2006 NBA Draft Re-Visit: How the Draft Would Go Today
This was not going to be a very good draft from the get go. There wasn't a whole lot of promise in a lot of the players, and despite a few All-Stars emerging, this was not a very good draft class.
If the teams would have known then how good the players in the 2006 draft would be, here's how the draft would have gone four years ago.
1. Toronto Raptors: Rajon Rondo
Originally Drafted: 21st overall
While Rondo may not be the centerpiece of a franchise, he's definitely the best player available in this draft.
He is the league's best pure point guard, and on a team that already had a few established players that year, Toronto could've used a dynamic duo like Rondo and Chris Bosh.
2. Chicago Bulls: Brandon Roy
Originally Drafted: Sixth overall
He's been in more All-Star games, and more MVP talks than Rajon Rondo, but he's also had more season-ending injuries, and reasons that he was drafted sixth overall in the league in the first place.
Roy's recent career has been defined by injuries and a lot of time spent recovering from them, but before then, he was a star.
The Blazers, I'm sure, just wish he'd return to those earlier days.
3. Charlotte Bobcats: Rudy Gay
Originally Drafted: Eighth overall
Rudy Gay is a terrific NBA scorer.
Anyone know anything else to say about him? Nobody? Okay.
But really, Rudy is a very good NBA player all around, it's just that he's not the most versatile player in the league, and as he develops more of his skill, he'll become a better all-around player. That just may not happen for a while.
4. Portland Trailblazers: LaMarcus Aldridge
Originally Drafted: Second overall
LaMarcus had a breakout year this season after playing second fiddle to Brandon Roy ever since this draft.
The Blazer's forward spent most of the year trying to prove that he was more improved and more All-Star worthy than Kevin Love, but lost in both of those categories (when really, he should have gotten ONE of those).
Now he's just hoping the role that he's made for himself will carry over into next season.
5. Atlanta Hawks: Andrea Bargnani
Originally Drafted: First overall
Well, now that Chris Bosh is off of the Raptors, it was time for Andrea to finally shine last season, and he did, okay.
He's not living up to the original expectations that people had of him when he first came into the league, but he's not a bad player anymore. The Raptors probably won't want to keep him around as their star player anymore, but I'm sure most NBA teams would be more than willing to take him off their hands.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Paul Millsap
Originally Drafted: 47th Overall
Think that Paul really deserves to be in the second round? Of this draft?
No. Not even close.
Paul stepped up his game a few seasons ago to the point that it made Carlos Boozer some major trade bait for the Jazz, and he eventually left the team. Now he's trying to work himself a better role among Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors.
Even among that group, Millsap may come out on top.
7. Boston Celtics: Thabo Sefolosha
Originally Drafted: 13th Overall
13 is where Thabo would be in most NBA drafts. 2006 has proved to be one of the weaker years in the history of the draft, however.
Thabo was almost a steal at 13 because he actually has a specialty: Defense.
He starts for a playoff team, and that isn't a bad place to be in the NBA. He's improving in a lot of other areas, but for the most part, he's the Thunder's lockdown defender. And he's good at it.
8. Houston Rockets: Randy Foye
Originally Drafted: Seventh overall
What? Could it even be suggested that Randy was the right pick at No. 7?
Well, it's by comparison.
Randy has not lived up to the expectations that people had for the combo guard, but as you'll see in the next few slides, there's not much of a competition after Randy.
9. Golden State Warriors: JJ Redick
Originally Drafted: 11th Overall
JJ has become a pretty good role player for the Magic. He had a very good run in the playoffs this season for Orlando. Will he ever be a starting PG for an NBA team? No.
But, he might have a full-length career as a Rafer Alston type of player.
10. Seattle Sonics: Tyrus Thomas
Originally Drafted: Fourth overall
You never really can tell if Tyrus Thomas is playing well. He will for some games, then he won't for a while, then he'll pick up his defense, then he'll collapse, then he'll have an amazing dunk.
For the most part though, Tyrus has not lived up to his expectations as the fourth-overall pick in the draft.
11. Orlando Magic: Ronnie Brewer (originally 14th)
12. New Orleans Hornets: Jordan Farmar (originally 26th)
13. Philadelphia 76ers: Kyle Lowry (originally 24th)
14. Utah Jazz: Daniel Gibson (originally 42th)
15. New Orleans Hornets: Shannon Brown (originally 25th)
16. Chicago Bulls: Sergio Rodriguez (originally 27th)
17. Indiana Pacers: Craig Smith (originally 36th)
18. Washington Wizards: Shelden Williams (originally fifth)
19. Sacramento Kings: Ryan Hollins (originally 50th)
20. New York Knicks: Leon Powe (originally 49th)
The talent here is not so quality. The good news is that most of these players still see playing time in the NBA, and that's more than you can say for a number of players in the next slide.
21. Phoenix Suns: Hilton Armstrong (originally 12th)
22. New Jersey Nets: Josh Boone (originally 23rd)
23. New Jersey Nets: Rodney Carney (originally 16th)
24. Memphis Grizzlies: Renaldo Balkman (originally 20th)
25. Cleveland Cavaliers: Adam Morrison (originally third)
26. Los Angeles Lakers: Patrick O'Bryant (originally ninth)
27. Phoenix Suns: Quincy Douby (originally 19th)
28. Dallas Mavericks: Marcus Williams (originally 22nd)
29. New York Knicks: Steve Novak (originally 32nd)
30. Portland Trailblazers: Mardy Collins (originally 29th)
These players still play in the league, so they're up here. Unfortunately, the only picture in existence of more than one of them was in college.