Fadeaway World

Can you imagine redrafting the best players in the NBA? Who would you take with the first overall pick to start your franchise around? Who could the last overall pick be?

Being a GM is not an easy thing and scouting reports can be so off from time to time. Looking back in time, it’s easy to know if a team made a mistake taking a player instead of the other, but I wouldn’t like being on their shoes come Draft night.

Just for the sake of the argument, let’s pretend we actually have the chance to draft our favorite players, redrafting the best talents in the NBA.

 

30. Blake Griffin – Milwaukee Bucks

Blake Griffin is not getting enough praise this season because of how poorly the Detroit Pistons have fared. Still, he’s been posting MVP caliber numbers and is playing the best ball of his career.

Griffin has lost some of his explosiveness but has become a way smarter player, let alone his much-improved shooting. Throughout his career, he’s posted averages of 21.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

The Bucks would be getting a dynamic frontcourt player here, a guy that can run the point, set picks, a dominant rebounder, and a very good overall scorer.

 

29. Kristaps Porzingis – Toronto Raptors

People need to stop sleeping on Kristaps Porzingis. They slept on him in the Draft and he turned out to be great. The Knicks slept on him again and now he’s got the chance to carry Dirk Nowitzki’s torch.

Porzingis’ only liability is his proneness to get hurt, and his poor rebounding, but he’s a way better defender than people credit him for and a deadly scorer from all over the floor. So far, he’s averaged 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

The Raptors have always had a sensational player that’s been unable to lead them to a Chip. First, it was Vince, then Bosh, then DeRozan, now it’s Porzingis’ turn.

 

28. Devin Booker – Golden State Warriors

It’s so sad to watch Devin Booker’s talent go to waste at Phoenix right now. He’s got the skills to lead the league in scoring on a nightly basis but needs to do way too much in order for the Suns to pull off an upset.

Booker is one of the biggest steals of the decade and has been a walking bucket ever since making his professional debut. So far, he’s posted averages of 20.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, and he’s just 22 years old.

Booker perfectly fits the Warriors’ run-and-gun playing style as one of the best three-point shooters in the league, so he’s a no-brainer pick here.

 

27. Rudy Gobert – Denver Nuggets

It’s crazy to think that Rudy Gobert actually slipped all the way to the 2nd round back in the day. His defensive expertise and hardworking nature have made him one of the best big men in the game.

Gobert is a lockdown defender and a top-tier rim protector, and his offense has also improved a lot as years go by. Throughout his career, the Stifle Tower has posted averages of 10.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.

The Nuggets have a long tradition of outstanding big men and Gobert won’t be the exception here. This team is set to have their best shot-blocker since Mutombo.

 

26. Jayson Tatum – Indiana Pacers

Jayson Tatum has taken the league for assault since day one. Even though he has a lot of talented teammates surrounding him, he’s found the way to step up and prove his worth as one of the best prospects in the world.

30 out of 30 GMs would love to build a franchise around this young man. His defense is way ahead of schedule, and he does all the little things well on offense as well. So far, he’s averaged 14.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 dimes per game.

Hopefully, the Pacers don’t mess around as they did with their last two All-Star small forwards (Danny Granger and Paul George) and actually manage to keep him for the future.

 

25. Donovan Mitchell – Philadelphia 76ers

Everybody slept on Donovan Mitchell, but he’s been ok with the underdog role his entire career. Even despite a slow start of his sophomore year, he’s back at his former self and is looking as sharp as ever.

Mitchell is not only a walking bucket but also a great leader for the Utah Jazz. He can create off the dribble, pull up, and run the team’s offense. So far, he’s averaged 21.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

How ironic is it that Mitchell wound up going to the Philadelphia 76ers after his personal feud vs Ben Simmons for the Rookie of the Year race?

 

24. John Wall – Portland Trail Blazers

John Wall is a top 10 point guard in this league, and he could even be a top 10 player if he wasn’t for his inability to lead the Wizards in the playoffs. Still, his playmaking and ability to run the point are elite.

Wall has also turned the corner on defense as well and has developed a somewhat consistent jump shot. Throughout his career, he’s averaged 19.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game.

The Blazers landed a guy to build their franchise around, so they just need shooters around him. Whether if he can lead them to a title is yet to be seen.

 

23. LaMarcus Aldridge – Oklahoma City Thunder

LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the deadliest scorers in the paint. He’s got elite footwork that reminiscences Kobe Bryant with his signature turnaround fadeaways in the elbow. If he had a three-point shot, he’d be even better.

Aldridge can dominate down low on both sides of the glass, and he makes up for his lack of athleticism with great timing and positioning. So far, he’s averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

The Thunder now have one of the best small-ball centers in the world but need a lot of shooters around him to thrive in modern NBA. Aldridge is a great player, but he’s not a first scoring option.

 

22. Luka Doncic – Boston Celtics

Luka Doncic is not an ordinary rookie. Despite being just 20 years old, the guard/forward is one of the most experienced teenagers in the league. He can do a little bit of everything, even though his defense is yet to catch up.

We all knew Doncic was going to be good, but we couldn’t think of him being that good so fast. The Mavs really found a franchise guy to build around. So far, he’s averaged 20.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game.

Danny Ainge is known for drafting standout young talents, and Luka Doncic won’t be the exception. He’s got what it takes to lead them to their first Championship in a decade.

 

21. DeMar DeRozan – Houston Rockets

DeMar DeRozan has truly made a statement for the San Antonio Spurs since being traded away by the Toronto Raptors. He’s playing defense now and has improved as a facilitator as well.

DeRozan has found the way to excel as a scorer in this league despite not having an outside shot, something remarkable considering the way the game is played nowadays. Throughout his career, he’s averaged 19.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Even so, DeRozan looks like an odd fit for a Mike D’Antoni team. He’s not exactly your average pace-and-space kind of guy and tends to stop the flow of the offense from time to time.

 

20. Kemba Walker – Utah Jazz

People have been sleeping on Kemba Walker, but this guy has been hooping for years now. He’s an incredible scorer, a crafty dribbler, and a great leader for a team that has failed to surround him with talent.

Walker can score from all over the world and was even an early MVP candidate this season. Throughout his career, he’s averaged 19.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game, some Kyrie Irving-ish numbers.

Walker is both the playmaker and the shooter the Jazz have been craving for years now, so it’s up to him to finally prove that he’s one of the best players in the world.

 

19. Bradley Beal – San Antonio Spurs

Bradley Beal has really grown over the last couple of years. He’s not just a pull-up / catch-and-shoot kind of guy anymore, and he’s even started playing very good defense as of late.

Beal is becoming more and more aggressive as a driver and a facilitator, and he’s grown to be the best player on a team that also has John Wall on it. So far, he’s averaged 19.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

The Spurs have been lacking three-point shooters for years now, especially with Danny Green out of the team. Now, they have one of the best in the world.

 

18. Damian Lillard – Los Angeles Clippers

Damian Lillard thrives when being an underdog. He just loves the David vs Goliath kind of thing and truth to be told, he’s not getting even half the praise he should be getting just because he plays for a small market team.

Lillard is one of the clutchest players we’ve seen. He’s a great passer and even a better scorer. He just has ice on his veins. Throughout his career, the former Rookie of the Year has averaged 23.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game.

Dame was born and raised in California, so perhaps he’s fond of playing at the Staples Center. He’s as loyal as they come, so hopefully the Clippers don’t do him wrong as they did with Blake Griffin.

 

17. Jimmy Butler – Brooklyn Nets

Jimmy Butler is an example of hard work and passion for the game. He started from the bottom, now he’s one of the best two-way players in the world, and even though his leadership style may not be the best, he’s a proven winner.

Butler is a lockdown defender that’s even deadlier when checking top-tier players. He’s not much of a three-point shooter but excels at creating off the dribble. So far, he’s averaged 16.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.

Jimmy wants to lead a team as their ultimate go-to-guy, and that’s exactly what he’ll have to do with the Brooklyn Nets. He does a lot of talking, so it’s time for him to back it up.

 

16. Karl-Anthony Towns – Detroit Pistons

Karl-Anthony Towns is a combination of an old-school, back to the basket kind of center, with a modern day big man that can stretch the floor as a three-point shooter, play with his face to the basket or finish below the rim.

Towns is one of the most dominant rebounders in both sides of the hardwood as well, even though he’s terrible on defense. So far, he’s posted career averages of 22.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

He’s a perfect fit for the Pistons because he’s talented, exciting and has all the tools to thrive, but we all know he underperforms when it matters the most.

 

15. Chris Paul – Orlando Magic

Chris Paul takes a lot of heat for being such a sore loser and never making it to the NBA Finals, but truth to be told, he’s a lock to make it to the Hall of Fame even if he’s never able to play at basketball’s ultimate stage.

If Paul wasn’t so injury-prone, he’d be the only guy capable of taking down John Stockton’s records for dimes and steals. He’s the point god, the best of his generation. He’s averaged 18.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game over his career.

The Orlando Magic have been looking for a starting point guard for years now, so who’s a better pick for them than the best point guard of the last 10 years?

 

14. DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most talented big men in the world, but he just can’t seem to shake off his volatile nature and his big mouth. Still, he’s just intimidating in both sides of the hardwood.

Cousins is bucket machine, a guy so agile, yet so strong and physical that’s very difficult to contain down low. Throughout his career, he’s posted averages of 21.4 points,10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

It looks like Cousins is just destined to be a part of the Kings. Hopefully, it will work out for him this time as he goes full circle to join the team that Drafted him in real life.

 

13. Nikola Jokic – Los Angeles Lakers

Nikola Jokic came out of the blue to become one of the league’s biggest entertainers. He’s a point center and one of the craftiest playmakers and passers in the world despite being a 7 footer.

Jokic averages more assists per game than most starting point guards can shoot the three, and is a walking triple-double threat. So far, he’s averaged 16.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.

If the Lakers want to bring Showtime back, they drafted the right guy by all means. Jokic has Magic Johnson’s playmaking and he’d thrive on national tv at the Staples.

 

12. Ben Simmons – Charlotte Hornets

Ben Simmons is one jump-shot away from being the best point guard in the world. He’s so bad at it, defenses let him wide open on the perimeter to collapse the paint, where he’s pretty much unstoppable.

Simmons’ playmaking is the best we’ve seen since Magic Johnson. He finds and creates gaps where no one else could. So far, the former ‘Rookie’ of the Year has averaged 16.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game.

The Hornets may not be the best fit for Simmons, but we all know he’s a fierce competitor, so working under Michael Jordan’s tutelage may be great for him to become a winner.

 

11. Russell Westbrook – Minnesota Timberwolves

Russell Westbrook is Mr triple-double himself. He’s been so incredible as of late, that people are actually starting to act like averaging a triple-double for a season is no big deal, let alone do it twice.

Westbrook is on pace to finish his third straight season averaging a triple-double. He’s a fierce competitor, but his decision making isn’t the best, to say the least. So far, he’s averaged 22.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game.

The Timberwolves don’t have a true leader since Kevin Garnett, a guy that’s willing to do everything it takes and put his body on the line to win. That’s Russell Westbrook.

 

10. Joel Embiid – Miami Heat

I can’t believe the fact that we all doubted Joel Embiid back in the day. His history with injuries was scary, but he turned out to be one of the most talented big men to ever set foot on an NBA hardwood.

Embiid can do a little bit of everything. His three-point shot has regressed, but he can guard the perimeter, play below the rim, and his footwork reminds us of Hakeem Olajuwon. So far, he’s averaged 24.0 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

Embiid loves to party and have a good time, so the Miami lifestyle is a perfect fit for him. Hopefully, he focuses on basketball, because he might as well lead them to their 4th NBA title.

 

9. Kyrie Irving – New Orleans Pelicans

Kyrie Irving is perhaps the clutchest player in the world, and no one, not even Stephen Curry, has better handles than him. Hell, he’s got the best handles we’ve seen since Allen Iverson retired.

Irving has an endless layup package, can find space between 3 or 4 defenders, and loves to hit huge shot after huge shot in the clutch. So far, he’s posted averages of 22.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

Kyrie wanted to be a team’s go-to-guy, and he’ll have the chance to do precisely so at New Orleans. Also, he’s not a big city kind of guy, so he’d be at peace here.

 

8. Paul George – Dallas Mavericks

Paul George has grown to be one of the best two-way players ever. He’s a yearly frontrunner to win both the MVP and the Defensive Player of the Year award, yet no one seems to be talking about him anymore.

George can score in bunches, then lock you up on the other end of the floor. He’s a great team player as well and has become the Thunder’s leader. So far, he’s averaged 19.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

The Mavericks got a true baller in George here, but they better start winning games right now, as we all know he can get frustrated and force a move out of the team.

 

7. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Washington Wizards

When the Bucks first took Giannis Antetokounmpo, it looked like it was a major reach and he was 4 years away from being NBA ready. Now, the Greek Freak is leading his Bucks to the playoffs.

Giannis is the frontrunner to take home the MVP right now. He’s vastly improved as a three-point shooter and is one of the few guys that can play and guard 1 through 5. So far, he’s averaged 18.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

Giannis doesn’t need Washington’s flashy lights and he may be kind of overwhelmed at the nation’s capital. Still, they need this kind of player to put them on the map.

 

6. Anthony Davis – Memphis Grizzlies

Anthony Davis is drawing a lot of hate lately because of his decision to force a move out of the Pelicans and join forces with LeBron on the Lakers, but that can’t distract us from the fact that he’s the best two-way big man in the game.

Davis’s three-point stroke has really improved, and he’s impossible to stop in the post as well. Moreover, he’s one of the league’s best rim protectors. So far, he’s averaged 23.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

If he didn’t like it at New Orleans, he’s definitely going to hate Memphis. At least they have a tough way of playing ball and protecting the rim, something that perfectly suits his style.

 

5. James Harden – Atlanta Hawks

Every time Sam Presti thinks of James Harden, something inside him dies a little. Harden is the league’s best scorer right now, he’s impossible to contain, regardless of the fact that he gets a lot of help from the referees.

Moreover, Harden has taken a step forward as a leader and a playmaker as well. Whether if he can lead in the playoffs is yet to be seen. So far, he’s averaging 24.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.

Harden can become a legend by winning the Hawks a Championship. He’s the right guy to finally bring people to their arena.

 

4. Kawhi Leonard – Chicago Bulls

Kawhi Leonard proved all of his doubters wrong this year. He’s not a system player, and he’s the best defender in the world and is not even close. He’s made the Raptors a legit Championship contender for the first time in their history.

Leonard has also vastly improved as a scorer, especially as a threat from beyond the arc. So far, he’s averaged 17.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, but those numbers keep trending up year after year.

Kawhi could bring back home to the Windy City on a way only Derrick Rose and Michael Jordan have ever done. He’s the perfect guy to put an end to their playoff drought.

 

3. Stephen Curry – Cleveland Cavaliers

Stephen Curry is the ultimate underdog. He was not a highly ranked prospect in high school and didn’t play for a big program in college, yet he’s a two-time MVP and a three-time NBA Champion.

Curry is the best shooter in the history of the game and has the 2nd best handles in the league. He’s a much better playmaker than people credit him for as well. So far, he’s posted career averages of 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game.

Steph would be the Cavaliers’ best point guard since Mark Price and he’d finally make people go back to the Q following LeBron James’ departure.

 

2. LeBron James – Phoenix Suns

LeBron James has dominated this league for 16 years straight and just as he said, everybody in the East thinks they have a shot at the Finals now just because he joined the Lakers and is now on the West.

James hasn’t played defense for years now, but when he did, he was impossible to score on. He’s got one of the highest basketball IQs in the world as well and is one of the deadliest scorers ever. Throughout his career, he’s averaged 27.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game.

The Suns haven’t been able to actually compete since Nash and Stoudemire left and if LeBron wants to sit on Jordan’s table, he’s got to lead a small market team like them to the Championship.

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1. Kevin Durant – New York Knicks

You may not like the guy, but c’mon, Kevin Durant is the best player in the world right now. He’s much more than just a scorer and has grown to become a top-tier defender and rim protector as well.

Durant can consistently knock down shots from all over the floor and has the skills of a guard in the body of a center. Throughout his career, he’s averaged 27.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

Durant has always loved Madison Square Garden and he might as well join the Knicks in the summer anyway. He’s the only guy capable of making them Championship contenders.

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