Sure weâ€™re smack dab in the middle of the most exciting NBA Finals in a decade, but itâ€™s time to look towards next season. The draft is 15 days away. In preparation for that magical evening, and the mistakes that are bound to be made, itâ€™s time to review drafts of the past. Weâ€™ll do one a day until Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose put on a Bulls hat, and share an awkward handshake with David Stern.
1. Chris Webber (Orl)
2. Shawn Bradley (Phi)
3. Penny Hardaway (GS)
4. Jamal Mashburn (Dal)
5. JR Rider (Min)
The Hindsight is 20/20 top 5: This was an exceptionally weak draft, with very little star power and players with massive injury problems, who will be remembered more for what might have been than what actually was. But, if you were to go back and re-draft, this is the way it would have gone:
- Chris Webber
- Penny Hardaway
- Allan Houston
- Sam Cassell
- Vin Baker
I told you it was terrible. Webber is a Hall of Famer. Hardaway and Houston were consistent all-stars. Cassell has won a pair of championships, and may be headed for a third. Baker was great, before he completely lost it.
1st rounder who should have gone in the 2nd round: My god. Where do I start? Shawn Bradley went number 2! But he was a serviceable player for a long time. Bobby Hurley went 7, and then his career immediately went into a ditch (as did his car). Luther Wright literally lost his mind in Utah. But Iâ€™m going to go with Geert Hammink, who was taken number 26 by Orlando. Why? Because I have never heard of Geert Hammink. It turns out, he played three seasons and averaged 1.8 points a game.
2nd rounder who should have been taken in the 1st round: Nick Van Exel. He was the original bad attitude. He was great at Cincinnati, and had lottery talent. Then, he missed a flight to Charlotte for a workout with the Hornets, and all of a sudden, he was untouchable. Times have certainly changed. A GM in todayâ€™s NBA would draft someone out of Guantanamo Bay if the guy had upside and could defend two positions.