Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Karl Malone was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 13th overall pick in the 1985 draft. The Chicago Bulls, who had acquired Michael Jordan with the third pick in the previous year’s draft, selected Keith Lee with the 11th pick. Lee, in a draft-day trade, was sent to Cleveland for Charles Oakley. Charles Oakley was an average player throughout his career, with a stat line of 9.7 points and 9.5 rebounds.
The Bulls could have instead selected Karl Malone, whose career was defined by longevity and greatness. Malone is the second all-time leading scorer in NBA History, and averaged a staggering 25 points and 10 rebounds in his 19-year career. The Mailman’s inside presence, matched with arguably the greatest player of all time, could have been the greatest duo of all time.
This hypothetical combination would have had a vast impact on the history of the game.
First, Scottie Pippen would most likely not have been traded for by the Bulls.
Secondly, the Stockton-Malone combination would not have existed, and who is to say how either of their careers would have played out?
Thirdly, the Jazz and Bulls rivalry throughout the '90s would probably not have existed. The Bulls beat the Jazz twice in the NBA Finals and proved to be the sole reason why Stockton and Malone never won a championship.
With Malone on the Bulls, the threat of the Jazz would have been removed and Malone would have had a relatively easier path to the finals. The most notable moment of the Jazz-Bulls rivalry, Jordan’s infamous pull-back “J” on Byron Russell in the 1998 NBA Finals, also would not have occurred.
<a href="http://www.twitter.com/SpencerKier37"><img src="http://twitter-badges.s3.amazonaws.com/follow_me-c.png" alt="Follow SpencerKier37 on Twitter"/></a>