Re-Doing The 2007 NBA Draft
There were many ups and downs in the class of 2007. Kevin Durant landed on top with Rookie of the Year honors, but there were other notable rookies that had an impact on their team.
From the Trailblazers passing up on Jordan to the Pistons taking Darko Milicic, there were many decisions front offices have made that they would like back. The draft is an investment in something a team believes in and gamble that can make or break a franchise
Last year, the Trailblazers selected Greg Oden with the first pick. Even though at the time I believed they should have selected Durant and kept Zach Randolph, who was traded to the Knicks, we have not seen what Oden can do so this will have to wait.
The Sonics got two solid picks to build their franchise around; Kevin Durant at number two and Jeff Green at number five (after trading Ray Allen to the Celtics) are both going to be stars in the future. The Sonics would not redo this years draft.
Here are the teams that would love to go back in time and change their minds:
The pick that would have to be redone is with the Memphis Grizzlies taking Mike Conley, Jr. Conley was hurt most of last season so we really did not get a chance to see him play at his best, but the 4th pick seemed a bit high for him.
The Grizzlies have a back court and Kyle Lowry proved last year that he deserved to be the starting point guard. If the Grizzlies could get this pick again they would sure love Al Horford, but he fell to number three to the Hawks so they should have taken a big man.
The Grizzlies had no post presence and adding a big man who will be there for many years would have really helped them out.
With the sixth pick the Bucks took Yi Jianlian, who was really inconsistent and really did not do much for them. They traded him this summer for Richard Jefferson, since Jianlian really did not have the toughness the Bucks needed.
If the Bucks could choose again they would have chosen the player I thought was the biggest sleeper coming into the draft: Al Thornton. Thornton ended up with the Clippers at number 14, but the Bucks sure could have used an enforcer like Thornton.
Thornton can play small or power forward and score in the paint or on the perimeter. His versatility and athleticism has set him to be the future face of the Clippers.
With the 9th pick the Bulls took Joakim Noah to add to their load of forwards. The Bulls lacked, and still do, a true big man who can take the ball in the post and set up for all of the perimeter talent they had.
Noah was a solid contributor with his energy and defense, but really with Tyrus Thomas and Ben Wallace, who was there at the time, they did not need him. He averaged six points and five boards on his disappointing season.
He got into fights with the coaching staff and Ben Wallace, which was a part of the Bulls messy season.
They would surely take Spencer Hawes if they could redo the draft. Hawes was taken a pick later to the Kings and really looked good at the end of the season and in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Hawes is not near his potential yet, but is just what the Bulls needed. Hawes is an enforcer on the defensive end as he can block shots and he is a true low post scorer who has a lot of tools.
The perimeter based Bulls needed the big man to take control of the paint and kick it out. Hawes would have given little last year, but still more than Noah, and would be the future center for this troubled team for the upcoming years.
The past many seasons the Hawks made many questionable moves in the draft, including taking Marvin Williams over Chris Paul, but with the third pick they got a future star in Al Horford.
The 11th pick they got from the Suns was the questionable pick. Acie Law was a good college player, but really lacked a lot to be a legit NBA point guard. Reminded me of Salim Stoudamire.
If they could get this pick back they would sure take Pistons future star Rodney Stuckey. Joe Dumars knew a talent when he saw Stuckey and had his back all season. Stuckey proved in the playoffs last year that he can be a big time player in the league.
The Hawks lacked a point guard, even though they later traded for Mike Bibby. Stuckey could have been in the base for the young core to build on a championship team in the future.
The rest of the draft looked pretty solid as there were smart decisions. Most of the players taken still have potential, so we will have to wait.
The other top rookies that were under the radar were forward Jamario Moon and point guard Ramon Sessions. A number of teams who needed a forward or a point guard could have really used these two guys.
There are many decisions a GM wants to take back from the draft, but it is too late. The Hawks, Grizzlies, Bulls, and the Bucks are among the many teams in history who would like to go back in time and select again.
It is too early to tell but if these teams made the right decision who knows what would have happened.
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