The NBA Draft is one of the most important evenings for all basketball world, as it gives us one chance of witnessing the first steps of the future stars on the league as they join their new teams.
Moreover, General Managers also know their job is on the line during the Draft night, as they have the chance to either land a future franchise cornerstone or make a fool out of themselves for the choices they make.
Looking back is really easy to say a team should’ve landed one guy or the other, but back in the day, the picture isn’t that clear. Today, we’re going to review one of the most polemic drafts of the last couple of years, re-drafting the 2015 class.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Karl-Anthony Towns
Re-Draft Pick: Karl-Anthony Towns
Well, this one’s a major no-brainer. Karl-Anthony Towns instantly took the league for assault and proved that he’s got the talent to be among the league’s leaders in scoring and boards on a yearly basis.
Defense is still an issue for the Timberwolves’ big man, even though he’s statistically a good shot blocker. The upside is there, and he’s by far the best player of his Draft class, as we all expected.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Original Pick: D’Angelo Russell
Re-Draft Pick: Devin Booker
Devin Booker was actually a major steal by the Phoenix Suns at 13th, considering he’s proven to be the best volume scorer of his class and one of the best in the league. He’s versatile and crafty in the offensive end of the floor, and he wouldn’t have snitched on Nick Young.
While D’Angelo Russell looked like a perfect fit for the Lakers and like an offensive stud in the making, he just hasn’t been able to live up to the expectations and should be considered a bust at 2nd overall.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Original Pick: Jahlil Okafor
Re-Draft Pick: Kristaps Porzingis
Talking about busts, we find Jahlil Okafor, who several insiders had as the best overall prospect of this draft and that was actually pretty close of being drafted 1st overall. Now, he’s just piling up DNP’s.
On the other hand, the Sixers should’ve gone with Kristaps Porzingis, a guy that would be a beauty to watch playing next to Joel Embiid nowadays as one of the most talented two-way frontcourts in the world.
4. New York Knicks
Original Pick: Kristaps Porzingis
Re-Draft Pick: Myles Turner
The Knicks made quite a bold decision when they drafted Kristaps Porzingis, an unknown foreign player that looked quite rough and that was going to struggle to adapt to the league, something that obviously didn’t happen.
But now that Porzingis would be off-the-table, they could have landed another two-way stud in Myles Turner, a big man that has the potential to lead the league in blocks but whose lack of character hasn’t allowed him to take a step forward.
5. Orlando Magic
Original Pick: Mario Hezonja
Re-Draft Pick: Josh Richardson
Mario Hezonja was looking like a major stud when he was playing for Barcelona, so he was a no-brainer pick at 5 with the Magic looking for a scorer that could create off the dribble they could build around.
Sadly, he’s yet to prove his actual worth, so they could’ve gone with Josh Richardson, who has slowly and quietly made strides to become the Heat’s go-to-guy, and one of the best backcourt defenders in the league.
6. Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Willie Cauley-Stein
Re-Draft Pick: D’Angelo Russell
The Sacramento Kings landed a major stud in Willie Cauley-Stein, a guy that has the potential to be a lockdown dominant defender, but that hasn’t thrived and established his presence down low until this season.
Even so, they could’ve landed D’Angelo Russell, who may have finally fixed their woes at the shooting guard position, and that could form one of the deadliest backcourts in the league with De’Aaron Fox.
7. Denver Nuggets
Original Pick: Emmanuel Mudiay
Re-Draft Pick: Willie Cauley-Stein
The Denver Nuggets took a major gamble in Emmanuel Mudiay, a guy that still looked pretty raw and that was forced to miss most of the prior year with an injury when he was playing overseas.
Needless to say, that gamble didn’t pay off, and they could’ve gone with the best man available, that being Willie Cauley-Stein. Could you imagine a frontcourt with Jokic and WCS down low? Sorry, Nuggets fans.
8. Detroit Pistons
Original Pick: Stanley Johnson
Re-Draft Pick: Kelly Oubre Jr
Early on, it looked like Stanley Johnson was going to be one of the league’s next two-way studs, especially looking how dominant he was during Summer League. Needless to say, that wasn’t the case.
Instead, the Pistons should’ve gone with Kelly Oubre Jr, who hasn’t had the chance to establish himself as a solid rotation player because of Otto Porter, but that has shown to be a walking bucket when given the opportunity.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Original Pick: Frank Kaminsky
Re-Draft Pick: Trey Lyles
Back then, most people thought the Charlotte Hornets were reaching when they got Frank Kaminsky at 9th, mostly because of all of the hype surrounding him thanks to the NCAA’S Final Four.
Kaminsky wasn’t worthy of that 9th overall pick, and if they wanted a big man, they could’ve gone with Trey Lyles, who has shown glimpses of being a solid scorer and rebounder but has lacked the playing time to prove his worth.
10. Miami Heat
Original Pick: Justise Winslow
Re-Draft Pick: Justise Winslow
Back then, we all thought the Miami Heat was landing a major steal in Justise Winslow, mostly because his defensive expertise made him perhaps the most intriguing with of his entire Draft class.
Now, he’s proven that he was taken right where he should’ve been, as he’s shown his defensive skills but his offensive game still hasn’t caught up, and it looks like it will never do, at least for the time being.
11. Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Myles Turner
Re-Draft Pick: Terry Rozier
The Indiana Pacers landed a huge steal when they got Myles Turner with the 11th overall pick, as he was considered to be his class’ best rim protector and also had a sweet scoring touch from all three levels.
But, now that he was already taken, the Pacers wouldn’t have any choice but to pick Terry Rozier with the 11th overall pick, a young guard that can score in bunches but that has a need to put a lot of work in the defensive end if he wants to become a starter in this league.
12. Denver Nuggets
Original Pick: Trey Lyles
Re-Draft Pick: Mario Hezonja
The Denver Nuggets took Trey Lyles and traded him to the Utah Jazz, as the team was looking to add more depth at the power forward spot considering Derrick Favors was really injury prone and likely to leave.
On the other hand, they could’ve had Mario Hezonja instead, as even though he’s yet to prove he can be a volume scorer in the league, he had the offensive upside to be worthy of a lottery pick.
13. Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Devin Booker
Re-Draft Pick: Delon Wright
The Phoenix Suns landed their franchise cornerstone in Devin Booker, one of the best scorers in the league that has already outgrown the team and would be better off playing for a contending side.
But, with Booker already out of the board, they could’ve gone with Delon Wright instead, a young man that has proven to be a solid backup playmaker and that could even be the starter for this team.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
Original Pick: Cameron Payne
Re-Draft Pick: Stanley Johnson
Cameron Payne impresses several scouts despite playing on such a small basketball program, looking like a solid scorer and shooter that could score off the dribble and facilitate for his teammates.
Needless to say, inconsistency and constant injuries have really made us all doubt about his true potential, so the Thunder could’ve gotten Stanley Johnson, at least merely for defensive purposes, and would’ve been way better.
15. Atlanta Hawks
Original Pick: Kelly Oubre
Re-Draft Pick: Bobby Portis
The Atlanta Hawks took Kelly Oubre Jr with the 15th overall pick to trade him to the Washington Wizards, but, instead; they could’ve gone with Bobby Portis, one of the best scoring big men of his class.
Portis isn’t much of a defender, nor he will ever be, but he’s got the potential to be a 6th Man of the Year perennial candidate with his hustle on both sides of the hardwood, his improved handles and his scoring touch.
16. Boston Celtics
Original Pick: Terry Rozier
Re-Draft Pick: Sam Dekker
The Boston Celtics got Terry Rozier out of Louisville to work as their backup point guard and play next to Marcus Smart, a gamble that has truly paid off so far as one of the league’s best substitute playmakers.
Sadly, with him already off the board, the Celtics would’ve had to settle with Sam Dekker instead, a guy that showed a lot of upside as a scorer but that hasn’t been able to find consistent playing time.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Original Pick: Rashad Vaughn
Re-Draft Pick: Montrezl Harrell
The Milwaukee Bucks got Rashad Vaughn out of the draft to work as their backup shooting guard, while they should’ve addressed their need for a solid big man that could actually start for them.
That could’ve been Montrezl Harrell, who’s finally blossoming as one of the league’s most aggressive hustlers in both sides of the hardwood, and that has proven to be able to guard most centers even despite being undersized.
18. Houston Rockets
Original Pick: Sam Dekker
Re-Draft Pick: Jerian Grant
With the 18th overall pick, the Houston Rockets landed Sam Dekker, but never gave him much chance to prove his talents, mostly because he spent a lot of time in the shelf due to several nagging pains.
Instead, they could’ve landed Jerian Grant, who got off to a terrific start of his career but eventually lost his minutes due to poor defensive outings and several struggles to take care of the ball.
19. Washington Wizards
Original Pick: Jerian Grant
Re-Draft Pick: Frank Kaminsky
While Jerian Grant was a solid pick at 19th even though he winds up being a huge bust, the Washington Wizards could’ve actually used that pick to get a backup role player that could give them a much-needed depth at the 4.
For that matter, they could’ve gotten Frank Kaminsky, a guy that could be productive on a run and gun offense like the one they feature with John Wall, and that could really help them stretch the offense.
20. Toronto Raptors
Original Pick: Delon Wright
Re-Draft Pick: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Delon Wright was a major steal for the Toronto Raptors at 20th, as he quickly became a huge part of Dwane Casey’s system off the bench playing next to Fred VanVleet to try and backup Kyle Lowry.
Instead, they could’ve gotten Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, a versatile wing that could even play as a small-ball center, and that even though doesn’t impress on a single aspect of the game, he can do a little bit of everything.
21. Dallas Mavericks
Original Pick: Justin Anderson
Re-Draft Pick: Cedi Osman
The Dallas Mavericks got Justin Anderson with the 21st overall pick, but, so far; the forward hasn’t shown any signs that could make us think he’s actually worthy of a roster spot in the NBA.
On the other hand, they could’ve landed Cedi Osman, a hard working guy that’s never going to be a star, but that has put a lot of work on his game and could be a solid asset like Dario Saric or Nikola Mirotic.
22. Chicago Bulls
Original Pick: Bobby Portis
Re-Draft Pick: Larry Nance Jr
The Chicago Bulls got Bobby Portis at 22 and were thrilled to have his gut and grind in the offensive side of the hardwood, especially considering they were looking for a scoring power forward for years now.
But, with Portis already out of the board, they could’ve landed Larry Nance Jr to be their starting big man, and his defense would’ve been a major upgrade over both Robin Lopez and Cristiano Felicio.
23. Portland Trail Blazers
Original Pick: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Re-Draft Pick: Tyus Jones
The Portland Trail Blazers got Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and 23, and then was immediately traded to the Brooklyn Nets for Pat Connaughton and Mason Plumlee, a couple of players that didn’t do much for their winning cause.
Instead, they could’ve gotten Tyus Jones, a guy that looked like a walking bucket in college and that would be a perfect fit for their system, as he could even play next to CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard in some 3 guard lineups.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
Original Pick: Tyus Jones
Re-Draft Pick: Cameron Payne
The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Tyus Jones, but they immediately traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in return for a couple of picks that eventually became Rakeem Christmas and Cedi Osman.
Instead, they could’ve landed Cameron Payne, who shouldn’t have been taken that high in the first place, but that would be the best scoring guard left in the board with Tyus Jone already taken.
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Jarell Martin
Re-Draft Pick: Kevon Looney
The Memphis Grizzlies took Jarell Martin to help them as another physical player to reinforce their ‘grit and grind’ style of play, but truth to be told, he hasn’t done much to prove he’s worthy of a spot in the rotation.
Instead, they should’ve landed Kevon Looney, a versatile defender that could be a perfect small ball center given the opportunity to prove his worth. He’s still young and has shown to be a very smart player.
26. San Antonio Spurs
Original Pick: Nikola Milutinov
Re-Draft Pick: Rashad Vaughn
The Spurs, being the Spurs; took an unknown European player with their 26th overall pick: Nikola Milutinov, who’s still yet to make his first appearance in the NBA after a couple of seasons.
On the other hand, they could’ve had Rashad Vaughn, who even though he’s never going to be a star, could still be a very productive player off the bench, especially for a team like San Antonio.
27. Los Angeles Lakers
Original Pick: Larry Nance Jr
Re-Draft Pick: Willy Hernangomez
The Los Angeles Lakers needed more depth at the 4-5 spots so they took Larry Nance Jr, a hustler who’s length and defense made him an instant fan favorite before being traded to the Cavaliers.
So, if they needed a big man, they could’ve had Willy Hernangomez, who was having a great season with Real Madrid and showed a refined offensive game and rebounding ability. Sadly, he’s yet to dominate in the NBA.
28. Boston Celtics
Original Pick: RJ Hunter
Re-Draft Pick: Jahlil Okafor
RJ Hunter was a walking bucket before entering the league, so there’s no wonder why the Boston Celtics took him with the 28th overall pick as one of their biggest gambles for the long-term future.
Instead, they could’ve landed Jahlil Okafor, who should be still taken in this draft despite being out of shape, out of rhythm and out of confidence, mostly because of his nice footwork in the offensive end.
29. Brooklyn Nets
Original Pick: Chris McCullough
Re-Draft Pick: Richaun Holmes
Chris McCullough wasn’t a solid pick. This guy is yet to show any signs of development in either side of the hardwood, and he’s not likely to have a long NBA tenure if he doesn’t step up any time soon.
Richaun Holmes, in the other hand, may not be your average scoring big man and is a bit of a tweener, but makes up for it with top-notch hustle, athleticism, hops, and efforts, and could have a solid career as a backup big man.
30. Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Kevon Looney
Re-Draft Pick: Emmanuel Mudiay
When the Golden State Warriors took Kevon Looney with the 30th overall pick, it looked like they were landing a major steal, but now that he’s out of the board, they would’ve had to take Mudiay instead.
Mudiay had a lot of upsides and a body that was already ready to make it to the NBA, but his lack of improvement, broken jump shot, poor defense and the way he was mishandled make him one of the biggest busts of the decade.