Scouting talent is perhaps one of the toughest tasks for every franchise. There are a lot of intangibles that we can't measure but that can end up defining a player's career, even more than his physical attributes.
That's why looking back to some drafts, it's not unusual to find players that maybe shouldn't even have made it to the league, while others that were taken below them proved to be elite talents.
Today, we're going to discuss something about this, as we walk you through the stacked NBA Draft Class of 2008 and redraft it the way it should've been in the first place.
1. Chicago Bulls
Original Pick: Derrick Rose
Re-Draft Pick: Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook gets a lot of unfair criticism. We've normalized the fact that he averages a triple-double and there's nothing normal about that. Westbrook is one of the most powerful, athletic, talented, and physically dominant players in NBA history and a first-ballot Hall of Famer even if he never makes it back to the NBA Finals. That's why he should've been the first-overall pick in this class.
2. Miami Heat
Original Pick: Michael Beasley
Re-Draft Pick: Derrick Rose
The Miami Heat thought that Michael Beasley was a can't-miss kind of talent but guess what? They missed. Instead, they should've gone with Derrick Rose, one of the most explosive players in NBA history. Rose could've been the best player in the world for over a decade if it wasn't for the constant injuries, but he's still the youngest MVP in the history of the Association.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: O.J. Mayo
Re-Draft Pick: Kevin Love
The Minnesota Timberwolves used this pick on O.J. Mayo but always wanted to land UCLA standout Kevin Love. And it definitely paid off for them. Love was their franchise player, a rebounding machine, and a guy that could stretch the floor with his ability to shoot over everybody else in the league. Sadly, injuries and the lack of a good supporting cast prevented him from finding success there.
4. Seattle Supersonics
Original Pick: Russel Westbrook
Re-Draft Pick: Brook Lopez
People often forget how good Brook Lopez was during his first years in the league. He was a walking double-double and a versatile scorer that could finish with either hand despite not being exactly athletic. Now, he's made strides as a defender and has even added the three-point shot to his repertoire, hence becoming the fourth-best player in this class.
5. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Kevin Love
Re-Draft Pick: Serge Ibaka
The Memphis Grizzlies used this pick on Kevin Love to get O.J. Mayo but that didn't exactly work out for them. Instead, they should've landed one of the biggest steals of the draft in Serge Ibaka, who instantly became one of the league's most feared rim protectors. He's a versatile defender and even expanded his range to become a threat from beyond the arc.
6. New York Knicks
Original Pick: Danilo Gallinari
Re-Draft Pick: Goran Dragic
Now that Danilo Gallinari has proven to be injury-prone, the New York Knicks could've used that pick to get Goran Dragic instead. Dragic was a bit of a late bloomer but once he took off, he never looked back. He's a crafty southpaw scorer with a great feel for getting his teammates involved, and he can play and guard both guard positions.
7. Los Angeles Clippers
Original Pick: Eric Gordon
Re-Draft Pick: Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon was drafted in the right spot. He looked poised to become a star after his rookie year and had all the tools to be an explosive scorer as a combo guard but his development kind of stalled along the way. Even so, he's an efficient scorer from all three levels, a nice passer, and a team-first kind of player that won't hesitate to put his body on the line.
8. Milwaukee Bucks
Original Pick: Joe Alexander
Re-Draft Pick: DeAndre Jordan
The Milwaukee Bucks originally drafted Joe Alexander, who averaged 4.2 points per game and was out of the league after just 2 seasons. Instead, they could've gone with DeAndre Jordan, one of the best rim protectors in the league and one of the most dominant rebounders of his time. While never an offensive factor, he was a never-ending source of energy.
9. Charlotte Bobcats
Original Pick: D.J. Augustin
Re-Draft Pick: George Hill
The Charlotte Bobcats thought they had landed a star in D.J. Augustin and that wasn't the case. Instead, they could've gotten a franchise point guard in George Hill. Hill never took a step forward as a star but he's always been a great backcourt defender and above-the-average playmaker, two things that make him a much better choice than Augustin.
10. New Jersey Nets
Original Pick: Brook Lopez
Re-Draft Pick: Danilo Gallinari
The New Jersey Nets got their all-time leading scorer in Brook Lopez but with him already out of the picture, they would've gone with Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari has always been a walking bucket from all three levels, but his inability to stay on the court due to his injury proneness always held his career back. The talent is undeniable, though.
11. Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Jerryd Bayless
Re-Draft Pick: Nicolas Batum
Originally, the Indiana Pacers managed to land Jerryd Bayless, who had a somewhat decent carer as a backup. This time, however, they would've ended up with Nicolas Batum, one of the smartest and most versatile players in the league. While not a superstar, he can do a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor and play all 5 spots.
12. Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Jason Thompson
Re-Draft Pick: JaVale McGee
People made fun of JaVale McGee because of his antics but he ended up having a pretty decent career in the league. He played a huge role in two championship teams for the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, and perhaps he would've been better with proper player development, which has never been the Sacramento Kings' strength.
13. Portland Trail Blazers
Original Pick: Brandon Rush
Re-Draft Pick: Robin Lopez
The Portland Trail Blazers kind of reached by taking Brandon Rush so high in this draft. He was decent but not much more, and they could've had a reliable big man in Robin Lopez instead. While not as gifted or productive as his brother Brook, Robin was a solid rebounder and a nice source of energy for most of his career, as well as a slightly better defender.
14. Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Anthony Randolph
Re-Draft Pick: D.J. Augustin
The Golden State Warriors thought Anthony Randolph was going to be a huge star but it didn't take long before he was out of the league. In this re-draft, they would have leaned towards D.J. Augustin, one of the most reliable backup point guards of the past decade. He could score, set his teammates up, and even slide into the starting lineup from time to time if need be.
15. Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Robin Lopez
Re-Draft Pick: Michael Beasley
With Robin Lopez already out of the picture, the Phoenix Suns would have taken Michael Beasley, perhaps the most talented player in this class. Beasley was big, strong, athletic, and had the ability to light up the defense from all three levels any given night. Sadly, he could never shake off his demons and off-court issues prevented him from becoming one of the best players of all time.
16. Philadelphia 76ers
Original Pick: Marresse Speights
Re-Draft Pick: Ryan Anderson
The Philadelphia 76ers took Marresse Speights to address their need for a shooting big, and that's why they would've fared better had they taken Ryan Anderson instead. While not much of a defender or an interior presence, Anderson had unlimited range and an outstanding ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc.
17. Toronto Raptors
Original Pick: Roy Hibbert
Re-Draft Pick: Marresse Speights
The Indiana Pacers took Roy Hibbert (via Toronto Raptors) with the 17th pick of the draft but they would've been better with Marresse Speights instead. Speights was a bit of a late bloomer but became a valuable asset for the World Champions Golden State Warriors thanks to his ability to stretch the floor, his energy, and his mid-range shot.
18. Washington Wizards
Original Pick: JaVale McGee
Re-Draft Pick: Mario Chalmers
In this re-draft, the Washington Wizards would've taken Mario Chalmers as their point guard of the future. Chalmers was a borderline good starter that didn't make many mistakes at the beginning of his career. Sadly, he had a bit of a rift with LeBron James and once he started underperforming, he could never take his career back from the ground.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers
Original Pick: J.J. Hickson
Re-Draft Pick: Courtney Lee
The Cleveland Cavaliers got J.J. Hickson several picks way too high in this draft. But in our re-do, they'd be able to wrap their hands around Courtney Lee instead. During his first years in the league, Lee was an outstanding 3-and-D kind of player that looked to have a long career as a role player in a championship team, but injuries prevented him from fulfilling that destiny.
20. Charlotte Bobcats
Original Pick: Alexis Ajinca
Re-Draft Pick: Roy Hibbert
The Charlotte Bobcats were in need of a big man so they took lanky 7'2'' Frenchman Alexis Ajinca. Instead, they should've gone with Roy Hibbert, who was an outstanding rim protector during his prime. He eventually hit a bit of a mental wall in the playoffs and was never the same player after leaving the Indiana Pacers.
21. New Jersey Nets
Original Pick: Ryan Anderson
Re-Draft Pick: O.J. Mayo
There was a time when O.J. Mayo was considered the best player of his generation but his poor work ethic and off-court issues didn't help his cause in the league. Still, the talent and offensive upside were there, so he should have been taken anyway. He'll go down as one of the biggest 'What Ifs' in the history of the league.
22. Orlando Magic
Original Pick: Courtney Lee
Re-Draft Pick: Nikola Pekovic
Nikola Pekovic could've been quite a good NBA player if it wasn't for his proneness to get hurt. He was strong, physical, a threat in the pick-and-roll and a guy not many players dared to attack when he was in the lane. Sadly, he just wasn't able to stay on the floor but was quite valuable when he was healthy.
23. Utah Jazz
Original Pick: Kosta Koufos
Re-Draft Pick: Omer Asik
Kosta Koufos was a bit of a reach at 23rd, especially with Omer Asik still on the table. Asik was never an offensive factor and was heavy-footed, but he was a rebounding machine and a more than decent rim protector. He was a nice defensive anchor in the paint, as long as you could make up for his lack of offensive production.
24. Seattle Supersonics
Original Pick: Serge Ibaka
Re-Draft Pick: Luc Mbah A Moute
The Seattle Supersonics landed a true gem when they got Serge Ibaka with the 24th overall pick. But in our re-do, they would have to settle for another tough, physical defender from African descent: Luc Richard Mbah A Moute. Mbah A Moute was a solid wing stopper on a team-friendly deal for most of his career before injuries caught up to him.
25. Houston Rockets
Original Pick: Nicolas Batum
Re-Draft Pick: Jerryd Bayless
We've already talked about Nicolas Batum and how his career panned out. Clearly, he was too good to be taken at the 25th spot. Instead, this should've been Jerryd Bayless's turn. Bayless was a source of instant offense off the bench and a somewhat decent backup point guard for the first years of his career and not many more.
26. San Antonio Spurs
Original Pick: George Hill
Re-Draft Pick: Kosta Koufos
The San Antonio Spurs got a major steal with George Hill at 26 and then managed to flip him for Kawhi Leonard. In this scenario, they wouldn't have been that lucky. Even so, they would have a solid backup big man for Tim Duncan in Kosta Koufos, a guy that did just enough to not be a liability on defense and a better passer than people gave him credit for. He was solid for their system.
27. New Orleans Hornets
Original Pick: Darrell Arthur
Re-Draft Pick: Darrell Arthur
Darrell Arthur was drafted just in the right place. He had a somewhat decent 9-year career in the Association averaging 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Sadly, his career took a downfall after missing a whole year with an Achilles injury just when he was starting to get more playing time.
28. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Donté Greene
Re-Draft Pick: Brandon Rush
Donté Greene spent most of his career in the G-League before testing his luck overseas. Brandon Rush, on the other hand, was always a reliable end-of-the-rotation kind of player that could give you some decent numbers as a scorer and playmaker and that could play multiple positions. He was a better choice at 28.
29. Detroit Pistons
Original Pick: D.J. White
Re-Draft Pick: J.J. Hickson
D.J. White was out of the league just 5 years after he was drafted and never averaged more than 8.9 points per game. This time, the logical pick was J.J. Hickson. Hickson wasn't exactly a good defender or much of a factor in the offense either, but he was a huge source of energy on both ends of the glass and a great offensive rebounder.
30. Boston Celtics
Original Pick: J.R. Giddens
Re-Draft Pick: Jason Thompson
Originally, the Boston Celtics took J.R. Giddens, who played a grand total of 38 games throughout his career. Instead, they should've gone with Jason Thompson, a bruising big man that was good enough to come off the bench for them, especially during the first couple of years of his career.