Every NBA player goes through tryouts to find the team that suits them best. Teams scout for the best players to help them win games and tryouts are one of the best ways to analyze talent.
Interestingly, some of the game’s best players right now would have been on different teams had their tryouts convinced teams to sign them. Here is where these 8 stars would have played for if their tryouts convinced teams to sign them.
8. Andre Drummond – Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets will, unfortunately, appear on this list a few times. It starts out with 2-time All-Star and 4-time Rebounding Champion Andre Drummond. Drummond went 9th in the 2012 NBA Draft, where the Hornets had the No. 2 Pick.
The Hornets went for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, instead of Andre Drummond. Drummond was an athletic rebounder with defensive potential, but for some reason, Charlotte went for a defensive wing. Drummond is a much better player than Kidd-Gilchrist and that is the first mistake Charlotte made after trying out Drummond.
7. Trae Young – New York Knicks
The New York Knicks tried out Trae Young, a talented offensive star who everybody knew would become an All-Star someday. But in typical bad luck Knicks fashion, they couldn’t get a chance to get him.
If Young played for New York, he would have changed the way the Knicks were perceived since the young man entered the league. Young is capable of being a franchise player, as he has shown with the Hawks, and he could have been that for New York with ease.
6. Bradley Beal – Charlotte Hornets
Bradley Beal is the game’s most consistent scorer right now, and the Hornets had a chance to draft the young version of Beal. The Hornets had the No. 2 pick in the 2012 Draft, and after Anthony Davis went No. 1 to New Orleans, there was a lot of talent to choose from.
The Hornets went for defensive specialist Michael Kidd-Gilchrist over Bradley Beal, who went No. 3. This was a big mistake, as Beal has become a superstar offensive player while Kidd-Gilchrist is not on an NBA team this season. Unfortunately for Hornets fans, it gets worse.
5. Jimmy Butler – Charlotte Hornets
Other than missing out on Bradley Beal, the Hornets made another unforgivable mistake. Jimmy Butler, the extremely raw shooting guard without a real identity, tried out for the Hornets. Like many other teams, nobody saw Butler blossoming into a star.
That includes Charlotte. Butler went 30th in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, going to Chicago. If the Hornets got this one right, they would have had two star players leading their franchise. A duo of Butler and Beal would be incredible to see, and it never happened.
4. Damian Lillard – Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings could have had Damian Lillard to lead their franchise by drafting him in the 2012 NBA Draft. After all, the sharpshooting point guard tried out for the team. But instead, the Kings went for size instead of talent with Thomas Robinson.
Robinson is a capable rebounder but Lillard is a superstar player who can carry the offense on his own every night. The Kings dropped a ball on this one, but it gets even worse unfortunately as they made a major mistake one year earlier.
3. Kawhi Leonard – Sacramento Kings
Kawhi Leonard is one of the best two-way players of all time. Leonard is a 2-time Defensive Player of the Year and 2-time Finals MVP who is capable of transforming a franchise single-handedly. For the Kings, that is what they desperately needed.
The Chris Webber era finished, and Sacramento never had another star to replace him. Leonard would have been that guy, but instead, Sacramento drafted Bismack Biyombo in the 2011 Draft. Imagine a duo of Leonard and Lillard, which would have probably gifted Sacramento a championship by now.
2. Dwyane Wade – Chicago Bulls
Dwyane Wade played for the Bulls in 2017, but he could have been the best superstar and franchise player for Chicago after Michael Jordan. After all, Wade is a Chicago native.
But Chicago did not manage to draft Wade, who went number 3 in the 2003 Draft. The Bulls ended up with the No.5 pick, drafting Kirk Hinrich. Chicago could have had the immediate replacement for Michael Jordan but it never happened.
1. Kevin Durant – Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Greg Oden ahead of Kevin Durant, probably because big men were still incredibly valued in 2008. Of course, Oden had special talent and size but drafting him ahead of Durant was a grave mistake.
Durant is a 4-time scoring champion and one of the most unstoppable players ever, but for some reason, Portland did not see that in their tryouts. Having Durant completely changed Portland’s future but it never happened.
Credit: Clutch Points