Drafting is never easy, as projections and predictions aren’t set in stone and more often than not, General Managers get criticized for the picks they made earlier in the year after some players taken later wind up being better.
Naturally, there are a lot of factors that may affect the fact that one player gets overlooked or overhyped, as even with all the scouting and projections front offices do before taking a player, a lot can go downhill in the blink of an eye.
A prime example of this is the class of 2008, featuring some of the best players in today’s NBA that were taking quite late, while others taken with the 1st couple of picks wind up being mere flukes. Today, we’re going to redraft that same class, letting you know who things should’ve gone.
1. Chicago Bulls
Original Pick: Derrick Rose
Redraft Pick: Russell Westbrook
With the 1st overall pick, the Chicago Bulls would’ve had a fast, strong, athletic and ball dominant finisher that could score at will and make the occasional pass when needed. Nope, we’re not talking about D-Rose, but about a very similar player that wind up dominating the league after him: Westbrook.
Also, winner of 1 MVP, the Brodie is the only player to ever average a triple-double in 2 different seasons, and the best player of his class.
2. Miami Heat
Original Pick: Michael Beasley
Redraft Pick: Kevin Love
Since the Heat wanted an offensive guy that could’ve score from the inside or the outside, Kevin Love was the go-to-move here. People tend to forget how much of a beast Love was during his early stages at Minnesota, mostly because he’s embraced a much lesser role with the Cavs in order to play for a contender.
Still, he’s by far, one of the best players of his class, and this would’ve meant the top 2 picks of this class would’ve come out of UCLA.
3. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: OJ Mayo
Redraft Pick: Derrick Rose
Even though Derrick Rose’s prime was quite short, it’s still enough to make him go as high as 3rd overall here. Coming out of Memphis University, the former ROY and MVP would’ve stayed put at the very same city, and while perhaps he would’ve never become as dominant as he was early on, maybe he would’ve still had a better career there.
4. Seattle Supersonics
Original Pick: Russell Westbrook
Redraft Pick: DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan grew to become the 4st best player of this class despite being drafted 35th overall, being such a late bloomer but establishing himself as a major force in the backboards.
Jordan has become a defensive anchor ever since taking the starting center spot for the Clippers, leading the league in boards twice.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Kevin Love
Redraft Pick: Brook Lopez
If the Minnesota Timberwolves wanted to have a big man with a sweet scoring touch, they would’ve been able to get Brook Lopez after Kevin Love was already off the table.
The most talented Lopez brother has always been a consistent scorer and he’s even added the 3 point shot to his offensive repertoire as well, posting career averages of 17.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
6. New York Knicks
Original Pick: Danilo Gallinari
Redraft Pick: Nicolas Batum
While Gallinari was a very solid pick for NY, they would’ve been better off by taking Nicolas Batum, one of the smartest, most hardworking and underrated players in the league.
Batum can do a little bit of everything in both sides of the ball and fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, posting career averages of 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1 steal per game.
7. Los Angeles Clippers
Original Pick: Eric Gordon
Redraft Pick: Serge Ibaka
With DeAndre Jordan already drafted, the Clippers would’ve had to “settle” for the second-best shot blocker on this class: Serge Ibaka. The Spaniard was one of the most dominant defenders in the league during his prime, and even though he’s lost some of his shot blocking expertise as he has headed more towards the perimeter, the former Defensive Player of the Year is still one of the best power forwards in the league
8. Milwaukee Bucks
Original Pick: Joe Alexander
Redraft Pick: Goran Dragic
Gregg Popovich has been always known for two things: rarely making mistakes and being great when it comes to drafting foreign players.
Well, Dragic is a prime example of the latter, but is also happens to be one of Pop’s few mistakes. Drafted 45th overall, he grew to become one of the best players of his class, averaging 13.7 points, 4.8 dimes and 0.8 steals per game.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Original Pick: DJ Augustin
Redraft Pick: Danilo Gallinari
Coming out of Europe, Danilo Gallinari was one of the most intriguing overseas talents the league had ever seen. His length and ability to score from all three levels with great ease made him a no-brainer pick, but his proneness to get hurt has really hurt his development.
Over his career, he’s averaged 15.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
10. New Jersey Nets
Original Pick: Brook Lopez
Redraft Pick: Ryan Anderson
With Brook Lopez already being taken earlier, the Nets would’ve taken Ryan Anderson anyways, just 11 spots higher. Even though he was a member of the Nets for just one season, the big man is a prime example of an stretch 5 especially built for this era, posting averages of 12.8 points and 5.4 rebounds on 38% from 3 point land.
11. Portland Trail Blazers
Original Pick: Jerryd Bayless
Redraft Pick: George Hill
George Hill should’ve been taken 15 spots higher than he actually was, and the Portland Trail Blazers would’ve landed a top-notch defensive point guard and underrated playmaker.
Now, Hill is finally playing for a contending team again, posting career averages of 11.6 points, 3.3 assists and 0.9 steals per game.
12. Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Jason Thompson
Redraft Pick: Roy Hibbert
While the Kings shot themselves in the foot (as usual) by taking Jason Thompson, they would’ve been way better off landing defensive standout Roy Hibbert out of Georgetown. Hibbert was one of the league’s top-tier rim protectors and shot blockers, but losing over and over against LeBron and the team really took a toll on his character.
13. Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Brandon Rush
Redraft Pick: Eric Gordon
While Eric Gordon shouldn’t have been taken as high as he was, he’s still one of the most prolific scorers of this class. Winner of the 6th Man of the Year award, the combo guard has shown his great offensive talents ever since joining the Houston Rockets, posting career averages of 16.7 points and 3.1 dimes a night.
14. Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Anthony Randolph
Redraft Pick: Courtney Lee
Courtney Lee was a prime 3 and D player before being headed to the New York Knicks, where everybody seems to lose most of his groove. Also playing for the Magic, Nets, Rockets, Celtics, Grizzlies and Hornets, Lee could still be a valuable asset for a contender looking for depth at the 2 spot, and a much better choice than the injury-prone Anthony Randolph.
15. Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Robin Lopez
Redraft Pick: Robin Lopez
Things would be exactly the same for the Phoenix Suns at 15th, taking Robin Lopez once again at this spot. Lopez has never been as talented as his brother on the offensive side of the ball, but he’s made great strides as a defender and rebounder, posting career averages of 9 points and 5.4 boards per game.
16. Philadelphia 76ers
Original Pick: Marreese Speights
Redraft Pick: Omer Asik
Not so long ago, Omer Asik was considered to be an important force down low as a dominant rebounder and very solid rim protector, making up for his offensive flaws and liabilities. Even though he’s unlikely to ever play for a contender again, he was definitely a better choice at 16th than Speights, but wind up being taken 36th overall.
17. Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Roy Hibbert
Redraft Pick: Michael Beasley
Michael Beasley has to be considered one of the biggest busts in NBA history, as the self destructive nature of the talented forward made him pretty much crash against a wall despite being one of the most gifted players of the past decade. Putting career averages of 12.7 points on 46% shooting, he’s one of the greatest ‘what ifs’ we’ve ever seen.
18. Washington Wizards
Original Pick: JaVale McGee
Redraft Pick: Luc Mbah A Moute
Even though he’s never been any kind of an offensive factor whatsoever, Luc Mbah A Moute’s defensive expertise has always made him a very valuable asset, not to mention his veteran leadership to mentor young talents as well. After being drafted 37th overall, we have him taking JaVale McGee’s spot at 18th on our Redraft.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers
Original Pick: JJ Hickson
Redraft Pick: DJ Augustin
DJ Augustin was a major reach at 9th overall, but he would be ok just 10 spots later. He’s never been the kind of pass-first point guard you’d like to have running your first unit, but he has proven to be more than capable of leading the way off the bench with his streaky shooting. Averaging 9.6 points and 3.8 assists a game, he’s had a solid career as a backup guard.
20. Charlotte Hornets
Original Pick: Alexis Ajinca
Redraft Pick: Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers was a very important role player in the Miami Heat LeBron James era, being a willing distributor and playmaker that could get hot really quick on the offensive end of the floor. Averaging 8.9 points, 3.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game, the 2 time NBA Champion climbs all the way to 20th after being drafted early in the 2nd round in 2008.
21. New Jersey Nets
Original Pick: Ryan Anderson
Redraft Pick: OJ Mayo
After being considered by much as the most talented recruit in the nation, OJ Mayo’s lack of discipline made him slip all the way to 21st in our redraft. Being as talented as they come in the offensive end of the hardwood, he was never able to take the next step on his career due to his lack of discipline and focus.
22. Orlando Magic
Original Pick: Courtney Lee
Redraft Pick: Nikola Pekovic
Not so long ago, Nikola Pekovic was actually considered to be an important factor in both ends of the hardwood, being a physical and dominant big man that could finish below the rim and also had a nice face-up game. Averaging 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, “the Godfather’s” career came to an early end due to constant injuries.
23. Utah Jazz
Original Pick: Kosta Koufos
Redraft Pick: Jerryd Bayless
Despite never being a good defender or much of a playmaker, Jerryd Bayless has always find a way to be a part of an NBA roster, mostly because of his streaky shooting off the bench. Playing for the Blazers, Hornets, Raptors, Grizzlies, Celtics, Bucks and Sixers, the journeyman has put career averages of 8.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.8 dimes per game.
24. Seattle Supersonics
Original Pick: Serge Ibaka
Redraft Pick: Marreese Speights
Marreese Speights was never much of a defender and he was quite a late bloomer, but his sweet stroke from mid-range and nice hustle on the boards made him a very valuable asset when he was finally able to establish himself. Averaging 7.9 points and 4.1 boards a night, he was a huge factor in the Warriors’ 14-15 title run.
25. Portland Trail Blazers
Original Pick: Nicolas Batum
Redraft Pick: JJ Hickson
JJ Hickson’s lack of a jumper made him leave the league earlier than everybody thought he would do, as he was one of the most dominant rebounders when he was on the court despite being quite undersized. Putting career averages of 9.5 points and 6.8 boards a game, he would’ve been a very nice pick at 25th.
26. San Antonio Spurs
Original Pick: George Hill
Redraft Pick: Jason Thompson
At 26th, the Spurs had landed a major steal in George Hill, but would have to settle for Jason Thompson instead in this redraft. Coming off a great start of his career, Thompson was unable to sustain such performances, up to the point where he’s not even on an NBA roster anymore despite his youth.
27. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Darrell Arthur
Redraft Pick: JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee would’ve been an amazing pick at the 27th spot, considering his athletic gifts and actual talent and energy. Still, he’s always been a potential disaster due to his lack of awareness and focus. Averaging 7.5 points amd 4.8 boards over his career, it’s crazy to think that he’s about to become an NBA Champion for the 2nd straight time.
28. Houston Rockets
Original Pick: Donte Greene
Redraft Pick: Kosta Koufos
With the 28th overall pick, the Houston Rockets would’ve taken Kosta Koufos, an unathletic big man that’s never been much of a factor on either side of the ball, but that has been smart enough to be a productive role player and still be in the league despite his lack of talents. Over his career, he’s averaged 5.8 points and 5.1 boards a game.
29. Seattle Supersonics
Original Pick: DJ White
Redraft Pick: Darrell Arthur
Just when he was starting to come around as a very solid backup big man, Darrell Arthur suffered an Achilles injury and was never the same afterward. Being a bit of a tweener, he doesn’t have much to offer in modern NBA, but posting career averages of 6.5 points and 3.5 boards per game should be good enough to be drafted 29th overall in 2008.
30. Boston Celtics
Original Pick: JR Giddens
Redraft Pick: Anthony Morrow
And with the last pick of the 1st round of the 2008 NBA Redraft, the Boston Celtics should’ve taken Anthony Morrow, an unidimensional player that didn’t bring much to the table other than his three-point shooting, a guy that averaged roughly over 9 points being a 41.7% shooter from beyond the line and connecting in over 1.4 three-pointers per contest.