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Re-Drafting the Legendary 2003 NBA Draft

Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

2003 had one of the best draft classes we’ve seen in a very, very long time, with some outstanding players and all those future Hall of Famers that took the league for assault during the past decade. Although things could've been way different if the teams that passed on them would've actually known how good they would become. So, we’re going to redraft the 2003 draft, making some imaginary trades and stuff, you know, just for fun.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers:

Original Pick: LeBron James

Re-draft Pick: LeBron James

Well, this one’s a complete no-brainer. I mean, everybody just KNEW how much of a beast LeBron James was going to be as soon as they took a glance at him, and now, almost 15 years and 3 rings later, we can definitely tell that they were absolutely right, as James is probably the best small forward in the history of the game.

2. Detroit Pistons

Original Pick: Darko Milicic

Re-draft Pick: Dwyane Wade

Wade is definitely a top 10 shooting guard in NBA history, and even arguably top 5 in that position, becoming the best player in Miami Heat history and leading the South Beach team to 3 championships. On top of that, Milicic didn’t even have an impact on the Pistons despite being a part of their championship squad, spending just 9 years in the NBA due to his awful averages of 6 points and 4 boards per game.

3. Denver Nuggets

Original Pick: Carmelo Anthony

Re-draft Pick: Carmelo Anthony

Just like James, this pick should stay the same, as even if many people aren’t into Carmelo nowadays, you just can’t overlook how much of an offensive beast the Syracuse product has been throughout his entire career as a member of the Nuggets, the Knicks and the USA basketball team, being the leading scorer in USA basketball history and one of the most versatile and skilled offensive players in NBA history.

4. Toronto Raptors

Original Pick: Chris Bosh

Re-draft Pick: Chris Bosh

This one should also stay the same, as before the surge of DeMar DeRozan several seasons ago, Bosh was definitely the best player in Raptors history, due to his clutch performances, his scoring ability, his capacity to stretch the floor, his rebounding skills and even his defense, one of the most underrated parts of his game. On top of that, he was mature enough to sacrifice some personal glory to be a key piece in 2 championship teams alongside James and Wade, and he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for that.

5. Miami Heat

Original Pick: Dwyane Wade

Re-draft Pick: David West

Now, with Wade taking his talents to Michigan, the obvious choice down the stretch is the power forward from Xavier, David West. Before taking that huge pay cut to be a member of the San Antonio Spurs and now the Golden State Warriors, West was a very vocal leader and a nightly double-double, having a huge impact on both ends of the floor for the Hornets and then the Pacers, and he still has a lot left in the tank to contribute on a championship team.

6. Los Angeles Clippers

Original Pick: Chris Kaman

Re-draft Pick: Kendrick Perkins

Well, Perkins is never going to be known for his offense or even for his calm temper, but you just can’t deny the fact that he was one of the most dominant and intimidating presences in the paint during his prime, being one of the most feared rim protectors in that era. On top of that, with lifetime averages of 11.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, Kaman isn’t actually what you’d call an X-factor in any of the teams he was on, being way less than a role player with just 2 seasons over 30 minutes per game.

7. Chicago Bulls

Original Pick: Kirk Hinrich

Re-draft Pick: Kirk Hinrich

Well, this one was kind of rough, as Hinrich was never a guy that you’d say was an All-Star caliber player, or even starter material. Nevertheless, he did have a very significant role for the Bulls during his both stints there, mostly helping off the bench with his sharpshooting and his pesky defense. He was very important in the Bulls comeback to the playoffs and stood up when Derrick Rose wasn’t available, so he earned his spot as a Chicago Bull once again on our list.

8. Milwaukee Bucks

Original Pick: TJ Ford

Re-Draft Pick: Zaza Pachulia

TJ Ford was never able to make an impact in the NBA, struggling with poor shooting, poor decision-making and health, despite having a lot of opportunities, especially on the Toronto Raptors. On the other hand, even if Zaza’s never been actually impressive, his ability to adapt, rebound and even shoot have made him a very important piece for his last two teams, where he’s developed into a really mature veteran.

9. New York Knicks

Original Pick: Mike Sweetney

Re-Draft Pick: Mo Williams

Well, Sweetney was one of the biggest busts in NBA draft history after being selected 9th overall after taking the NCAA for assault during his time at Georgetown. So, after playing just over 12 minutes during his rookie season for the Knicks, he was never able to actually prove his value, spending just 4 years in the Association. On the other hand, Mo was an instant-offense kind of guy and a fierce scorer through his entire career, even despite being a huge liability on the defensive end, but still having what it takes to be on an NBA roster and succeed in the league.

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10. Washington Wizards

Original Pick: Jarvis Hayes

Re-Draft Pick: Boris Diaw

Just like Sweetney, Hayes was a huge flop that only lasted 7 seasons in the league before trying his luck overseas, with just one season averaging more than 9 points and 28 minutes. On the other hand, Diaw has shown to be one of the smartest and versatile players we’ve seen in a while despite lacking athleticism and even looking way out of shape. His ability to stretch the floor and go small while being an outstanding passer have made him a key piece in France’s recent success, as well as a great contributor for the Hawks, the Suns, the Spurs, the Bobcats and the Utah Jazz.

11. Golden State Warriors

Original Pick: Mickael Pietrus

Re-Draft Pick: Leandro Barbosa

Pietrus was never known for his offense but he proved himself to be a very good defensive player. Sadly, the Warriors weren’t interested in that, so his style didn’t fit theirs whatsoever. If they had chosen to go with Barbosa, on the other hand, they could’ve put their hands on one of the fastest players the league has ever seen, with a great capacity to read opposing defenses, create fast break opportunities and even take his own shot with his non-orthodox mechanics. Finally, he did end up there and won a ring for the Oakland franchise, as you all know.

12. Seattle Supersonics

Original Pick: Nick Collison

Re-Draft Pick: Kyle Korver

Well, even if Collison was a very iconic player for the Sonics/Thunder franchise due to his vocal leadership and his fierce and intimidating style of play, he’s never been a very talented basketball player. On the other hand, Korver has improved his poor defense on his way to becoming one of the deadliest sharpshooters in NBA history, with his ability to make threes as easy as uncontested layups.

13. Boston Celtics

Original Pick: Marcus Banks

Re-Draft Pick: Chris Kaman

There wasn’t much to do here, so the Celtics would have to go with the inconsistent and not flashy poor defensive big man Chris Kaman, just because Marcus Banks was an even worse choice to go 13th overall. The Point Guard was never able to average more than 12 points and 4.7 assists per game, while struggling with injuries and huge inconsistency after playing 81 games in his 2 first seasons as an NBA player, with only 37 starts in 348 games for him.

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14. Seattle Supersonics

Original Pick: Luke Ridnour

Re-Draft Pick: Nick Collison

Collison would’ve ended up as a Sonic either way, becoming one of the most important players off the bench for the Seattle franchise through the first years of his career. Now, as a veteran, he’s more of a motivational leader than an actual NBA player, and he’s never actually shocked anyone with his talent. Nonetheless, Collison earned his spot on the roster, and he’ll probably retire in a couple of seasons as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

15. Orlando Magic

Original Pick: Reece Gaines

Re-Draft Pick: Josh Howard

Gaines was yet another outstanding college player that never established himself in the NBA, as the shooting guard didn’t have much of a chance to prove his value during his first couple of seasons and his development stalled a lot. On the other hand, Josh Howard actually had some pretty decent seasons as a scorer, mainly as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 19.9 points, 7 rebounds and a couple of assists in 76 games in his best season as an NBA player.

16. Memphis Grizzlies

Original Pick: Troy Bell

Re-Draft Pick: Luke Ridnour

Bell only lasted in the league for a year, and since then, he’s played for over half a dozen teams overseas, being nothing more than a substitute and mediocre point guard. On the other hand, Ridnour was actually a pretty decent player with a team-first mindset and the ability to at least be a part of an NBA rotation until a couple of seasons ago. Still, it wasn’t enough for him to become a successful starter, not being a great playmaker or scorer.

17. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: Zarko Cabarkapa

Re-Draft Pick: TJ Ford

Who the hell is this guy anyway? If you had to Google him, don’t worry, we had to do it too. Cabarkapa only lasted 3 years in the NBA despite being a lottery pick, spending a couple of years in Phoenix before landing on the Warriors, averaging 4.1 points and 2 boards for life. On the other hand, Ford wasn’t much of a consistent player and didn’t bring much to the table, but who knows? He could’ve been pretty solid in Phoenix if he had the chance to prove himself, considering his nice college career.

18. New Orleans Hornets

Original Pick: David West

Re-Draft Pick: Mickael Pietrus

This one was actually a pretty good draft for the Hornets considering how much of a steal David West was going 18th overall. Still, they could’ve had a very decent defensive player in Pietrus, should West be picked when they were on the clock, although his career wouldn’t have been much more successful here either.

19. Utah Jazz

Original Pick: Aleksandar Pavlovic

Re-Draft Pick: Steve Blake

While Pavlovic was a complete non-factor through his entire NBA career, Steve Blake was one of the most consistent and reliable backup point guards the league has seen in a while, being a very disciplined player, a smart and capable passer and a very consistent sharpshooter, averaging 38.3% from downtown through 13 years as an NBA player.

20. Memphis Grizzlies

Original Pick: Dahntay Jones

Re-Draft Pick: Carlos Delfino

Dahntay Jones was never an NBA caliber type of player, and the few times he was actually in the spotlight was because of his big mouth and not because of his talent. On the other hand, Carlos Delfino was one of the most talented Argentinian players and a key piece of their golden generation alongside Ginobili and Scola, although injuries stopped him from remaining in the NBA for many more years.

21. Atlanta Hawks

Original Pick: Boris Diaw

Re-Draft Pick: James Jones

As Diaw would be already picked, the Hawks hand would’ve been forced to go with James Jones, or as you may know him: LeBron James’ professional groupie. If you look at this guy’s resume, you might think he was a beast, while the truth is that the only thing this guy has ever done is being in the same team as The King. Still, his three point shooting has always been quite good, the lone part of his game that’s actually worth talking about.

22. New Jersey Nets

Original Pick: Zoran Planinic

ReDraft-Pick: Matt Bonner

Wow, choosing Bonner over something just means the other guy had to be pretty awful, right? Well yes, that’s exactly the case. Planinic is a good player, but the Red Mamba is the MVP, so this is an easy decision. With him, Brooklyn Nets will play better and he can stretch the floor, so Brook Lopez will have enough space for his 20/10 stat lines.

23. Portland Trail Blazers

Original Pick: Travis Outlaw

Re-Draft Pick: Willie Green

Outlaw was a fierce scorer right out of high school and his offensive game was definitely ready for the NBA, even proving his value during his time as a Trail Blazer. Nonetheless, Willie Green was a more complete player overall with his streaky shooting and capable defense, as well as his maturity and ability to read the game and do what’s best for his team rather than ball hogging like Outlaw did for most of his NBA career.

24. Los Angeles Lakers

Original Pick: Brian Cook

Re-Draft Pick: Darko Milicic

Alright, you got us, we’re running out of players. And well, considering Milicic’s history before he entered the league, you’d still get it if a team jeopardized a lottery pick on him. Los Angeles Lakers should select Milicic and give him another opportunity, why not? Maybe with 20+ minutes per game, he would improve Lakers' defense and help them to lockdown the paint.

25. Detroit Pistons

Original Pick: Carlos Delfino

Re-Draft Pick: Josh Powell

The Pistons had a great player in Delfino, but considering he’s already taken, there’s not much choice left but to go with Josh Powell, an undrafted center who had to prove his value overseas before getting an NBA shot with the Dallas Mavericks. Spending most of his career as a trade chip, the current San Lorenzo center never had a chance to contribute in more than just garbage time.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves

Original Pick: Ndubi Ebi

Re-Draft Pick: Luke Walton

Ebi was not even in the rotation during his time with the Timberwolves, being a huge waste of a first round pick, while Walton was one of the smartest and hard working guys of this class, although he wasn’t as talented as his father. Now, the current head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers is proving that spending that much time on the sidelines was quite useful for him, and he was a very important piece to the 2-time NBA Champions Los Angeles Lakers between 2009 and 2010.

27. Boston Celtics

Original Pick: Kendrick Perkins

Re-Draft Pick: Keith Bogans

With Perkins already picked way before, the Celtics would have to go with the best player available at this point, and that would definitely be Keith Bogans. Bogans was never much of a scorer or a guy that blew you away with skills, but he was a really capable role player and a great help off the bench for all the teams he played in, especially during his stint with the Chicago Bulls, where he started all 82 games despite averaging just over 4 points per game

28. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: Leandro Barbosa

Re-Draft Pick: Dahntay Jones

As Barbosa’s out of the question, The Suns would be stuck with Dahntay Jones, a guy that’s still in the league for some reason. This thug was never much of a talented player, but his hard-nosed style of play, his shoving and intimidating and his attitude would maybe be of some help in the desert, although let's not fooling ourselves, he’s just not worthy of the NBA.

29. Dallas Mavericks

Original Pick: Josh Howard

Re-Draft Pick: Jason Kapono

Jason Kapono was a fierce scorer for UCLA, leading the team in scoring every year as a Bruin. Nevertheless, his offensive game didn’t translate well to the NBA. Still, he proved he could be a consistent scorer in the league winning the 3 point shooting contest in 2007 and 2008 despite being pretty much unknown until then, although his unidimensional skills and lack of development made him stall before trying his luck overseas.