Re-Do – 2008 NBA Draft

I have done a few of these “Draft Re-do” posts and you really can’t judge any professional sports’ drafts until after three years. You always have a few late-bloomers that still makes you look at a draft and wonder “why didn’t my team draft him?”

The 2008 NBA Draft class is full of All-Star selections, an MVP, and a few guys who blossomed during the NBA Playoffs. You also have a few  players that didn’t materialize in the NBA. The last time you heard Joe Alexander’s name was when David Stern called his name as the 8th pick. Overall, this draft class is quite deep and much better than the top-heavy 2007 draft class. There are a few guys that we’re still waiting for them to peak, but I’m optimistic that they will come through. Does Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo make it into the Lottery during our re-draft?

1. Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls – This isn’t much of a surprise. I would have bet money that Rose would be one of the game’s best by now. The Bulls got pretty lucky with this pick, but as deep as this draft was, they would have still received a pretty good player later in the lottery. After everything is said and done, Rose should have a few rings and many other accolades. (Rose went #1 to Chicago)

2. Russell Westbrook – Miami Heat – I have to admit that I did not love Westbrook when he came out after his sophomore year at UCLA. I thought that he needed another year and when he went #4 to Oklahoma City, I thought that was insanely high. He has done everything to prove me wrong since he’s been in the NBA. What is scary about Westbrook? He hasn’t even peaked yet and he’s looking like an All-Star. (Westbrook went #4 to Seattle)

3. Kevin Love – Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Memphis) – I was a big Kevin Love fan when he left UCLA. Come to think of it, how did UCLA not win a championship with Love, Westbook, & Collison? Memphis would be a fantastic team with Love, but they wouldn’t have traded for Zach Randolph. A duo of Marc Gasol and Love would be a bit soft, but you would get scoring and rebounding production all day. (Love went #5 to Memphis)

4. Roy Hibbert – Seattle Supersonics – I have to put Hibbert at #4 because he’s one of the lone players in this draft to have already earned an all-star selection. I find it hard to believe that Joe Alexander and Marreese Speights were drafted before him. Once Hibbert learns how to shoot a nice 10-foot jumper, he’ll be more similar to Patrick Ewing. He’s a legit 7-footer with post moves, which is quite rare these days in the NBA. Hibbert has a chance to be great and his best basketball is yet to come. (Hibbert went #17 to Indiana)

5. Serge Ibaka – Memphis Grizzlies (traded to Minnesota) – An argument could be made about not taking Ibaka at #5 from this year’s draft class. You would be basing your information by taking about a year and a half of basketball. I have seen enough of him to know that he’s going to win a couple Defensive Player Of The Year awards during his career. If his offensive game improves, you could eventually move him up a few spots. (Ibaka went #24 to Seattle)

6. Brook Lopez – New York Knicks – If Lopez could stay healthy, he would be higher in this re-draft. In 2008, the Knicks were bad…really bad. Lopez would have been the franchise’s savior. They ended up picking Danilo Gallinari at this spot, who was in the package that they flipped for Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks didn’t lose anything by picking Gallinari here, but Lopez would have been interesting in New York. (Lopez was picked #10 by New Jersey)

7. Danilo Gallinari – Los Angeles Clippers – Gallinari is one of those guys that everyone is waiting on. You have seen flashes over the last few seasons, but he’s still improving. I expect that he’ll grow in Denver and be the face of that franchise. The Knicks may regret trading him for Carmelo in the long-term. (Gallinari went #6 to New York)

8. Eric Gordon – Milwaukee Bucks – I have loved Eric Gordon since he was in college. He is a pure shooter and a bit underrated. He was included in the Chris Paul trade and he’s been injured for most of the season. It would have been nice to see him have more time with Blake Griffin. He will be a free agent this summer and he will be a coveted guy. I added him this high because of his playing skills and his ability to down two pieces of Sbarro’s pizza in less than two minutes (I saw him at the Charlotte airport Sbarro’s in 2009). I am hoping that Gordon will find his way on the Pacers, for purely selfish reasons.  (Gordon was chosen #7 by L.A. Clippers)

9. Mario Chalmers – Charlotte Bobcats –  Chalmers is a player that you either love or hate. The people that hate him say that he’s a system point-guard and that anyone could play with Wade, Bosh, and Lebron James. The people who love him think that it takes a special player to be able to hang with the best trio of players in the NBA. He’s a very good defensive player, but could improve with his mid-range game. The Bobcats would have benefited from picking Chalmers over D.J. Augustin. (Chalmers was picked #34 by Minnesota – traded to Miami)

10. O.J. Mayo – New Jersey Nets – Mayo should be higher on this list, but he’s blocked by Rudy Gay. He has earned more playing time, but he’s a trade chip for the Grizzlies. If he was on a team that needed SG & SF help, he would be a starter. Mayo was all hyped up coming into college and he didn’t do anything special at USC (besides allegedly getting Tim Floyd to hand deliver money). I still think that he’s a special player, but he has to start working at getting better at the NBA level. (Mayo was picked #3 by Memphis)

11. Michael Beasley – Indiana Pacers (traded to Portland) – Beasley is another guy who came into the NBA with a lot of hype, but lacked any sizzle his first couple years in the NBA. He was a casualty in the Lebron James saga and landed in Minnesota. He has done very well for them and doesn’t have to be the #1 or #2 scoring option. He will flourish in a system in which he doesn’t have a lot of pressure on him. The Pacers currently have a player like him on their roster, Tyler Hansbrough. (Beasley was picked #2 by Miami)

12. Goran Dragic – Sacramento Kings –  In a few years, Dragic could be much higher on the list. He’s currently on the Houston Rockets and getting his first shot at running the offense. He has been a star for them, but they need a few more pieces. Dragic can make his own shot and help others do the same. I really like watching him and hopefully the Rockets can build around him. In hindsight, he would have done very well with the Kings. (Dragic was picked #45 by San Antonio traded to Phoenix)

13. Nicolas Batum – Portland Trail Blazers traded to Indiana – Batum is another “we are still waiting on you” type of player. He hasn’t had the type of playing time needed to showcase his skills, but you know that they’re there. You’ll still need to wait and see what he turns into, but I’m optimistic.(Batum was picked #25 by Houston traded to Portland)

14. Brandon Rush – Golden State Warriors – This is quite convenient. If he was picked by the Warriors, he would have struggled in Indiana. He seems to fit the system in Oakland and I like his current role. He’s a guy that can come off the bench, shoot some 3’s, and play a little defense. He could be a fill-in starter, but I like what he does off of the bench. (Rush was picked #13 by Portland traded to Indiana)

Next Three Picks – D.J. Augustin, Jason Thompson, George Hill

Here’s the Re-Do posts for the 1999 NBA Draft2005 NBA Draft2006 NBA Draft, & 2007 NBA Draft.

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