The 2007 NBA Draft was a good one and one that definitely shifted the league’s balance of power. Kevin Durant turned the struggling Seattle Supersonics into the thriving Oklahoma City Thunder. Big men Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Marc Gasol all turned their struggling teams around into perennial playoff fixes, and Mike Conley Jr. joined Gasol in turning Memphis around before he received the largest contract in NBA history last summer. In addition to these stars, many more players from this draft had significant roles on great teams. Here’s how the draft would go if it were re-done today.
30 – Philadelphia 76ers – Gustavo Ayon
Gustavo Ayon had limited success in the NBA. He was only in the league for three seasons, but 4.7 points ansd 4.4 rebounds per game on 53.6% shooting in 16.7 minutes per game is not horrible. The 76ers were a good team, but could have shored up their depth in the post. Because they lost Thaddeus Young in the re-draft, they are left with Samuel Dalembert, the 12th pick, and Reggie Evans at power forward and center. Ayon could very well be a contributor on this team.
29 – Phoenix Suns – Anthony Tolliver
Anthony Tolliver has carved out a nice role for himself in the league. He’ll be signed to a small contract by any given team, and he will come in and provide shooting and hustle in a limited role for his team. He’s in his 9th season as a pro, which is great for an undrafted undersized big man. Tolliver averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds for his career in 19.5 minutes per game and on 35.6% three point shooting. Tolliver wouldn’t have too much of a role on the very deep Suns, but he is great insurance for the highly injured Amar’e Stoudemire and Shaquille O’Neal.
28 – San Antonio Spurs – Mirza Teletovic
Mirza Teletovic has been successful in the NBA since coming over from Europe. In five years in the league, he has averaged 8.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in just 18.3 minutes per game, and he shoots 37.4% from deep. Teletovic earned himself a nice deal this offseason with Milwaukee for three years and 31.5 million dollars. He is a player that fits the Spurs mold well. They are the type of organization to select him with a late first round pick – the European prospect who can shoot threes at a high level. Considering the Spurs main power forwards this season were Fabricio Oberto and Ike Udoka, Teletovic could absolutely have a role on this team.
27 – Detroit Pistons – Gary Neal
Speaking of undrafted players discovered by the Spurs, Towson’s Gary Neal came onto their team in 2010, and had tremendous success with the team as well as Charlotte, Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Washington. Neal averaged 9.9 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in 21.4 minutes while shooting 38.3% from three. Considering Detroit lost Arron Afflalo and Rodney Stuckey in the re-draft, Detroit is lucky to get a backcourt contributor like Neal this late in the re-draft.
26 – Houston Rockets – Aaron Gray
Aaron Gray out of Pittsburgh surpassed his expectations as a 2nd round pick enough to make it into the first round of the re-draft. In seven seasons, Gray averaged 3.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game while shooting 50.9% from the field. For a team that relied so heavily on Yao Ming‘s health, having Gray as another back-up center for Houston could be crucial. Dikembe Mutumbo in his old age at this point isn’t the most reliable either.
25 – Utah Jazz – Jason Smith
Jason Smith has been around the league. In nine seasons, Smith was drafted by Miami, but never played for them, playing instead for Philadelphia, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, and now Washington. Smith is another one of this draft’s stretch bigs, shooting 46.7% from the field and 29.7% from deep. He’s also averaged 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 17.0 minutes for his career. Mehmet Okur could have used a better back-up for the Jazz, his only two were Jarron Collins and Kyrylo Fesenko, neither of whom contributed much.
24 – Phoenix Suns – Joel Anthony
Joel Anthony is another player who created a good career out of nothing as an undrafted player with a limited skill set. Anthony only averaged 2.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 14.7 career minutes per game on 51.1% shooting. Anthony, however, played an important role on some very good teams. He started 110 career games for the Heat. 54 of those games came when the Heat won the championship in 2012 and 2013. He started 16 games for them in the playoffs as well. Anthony also played briefly for Boston and Detroit. Anthony, like Tolliver, won’t have much of a role on Phoenix, but is great insurance for them in case of injury.
23 – New York Knicks – Corey Brewer
Corey Brewer hasn’t quite lived up to expectations of a lottery pick, but he has found msome more limited success. With some good teams. Brewer won a ring with Dallas in 2011, and he’s also been apart of the 2013 Denver Nuggets team that won 56 games without a superstar, the 56 win 2015 Houston Rockets, and the current Rockets team which is 3rd in the Western Conference. Brewer has used his athleticism and size on the wing to succeed on both ends of the court – particularly defensively. Brewer has averaged 9.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 24.5 career minutes per game. For a Knicks team that started Quentin Richardson at small forward in 2008, Brewer could be an instant upgrade for them.
22 – Charlotte Bobcats – Nick Young
Before he became the face of Los Angeles Lakers jokes and “Swaggy P,” Nick Young was quite the scorer on some legitimate teams too. In 10 seasons, Young has averaged 11.9 points on 37.4% three point shooting in 23.4 minutes per game. Charlotte was pitiful before the Steve Clifford or Larry Brown eras, but adding Young to this team with Raymond Felton, Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace, and Emeka Okafor might create something fun to watch if not productive.
21 – Philadelphia 76ers – Rudy Fernandez
Rudy Fernandez might not be a widely known name in America, but in Europe, he is the face of the sport of basketball. Fernandez came over from Europe in 2008, and he made a big impact during his time in the NBA. Fernandez played three years for Portland and one for Denver, and he was a big contributor to those teams. Fernandez averaged 9.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 24.0 minutes per game, and he got 14.2 win shares (.114 per 48 minutes) in your years as a reserve. Philadelphia has three picks in this first round, so they can afford to choose the best player available instead of addressing depth.
20 – Miami Heat – Aaron Brooks
Aaron Brooks is one of the most exciting players in basketball. Brooks was a McDonalds All-American in 2003 as a high school player, but his height unfortunately limited his potential going forward, playing college ball at Oregon for four years, and then becoming a late first round pick (26th overall) in this draft. Brooks, however, has made the most of his career. He won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 2010 with Houston, where he averaged 19.6 points per game. Brooks has made a career out of playing out short term contracts wonderfully – only to earn another short term contract. On Miami, the Heat were pitiful in 2008, and the point guard duo of Jason Williams and Chris Quinn are definitely responsible for a good part of that. Brooks is an upgrade over both of them.
19 – Los Angeles Lakers – Greg Oden
Greg Oden had more potential in this draft than just about anyone not named Kevin Durant. Oden didn’t play too many minutes, but in the 19.3 minutes per game he played, Oden averaged 8.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, and he got win shares at a great .174 per 48 minutes rate. If it weren’t for the injuries, Oden would have panned out. He excelled as the starting center for the Portland Trailblazers. They made the playoffs with him, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Brandon Roy leading the team. The Lakers take Oden because they already have Andrew Bynum at center, and if they still go through in trading for Pau Gasol, they have him too. In a back up role, this pick is very low risk and high reward.
18 – Golden State Warriors – Josh McRoberts
Josh McRoberts is one of the best team players in the NBA. It’s hard to think of a player contributing more than his ability would suggest as McRoberts did on the 2014 Charlotte Hornets, when he started for them at power forward and they made the playoffs. In his career, McRoberts averages 5.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 19.2 minutes per game. McRoberts has 18.5 career win shares, which he’s gotten at a good .107 per 48 minutes rate. Golden State had a very talented roster in 2007 with Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, Matt Barnes, and Andres Biedrins, but what Golden State was missing was a pass first player. McRoberts can be just that.
17 – New Jersey Nets – Glen Davis
Glen “Big Baby” Davis came into the league as an unheard of 2nd round pick, and quickly became known around the league for his play with the World Champion 2008 Boston Celtics. Davis averaged 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 21.1 minutes for his career, and his best year came in 2013 when he averaged 15.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists for the Orlando Magic. The 2008 Nets were one of the best in the league on the perimeter; they featured Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson before trading Kidd for another great point guard of the time Devin Harris. The four and five positions, however, were pitiful. Josh Boone and Sean Williams were the starters for this team, and they were mediocre on their best nights at both ends of the court. Davis could definitely contribute to this team. If he could fill in as a starter for the champions, he could definitely fill in for the Nets.
16 – Washington Wizards – Marco Bellineli
Marco Bellineli has had a good career since coming over to the league from Italy. Bellineli has served as a starter and a reserve for the Warriors team under Don Nelson, the Raptors team with Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, Andrea Bargnani, and DeMar Derozan, the New Orleans team with Chris Paul, the Thibodeau-era Bulls, the NB Champion 2014 Spurs, and now the Steve Clifford-led Charlotte Hornets. Bellineli has been a contributor to each of these successful teams, and has averaged 9.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 23.1 minutes per game for his career. Bellineli has also shot threes well, hitting 38.4% for his career. On Washington, Bellinelli would be one of the few who knows how to play good team basketball, and would be a good fit alongside Gilbert arenas in the back court.
15 – Detroit Pistons – Wilson Chandler
Wilson Chandler has dealt with injury issues for much of his career, but when he has been healthy, Chandler has shown he can score efficiently and in some volume. For his career, Chandler averages 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game while shooting 44.2% from the field. This season Chandler is averaging 16.4 points and 7.0 rebounds off the bench for the playoff-hopeful Denver Nuggets. On Detroit, Chandler, with Gary Neal, Jarvis Hayes, Amir Johnson, and Jason Maxiell would create a solid bench to go along with their elite starting line-up on the 59-23 team.
14 – Los Angeles Clippers – Ramon Sessions
Ramon Sessions came into the NBA as a slate (56th overall) 2nd round pick, and he made his way through the D-League to earn a spot in the NBA. Sessions has averaged 10.7 points and 4.2 assists on 43.7% shooting in 23.9 minutes in his career for seven teams. The Clippers were a horrible franchise before they acquired Chris Paul. Their 2008 team was just one of most years of the Clippers missing the playoffs. They had made the playoffs in 2006 with Elton Brand, Cuttino Mobley, Sam Cassell, Corey Maggette, and Chris Kaman, but by 2008, Brand and Kaman were dealing with injuries, and Cassell and Mobley dealt with the decline that comes with age. By the middle of the 2008 season, Cassell was waived and he signed with the Celtics. At this point in the re-draft, Sessions is a combination of the best point guard and player available.
13 – New Orleans Hornets – Brandan Wright
There are few players in the league as efficient as Brandan Wright is. Wright hasn’t lived up to the 8th overall selection by volume of his production, but instead by the efficiency. Wright has averaged 7.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game in just 16.5 minutes. He has shot an uber-efficient 60.8% from the field; his offensive and defensive ratings of 125 and 106 are excellent, so too are his 20.5 career PER and .183 win shares per 48 minutes. Thats exactly what the 2008 New Orleans Hornets would need out of a backup. Tyson Chandler and David West have the four and five spots locked down when theyr’e in the game, but when they need a spell, Wright is a much better option than Hilton Armstrong or Melvin Ely.
12 – Philadelphia 76ers – Spencer Hawes
Spencer Hawes is another player who hasn’t lived up to his lottery selection, but as a 7’0″ center with an above average three point shot, he has been a valuable asset. For his career, Hawes has averaged 8.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 23.2 minutes per game while shooting 45.6% from the field and 35.0% from three. Hawes was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers already from 2010 to 2014, and they made the playoffs his first three seasons there. Philadelphia found success with Hawes, so they stick with him in the re-draft.
11 – Atlanta Hawks – Rodney Stuckey
Rodney Stuckey never became the franchise point guard the Pistons thought they had, but Stuckey was one of the best slashing players in the league for some time. Stuckey averages 12.8 points, 3.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game for his career, and his best season came in 2011 when he averaged 15.5 points, 5.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals on 43.9% shooting in 31.2 minutes per game. Stuckey is a two-time player of the week award winner, and has shown the ability to dominate games off the bench. On the 2008 Hawks, they had a solid team of players like Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Josh Childress, and Al Horford, who even though they lost him in the re-draft, they gained a center of similar ability. Johnson needs a backup, however, and Stuckey delivers a similar scoring punch.
10 – Sacramento Kings – Tiago Splitter
Tiago Splitter is probably most recognizable for getting denied at the rim by LeBron James in the 2013 NBA Finals, but don’t be fooled – Splitter does many good things on the court, and he is simply a winner. Splitter averages 8.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game, and he is a career 55.7% shooter. Splitter won a championship with the 2014 San Antonio Spurs, and between the Spurs and Hawks, Splitter has never won less than 48 games in a season. Splitter has 25.2 win shares for his career, and he’s gotten them at a very impressive rate of .179 per 48 minutes. His career offensive and defensive ratings of 116 and 101 are excellent as well. The Kings could use a winner like Splitter, and a team with Kevin Martin, John Salmons, Metta World Peace, Francisco Garcia, and Beno Udrih that already went 38-44, who knows? Maybe Splitter could have ended their playoff slump.
9 – Chicago Bulls – Carl Landry
Carl Landry was one of the best backup players in the league for a very long time. He’s averaged 10.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game for his career on 53.5% shooting. Landry has been very good in this league for nearly all the teams he’s been a part of. Landry got 35.9 win shares in his career at a rate of .149 per 48 minutes. Landry was excellent off the bench for Houston in the 2000s and Golden State in 2013 to help them make the playoffs for the first time in years, and he was also great in a starting role for Sacramento and Philadelphia. On the Bulls, Landry fits a natural whole at power forward for their team as well as being the best remaining player on the board. Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Chris Duhon, Thabo Sefolosha, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni, Tyrus Thomas, Carl Landry, and Joakim Noah? That is a lot of young talent.
8 – Golden State Warriors – Jared Dudley
Jared Dudley was never the best player on his teams, but he has always been one of the most important. Dudley is a master of playing without the ball. It’s why despite only averaging 8.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game for his career, Dudley has 38.9 win shares. He is an excellent shooter who’s shot 47.1% from the field and 40.1% from three. On Golden State, Dudley would be a great fit off the ball from Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, and Stephen Jackson.
7 – Minnesota Timberwolves – Arron Afflalo
Aaron Afflalo had a great transformation from a defensive specialist to an offensive star. He came into this league with a very limited offensive game, but within a few years it blossomed to the point where from 2010 to 2016, Afflalo averaged 14.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 45.3% shooting and 38.1% from three in 33.9 minutes per game. Since joining the Magic in 2012, Afflalo has been cursed with playing on some bad teams like Orlando, the 2015 Knicks, and now the Kings, but he still has 32.5 win shares. On Minnesota, Afflalo would be a much needed player on their pitiful 2008 team that had Rashad McCants as the 2nd leading scorer to Al Jefferson.
6 – Milwaukee Bucks – Thaddeus Young
Thaddeus Young is a prototype for the modern NBA four. He is as athletic as many small forwards, but has the size to play the four effectively. Young was a great part of those Doug Collins coached 76ers teams for many years before playing for Brooklyn, Minnesota, and Indiana. Young has averaged 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game for his career on 49.9% shooting in 30.7 minutes per game. Young has 44.7 win shares for his career (.100 per 48 minutes,) and at 28, he is still going strong and will for years to come. Young can improve a 2008 Milwaukee Bucks team that struggled mightily on both ends of the court. Young compliments center Andrew Bogut well as well as the back court of Mo Williams and Michael Redd. Add Young to the mix, and that is a solid core of four for upcoming years.
5 – Seattle Supersonics – Mike Conley Jr.
Mike Conley has been a good point guard in the league for many years. He hasn’t merited the largest contract in NBA history, but he’s been pretty good. Conley’s career averages are 13.7 points, 5.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game on 44% shooting in 32.4 minutes per game. Conley’s biggest accomplishment, however, has been leading Memphis to the playoffs each of the past six seasons on both ends of the court. He may not be the best defender or leading scorer on the team, but he is the leader on both ends of the court. Seattle has nothing after trading Ray Allen for this pick and scrap parts, but Conley and and the 2nd pick are two very good building blocks to play with Wally Sczerbiak, Earl Watson, Chris Wilcox, and Nick Collison.
4 – Memphis Grizzlies – Al Horford
Al Horford has had a very interesting career to this point. He helped bring back an Atlanta Hawks team that was in the dumps, and he turned them into a perennial playoff team. As part of the turnaround effort, Horford has averaged 15.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks for his career on 53.2% shooting. Horford has also been a four-time all-star, and would have been more had it not been for injuries. Despite these great accomplishments, however, Horford might have underperformed his entire career. Horford, at 6’10” and with college experience at the four, is a much better fit at power forward than the center position Horford’s coaches have insisted on playing him at for his entire career with Atlanta and Boston. On Memphis, Horford can play the four while Pau Gasol mans the five. That Memphis team would be loaded with a core group of Kyle Lowry, Mike Miller, Rudy Gay, Horford, and Gasol in the starting five and Damon Stoudemire, Juan Carlos Navarro, Hakim Warrick, and Stromile Swift off the bench.
3 – Atlanta Hawks – Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah came into the NBA as Al Horford and Corey Brewer’s teammate from University of Florida with the goofy hair, but he became so much more with the Bulls. Noah became the starting center for one of the best defensive teams in NBA history under Tom Thibodeau. From 2009 to 2014, Noah averaged 11.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 0.9 steals per game on 49.4% shooting. He was the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, a two-time all-star, and one of the biggest competitors in the league. Putting Noah on the Hawks, they will find similar success to what they found with Al Horford at center, because they are both very comparable players in skill set and impact.
2 – Seattle Supersonics – Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol has been very dominant with Memphis. The two-time all-star has averaged 14.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game for his career on 49.9% shooting. Gasol, like Noah, won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013. His size makes him so hard to go against on both ends of the court, and it is why he is still going strong at 31 years old (1 month away from being 32.) Gasol has 65.7 win shares (.155 per 48 minutes,) and is a winner with Memphis. On Seattle, Gasol and Mike Conley can replicate the magic they’ve found in Tennessee on the Sonics and later the Thunder. Gasol and Conley are two high level building blocks.
1 – Portland Trailblazers – Kevin Durant
The selection in this re-draft is obvious, even if it wasn’t back when Portland took Greg Oden 1st overall back in ’07. Durant is simply a super-star in a draft with no others. In addition to being 4th all-time in career points per game (27.3,) Durant is an MVP, seven-time all-star, and he hasn’t missed the playoffs since his sophomore season in the league. A Portland Trailblazers team with Brandon Roy, Durant, and LaMarcus Aldridge all young is a scary thought. They also had a good supporting cast with Jarrett Jack, Steve Blake, Martell Webster, James Jones, Travis Outlaw, Joel Pryzbilla, and Channing Frye. A playoff team for a few years without Durant, the Blazers would have been a dynasty for years to come with him.