Hindsight is 20/20: The 2006 NBA Redraft
Onto the 2006 NBA redraft, while this draft produced all-stars and NBA champions, looking back it doesn’t fairly compare to the 2003 or 2005 draft as far as star power, but is eerily similar to 2004 in that it was packed with depth and consistency.
1. Toronto Raptors – 2006 Pick:
PF/C Andrea Bargnani 2012 pick: PF LaMarcus Aldridge – I’ve seen a few redrafts where the Raptors take Kentucky guard Rajon Rondo instead of the Italian center, but the Raptors ended up trading F Charlie Villanueva for Buck’s PG TJ Ford, negating the need for a point. Meanwhile, Aldridge has established himself as one of the premier offensive big men to little fan fare, one of the league’s most underrated stars.
2. Portland Trailblazers – 2006 Pick:
Aldridge 2012 Pick: PG Rajon Rondo – Finally, Rondo comes off the board. Bargnani could be the pick here as he would have been a good compliment to Zach Randolph as he would primarily draw a defender outside the paint. Anyways, Rondo goes here as he’s a game changer and depending on their next pick at 6, could really make an impact in Portland.
3. Charlotte Bobcats – 2006 Pick:
SF Adam Morrison 2012 Pick: F Rudy Gay – Morrison ended up being a huge bust (never should have gone this high, but his devastating ACL injury hindered his future performances). While Gay hasn’t yet become an All-Star, he’s been the defacto scorer on the Griz and would bring some star-power to the Bobcats.
4. Chicago Bulls – 2006 Pick:
PF Tyrus Thomas 2012 Pick: F Paul Millsap – PG Kyle Lowry would be tempting as he’s a top-10 PG in this league (arguably should be 1st or 2nd All-NBA in 2012 but that’s another discussion). The Bulls were jammed with guards in 06-07, with Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Chris Duhon playing 25 minutes or more each. The Bulls had little front court depth as Ben Wallace still had a solid defensive season, but none of the bigs helped in the scoring department. Since going in the 2nd round, Millsap has been a feature player on the Jazz and would bring a defensive tenacity to the Windy City. (note the Bulls stupidly traded Aldridge to the Blazers for Tyrus Thomas & Viktor Khryapa).
5. Atlanta Hawks – 2006 Pick:
F/C Shelden Williams 2012 Pick: PG Lyle Lowry – Shelden Williams was a 2-time NCAA Defensive Player of the Year, but his size severely limited him in the NBA as he was too small to guard C and not quick enough for PF. Since entering the league, he’s had little impact for the teams he’s played for. Besides, the Hawks had Zaza Pachulia at center, who was a young center still developing (he also averaged 12.2 & 7). The glaring need for the past few years had been PG, and yet the Hawks continued to fail to address the position. Lowry has become a great player in Houston, albeit it took him a few years of being in PG purgatory in Memphis to get where he’s at now.
6. Portland Trailblazers – 2006 Pick:
G/F Brandon Roy 2012 Pick: Bargnani– Though Bargnani hasn’t developed into a player worthy of a top selection, he’s the best value and at a position of need for Portland. Since they missed out on Aldridge, they still had a need at the 4 or 5. While the Italian profiles very differently from Aldridge, he can hit the outside shot and would compliment Zach Randolph.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – 2006 Pick:
G Randy Foye 2012 Pick: PG Jordan Farmar – Wow, Farmar goes top 7? I know, I know… but at this point the Wolves really needed a young PG and he’s the best available. In his spot starts, Farmar has quietly averaged closed to 13 points and 7 assists, but he’s never been given a fair chance since he played in the Triangle Offense for the Lakers, and currently back ups Deron Williams in ‘Jersey. It’s either Farmar or Brandon Roy, but I think if you’re drafting this high you want a player who still plays in the league.
8. Memphis Grizzlies – 2006 Pick: Gay 2012 Pick: Roy – Gay ended up being a great pick, but Roy was arguably the better player for their first few years in the league. While Roy had such bad knees that forced him out of the league this past offseason, I think the Griz would still want a productive player who would help them to the playoffs.
9. Golden State Warriors – 2006 Pick:
C Patrick O’Bryant 2012 Pick: Thomas – While Thomas never developed into the player the Bulls thought they were getting at 4, he’s still remarkably better than O’Bryant and would help the Warriors in their transition breaks and be an explosive big. He may not justify the large extension the Bobcats gave him a few years back, but he might be the best big left on the board.
10. Seattle Sonics – 2006 Pick:
C Mouhamed Sene 2012 Pick: PF/C Craig Smith– Sene did nothing for the Sonics, while Smith battled his way from being a forgotten 2nd round pick to be named the Rhio, known for his hustle and defensive prowess. If given proper minutes, he would reach double figure rebounds.
11. Orlando Magic – 2006 Pick: G JJ Redick 2012 Pick: Redick – For a few years, it looked like Redick would be a wasted pick as he was barely able to get off the Orlando bench, however since ’09 he has average 17+ minutes. Though his career high for starts is just 22 coming this past season, he hasn’t lost his college shooting touch as he has a career 40% of his 3-pointers.
12. New Orleans Hornets – 2006 Pick:
C Hilton Armstrong 2012 Pick: G Shannon Brown – Armstrong was apart of the then-record 4 UConn players selected in the first round (Kentucky could have as many as 5 or 6 this draft). Armstrong bounced along the league, last playing for Atlanta in 2011. Brown would have been a good, athletic running partner for Chris Paul and would have blossomed into the player the Cavs thought they were getting at 25 (the Brown the Lakers eventually stole from the Bobcats).
13. Chicago Bulls – 2006 Pick: SG Thabo Sefolosha 2012 Pick: Sefolosha– Sefolosha wasn’t a sexy pick at the time, and though he developed into a defensive specialist, that’s exactly what the Bulls needed at the time as their guards were the primary scorers for Chicago. Another option could be Randy Foye, as he is a player difficult to defend due to his size.
14. Utah Jazz – 2006 Pick:
G Ronnie Brewer 2012 Pick: Foye – Somewhat of a hard decision due to the fact that both Brewer and Foye have had similar success in the League, but like I previously said, Foye is a mismatch for all guards as he has the ball-handling ability of a PG but almost the size of a small forward. He would be intriguing next to Deron Williams.
Not a ton to say about this draft, it’s interesting as we get closer to the modern age to see which of these players have had huge impacts and to see which former lottery picks have flamed out and currently play outside the NBA.