Hindsight is 20/20: the 2007 NBA Redraft
This marks the 5th entry in this series, we’re halfway through. The 2007 will go down as one of the most historic draft, one that will most likely be compared to the 1984 Draft because of the mistake that Portland taking a talented, but injury prone center over a premier scorer. Check out how it unfolds…
1. Portland Trailblazers – 2007 Pick:
C Greg Oden 2012 Pick: F Kevin Durant – Both players came out after their freshman seasons of college ball, Oden was supposed to be the next Bill Russell due to his athleticism & defensive mindset. Durant was a polished 6’9 shooting guard trapped with a power forward’s height. To be honest, I expected Oden to be the better player. Obviously, I was wrong. Not a lot to say, this pick cost Portland GM Kevin Pritchard his job.
2. Seattle Sonices – 2007 Pick: Durant 2012 Pick: C Marc Gasol – Pau’s baby brother gets drafted higher than him, as Marc goes from being a 2nd round pick to be the 2nd overall pick, even ahead of Al Horford and the walking liability Oden. To me, Gasol is the 2nd best player in the draft as he’s a hustler who really blossomed this past season in Memphis. He averaged 14.6 points, nearly 9 boards and almost 2 blocks and could very well end up on an All-NBA team (probably the 3rd team) and the All-Defensive Team (2nd team). He’ll only get better.
3. Atlanta Hawks – 2007 Pick: C Al Horford 2012 Pick: Horford– Maybe I’m being lazy, but this pick has worked out for Atlanta and I doubt they’d change it just because he missed the majority of this past season due to injury. Other options could be PG Mike Conley Jr, as at this point Atlanta had continue to ignore that position by failing to address it through the draft.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – 2007 Pick:
PG Mike Conley Jr 2012 Pick: C Joakim Noah – It’s not that I don’t think Conley was a good pick, or isn’t a good player for that matter, I’m just a huge Kyle Lowry fan and thought he should have been given an opportunity in Memphis. Lowry’s proven to be a good point guard in Houston, and the Griz had just selected him in the latter half of 2006. Noah would have been a good fit next to Pau Gasol, although GM Chris Wallace would unload the Spaniard to the Lake-show for his brother Marc.
5. Seattle Sonics – 2007 Pick:
F Jeff Green 2012 Pick: G Arron Affalo – While Green has been a consistent pro (until his career threatening heart condition), Affalo has developed into a stout defender who’s improved his offensive output every season, which has climaxed this past season with 15.2 points and hitting almost 40% of his threes.
6. Milwaukee Bucks – 2007 Pick:
Yi Jianlian 2012 Pick: F/C Glen Davis – Call me crazy, but with Davis’ recent surge with Dwight Howard out has really shown his potential now that he’s out of Boston. There were multiple options, I really wanted to go with a SF but I didn’t feel comfortable with someone like Jared Dudley or Wilson Chandler this high.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – 2007 Pick:
SF Corey Brewer 2012 Pick: Conley – the first season post Kevin Garnett was a real struggle for Minnesota, they pretty much had holes at every position except for PF where Al Jefferson was a beast as he averaged a double-double. At this point, I’d say that Conley is probably the best available player and would start over both Sebastian Telfair & Marko Jaric (they combined to start 107 games, and combined to average 17.6 points & 10 assists… over a combined 61 minutes a game… yikes talk about a bad PER).
8. Golden State Warriors – 2007 Pick:
PF Brandan Wright 2012 Pick: PF/C Carl Landry – Landry went at the top of the 2nd round, but quickly established himself as a bruiser down low, someone willing to do the dirty work on defensive but who could also score as evidenced by his 16.8 points spread over two teams in his third NBA season (09-10 for Houston & Sacramento). He would provide a down low presence.
9. Chicago Bulls – 2007 Pick: Noah 2012 Pick: C Spencer Hawes – The Bulls have a glaring need for a big man, as the ’07-08 was guard heavy with Ben Godron, Kirk Hinrich, Chris Duhon, and SF Luol Deng. 2nd year PF Tyrus Thomas magically averaged 6.8 points & 4.6 boards, aging big man Joe Smith started 35 games. Hawes put together some nice seasons in Sacramento before he was traded to Philly. At first his numbers were down, but they’ve started to come back as he came close to 10 points & 7.5 boards as a 23 year old. I believe he’s a RFA this summer, some team might bite.
10. Sacramento kings – 2007 Pick: Hawes 2012 Pick: G Rodney Stuckey– The King could have used another big for the 07’08 campaign, but they had the aging Mike Bibby locked in at point (though he was traded to Atlanta during the season). I was tempted to go with Aaron Brooks, but he’s been too inconsistent and will be playing for his third team come 2012. Maybe Sessions, but Stuckey is the better pro.
11. Atlanta Hawks – 2007 Pick:
G Acie Law 2012 Pick: PG Ramon Sessions – Finally, the Hawks take a point guard but horribly whiff on the combo guard from Texas A&M. Sessions was a mere 2nd round pick, but developed into a good player in the league. Aaron Brooks may have more potential, but would create too much of a crowd with the similar Joe Johnson.
12. Philadelphia 76ers – 2007 Pick: F Thaddeus Young 2012 Pick: Young – This pick sticks, while his offensive production has gone down, Young has moved from the starting unit to a key member of the bench with G Lou Williams. I was tempted to go with SF Dudley or Chandler, but you stick with what works and Young has produced for Philly.
13. New Orleans Hornets – 2007 Pick:
F Julian Wright 2012 Pick: G/F Jared Dudley – Wright ended up being a bust, never averaging more than 14.7 minutes a game over a season, and playing for pretty awful teams. Dudley originally struggled after being the 22nd pick in this draft by the Bobcats, he would be a good fit for New Orleans while playing next to CP3 and being able to focus on defense.
14. Los Angeles Clippers – 2007 Pick:
F Al Thornton 2012 Pick: G Aaron Brooks – The Clip’s primary backcourt for the ’07-08 season was 38 year old Sam Cassell and 32 year old Cat Mobley, while 32 year old PG Brevin Knight started 39 games. The Clips needed youth badly, and Brooks would have brought speed and scoring to the guard position for Mike Dunleavy.
This draft will forever be remembered for the luck of the Sonics and the further failure of Portland taking an injury-prone center. Forgetting Oden, there were plenty of All-Star big men like Marc Gasol, Al Horford, and Joakim Noah to name a few. At this point, there would still be value for the playoff teams as players that would immediately contribute are available including Wilson Chandler, Jeff Green, Corey Brewer, Nick Young, and Rudy Fernandez. I would still take a chance on Oden and provide him with a top notch training staff.