Hindsight is 20/20: The 1996 NBA Redraft
Now that I officially wrapped up the past 10 years of nba redrafts, I’ve decided to take a look back at historical drafts. The ’96 draft will forever be remembered as one of the greatest draft ever as not only will it go down as having multiple hall of famers, but outstanding depth throughout the entire draft. This draft produced 10 all-stars…Without saying too much more, I’ll just get into it. Here’s a hint though, Kobe doesn’t end up with the Lakers…
1. Philadelphia 76ers – 1996 pick:
G Allen Iverson 2012 Pick: SG Kobe Bryant – is there any doubt that Kobe doesn’t go first overall in this draft? The Philadelphia kid stays home and plays against the team he grew up scrimmaging against, he’s even said that he was disappointed that they didn’t draft him originally but it’s understandable, it’s not like they made a bad selection in Iverson. But why not draft a top-10 player of all time when you’re given the opportunity?
2. Toronto Raptors – 1996 Pick:
C Marcus Camby 2012 Pick: F Shareef Abdur-Rahim – A bit of a surprise, especially when future MVP Iverson is still on the board, and also considering that Camby turned out to be a stout defender who continues to play in the Association. However, this Raptor team was coming off their 1st season where PG Damon Stoudemire earned Rookie of the Year honors, so I would probably pass on drafting another guard. For his career, Rahim averaged 18.1 & 7.7, which would give the Raptors a great building piece to add to their forwards.
3. Vancouver Grizzlies – 1996 Pick: Abdur-Rahim 2012 Pick: Iverson – While I doubt Iverson would have agreed to play in Vancouver, he would have been a great fit as the ’95 team struggled to score. He would have instantly been able to match his rookie production of 23.5 & 7.5, he likely would have taken home rookie of the year honors from north of the border.
4. Milwaukee Bucks – 1996 Pick:
PG Stephon Marbury 2012 Pick: SG Ray Allen – Technically, this pick remains the same as Milwaukee and Minnesota traded picks which resulted in Starbury going to play next to the young KG and Jesus Shuttlesworth taking his game from Coney Island to the Midwest.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves – 1996 Pick: Allen 2012 Pick: PG Steve Nash – It’s hard to believe that the future 2-time MVP would only go 5th overall in any draft, but it’s a testament to how good this draft was. Starbury had a great first few seasons, but ultimately it was an ugly divorce from Minnesota as his agent demanded a trade and said his client would try to sign with the Bulls when he became a free agent. He ended up getting traded to Jersey… Anyways, Nash would have been amazing next to KG, even if it would have taken a few season to adjust. Nash had a few brutal seasons coming from Santa Clara, but his body of work deserves this selection.
6. Boston Celtics – 1996 Pick: F Antoine Walker 2012 Pick: Walker – I know, I’m a huge Shimmy Shake Antoine Walker Fan, but even then, this selection made sense as the C’s were an absolute mess in ’95. They needed star power and could have used upgrades at nearly every position. If not for Walker, maybe Camby goes here.
7. Los Angeles Clippers – 1996 Pick:
C Lorenzen Wright 2012 Pick: Camby – Finally, a bad selection and of course it was the Clippers. While other prospects are fitting, Camby must go here. The Clips already wanted a big man, why not get one of the best defensive minded centers of the last 15 years?
8. New Jersey Nets – 1996 Pick: G Kerry Kittles 2012 Pick: Marbury – Really didn’t want to put Starbury in the top 10, but he really would have been the best fit. I understand the Kittles pick, but he never panned out in comparison to the other available prospects. Peja Stojakovic would make sense but the Nets had Kendall Gill returning for ’96-97 as he only played 11 games the previous year. Starbury would have carried the offensive load for a team that struggled to score, at least he would have given them something to watch outside of the lanky freak Shawn Bradley.
9. Dallas Mavericks – 1996 Pick: F Samaki Walker 2012 Pick: PF/C Jermaine O’Neal – Walker was another dud, I only remember him as a Laker during the early 2000s, he didn’t have a memorable career while O’Neal has seen it all, except for a championship ring. From being one of the first high schoolers to jump to the League, to barely playing in Portland, to developing into an All-Star in Indiana, to the Brawl to the countless amounts of trades that followed, O’Neal still established himself as one of the best young bigs in the league with his freak athleticism. He would have been a good replacement for Walker.
10. Indiana Pacers – 1996 Pick: C Erick Dampier 2012 Pick: SF Peja Stojakovic – Peja and Reggie Miller would have been a deadly combo, and while the Pacers tried to go with a decent height combo with Dampier and Smits, the experiment failed to work as Dampier was traded to Golden STate after one season for Chris Mullins (same position as Peja). So why not forget that trade and get someone younger in Peja?
11. Golden State Warriors – 1996 Pick: C Todd Fuller 2012 Pick: Zydrunas Ilgauskas – Ilgauskas had a really interesting career, after starting red hot and establishing himself as one of the young, unmovable big men, injuries took it’s tole as his games played dipped dramatically in the earlier part of the 2000s. Revitalized by the King, Ilgauskas once again became an important part of those Cavs teams before playing one last season for the Heat in 2011.
12. Cleveland Cavaliers – 1996 Pick: C Vitaly Potapenko 2012 Pick: C Ben Wallace – I f*cking hated Potapenko while he was on the Celtics, as far as I was concerned he was a waste of money and space. Instead, Cleveland should have drafted the future 4x defensive player of the year and forget trying to have him score. They wouldn’t have to waste their later 1st round pick on a player that played the same damn position as Potapenko… Whoever the Cav’s GM at the time was should have been fired, not just for drafting two Europeans that played the same position, but because of how awful Potapenko was.
13. Charlotte Hornets – 1996 Pick: Bryant 2012 Pick: Dampier – this pick never gets traded to the Lakers, and instead the Hornets miss out on having an actual potential all-star on their team. Dampier was a nice player, although he never deserved that huge contract he got from Dallas, but he would have been a good replacement for the then recently traded Alonzo Morning. He would have slotted in nicely next to Glen Rice & Larry Johnson.
Hope you guys dug this post, I’ll sporadically post other hindsight drafts to see what famous drafts should have really gone down.