I bet you one thing: every single general manager in the world would love to have a re-do on any given choice he did in the NBA Draft. Either because it backfired or because a better player came out later, they’d love to get their hands on a different player.
Fortunately for them, they’d have the chance to do exactly so today. We’re going to do a fantasy Re-Draft to see where the top 30 best players in the league would end up, according to the current standings from this season.
Needless to say, this shake-up would totally change the course of the NBA for good, but it’s pretty fun to do for the sake of the argument, at least. Buckle up, and enjoy:
30. CJ McCollum – Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks currently hold the best record in the league so they’d be entitled to the 30th pick of this fantasy re-draft. With most All-Stars and prospects already out of the board, they’d have a sure-bet on CJ McCollum for their future.
They’d still need to pair CJ With guys like Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Brook Lopez in order to contend in the Eastern Conference right now, though. He’s a great volume scorer that can play both guard spots but it seems like he needs another superstar to lean on.
29. Brandon Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers
It seems like the Lakers and Brandon Ingram got some unfinished business. Ingram finally blossomed when he left the Staples Center and now looks like the stud everybody thought he’d be coming out of college, so they’d be delighted to have him back in town.
And now that neither Anthony Davis nor LeBron James would be on the team, the Lakers would be Ingram’s show to run. He’s a versatile and dynamic scorer that continues to improve in the defensive end as well, and he’s already proven that he can lead a team given enough minutes and touches.
28. DeMar DeRozan – Toronto Raptors
DeMar DeRozan is considered by some as the greatest player in Toronto Raptors history. Perhaps he wasn’t the most skilled but he’s the one who holds most of the records and that gave his heart, body, and soul to the franchise before being traded.
This time, DeRozan would have to prove that he’s able to lead a team to the Finals. He wouldn’t have Pascal Siakam on board as he’d also be re-drafted, but hey, he could have the last run next to Kyle Lowry to try and prove his haters wrong. He at least deserves that.
27. Zion Williamson – Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers would get the steal of the Draft. Honestly, Zion slipping all the way to 27th is mouth-watering for any contending team, and the rich would get richer with this pick, even if Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are no longer in town.
The Clippers would now have a core consisting of Zion, Lou Williams, Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac, and Montrezl Harrell. Zion is a generational talent that would draw plenty of attention from top-notch free agents. Doc Rivers would be thrilled.
26. Donovan Mitchell – Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics would desperately need someone to step up and score with Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker out of the team. Luckily for them, they could get Donovan Mitchell as their new go-to-guy. He could play off the ball or even run the point for them.
Boston would still be in a nice position to contend, given that Mitchell would be joined by Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, and Enes Kanter. Perpahs Brad Stevens could even find more balance on their offense, although their defense would definitely take a shot.
25. Jayson Tatum – Denver Nuggets
Jayson Tatum has superstar potential. He’s the kind of player that could turn a franchise around in the blink of an eye. He’s yet to break out at a generational talent because the Celtics just have too many mouths to feed in the offensive end of the floor.
Tatum would become the new face of the Denver Nuggets so perhaps they wouldn’t even miss Nikola Jokic that much. He’s already an outstanding defender and has one of the most versatile and completes scoring skill sets in the league. He’s just 22.
24. Pascal Siakam – Utah Jazz
Pascal Siakam continues to climb the ladder as one of the best two-way players in the league right now. He’s put a lot of work on his craft and he’s now the face of one of the powerhouses in the Eastern Conference. That’s why the Utah Jazz would be delighted to steal him.
Siakam could instantly hog all the touches Donovan Mitchell left on their offense. Also, a frontcourt consisting of him and Rudy Gobert would be a nightmare for opposing teams trying to score in the paint. They’d be better off than now, honestly.
23. Devin Booker – Oklahoma City Thunder
On one hand, Devin Booker would finally leave the Phoenix Suns. On the other hand, the Oklahoma City Thunder would lose Chris Paul on this Draft, and perhaps they’re capacity to contend as well. Still, Booker would be way better off this way.
The Thunder would have quite an explosive backcourt with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Devin Booker. If Andre Roberson comes back to his former level, he’d be great to hide Booker’s defensive flaws and with Steven Adams anchoring their defense they could be a playoff team.
22. Kemba Walker – Houston Rockets
This fantasy Draft would strip the Houston Rockets out of both Russell Westbrook and James Harden so they’re not likely to contend for a playoff spot any time soon. At least, they’d get Kemba Walker in return to lead their rebuilding process.
Kemba is no stranger to this type of situation as he spent most of his career with the struggling Charlotte Hornets. We know he’s able to get buckets and lead his team to some victories but he’d try and get out of it as soon as he can, regardless of the money.
21. Zach LaVine – Miami Heat
The Miami Heat would pretty much be swapping Jimmy Butler with Zach LaVine so they wouldn’t be as good as they are right now. Still, he has the potential to be a marksman on a winning franchise but he hasn’t had the chance to be in a positive environment yet.
The Heat would still have a pretty competitive core with Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson, Andre Iguodala, and Tyler Herro. Also, if someone can teach LaVine how to play some defense that’s definitely Erik Spoelstra.
20. Klay Thompson – Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers have been a dark horse in the Eastern Conference for a couple of years now but they’ve lacked a superstar due to Victor Oladipo’s injury. Adding Klay Thompson to an already well round-up squad would make them Championship contenders in no time.
Klay Thompson is one of the best backcourt defenders in the league and one of the two greatest shooters ever. If Oladipo can stay healthy, they’d be a defensive powerhouse with a backcourt that could score 52+ ppg any given night. They’d also have Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, Aaron Holiday, TJ Warren, and Malcolm Brogdon.
19. Karl-Anthony Towns – Philadelphia 76ers
Karl-Anthony Towns would be in charge of the new process of the Philadelphia 76ers. However, given his history with Joel Embiid and his alleged lack of competitiveness, perhaps he’d be in for a tough time with Philly diehard supporters.
The Sixers would obviously be without Ben Simmons or Embiid but they’d add Towns to a core of Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Al Horford; so they’d still be in a position to compete for a playoff spot, and Towns would finally be out of the fierce Western Conference.
18. Ben Simmons – Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks just lost Luka Doncic on this Draft but they can replace him with fellow Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, which isn’t that bad at all. Simmons is the best playmaker in the league and has the potential to be a Defensive Player of the Year.
Simmons can guard one through five and he’d be deadly in the pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop with Kristaps Porzingis looming around. He’s not going to give you buckets as Luka does but he can do plenty of other things to help this team contend for a decade.
17. Bradley Beal – Memphis Grizzlies
Bradley Beal has been struggling for far too long. He deserves this change of environment. Moreover, he’d join an up and coming young team with a lot of hunger featuring Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr, Brandon Clarke, and Jonas Valanciunas.
This team is already hanging on to a playoff berth against all odds. Add a 30+ ppg scorer like Beal to that mix and they’d be a problem for years. He’s one of the most underrated and disrespected players in the league just because of how poorly the Wizards have fared.
16. Chris Paul – Brooklyn Nets
Everybody was ready to give up on Chris Paul and slept on him this season. He fired back by putting together an All-Star and MVP kind of campaign and leading a rebuilding team to the 5th spot in the Western Conference. That’s just how good the Point God is.
Paul is one of the greatest two-way point guards in the history of the game. The Nets would be without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant but they’d still have plenty of depth with Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, DeAndre Jordan, and Joe Harris. He’d lead them to the 3rd seed in the East.
15. Jimmy Butler – Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic continues to rack up talent but it seems like they’re just unable to make the most out of them. That won’t be the case once Jimmy Butler arrives to town and starts picking up their brains to finally turn them into a winning team.
The Magic has been a subpar team in the East for years but we would be adding Butler to a team with Markelle Fultz, Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Isaac, Evan Fournier, Mo Bamba, and Aaron Gordon. If they don’t make the playoffs with that squad, maybe they should just sell the franchise.
14. Kyrie Irving – San Antonio Spurs
Ok, so this is where things get interesting. The San Antonio Spurs haven’t been a legit threat since Kawhi Leonard left the premises but in this case scenario, they would be swapping DeMar DeRozan for Kyrie Irving, which is a considerable upgrade, at least in the paper.
Irving is talented enough to lead a Western Conference team to the playoffs. Dejounte Murray would help him in the defensive end and LaMarcus Aldridge would be his second scoring option. But, would Gregg Popovich be able to tame his character? I mean, if Pop can do it, then no one can.
13. Nikola Jokic – New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the biggest losers of this Draft. They’d lose Zion and Ingram but at least would be able to replace one of them with Nikola Jokic. He won’t score as many points as them but would provide a lot of space for their offense.
Jokic’s presence below the rim would grant Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick a lot of wide-open shots. Also, they’d have at least three ball-handlers in the court with Jokic, Holiday, and Lonzo Ball; so they’d have a lot of motion on their offense. Still, that may not be enough to contend in the West.
12. Russell Westbrook – Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings franchise once had Oscar Robertson. Now, they would get the modern-day Big O in Russell Westbrook to enhance an already promising roster. Just imagine how electrifying their offense would be with Westbrook and De’Aaron Fox in the backcourt, two of the fastest players in the world.
The Kings would run the court every single time and most likely lead the league in pace. Also, with players like Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes, and Marvin Bagley III on the team, they’d have a huge shot at making the playoffs once and for all.
11. Joel Embiid – Portland Trail Blazers
Make no mistake here. He’ll joke around and laugh all the time, but Joel Embiid doesn’t like losing. That may be an issue when he joins the Blazers without Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Also, that would make Hassan Whiteside and Nikola Jokic redundant.
Embiid would have the tough task to lead the Blazers to a playoff berth with little-to-none help other than Carmelo Anthony. The roster doesn’t look exactly suited for his playing style, so the Blazers would be adding a generational talent with no help around him.
10. Paul George – Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns have found ways to mess up things on a yearly basis but maybe not even them could waste Paul George’s talent. They’d be swapping him for Devin Booker, which means they’d add a savvier player with more experience and five times a better defender.
The Suns would have a tough path to the playoffs, for sure, but with a team consisting of Paul George, Deandre Ayton, Dario Saric, Ricky Rubio, Mikal Bridges, and Kelly Oubre Jr, they’d definitely have a shot at finally being relevant again.
9. Luka Doncic – Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards lost Bradley Beal on this Draft but they got Luka Doncic in return, which is a pretty fair deal if you ask me. They’d be getting a once-in-a-lifetime kind of player that could win multiple MVPs throughout his career and is also younger than Beal.
Doncic could instantly turn this franchise around, especially if John Wall comes back healthy. They have an intriguing prospect on Rui Hachimura and a solid big man on Thomas Bryant. Add Moritz Wagner and Davis Bertans to the mix and they may be on to something.
8. Damian Lillard – Charlotte Hornets
Damian Lillard is finally getting the praise and recognition he deserves. He’s one of the toughest, most cold-blooded scorers in the league and a fearless competitor that just won’t give up without a fight. Exactly the kind of player Michael Jordan would love to have on his team.
Lillard would become the Hornet’s new Kemba Walker. Perhaps he could lead them to a playoff berth in the East, but honestly, he’d need a lot of help. If Miles Bridges finally breaks out and Devonte’ Graham continues to develop, they may be on to something, but they’d have to trade Terry Rozier.
7. Anthony Davis – Chicago Bulls
This one seems like a prophecy. Not only the Chicago Bulls would once again be entitled to the 7th pick of the Draft but they’d also get their hometown boy. Anthony Davis has claimed that he’d love to play for the Bulls and he’d finally have the chance to do it.
The Bulls would be contenders right away by adding Davis. They’d have Kris Dunn, Coby White, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr, and Otto Porter Jr under contract, so they’d be great for many years to come. Obviously, they’d need to hire a new, experienced coach.
6. James Harden – Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled to compete for years so maybe adding James Harden to the mix may be just what they need to turn things around. Still, they’d have a lot of work to do considering the roster they’ve put together right now.
Harden would have to share touches with D’Angelo Russell. The Timberwolves would have a deadly one-two punch capable of scoring 60+ any given night. However, they would struggle mightily to get stops and it seems like they need to add a rim protector to contend.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo – New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are reportedly going to go all-in on Giannis Antetokounmpo next summer so they’d be thrilled to have him for free this time. Honestly, I believe he’s one of the few people on earth that could make them relevant again, that’s how good he is.
The Knicks would have to make some moves to surround him with the right kind of players, though. RJ Barrett could turn around to be a great player and Julius Randle is a warrior. Other than that, they don’t have many weapons Giannis could turn to.
4. Stephen Curry – Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers have always been blessed with top-tier players in the Draft and this time won’t be the exception. They’d get the greatest shooter in the history of the game and the guy that could take them back to the playoffs in no time.
Needless to say, the Cavs would have to move at least one of Collin Sexton or Darius Garland to make this work. But a big three consisting of Curry, Kevin Love, and Andre Drummond could mess around and clinch a top-3 playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
3. Kawhi Leonard – Detroit Pistons
Kawhi Leonard has already proven that he can lead any team to the NBA Finals but if he does that with the Detroit Pistons, he must be in the GOAT consideration for sure. I mean, this team has been a disaster for almost a decade now and there’s not much hope ahead in the future.
But, if you add Kawhi to a team with Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin plus a promising Sekou Doumbouya, they could finally contend again. Kawhi would fit right away in Detroit thanks to his suffocating defense and ability to perform in clutch situations.
2. Kevin Durant – Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks just got pretty good. I’m talking scary good, like Championship-contenders kind of good. They just added exactly the kind of player they needed to compete: a savvy veteran that can score in bunches and get stops against the greatest players on earth.
The Hawks have one of the most promising young cores in the league with Trae Young, Cam Reddish, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, John Collins, and Clint Capela, plus Jeff Teague coming off the bench. With Durant leading the way, they’d be in the Finals for sure.
1. LeBron James – Golden State Warriors
And you know what they say. The rich always get richer. That’s what’s going to happen to the Golden State Warriors when they add LeBron James, even if the Splash Brothers are no longer in town. They’d be Championship contenders as long as the King is on the court.
The Warriors would also have Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Erich Paschall, and a top-5 first-round pick to go along with James, let alone plenty of cap space to sign veterans trying to win a ring before retiring. The dynasty will live on another day.