2004 NBA First Round Re-Draft


The 2004 NBA Draft was one that had some good players. This draft class has most of their best players enterring the twilight of their careers now, but those careers were very good. Some players, like Shaun Livingston, have had career paths that nobody could have predicted when they enterred the league. It has been a good draft class, but many teams got their original picks wrong. Here is how the draft would be re-done today:

29 – Indiana Pacers – Kirk Snyder

Kirk Snyder was one of the last players in this draft even worth giving a roster spot to. NBA drafts don’t always have good players at every level (lottery all the way through 2nd round.) Snyder averaged 8.0 points per game one year in under 20 minutes per game. That efficiency isn’t too shabby. Having a five year NBA career this late into the draft, the Pacers take Snyder’s ability to score, and ability to start, which he did 71 times some how.

28 – San Antonio Spurs – David Harrison

David Harrison had a short four year NBA career with Indiana, but he was the 13th ranked high school prospect in 2001, and had big size at 7’0″ and 280 poinds. The Spurs have shown a liking to these types of players, as Boban Marjanovic is currently on their roster. Playing with Tim Duncan on the legendary Spurs organization could make taking Harrison worth it, who knows? There really aren’t many good players on the board.

27 – Los Angeles Lakers – Royal Ivey

Royal Ivey wasn’t that great of a player, but he had a 10 year career as a sparingly used back up point guard, so there has to be something the scouts of the Hawks, 76ers, Bucks, and Thunder saw in him. There wasn’t much to Derek Fisher’s game either, but he last a very very long time in the NBA with the Lakers as well. Ivey is simply the best player remaining this late in the draft.

26 – Sacramento Kings – Rafael Araujo

Rafael Araujo had a very short three year NBA career, but Toronto clearly saw something in him when they took him 8th overall in the original draft. He is a massive body at 6’11” and 280 pounds that averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for his career. Maybe playing with Chris Webber and Brad Miller on a very good Kings organization at the time under Rick Adelman could have changed Araujo’s success in the NBA.

25 – Boston Celtics – Sebastian Telfair

Sebastian Telfair was one of those classic prep-to-pros busts like Jonathan Bender, Darius Miles, and Kwame Brown. Telfair was the 6th ranked high school recruit in 2004, and it was thought that he would be the next great guard. Instead, he floundered in big minutes with the Blazers, Celtics, Timberwolves, Clippers, Cavaliers, Suns, Raptors, and Thunder. He averages 7.4 points and 3.5 assists for his career. There is nothing positive, really, to say about Telfair’s NBA career, maybe he could have developed differently had he originally gone to a more patient Celtics’ organization originally.

24 – Boston Celtics – Sasha Vujacic

Sasha Vujacic was a part of those championship Lakers teams in 2009 and 2010. His three point shooting and basketball knowledge helped him get a role backing up Kobe Bryant and Shannon Brown. Vujacic averages a modest 5.5 points per game on 37.0% shooting from three for his career with the Lakers, Nets, Clippers, and Knicks. His best play came in 2010-2011 when he averaged 11.4 points per game for the Nets. Vujacic provides Boston with some three point shooting and back court depth at the very least.

23 – Portland Trailblazers – Chris Duhon

Chris Duhon’s level of play grew less and less special with each level of basketball he played. After being listed as the 6th best recruit out of high school, Duhon had four sub-par years as the starting point guard for Duke, and finally, he was a back-up point guard drafted in the 2nd round in the NBA. Duhon averaged 6.5 points and 4.4 assists in 25.6 career minutes per game. Duhon’s best box-score year came in 2008-2009, when he averagd 11.1points, 7.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game on 39.1% shooting from three for the lowly New York Knicks. On Portland, Duhon could be a facilitator off the bench, a role he played for some decent teams like the 47-35 2005 Bulls, 49-33 2007 Bulls, 52-30 2011 Magic, and 37-29 2012 Magic.

22 – New Jersey Nets – Robert Swift

Robert Swift was a horrible bust after being selected 12th overall by Seattle, and ranking 8th in the nation as a high school recruit. Swift had four terrible years in Seattle, but the New Jersey Nets really need a big man. They are golden in the back court with Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Travis Best, Eric Williams, and Rodney Buford all in the rotation. The big men combination of Nenad Kristic and Jason Collins, however, leaves a lot to be desired from the starting front court. Who knows? Maybe a different organization could have brought out Swift’s potential. Late into the first round, it’s worth a shot.

21 – Utah Jazz – Dorell Wright

Dorell Wright has had an alright career as a role player. Wright won a championship as a sparingly used player for the 2006 Miami Heat, and he was also the starting small forward for the 2010-2011 Golden State Warriors. Wright led the league in three pointers that year, and he also finished in the top-ten in minutes, games, and steals. Wright averages 8.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game on 42.4% shooting an 36.5% from three. In 2010-2011, Wright averaged 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. That was his best year by a considerable margin. Wright has a career 25.9 win shares (.101 per 48 minutes.) His three point shooting would help the Jazz considerably, and they needed players off the bench as good as Wright.

20 – Denver Nuggets – Kris Humphries

Kris Humphries didn’t hit the national scene for his basketball play, but rather his extravagent wedding with Kim Kardashian. That shouldn’t take away from what he has done in basketball, however, because Humphries has been a great backup big in his career. Humphries has 28.6 win shares (.101 per 48 minutes,) and finished in the top ten in rebounding for a season twice. Humphries averages 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds for his career in 18.2 minutes per game. The Nuggets could use another big man given the injury problems with Kenyon Martin and Nene, as well as the additional front court depth when they are healthy.

19 – Miami Heat – Delonte West

Delonte West had a premature end to his NBA career at just age 28 after a very good career as a role player because of his off the court. Between having a relationship with teammate LeBron James’ mother during his stay in Cleveland, and having problems in Dallas with Mark Cuban, West was simply not worth the trouble at that stage of his career. West, however, was a very good rotation guard, averaging 9.7 points, 3.6 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in 27.4 minutes per game on 44.8% shooting and 37.2% from three. West had 24.5 win shares (.099 per 48 minutes) for his career. The Miami Heat started Damon Jones at the point guard, and he found success playing alongside the great Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal, so there is a good chance that West would too.

18 – New Orleans Hornets – Beno Udrih

Beno Udrih has enjoyed a good career in the NBA after being found by the Spurs. He has been both a back-up and starting point guard; he backed up those great San Antonio Spurs teams of the mid-2000s, winning two championships in three years there, and he started for the Sacramento Kings in the late 2000s. Udrih has been around the league since then, playing for the Bucks, Magic, Knicks, Grizzlies, and Heat in addition to the Spurs and Kings. He’s averaged 8.5 points and 3.4 assists in 22.3 career minutes per game on 46.3% shooting and 34.9% three point shooting. He has been a very serviceable player, and the Hornets pick him because they need another guard, and he provides some stability at point guard for a team that went from Baron Davis to Speedy Claxton mid-season.

17 – Atlanta Hawks – Andris Biedrins

Early into his career, Andris Biedrins was one of the best centers in the league analytically. He led the league in field goal percentage (62.6) and effective field goal percentage (62.6) during the 2007-2008 season: a year in which Biedrins also number one in the entire NBA at offensive rating. Biedrins has career marks of 117 and 105 for offensive and defensive ratings, 30.7 win shares (.133 per 48 minutes with Golden State,) and he did that against starters for the majority of his career. Unfortunately for Biedrin, he lost his role on the Warriors to Andrew Bogut, but that doesn’t take away from what he did before 2012. Getting Biedrins this late into the draft is a great value pick for the Hawks, who were also in desperate need for a center.

16 – Utah Jazz – Josh Childress

Josh Childress may not have lived up to the expectations of being a 6th overall pick, but he was a good player for a bad team with Atlanta before he signed to play in Greece. Childress averaged 11.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for the Hawks on 52.2% shooting. He had offensive and defensive ratings of 118 and 110 for his career despite his team’s struggles, and he got 23.3 win shares (.125 per 48 minutes) in four years with the Hawks. At 6’8″ and 210 pounds, Childress was a versatile wing player, so it’s a shame that he couldn’t stick in the NBA for much time. Childress might have been able to have a better career, A, under the coaching and tutelage of the legendary Jerry Sloan, and B, without the expectations from being a high lottery pick.

15 – Boston Celtics – Tony Allen

Tony Allen went to the Celtics in the original draft too, and for good reason. Allen was a part of their 2008 championship team, and while he only played 4.3 minutes per game on that team in the playoffs, Allen has still enjoyed a very successful career as arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA for multiple years. While his offense has been shabby throughout his career, he still has shot a very good 47.7% from the field. His career 101.2 defensive rating, a statistic that favors big men, is 56th all-time, and 7th best among active players. Allen is a three-time all-NBA Defense 1st team selection, and a two-time all-NBA defense 2nd team selection. The Celtics made a good choice with Allen originally, and they keep him again in the re-draft.

14 – Utah Jazz – Shaun Livingston

Shaun Livingston gets a lot of air-time on televesion now because of his role with the history-making Golden State Warriors, but Livingston was, at one point, touted as the savior of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise. Unfortunately, that moment never came because of a grusome injury to Livingston’s knee, but Livingston recovered, and has since played better than he did pre-injury. Since the 2013, Livingston has averaged 11.4 points, 5.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per 36 minutes on 50.4% shooting. He’s gotten 12.3 win shares in that time, a very good mark for a back up guard. Livingston’s long and versatile 6’7″ frame has been key for the Warriors defense being as good as it is. A starting line-up of Livingston, Raja Bell (12.3 ppg,) Andrei Kirilenko (15.6 ppg and 6.2 rpg,) Carlos Boozer (17.8 ppg and 9.0 rpg,) and Mehmet Okur (12.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg, and 7.0 win shares) is a good starting line-up, and their are options off the bench with Matt Harpring (14.0 ppg and 6.2 rpg,) Gordon Girecek (8.8 ppg,) Dorell Wright, and Josh Childress.

13 – Portland Trailblazers – Ben Gordon

NBA.com
NBA.com

Ben Gordon was once one of the NBA’s best scorers despite his small 6’3″ frame. He was the Bulls’ leading scorer many years in the 2000s. Gordon is still the only player to ever win 6th man of the year as a rookie. For his career, he averaged 14.9 points on 43.2% shooting and 40.1% three point shooting in just 27.4 minutes per game. Gordon was named player of the week on four occasions, and he is 52nd all-time in three pointers, 43rd all-time in three point percentage, and 41st all-time in free throw percentage (.857). Gordon could flat out score.

The Portland Trailblazers were a team that could use some scoring around this time. The Rasheed Wallace era had ended, and the years of acquiring high lottery picks had begun. Damon Stoudemire (15.7 ppg and 5.8 apg,) Nick Van Exel (11.1 ppg,) Derek Anderson (9.2 ppg,) Ruben Patterson (11.6 ppg,) and Theo Ratliff (2.5 bpg 5.3 rpg) were all good players in their primes, but they were past them. Zach Randolph (18.9 ppg and 9.6 rpg) and Shareef Abdur-Rahim (16.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg) were two talented power forwards, but both missed a lot of time with injury. Darius Miles (12.8 ppg) was decent, but didn’t live up to his expectations as the 3rd overall pick in 2000. Joel Pryzbylla (7.7 rpg and 2.1 bpg) and Ratliff both blocked shots well, but the team still had just the 21st best defense in the league. Gordon can at least help the 25th ranked offense.

12 – Seattle Supersonics – Trevor Ariza

 Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Trevor Ariza was a very underrated NBA player for a long time. His length at 6’8″ and 215 pounds allows him to cover the opponent’s best perimeter player on defense, and Ariza is a very talented shooter and slasher offensively. Ariza is not going to succeed at being the team’s first option on offense, but play him in the right role, and the team will do very well. Ariza was a huge part of that 2009 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers team, shooting 49.7% from the field and 47.6% from three in 23 games played and started in the playoffs. Ariza’s averages for his career are 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game on 42.7% shooting and 35.2% three point shooting.

The Seattle Supersonics could have used Ariza’s defensive skills in 2004-2005. They made the playoffs behind a great 52-30 record, but they could not play defense to save their lives. Their 2nd ranked offense in the NBA carried their 27th ranked defense. While defense is a team effort, playing Rashard Lewis against opposing small forwards did not help those efforts. With Ray Allen (23.9 ppg and 10.7 win shares,) Lewis (20.5 ppg and 8.4 win shares,) Ariza, Luke Ridnour, Antonio Daniels, Vladimir Radmonovic, Nick Collison, and Danny Fortson, this team would win even more games than the 52 they did.

11 – Golden State Warriors – J.R. Smith

Jason Miller/Getty Images
Jason Miller/Getty Images

J.R. Smith can be one of the most frustrating players in the NBA some nights, but other nights he seems like the NBA’s best value, a player on a mid-level deal who can shoot threes, finish at the rim, with good shooting guard size, and he is capable of scoring points in the 20s any given night. Smith won the 6th man of the year award in 2013 behind 18.1 points per game, and he also won a player of the week award, and he is 17th all-time in three pointers.

The Warriors do need a center, but Smith is considerably better than the best remaining center in the draft, so he is their pick. Smith, probably for the best, wouldn’t receive a lot of minutes on this Warriors team featuring Baron Davis (19.5 ppg and 8.3 rpg) and Jason Richardson (21.7 ppg and 5.6 rpg,) and then Speedy Claxton (13.1 ppg and 6.2 apg) and Derek Fisher (11.9 ppg) as back-ups, but he makes one or more of those guards expendable so the team can aquire a big man.

10 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Jameer Nelson

Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images
Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

Jameer Nelson was never a superstar in the NBA, but few point guards ran their team better than Nelson while he was with the Magic. The year Nelson was selected to the all-star team, 2008-2009, he averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game on 50.3% shooting from the field and 45.3% shooting from three. His offensive and defensive ratings that year were 121 and 103. He was the perfect player to surround a super star like Dwight Howard with, a player who can play both with the ball in his hands as seen by the scoring and assist totals, as well as spacing the floor for the star, which is seen by the high efficiency marks. For his career, Nelson averages 12.0 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 43.7% from the field and 36.8% from three,

The Cleveland Cavaliers could have really used a player like Nelson on their team. Of course the conversation around the mid-2000s Cavs started and ended with LeBron James. In 2004-2005, just his second NBA season, James averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. He got 14.3 win shares as just a teenager. While his front court teammates Drew Gooden (14.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 8.5 win shares) and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (16.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 8.1 win shares) both played excellently alongside James, the Cavaliers back-court struggled mightily. Jeff McInnis was okay with 12.8 points and 5.1 assists in 34.5 minutes per game, but only shot 41.2% from the field and 34.5% from three. Eric Snow was simply bad. He only averaged 4.0 points per game on 38.2% shooting as the starting guard for the team. Put Nelson on this team, and they become a much better team, and a team with no holes in their starting line-up.

9 – Philadelphia 76ers – Anderson Varejao

Rob Foldy/Getty Images
Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Anderson Varejao has had a very underrated NBA career to this point, but his game brings results to his team. Varejao’s teams are 5.9 points per 100 possessions better with Varejao on the court in the regular season, and 10.3 points better in the playoffs. Varejao has offensive and defensive ratings of 114 and 102 in the regular season, and 110 and 100 in the playoffs. Varejao’s best season, although short, came in 2012-2013, when he averaged 14.4 points, 14.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.

The 76ers were an interesting team in 2004-2005. This was towards the end of the Allen Iverson era, but who knows? With Varejao, a player who played so well with a superstar similar to Iverson in LeBron James, maybe Iverson doesn’t get traded. Iverson averaged 30.7 points and 7.9 assists per game that year, Kyle Korver (11.5 ppg,) Marc Jackson (12.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg,) Samuel Dalembert (8.2 ppg and 7.5 rpg,) Kenny Thomas (11.3 ppg and 6.0 rpg,) and Corliss Williamson (10.8 ppg) were other contributors. Varejao plays very well in the same kind of role that Eric Snow, Aaron Mckie, Theo Ratliff, and Dikembe Mutombo thrived in with Iverson earlier in his career: off-the-ball support players.

8 – Toronto Raptors – Emeka Okafor

NBA.com
NBA.com

Emeka Okafor came into the NBA Draft as the favorite to be the number one pick. It isn’t so shocking considering Okafor came out of college fresh off of a championship run with UConn as their star player. Okafor even won rookie of the year, but as the 2nd overall pick. Okafor was great his rookie season, averaging 15.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. He was never the same player after that year, however, as he never averaged as many points and minutes in a season, albeit his shooting percentages and win shares improved considerably. Okafor never played on a contender, but he was the type of rim protectors that contenders have. He made the playoffs once with Chris Paul as the center of the 2011 New Orleans Hornets, but played for very forgettable teams otherwise, and his career only lasted 9 seasons.

The Raptors would have been a much better team with Okafor at the five. Matt Bonner’s floor spacing abilities helped out their 11th ranked NBA offense in 2005, but without a rim protector, Toronto finished a measly 33-49 with only the 24th best defense. With Rafer Alston (14.2 ppg and 6.4 apg,) Morris Peterson (12.5 ppg,) Jalen Rose (18.5 ppg,) Donyell Marshall (11.5 ppg and 6.6 rpg,) Bonner (7.2 ppg,) and most of all Chris Bosh (16.8 ppg and 8.9 rpg,) this team has some talented players, but with Okafor, their line-up is complete. This team has two-way talent and front court depth.

7 – Chicago Bulls – Josh Smith

Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images
Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

Josh Smith will always be the victim of never finding a great system that put him in the position to succeed. His poor shot selection and overall attitude is what finds him now looking for a job after being traded from the Clippers and his deal with the Rockets ending. Smith, however, showed great promise on the Hawks. From 2006 to 2013, Smith averaged borderline all-star numbers including 16.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.1 bpg, and 1.4 spg on 47.0% shooting. Smith is also 25th all-time in career blocks per game, a two-time player of the week, and a one-time member of the All-NBA Defensive 2nd team.

Maybe not so much with Vinny Del Negro, but since Smith started playing in the NBA, the Bulls’ coaching has been very good with Scott Skiles and Tom Thibodeau. They would know how to use Smith, and there is a very clear positional opening for him at power forward. With a starting line-up of Kirk Hinrich (15.7 ppg, 7.2 win shares,) Ben Gordon (15.1 ppg,) Luol Deng (11.7 ppg,) Smith, and Tyson Chandler (9.7 rpg, 8.3 win shares,) the Bulls have a very good young core. With Eddy Curry (16.1 ppg,) Antonio Davis (7.0 ppg and 5.9 rpg,) Andres Nocioni (8.4 ppg,) Chris Duhon (4.9 apg,) and Othella Harrington (8.0 ppg) off the bench. This team is set for years to come. There is no need to make the Ben Wallace signing mistake, and this team has some very good defensive frontcourt players.

6 – Atlanta Hawks – Kevin Martin

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Kevin Martin’s production begun to tail off this season after yet another injury plagued season, but for a very long time, Martin was one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. From 2006 to 2011, Martin averged 22.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game on 44.3% shooting from the field, and 38.5% shooting from three. From 2005 to 2014, Martin assembled 58.1 win shares (.149 per 48 minutes,) and he had a PER of 18.3. Usually volume shooters like Martin aren’t this efficient, but Martin was a very good shooting guard for a long time. It’s a shame that the two-time player of the week was never on a contending team for very long; in his 12 year NBA career, he’s only been to the playoffs three times.

The Atlanta Hawks were a very bad team in 2004-2005, but they had some good pieces in Boris Diaw , Antoine Walker (20.4 ppg and 9.4 rpg,) and Al Harrington (17.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg.) A starting line-up of Tyronn Lue, Martin, Harrington, Walker, and Diaw is versatile at the very least in the front court. This team would still have a rim protector in Biedrins available off the bench, and the Hawks could have been competitive in a lot of games.

5 – Dallas Mavericks – Al Jefferson

Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images
Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Al Jefferson has one of the best low post games in all of the NBA. His career averages of 16.7 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game don’t capture Jefferson’s best seasons. He averaged 21.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game during his first two seasons in Minnesota, and 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game during his first year in Charlotte. Jefferson is also a seven-time player of the week, and a two-time player of the month. He is impossible to move down in the low post, and his style of play is one that doesn’t rely on physical dominance, so it should keep him in the NBA for a long time.

Dallas loses their point guard for the future in Devin Harris through the re-draft, but they get a center with an offensive game. The Mavericks invested a lot of long-term money in Erick Dampier, who ended up not being worth the money, but with Jefferson, the Mavericks now have great versatility with Dampier, Jefferson, Dirk Nowitzki, Keith Van Horn, and Shawn Bradley all at the power forward and center positions. The starting line-up of Jason Terry (12.4 ppg, 8.5 win shares,) Michael Finley (15.7 ppg,) Josh Howard (12.6 ppg,) Nowitzki (26.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 15.6 win shares,) and Jefferson is one that would never have problems scoring the ball. Also having Jerry Stackhouse, Marquis Daniels, Van Horn, Dampier, and Bradley off the bench makes this team among the all-time greats in offense.

4 – Los Angeles Clippers – Devin Harris

Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Devin Harris’s all-star days are oftentimes forgotten about, but when Harris played for the Nets, there were few better point guards in the NBA. Harris averaged 17.7 points, 6.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game for New Jersey, and 21.3 points, 6.9 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game during his all-star year. Harris also runs his teams incredibly. The great 67-15 Mavericks featured Harris at the starting point guard position, and the team was +14.0 points per 100 possessions better with Harris on the court. the 2013-2014 Mavericks were +10.1 with Harris on the court, and teams are +2.6 points per 100 possessions better with Harris on the court in general.

The Los Angeles Clippers had some talented players when Harris came into the league. Elton Brand (20.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 10.6 win shares) and Corey Maggette (22.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 8.1 win shares) both had great seasons in 2004-2005. Running the point on this team, however, was an incompetent Rick Brunson, and Marko Jaric, who was horribly inneficient at 38.8% field goal shooting. With a starting line-up of Harris, Maggette, Bobby Simmons (16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds,) Brand, and Chris Kaman (9.1 points and 6.7 rebounds), Los Angeles would have a competitive team. They won 37 games with Brunson at the point, they would win even more with Harris at the position.

3 – Chicago Bulls – Luol Deng

NBA.com
NBA.com

The Chicago Bulls were a whole new team after this draft. The 23-59 that floundered in 2003-2004 was no more. The Bulls, with Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Chris Duhon and Andres Nocioni all selected in this draft, went 47-35 en route to the Central Division’s 2nd best record. The Bulls followed up this great season with two 41-41 seasons and a 49-33 season with the same core group of players. When the Bulls re-tooled their roster in 2010, Deng was kept. He was kept all the way until 2014 until he was finally traded due to the emergence of Jimmy Butler.

The Bulls selected Luol Deng originally in the draft, and he did wonders for them. Deng was a two-time all-star during his Bulls tenure, and he was an above average NBA small forward at the very least every other year. Deng averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals, and shot 46.0% from the floor in ten seasons with Chicago, and he is still producing at a high rate with Miami.

2 – Charlotte Bobcats – Andre Iguodala

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Andre Iguodala is now on the tail end of his career, but he is still a very effective player, and in his prime, there were few better wings than Iggy. Iguodala averages 13.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.6 steals for his career, and he is a career 46.2% from the field. Iguodala can really do everything, whether it was handle the ball, defend the opponent’s best player, create his own shot, and later in his career he even developed a three point shot. Iguodala is a champion, an all-star, 45th all-time in steals, 62nd all-time in box plus/minus, and 50th all-time in value over replacement player.

This was the innaugural season for the Charlotte Bobcats franchise. They had gotten some great pieces in the expansion draft like Gerald Wallace (11.1 points and 5.5 rebounds,) Primoz Brezec (13.0 points and 7.4 rebounds,) and Brevin Knight (10.1 points and 9.0 assists,) but Iggy would be the present and the future of this team. He is a great piece to build around, as the 76ers can attest to that, and a line-up of Knight, Jason Kapono, Iguodala, Wallace, and Brezec would be one that will win few games, but games.

1 – Orlando Magic – Dwight Howard

NBA.com
NBA.com

Dwight Howard is just the best player from this draft, as the best player in this draft, and a former NBA superstar, Howard gets/got criticized rather heavily, but to take a different player over him, when Howard carried Orlando to the NBA Finals in 2009, would be moronic. Howard boasts career averages of 17.8 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game on 58.2% shooting. Howard is an eight-time all-star, winner of three Defensive Player of the Year awards, an eight-time All-NBA player (five-time All-NBA 1st team,) and so much more.

The Magic were really a direction-less franchise after trading away Tracy McGrady and Juwan Howard, but Howard gave the franchise a cornerstone. The Magic were one of the best teams in the East for years to come with Howard, and they made their second NBA Finals appearance with him too. They keep Howard in the re-draft.

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