1) Elton Brand – Chicago – Unfortuntately for the Bulls, they gave up
on Brand entirely too soon. It's four years later and we're *still*
waiting for Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler to come around! Brand has
quietly become on of the top power forwards in the league averaging 19
and 10 for his whole career. Overall pick rating – 4. Every year he's
either an all-star or he gets screwed out of being an all-star because
he plays for the pathetic Clips.
2) Steve Francis – Vancouver – Apparently the Franchise didn't want to
play in Canada. I can't say that I blame him. Fortunately for the
Grizz, they got a few picks plus a draft pick that turned into Pau
Gasol or Shane Battier, so they weren't left totally out to dry on the
deal. Overall pick rating – 4. He's been a constant all-star, but he's
0-for-the-playoffs. Might wind up having a very Marbury-esque career
(great numbers, fun to watch play, but can't get it done).
3) Baron Davis – Charlotte – Let me first say that I think Baron Davis
is one of *the* cool names in all of sports. Like Francis, Davis has
put up great numbers and been fun to watch, but he's struggled with
injuries and he really hasn't led his team to the big win yet. Overall
pick rating – 4. I'm convinced that he's the new Marbury. The career
numbers are going to be great, people are going to remember him as
being a player who was fun to watch, yet he's never going to win the
4) Lamar Odom – Clippers – He was originally selected with visions that
he would be the next Magic Johnson. It didn't matter to the Clips that
he went to like twelve different high schools, got kicked out of one
college before ever attending (UNLV) and stayed only a year at another.
He looked like trouble and surprisingly he did have problems – mostly
with marijuana. The Clippers finally gave up on him and he had a
breakout season with the Heat. Overall pick rating – 4. He's not the
do-it-all tall point guard that he was selected to be, but he's been a
pretty decent player for a couple years with no real signs of slowing
5) Jonathan Bender – Pacers – Originally traded for Antonio Davis,
Bender has been in the league six years now and really only shown
flashes. I'm not willing to write him off yet. To be honest, I fully
expect him to have a minor Jermaine O'Neal-like breakout season. He's
struggled staying healthy, but I think he has something to offer still.
Overall pick rating – 3. Like I said, he's still young (23) so to write
him off would be crazy. He's probably not going to live up to that #5
overall pick, though.
6) Wally Szcerbiak – Minnesota – After his first three years, he looked
incredibly promising. Defensively, he's always had problems, but he's
been able to flat out put the ball in the bucket. Unfortunately, his
game is hugely one dimensional. He's also struggled with injuries and
team chemistry problems. I don't know that I've ever heard of a player
who is rumored to be traded in any sport more often than Wally. Overall
pick rating – 3. He had an all-star season and I think given the right
situation, he could become a star again.
7) Richard Hamilton – Washington – A lot of people forget Rip Hamilton
played in Washington. MJ's short Wizard's legacy is tarnished because
he foolishly "drafted" Kwame Brown, yet I've never heard a person
ponder why he'd ever trade Rip Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse. In MJ's
first year, Hamilton was well on his way to become a mentally tough
all-around player that is extremely rare in the NBA. To trade him for a
guy who scores but doesn't do much else just didn't make sense and it
doesn't make sense now. Overall pick rating – 5. Don't get me wrong –
by giving him a 5, I'm not saying that he's a perennial MVP candidate.
I can promise you there is not a team in the league who wouldn't be
more than glad to have Rip in their starting lineup.
8) Andre Miller – Cleveland – This is a tough one for me to rate. For a
few years, he was the sole bright spot on the awful Cleveland teams. He
got traded to my beloved Clippers, though, and I honestly thought he
was going to have a breakout year. Problem was, he didn't fit in and
had just a god awful year. Overall pick rating – 4. He then moved on to Denver where he's been
okay, but often outshined by 5'3" Earl Boykins.
9) Shawn Marion – Phoenix – For what he is, Shawn Marion is an absolute
great player. Again, he kind of has a one dimensional game, but that
one dimension is raw athleticism. Watching him player, he's not the
kind of player who is going to win a game or carry a team to a
championship on his own. In the right situation, though, he's dominant.
You can kind of see that now that the Suns have Nash giving him the
rock. Pick rating – 5. To get this good of a player at number nine is
quite the blessing and quite the surprise as well.
10) Jason Terry – Atlanta – He's been on a bunch of horrendous Hawks
teams. It's one of those deals – were the Hawks terrible because of
Jason Terry or were they terrible despite Jason Terry? I honestly don't
know. He's not a true point guard, yet at 6'2" he would struggle at the
two. He's almost instant offense of the bench in Dallas. Overall pick
rating – 4. I guess come playoff time, everyone will really see how
Terry reacts to a pressure situation. He could be the next Parker or
Bibby… or he also could be a guy that looks like he should be playing
for the Hawks.
11) Trajan Langdon – Cleveland – Hahahahahahaha… sorry. After having
to Dick Vitale with his head up Langdon's "posterior" for four full
years, I find it sweet revenge that he's already out of the league.
Overall pick rating – 1. Duke sucks.
12) Alek Redojevic – Toronto – I have no clue who this guy is, but he's not in the league. Overall pick rating – 1.
13) Corey Maggette – Orlando – He's been surprisingly solid from the
get go. I actually completely forgot he played for the Magic for a
year. This year he's having a career year (22 points, 5 boards, 3.5
assists) and has actually carried my Clippers on his back. Overall pick
rating – 4. I expect big things over the next five years from Mr.
Other first and second round sleepers:
16) Ron Artest – Chicago
18) James Posey – Denver
23) Devean George – Lakers
24) Andrei Kirilenko – Utah
57) Manu Ginobili – San Antonio
If they were to re-draft again.
1) Elton Brand
2) Andrei Kirilenko
3) Shawn Marion
4) Ron Artest (everything else aside)
5) Rip Hamilton
6) Baron Davis
7) Steve Francis
8) Lamar Odom
9) Andre Miller
10) Corey Maggette
11) James Posey
12) Wally Szcerbiak
13) Jason Terry
If you're out on your bike tonight, do wear white,