Hindsight is 20/20: The 2005 NBA Redraft
This is the 4th submission to this series, as we’ve seen the ups and downs of the 2002, 2003, and 2004 drafts. In comparison to the other redrafts, the 2005 had similar high-profile prospects like the Lebron class, but had the depth of the previous draft. This should be interesting.
1. Milwaukee Bucks – 2005 Pick:
C Andrew Bogut 2012 Pick: C Andrew Bynum – I was tempted to put Chris Paul here, but the Bucks had just spent a top pick on TJ Ford and he had a solid season, putting up 12.2 points and 6.6 assists. Bogut ended up being the right position, and he even made the All-NBA 3rd team in 2011, but Bynum is now the superior prospect. Three years younger than the Aussie, Bynum has become the premier scoring Center in the league. Both centers have had huge injury concerns however.
2. Atlanta Hawks – 2005 Pick:
F Marvin Williams 2012 Pick: PG Chris Paul – Arguably the league’s best point guard in 2012, draft analysts questioned why the point guard needy Hawks didn’t draft him or Deron Williams instead of the raw forward coming off a UNC Championship in Williams. Though Williams is still on their roster, I’m sure they would much rather have CP3 playing with Josh Smith & Joe Johnson.
3. Utah Jazz – 2005 Pick: PG Deron Williams 2012 Pick: Williams – Williams is a top-5 PG in the league, and though he is no longer in Utah, the Jazz are happy about what they received for him from New Jersey (Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, draft picks).
4. New Orleans Hornets – 2005 Pick: Paul 2012 Pick: Bogut – The Hornets could have gone a lot of different ways here, with openings at center, point and small forward. Arguably, the best remaining prospect would be Danny Granger, but when Bogut’s healthy he’s a top 5 center in a league where if you have a premier big man, you can win. The Hornets gamble on the Aussie.
5. Charlotte Bobcats – 2005 Pick:
PG Raymond Felton 2012 Pick: G Monta Ellis –
Felton never dominated in Charlotte, hardly worth the top 5 pick in a draft class like this. Monta was a raw high schooler, but was already a starter in his second season in Golden State. Although his car accident dampened his speed, I’m sure the young Bobcats would have loved having him play next to Emeka Okafor.
6. Portland Trailblazers – 2005 Pick:
G/F Martell Webster 2012 Pick: SF Danny Granger – Webster has become a role player, while Granger is the best player on a Eastern Semi-finalist and is an All-Star….
7. Toronto Raptors – 2005 Pick:
F Charlie Villanueva 2012 Pick: PF/C David Lee – I struggled with this pick, I was split between Lee and PGs Raymond Felton & eventual raptor Jose Calderon. Lee turned out to be the best pro, and while they already had a young defensively challenged PF on the roster in Bosh, Lee represents the best value and is the pick.
8. New York Knicks – 2005 Pick:
C Channing Frye 2012 Pick: Williams – All the elite prospects are gone, so the Knicks need the best player who also happens to be at a position of need. The 05-06 Knicks team was horrendous under Larry Brown, going 23-59, perhaps Marvin Williams would have gotten a lot of minutes.
9. Golden State Warrios – 2005 Pick:
F Ike Diogu 2012 Pick: Frye – This would have been an interesting fit, and since the Warriors would eventually unload C Troy Murphy to get Stephen Jackson, Frye would fill the same role in the City by the Bay. This is strictly a pick based off of fit, not off of need or value.
10. Los Angeles Lakers – 2005 Pick: Bynum 2012 Pick: Felton – the Lakers started Smush Parker for 162 games over two seasons, Kobe could have used a legitimate PG and I still don’t know why Kupchak didn’t help him out earlier. Jose Calderon may have been a more consistent pick, but Felton has shown to be a good player when he’s in shape. Hopefully Kobe would have kicked his ass and made the Lakers a contender sooner after the post-Shaq trade. Still, Bynum is arguably the best value of any pick of this draft, so hats off to Kupchak.
11. Orlando Magic – 2005 Pick:
F/C Fran Vazquez 2012 Pick: G Lou Williams – I liked what the Magic were thinking, however Vazquez never came to the US and his rights are still held by Orlando. If you’re the Magic and have young cornerstones in C Dwight Howard and PG Jameer Nelson, you go after the best scorer available, which would be Williams. Though it took him a few years to develop, he would be lethal for Orlando now.
12. Los Angeles Clippers – 2005 Pick:
F Yaroslav Korolev 2012 Pick: PG Jose Calderon– the Clips were a surprise playoff team, and Korolev contributed little to both that season and to the franchise over his years in the NBA. While Calderon went undrafted, he would have been a contributor behind starter Sam Cassell and eventually would have taken over for Shaun Livingston once his injury sidelined him.
13. Charlotte Bobcats – 2005 Pick:
PF Sean May 2012 Pick: Villanueva – after already adding Ellis to the nucleus of SF Gerald Wallace & C Emeka Okafor, the ‘Cats have holes at the PG and PF position. While Villanueva never became an All-Star, he’s been a solid contributor on the Raptors, Bucks and Pistons.
14. Minnesota Timberwolves – 2005 Pick: SG Rashad McCants 2012 Pick: G Nate Robinson – McCants washed out of the league in 2009 while Robinson is the spark plug guard who offensively minded by defensively challenged. That T-Wolves team could have used some more scoring as Kevin Garnett was in the twilight of his Minnesota campaign. Robinson would have been an instant upgrade over Ricky Davis & Mark Jaric at the guard positions.
In full hindsight, the 2005 draft featured plenty of talent, with multiple of these prospects developing into All-Stars and feature NBA players. While these 14 players should have gone in the lottery, there are still plenty of solid players who failed to crack this list including Martell Webster, Gerald Green (one may argue he should go to the lottery in 2012), Martin Gortat, Hakim Warrick, Jarrett Jack, Fran Garcia, Linas Kleiza, Brandon Bass, Ersan Ilasova, CJ Miles, Ryan Gomes, Amir Johnson and Chuck Hayes.