliant career and has made himself into the best Miami Heat player of all-time.
The Denver Nuggets enjoyed much success with Carmelo Anthony on their roster, and they would be even better with Wade. The Nuggets made the playoffs in 2004 with great players like Andre Miller (14.8 points, 6.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds per game, 8.8 win shares,) Marcus Camby (8.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks,) Voshon Lenard (14.0 points,) and, of course, Anthony on their team. With Dwyane Wade, the team might not have enjoyed as much of the immediate success, but in the long run, Denver could have been a great, even championship level team like Dwyane Wade’s heat teams.
2 – Detroit Pistons – Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has always had to deal with certain labels. “Ball-hog,” “loser,” “selfish,” and “greedy” are just a few that come to mind. These labels aren’t true, as Anthony hasn’t always had the best talent around him, and Anthony has done what he and his coaches felt gave the Knicks and Nuggets the best chance to win. Anthony has averaged 25.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game for his career. Those are excellent numbers, and they were even higher in Anthony’s prime. He shoots a career 45.3% from the field, which is high considering the high volume of shots he takes.
The Detroit Pistons made one of the biggest mistakes in franchise history when they selected Darko Milicic with this pick with Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and everyone from this draft not named LeBron James available. The 2004 Pistons were able to win the NBA Championship despite the limited contributions from Milicic, but with Anthony, the Pistons would have been a dynasty that won multiple championships in the 2000s. A starting line-up of Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Carmelo Anthony, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace would be great at a historic level. With Mike James, Tayshaun Prince, Corliss Williamson, Mehmet Okur, and Elden Campbell off the bench, this is a team that would do unbelieveable things.
1 – Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron James
This one is obvious. James is one of the best players of all-time. There have been multiple seasons in which James has been the best player in the entire NBA. He is a four-time MVP, two-time champion, twelve time all-star, and he completely changes the game no matter who is on the other team.
The Cavaliers got him in the original draft too, and they have been one of the best teams in the NBA since. They made the NBA finals in 2007 and 2015 with James, and they are always a threat to make it until James significantly declines.