Looking Back at the 2005 NBA Draft: Stars, Surprises, Busts and Solid Players
Well, a couple of days ago I did an article on the 2003 NBA Draft, the best and deepest draft of this decade and probably of all time. But I thought I would take a look at one of the most underrated drafts of this decade—the 2005 draft. It didn't have the firepower of the '03 Draft, but it still produced a slew of talented players.
Star 1: Chris Paul, No. 4 Pick
Chris Paul was an explosive guard coming out of Wake Forest, and the only question about him was his shooting.
He displayed great leadership and court vision, and that explains why he's one of the best point guards in the NBA.
Having career averages of 19 ppg 10 apg, 5rpg, and 2spg, Paul is only 23 years old and is improving every year. He also is an Olympic gold medalist, and broke the NBA record for most consecutive games with at least one steal with 108.
Star 2: Deron Williams, No. 3 Pick
Deron Williams came out of Illinois a great shooter, but people thought he was too overweight to ever become great in the pro game.
Once he came into the NBA, he slimmed down and went to work, making Utah relevant again.
He has deceptive quickness, a good jumper, and shoots a high field goal percentage from the field. Having career averages of 16 ppg and 9 apg, Williams is improving every year and is one of the best point guards in the league.
It's ridiculous how Deron Williams hasn't been an All-Star yet, but has been an All-NBA player and Olympic gold medalist. He will finally get that All-Star nod this year as long as he stays healthy.
Star 3: Danny Granger, No. 17 Pick
Granger didn't exactly burst on the scene coming out of New Mexico into his rookie season. Only averaging 8 ppg as a rookie, he improved his scoring every year, culminating with 26 ppg last year.
He's one of the most clutch young players in the league and shoots the three exceptionally well.
Look out for his Pacer team this year. They might make the playoffs as long as they stay healthy.
Solid Player 1: Charlie Villanueva, No. 7 Pick
I couldn't call Charlie V a star yet because he hasn't gotten the minutes. Averaging only 27 mpg for his career, he also averages 13 ppg and 6 rpg.
He's in Detroit now so we'll see how he produces with starter's minutes. Yes, he's a defensive liability, but he's still young, so that might change.
Solid Player 2: Andrew Bynum, No. 10 Pick
I can't call Bynum a star yet because he seems to get hurt a lot. When healthy, he's an effective player and, at age 22, still has a lot of upside.
Working with Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar should help with his offense. When Kobe retires, this might be his team and he might become a dominant force in the league.
Solid player 3: Marvin Williams, No. 2 Pick
Marvin Williams is a solid small forward and a key contributor to an up-and-coming Hawks team. Having career averages of 13 ppg and 6 rpg, he hasn't produced like you would expect out of a No. 2 pick, but he fits his title of solid player.
Bust 1: Andrew Bogut, No. 1 Pick
Yes, he has career averages of 12 ppg and 9 rpg, and shoots over 50 percent, but you would expect more out of a No. 1 pick, especially when you see the other talent in this draft.
He's mediocre and I'm sure you'll disagree, but I just don't feel he's lived up to his No. 1 pick
Bust 2: Martell Webster, No. 6 Pick
Coming out of high school, he was a very talented player. But Webster hasn't lived up to the hype.
Only averaging 8ppg while shooting 41 percent for his career, Webster is out of the rotation in Portland. With Travis Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez already at the same position, I wouldn't be surprised if they trade him.
Bust 3: Ike Diogu, No. 9 Pick
Only having career averages of 6 points and 3 rebounds, Diogu hasn't produced as a lottery pick.
Diogu is now in New Orleans, but his pro journey is effectively over. He'll never live up to his draft pick.
Bust 4: Fran Vazquez, No. 11 Pick
The Magic drafted him really high and he never even came over to the NBA from Spain. He was a complete waste of a draft pick.
Surprise 1: David Lee, No. 30 Pick
Going as the last pick in the first round, Lee had a breakout year last season, averaging a double double—16 ppg and 12 rpg—while leading the NBA in double doubles as well. He shoots over 50 percent from the field and is improving every year. New York is stupid if they don't re-sign him.
Suprise 2: Monta Ellis, No. 40 Pick
Ellis was a dynamic scorer out of high school and improved his scoring average every year. Ellis is a ferocious slasher who averages 16 ppg and shoots close to 50 percent. Once Ellis develops a jumper, it's a wrap.
Other Solid 2005 Draftees
Nate Robinson, Raymond Felton, Linas Kleiza, Jason Maxiell, Jarrett Jack, Fransisco Garcia, Hakim Warrick, Brandon Bass, CJ Miles, Ronny Turiaf and Tavis Diener.
Other 2005 Suprises
Von Wafer, Louis Williams, Andray Blatche, Ryan Gomes and Marcin Gortat were all second-round picks, but they are key contributors to their team.
Other 2005 Busts
Gerald Green, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Channing Frye, Julius Hodge, Wayne Simien, Luther Head, Johan Petro, Antione Wright, Joey Graham and Yaroslav Korolev. (All were first round picks, but now half of them are out of the NBA.)
So, there's my list. Tell me what you think and get at me if you disagree with any of my picks.