The 1996 NBA Draft: How It Should Have Been.

Max SolovayContributor IApril 16, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 09:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after defeating the the Denver Nuggets, 116-102, at Staples Center on April 9, 2009 in Los Angeles , California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

The 1996 NBA Draft could arguably be the best draft in the history of the NBA.

This draft produced 11 NBA All-Stars, two Defensive Players of the Year, some gold medals, and seven players to be announced to  All-NBA team.

The 1984 Draft is close when you look at talent because that draft produced Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuawon, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, and the biggest bust of all-time (if you read my other article), Sam Bowie.

For this article, I'm going to re-do the top 10 picks in the 1996 Draft the way I think GM's would do if they had the chance. 

With the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select...

1) Kobe Bryant.

This is 100 percent without a doubt, the first pick, but besides the Lakers, nobody really realized his talent, trading Vlade Divac immediately for the right to Kobe. He was just some kid coming out of high school.

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As we all know, he would soon prove everybody wrong. Kobe should've been picked No. 1 overall.

2) Steve Nash.

The Raptors didn't blow it THAT bad, considering they got Marcus Camby, the outstanding center from UMass.

The skinny, lanky, center who blocked everything his way was just what the Raptors needed. At the time, Damon Stoudamire was running the Raptors offense and little Stevie from Santa Clara could've been a huge help in four years when the Raptors had McGrady and VC.

3) Jermaine O'Neal.

The Vancouver Grizzlies really needed a big man.  Shareef Abdur-Rahim had a solid career, but Jermaine would've been a better choice.

Then again, JO came out of high school and talent was hard to see so early in his career. Despite injuries towards the end of Jermaine's career, he was one of the most solid F/C in the game. He was so dominant during his Pacer years that he was drawing double and triple teams in the paint as soon as he touched the ball.

4) Allen Iverson. 

The Milwaukee Bucks drafted the guy who is all about "me," who can be seen at Knicks games on his cell phone laughing it up while the Knicks get mopped.

Stephon is not a winner and will never be a winner (well, maybe this year because he decided to join the best team in the league).

He is selfish and not a likable guy. This endorsement monster was the No. 1 overall pick in 1996, but in my draft, he's going No. 4 to the Bucks.

He would've been a way better pick than Stephon, obviously. Taking the Sixers to the Promised Land when they had absolutely nobody else.  Eric Snow? Aaron McKie? Dikembe Mutombo? Give me a break...whether people admit it or not, Iverson was a phenomenal player and an outstanding athlete.

5) Ray Allen.

In 1996 Ray Allen went fifth overall and in my draft, he goes fifth overall. The T-Wolves made a perfect pick and that's going to be left as is. 

6) Marcus Camby. 

Although Antoine Walker had a decent career in Boston, he shot 30 times a game!

When asked in an interview, "Why do you shoot so many 3-pointers?" Antoine responded with, "Because there is no such thing as 4-pointers!"

Walker is a ballhog and the Celtics would've been much better off with the UMass standout in Marcus Camby.

7) Zydrunas Ilgauskus.

This 7 foot monster wouldve been a much better choice than Lorenzan Wright.

Zeke was the tall player in the middle who can grab boards, but then step back and drain a 15-foot jumpshot.

Lorenzen's career really wasn't what it was supposed to be and fell into the second string and even third string center slots.

8) Stephon Marbury.

Although I don't like Marbury whatsoever, his college numbers were prestine and I have to include him in my top 10.

I also guess that I would've picked Marbury over Kerry Kittles anyway.  Kerry Kittles' career with the Nets was worse than Manute Bol's career with the Heat (he played eight games for Miami; look it up).

Marbury would've been a small improvement over Kerry. The Brooklyn legend tore it up at Georgia Tech and he's lucky to go No. 8 in my draft.

9) Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Finally, the second overall pick gets drafted in my draft!

Honestly though, his career was a lot better than Samaki Walkers'.

The Mavs really blew it when they drafted Samaki over Big Z, Kobe, Nash, JO, and Big Ben, but whatever. I feel Shareef would've fit perfectly in the Mavs offense.

10) Ben Wallace.

The undrafted center out of Virginia Union will be the 10th overall pick in my draft.

How Big Ben didn't get drafted is just appalling.

Although he's recently faded into the shadows, his career with Detroit was a reason why they won the Championships that they did. We saw when he left for Chi Town that they couldn't win without his prescence. 

11) Peja Stojakovic.

The Warriors thought it would be in their best interest to draft Todd Fuller, who was a huge bust.

Peja should've fallen to the 11th spot and been drafted to the Warriors. Peja had a very solid career, especially in 2003-2004 when he finished second in the NBA in scoring behind T-Mac.

That's my 1996 NBA Draft. Post your opinions! Do you agree with my order? Let me hear it...


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