Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Re-doing the 2006 NBA Draft

With the season just about over (one more game should do it), I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the 2007 Draft, and see if any of the Lottery teams would do it differently if they had the chance to. So here is my version of the 2006 NBA Draft, one year after the fact. I'll post my pick, with the guy the teams actually wound up with in parenthesis.

1. Toronto Raptors - Brandon Roy (Andrea Bargnani)
I don't think the Raptors are at all unhappy with their choice of Bargnani, who got better and better at the season wore on, but it certainly looks like Brandon Roy is the best player of the draft. He was very good as a rookie, scoring 17 points and doling out 4 assists per game, and he can even play a little of the 1 or 2.

2. Chicago Bulls - LaMarcus Aldridge (Tyrus Thomas)
One of the Bulls biggest problems is that they don't have any big man that can consistently score with their back to the basket. They had their chance to help out that situation, and instead they went with the uber-athlete Tyrus Thomas. Given the chance, I think they'd now take Aldridge, who showed lots of flashes of being a very solid post scorer in the NBA. And yes, with Roy, Alridge, and soon Oden (among others), the future appears to be very bright in Portland.

3. Charlotte Bobcats - Andrea Bargnani (Adam Morrison)
Predictably, Morrison was a disaster. He may have scored 11.8 points per game, but it was a wildly inefficient 11.8 PPG and he didn't add anything else. He only shot 37.6% from the field (and about 33& from the arc), and contributed about 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game in 30 minutes. And to add on, he's not a good defensive player. With the chance, the Bobcats would take Bargnani, who was much better this year and has a higher ceiling than Morrison.

4. Portland Trailblazers - Tyrus Thomas (LaMarcus Aldridge)
With Aldridge and Roy off the board, the Blazers take the most athletically gifted player on the board in Tyrus Thomas. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Thomas in year 1, but he showed flashes in the Detroit series of his potential. He can jump and run out of the gym, and should be a very solid NBA contributor as he becomes more polished.

5. Atlanta Hawks - Randy Foye (Shelden Williams)
The Hawks still need a PG, and while Foye isn't a natural PG he can play there. Coming into the draft he was one of the guys expected to have the biggest impacts and he did, scoring over 10 a game for Minnesota. He's also pretty solid defensively at the point, and fills a bigger need than Shelden Williams.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves - Rudy Gay (Randy Foye)
The Timberwolves need another scorer to compliment Garnett, and Gay certainly has the skills to eventually be that guy. Perhaps the most talented player in the draft, he had some very productive stretches for the Grizz. In February he averaged over 15 points and 5 rebounds per game, and in March followed that up with 14 points and 6 rebounds per contest, so he has the talent to be very good.

7. Boston Celtics - Rajon Rondo (Brandon Roy to Portland)
Telfair doesn't appear to be the long-term option for Boston at point, but Rondo showed lots of signs that he can be, which rockets him up this draft board. He's not a great shooter (he's pretty bad actually), but he can get into the lane offensively, and defensively he wreaks havoc all over the court. In April he got almost 37 minutes per game and was a force, to the tune of 13 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 5.5 APG, and 2.5 SPG. He can be a force at PG for a while.

8. Houston Rockets - Daniel Gibson (Rudy Gay)
Gibson fell into the 2nd round on draft day after an up-and-down sophomore year at Texas, and for most of the year that looked like about the right place for him. But he has become the Cavs second best player for much of the playoff run, single-handedly taking down the Pistons in the clinching game 6. He shot great all year (which is perfect in an offense with T-Mac and Yao), and has been pretty effective going to the hoop as well in the playoffs.

9. Golden State Warriors - Marcus Williams (Patrick O'Bryant)
O'Bryant was drafted as a project from the start, but it still had to be discouraging to see him play in only 16 games and be very ineffective in them. Baron Davis was fantastic in the playoff run, but he's still injury prone, and Marcus Williams would back him up nicely and be very comfortable in Nellie's fast paced system.

10. Seattle Supersonics - Adam Morrison (Saer Sene)
The pick of Sene was a bit of a head scratcher at the time and remains so now, as raw might be a generous way to describe. In his place they take the hometown hero Adam Morrison, who was very medicore in year 1 but should eventually turn into a reliable scoring option. Also, he'd fit right in with the Sonics theme of all offense, no defense.

11. Orlando Magic - Thabo Sefolosha (JJ Redick)
The Magic knew what they'd be getting when they got Redick, but it had to be pretty disappointing for him to continue having the back problems, limiting him to 42 games. He flashed some of that shooting touch but was a bit too much of a set shooter as a rookie. With Sefalosha they get a guy that is certainly more raw, but who I think has a higher ceiling with his overall game. He shot a solid 36% from beyond the arc and has the potential to be a lockdown defender on the perimeter.

12. New Orleans Hornets - Shelden Williams (Hilton Armstrong)
The Hornets went with the talented defensive player in Armstrong, but here they go with Shelden Williams. Armstrong may have more potential defensively, but Williams is a better scorer and rebounder.

13. Philadelphia 76ers - Rodney Carney (Rodney Carney)
Carney didn't blow anyone away in his first year in Philly, but he was solid. The second half of the year was sort of ravaged for him with injuries, but he showed he could put his athleticism to good use as he got more and more playing time. He'll never be a great offensive player but he was a pretty efficient one, shooting 46% from the field and about 35% from beyond the arc.

14. Utah Jazz - Paul Millsap (Ronnie Brewer)
Millsap was very solid for the Jazz as a rookie as a jack-of-all-trades big man off the bench, and I think they'd try to get that again. He's very efficient as a scorer and a tough defender and rebounder.

Your thoughts? What changes would you make?