Every year, in every professional sports league (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA), there is a draft for the league’s teams to bring in fresh players that are “ready” to play in the pros straight out of college. The word ready is in quotes because many players who declare for the draft could use another year at the collegiate level or are just not pro material. Many of these players are standouts in college and think their success at the collegiate level will transfer over the pros, which in some cases, is just not the case. Come draft time, many teams take their chances on these players and are either glad they picked the player they did or they dread that they even thought he’d be a good fit for the team.
Many fans look back at a draft that happened in the past and cringe at how their teams messed up their chances at being good or, in lottery teams’ cases, get their team back to the playoffs. The 2011 NBA draft is a perfect example of that. Going into the draft, it was, like most years, a two horse race for the number one pick that was going to be made by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who in the previous offseason lost LeBron James to the Miami Heat in free agency. The Cavaliers had to decide whether they were going to take the dynamic point guard out of Duke, Kyrie Irving, or Arizona swingman, Derrick Williams. We all know how the draft turned out. Five years later, we look back at this draft and, knowing how the players drafted have turned out, have re-drafted the first round of the 2011 draft based on how the draftees have performed this far in their career. So let’s get started. The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the clock.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving (Duke)
Original Pick: Kyrie Irving (Duke)
It looks like the Cavaliers struck gold when they drafted Kyrie Irving number one overall back in 2011. Irving only played eleven games in his one year at Duke playing under Coach K and scored 17.5 PPG.
The Cavaliers were sure that they wanted to take a shot on Kyrie and, so far, it has paid off. During his first three years in the league, he showed that he was the real deal, averaging 20.7 PPG in that three-year span. Don’t forget, he was playing for a terrible Cavaliers team and there were rumors that Irving was looking to get out of town. And then the summer of 2014 happened.
The Cavaliers had gotten the number one pick in the draft for the second straight year and former Cavalier and Ohio native, LeBron James, was a free agent. The Cavaliers drafted Andrew Wiggins out of Kansas with their pick and to many people’s surprise, LeBron James decided to come home and sign back with the Cavaliers. Suddenly, rumors surfaced that the Cavaliers were interested in acquiring Kevin Love from the Timberwolves. A week or so later, the Cavs traded Wiggins and Anthony Bennett to the Wolves for Love.
Two years later, the Cavs won the NBA title, giving Cleveland their first professional sports championship in 52 years. And guess who hit the dagger that put the Cavs up for good in game seven of the Finals. It was Irving.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State)
Original Pick: Derrick Williams (Arizona)
Oh how things could have been different? The Timberwolves took the player that the Cavaliers didn’t want and selected Derrick Williams out of Arizona. Williams never panned out for them, sadly only lasting two seasons and eleven games into the 2013-14 season, before he was traded to the Kings for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
Who they should have taken was little known Kawhi Leonard out of San Diego State. Leonard was originally drafted fifteenth overall by the Indiana Pacers, but was traded to the Spurs along with Erazem Lorbek and Davis Bertans for George Hill.
Leonard, since he first stepped on the court for the Spurs, has been an All-Star, averaging 14.3 points a game during his career, including a career high 21.2 PPG this past season. He has become the face of the future for the Spurs and with the retirement of Tim Duncan, along with Tony Parker getting up there in age, Leonard is going to be who the Spurs lean on to help them stay at the level they have been at for so long. Leonard was the Wolves’ miss and the Spurs’ gain is what it is looking like.
3. Utah Jazz – Klay Thompson (Washington State)
Original Pick: Enes Kanter (Kentucky/Turkey)
Could you imagine how good the Jazz would be with Gordon Hayward and Klay Thompson as their Splash Brothers? They must be kicking themselves for passing on Thompson and going with the big man, Enes Kanter, out of Turkey who was supposed to play collegiality at Kentucky, but never did due to NCAA rules. Kanter played sparingly for three and a half seasons with the Jazz before being traded to the Thunder.
Thompson, on the other hand, was eventually drafted eleventh overall by the Golden State Warriors, who, by the looks of things, are pretty happy that Thompson fell to them. He pairs with Steph Curry to form one of the most lethal guard pairings in the league, known as The Splash Brothers. He has helped them reach the playoffs the last three years, including back to back finals appearances the past two seasons, which included a championship in 2014-15. Thompson was also a key part in the Warriors’ run to a 73-9 record, which is the best record in NBA history. Looks like the Jazz are sitting there and wondering what might have been.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Tristan Thompson (Texas)
Original Pick: Tristan Thompson (Texas)
Look at who struck gold again in this draft…the Cavaliers. They had two picks in the top four and after taking Kyrie Irving with the number one pick, they decided to go big at number four with Tristan Thompson out of Texas.
He has not had the most dominant numbers thus far in his career, but he has become a dependable player for the Cavaliers. With LeBron James and Kevin Love on the team now, Thompson has basically become the big man in Cleveland’s starting lineup and, rightly so, because he has proven over and over again that he can hold his own in the paint and bang with the best big men the NBA has to offer.
In this past season’s Finals, he showed that by dominating Golden State’s big men in the post time and time again. He has proven that the Cavaliers were clearly the winners of the first round of the 2011 NBA draft and that is one of the reasons that they are a perennial NBA title contenders five years later.
5. Toronto Raptors – Jimmy Butler (Marquette)
Original Pick: Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)
Instead of taking a chance on a guy that they knew was not going to come over and play in the NBA right away, the Raptors could have gone with Jimmy Butler out of Marquette. Originally taken 30th overall by the Bulls, Butler, during his five years in the league, has become one of the best players in the game.
The Raptors’ original pick, Jonas Valanciunas, did not come over right away, but did come over for the following 2012-13 season. He has put up decent numbers and has been a good big man for Toronto, but how do you pass up a twenty-point scorer that can be the face of your franchise for a draft and stash (even if it was for one season) at the fifth overall pick? Imagine what the Raptors would be if they had drafted Butler here. They would have an incredible trio of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Jimmy Butler, which would probably be am NBA title contender year after year.
6. Washington Wizards – Chandler Parsons (Florida)
Original Pick: Jan Vesely (Czech Republic)
Yes, the Wizards did actually select Jan Vesely from the Czech Republic at this spot and yes, he is possibly the worst player ever taken sixth overall in the NBA draft. But remember, this is the re-draft. So, with their do over, the Wizards select Chandler Parsons out of Florida.
This would be a perfect fit for them because for years now, the Wizards have been looking for a reliable wingman to accommodate John Wall and Bradley Beal. Imagine if Chandler Parsons was there all along?
He is a career 14.3 PPG scorer who can help a team in many different ways and can be a killer from behind the three-point line. Parsons, in the 2011 draft, actually was not taken until the second round at number 38 overall by the Houston Rockets, who were glad to have him drop into their laps. This is an example of doing your research before you make a statement because like the Wizards, you can look foolish.
7. Sacramento Kings – Isaiah Thomas (Washington)
Original Pick: Bismack Biyombo (Congo)
For this re-draft, the Kings reach down to the last pick in the draft at 60th overall and select Isaiah Thomas out of Washington. Yes, Isaiah Thomas was selected with the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft and by watching him play, there are many teams out there that wish they never let him drop that far.
The funny thing about this is that the Kings owned the last pick in the draft and wound up with Thomas anyway, but in this re-draft, Thomas goes where he deserves to, based on his play so far in his career.
He is a player, who can light it up and can hurt the opposition in so many different ways. With the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft, it’s safe to say that the Kings got the steal of the draft when they drafted Thomas, though he’s moved on since, and they will not let another team pick him up in the re-draft by taking him here at number seven.
8. Detroit Pistons – Reggie Jackson (Boston College)
Original Pick: Brandon Knight (Kentucky)
The Pistons, in the re-draft, choose Reggie Jackson out of Boston College over their original pick, Brandon Knight out of Kentucky, simply because of how Jackson has fit into their system. Jackson was originally drafted by the Thunder with the twenty-fourth pick and was the backup to Russell Westbrook, which did not sit well with Jackson. He wanted to be the man. So the Thunder traded him to the Pistons as part of a three team deal that also involved the Jazz and since that trade, Jackson has done nothing but produce for the Pistons, showing them that it should have been him and not Knight who was drafted eighth overall.
In his season and a half with Detroit, Jackson has averaged 18.5 PPG and, this past season, he helped lead the team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Pistons were able to fix their mistake and get the guy they should have drafted all along, but a lot of other teams were not so lucky.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
Original Pick: Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
This was a hard re-draft pick, but the Hornets (who were the Bobcats then) stick with their original pick of Kemba Walker out of Connecticut. Before the 2010-11 season, Kemba Walker was projected as a late second round pick or even undrafted, but an incredible run through the NCAA tournament, in which he took his team on his back and led them to the National Championship, led his draft stock to rise to a lottery pick.
Many skeptics thought that he would not do anything in the NBA because a lot of players who are college legends do not pan out in the pros and fail to live up to expectations. By his play the last five years, Walker has silenced his critics and lived up to the expectations. This past season, he averaged a career high 20.9 PPG and is the face of an up coming Hornets team.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Nikola Vucevic (USC)
Original Pick: Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
Do not moan because the Bucks did not stick with the original pick of Jimmer Fredette here. The Bucks, this time around, are a lot smarter and take the big man Nikola Vucevic out of USC.
Vucevic was originally drafted sixteenth overall by the Sixers and was shipped to the Magic as part of the horrendous Andrew Bynum trade. He has become one of the best true big men in the game in his five years in the league. He has a career average of 14.5 points PPG and has averaged 18-19 PPG over the last two seasons.
Vucevic is not just a big man who can push people around in the paint, but he also has one of the best looking jump shots for a big man. If you are a Bucks fan, just imagine a front line of Vucevic, Greg Monroe, and Jabari Parker. Sends chills down your spine, doesn’t it? Well, keep dreaming because this is just a hypothetical re-draft.
11. Golden State Warriors – Tobias Harris (Tennessee)
Original Pick: Klay Thompson (Washington State)
You have to feel bad for the Warriors at this spot after losing Klay Thompson, their original pick, to the Jazz, who took him at number three. So, they gathered themselves and looked at the best shooters still on the board, before deciding to select Tobias Harris out of Tennessee.
Harris is a career 13.2 PPG scorer who can light it up from behind the arc. He could help fill in the void left by not having Thompson there and would add height and physicality to a Warriors team that lacks both. Harris can go off if he is needed to and carry the load on any given night because that is the kind of player he is. If you look at his numbers during his time in Orlando, he averaged around 16 PPG and was the number one or two option on a young, up coming Magic team.
No, he is not the type of player that Klay Thompson is, but with Thompson off the board, Harris is the best guy for the Warriors to take at this spot.
12. Utah Jazz – Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)
Original Pick: Alec Burks (Colorado)
Having selected Klay Thompson at number three, the Jazz are on the clock again and at this pick, they have a decision to make. Do they take Enes Kanter, their original number three pick, or do they take Jonas Valanciunas, who was the Raptors original pick at number five? Their career numbers, so far, are similar and Valanciunas is an inch taller and ten pounds heavier than Kanter, so the Jazz take a chance, pass on Kanter again and take Valanciunas.
As mentioned with the fifth pick, Valanciunas stayed overseas and played in Lithuania during the 2011-12 season, even after getting drafted fifth overall. Since he has come over to the States, he has not really been an All-Star, but has been a good big man in the league averaging double digit PPG over the last three seasons. He is also reliable, having only missed six games out of possible 283. The Jazz look smart so far in the re-draft.
13. Phoenix Suns – Brandon Knight (Kentucky)
Original Pick: Markieff Morris (Kansas)
Like the Pistons’ selection of Reggie Jackson, the Suns’ pick of Brandon Knight comes from the way he has fit into their system. So far in his career, Knight had not found a place to call home, having played for the Pistons and Bucks before landing with the Suns.
He seems to fit perfectly in the system along fellow Kentucky Wildcat Eric Bledsoe to form one of the best guard duos in the league. If you were going to compare Knight to another former Wildcat, it would have to be Rajon Rondo because Knight is not known for being a scorer who can light it up like Bledsoe, but can also find open teammates like Rondo.
This past season, Knight averaged a career high 19.6 PPG for a rising Suns team who have seemed to be on the upswing for the last couple seasons. Knight seems to be a fit for the Suns, even in the re-draft.
14. Houston Rockets – Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)
Original Pick: Marcus Morris (Kansas)
The Rockets, in the re-draft, decide to not take one of the Morris brothers and go instead with the bruiser out of mid-major Morehead State, Kenneth Faried a.k.a. “The Manimal.”
Originally taken 22nd by the Nuggets, Faried has been a consistent player when it comes to production, averaging 12.3 PPG and 8.7 RPG during his career so far.
Coming out of college, many NBA scouts overlooked Faried because he came from a small school like Morehead State, but to their surprise, Faried has shown during his career that he belongs in the NBA. Rockets fans that are reading this are probably picturing Faried and Dwight Howard on the frontline with James Harden in the backcourt. That would have to be one of the league’s most physical frontcourts. Both Faried and Howard like to pound in the paint, attack the offensive glass, and get put back dunks. That’s just a dream now as Faried plays in Denver and Howard just left to go home and play in Atlanta.
15. Indiana Pacers – Alec Burks (Colorado)
Original Pick: Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State)
Just like the Warriors’ pick at 11, you cannot help but feel bad for the Pacers here. Their original pick was Kawhi Leonard, even though they traded him to the Spurs for George Hill.
With Leonard off the board, the Pacers decide to take sharpshooting Alec Burks from Colorado. During his collegiate career with the Buffaloes, Burks lit up the scoreboard and was a consistent twenty point a game scorer. During his career in the NBA, he is only averaging 10.6 PPG, which helped drop him down to number fifteen.
The real problem with Burks is during the last two seasons, he has missed a significant amount of time due to injuries. He missed the majority of the 2014-15 season due to a shoulder injury and missed the first six months of last season with a fractured ankle and a fractured left fibula. When he has been on the court the last three seasons though, he is averaging between thirteen and fourteen points a game. Seeing those numbers is what has him dropping from number twelve but staying in the top fifteen.
16. Philadelphia 76ers – Enes Kanter (Kentucky/Turkey)
Original Pick: Nikola Vucevic (USC)
Sitting at sixteen, the 76ers would be proud to sit back and take Nikola Vucevic again at this spot, now knowing what he has done in his career so far.
They probably wish they would have never included him in the horrible trade for Andrew Bynum too. The only thing about that is Vucevic was snatched up by the Bucks at number ten. So, the Sixers look at the remaining players and who do they see sitting at number sixteen? Enes Kanter.
Kanter was a bit of an unknown coming out of Kentucky basically because he was ineligible to play for John Calipari and the Wildcats due to NCAA rules. During his first two seasons in the league, the Jazz played him sparingly trying to find out where he fit into their system. Then in 2014-15, they decided Kanter was not in their future plans so they traded him to the Thunder in a draft day three-team deal that also included the Detroit Pistons.
Since joining the Thunder and teaming up with Steven Adams to give them a big frontline, Kanter has seemed to flourish. If this is how the draft happened back in 2011, the Sixers would have not needed to trade for Andrew Bynum and who knows? They might be contenders today instead of cellar dwellers.
17. New York Knicks – Markieff Morris (Kansas)
Original Pick: Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech)
It seems like whenever the Knicks are on the clock, their fans dream big just to have their dreams crushed when the Knicks go in a different direction with their pick. Just look at how fans reacted to the selection of Kristaps Porzingis last year. Knicks fans never seem to be happy with what the Knicks do in the draft and who knows if they would like this pick.
The Knicks selected Iman Shumpert originally with this pick, but in the re-draft, they wise up and take one of the Morris brothers, Markieff, out of Kansas. Looking at his career so far, he has been a solid role player and unlike his brother, Marcus (who has yet to be drafted), has been able to stay out of trouble and stick with one team (until has trade last year) instead of bouncing around, trying to find a home. He is a career 11.5 PPG scorer and adds length off the bench, which would help the Knicks a lot. So Knicks fans do you like this pick?
18. Washington Wizards – Marcus Morris (Kansas)
Original Pick: Chris Singleton (Florida State)
The Wizards selected Chris Singleton with this pick originally and no, not the Chris Singleton from Baseball Tonight. If that is the only Chris Singleton you know, then you already know that this one did not pan out.
Thanks to the do over, the Wizards select Marcus Morris instead of Singleton this time around. His brother, Markieff, was just selected at number seventeen, so like the real draft in 2011, the Morris brothers were taken with back to back picks, just not thirteen and fourteen this time around.
Like Markieff, Marcus is a solid role player who can help his team in several ways. He is a career 10.1 PPG scorer and adds length off the bench. Unlike Markieff, Marcus cannot seem to keep to himself and ends up in trouble because of it. During a game during the 2013-14 season, he received a technical foul and was caught on TV tearing into coach Jeff Hornacek about the foul. Just last offseason, the Suns traded away Markieff after the brothers had played together in Phoenix for two years and Marcus demanded a trade because of it. Talk about brotherly love.
19. Charlotte Hornets – Nikola Mirotic (Spain)
Original Pick: Tobias Harris (Tennessee)
At this pick, the Hornets are bummed that their original pick, Tobias Harris, is off the board after going number eleven to the Warriors. After re-drafting Kemba Walker at nine, ten picks later, the Hornets draft a draft-and-stash, Nikola Mirotic, out of Spain.
Mirotic, originally drafted at number twenty-three by the Houston Rockets, spent the three seasons following the 2011 draft playing in Spain while NBA-readying his game. His rights eventually landed with the Chicago Bulls and, two seasons ago, Mirotic finally came over to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA.
He is a stretch four who can spread the floor and knock down the occasional three-pointer if needed. He is a career 10.9 PPG scorer that can help provide depth off the bench for a team. The Hornets always seem to be looking for depth off of the bench and, back in 2011, if the draft went this way, they would have had it in Mirotic.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams (Arizona)
Original Pick: Donatas Motiejunas (Lithuania)
In our re-draft, the Timberwolves passed on this guy at number two, taking Kawhi Leonard instead. At twenty, they see his name still on the board and after looking at what he has done over his career so far, they decide to take him.
Going into this draft, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams were thought to be the no-brainer number one and number two picks. Kyrie went one and Williams went two. Kyrie worked out and Williams did not. Williams was a 17 PPG scorer during his time at Arizona, but in the NBA, he is a career 9.3 PPG scorer and is nothing more than a guy who can help a team by coming off the bench and eating up minutes.
That is the chance teams take during the NBA draft, as either they hit big, they completely miss, or they find a role player who is not a star, but can help the team in other ways. Williams is not the star he was at Arizona, but he has shown that he can help teams in other ways and twenty is a good pick for a player like that.
21. Portland Trail Blazers – Norris Cole (Cleveland State)
Original Pick: Nolan Smith (Duke)
One might have understood what the Blazers were thinking with their original pick. Duke point guards usually translate well to the NBA, so they were hoping to strike gold with Nolan Smith. They were hoping he would pan out, but he did not.
Luckily for them, this comes as their do over. They stay with the point guard position and draft Norris Cole from mid-major Cleveland State. Cole, during his NBA career, has been able to provide teams with a decent backup point guard who can make plays or get his teammates involved. He is only a 7.1 PPG career scorer, but helps in ways that are not included in the box score as well.
During his first two seasons in the NBA, he played big minutes and had a role in helping the Heat win their back to back NBA championships.
22. Denver Nuggets – Donatas Motiejunas (Lithuania)
Original Pick: Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)
While the Rockets are dreaming of Kenneth Faried and Dwight Howard as their frontcourt duo, the Nuggets are licking their wounds and look at the big men on their roster today, who are mostly international players. They say “why not?” and take Donatas Motiejunas from Lithuania.
Motiejunas is a seven footer who can dominate the paint, grab rebounds, and even step out and shoot the occasional jump shot. In today’s NBA, what is wrong with a big man that can do that? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. He is a career 7.8 PPG scorer and has been used mostly during his career as a backup big man who can come in and give the starter a break. Even though he is not the freak of an athlete Kenneth Faried is, Motiejunas seems to be the type of big man that the Nuggets look for, so they’re happy with their selection.
23. Houston Rockets – Bismack Biyombo (Congo)
Original Pick: Nikola Mirotic (Spain)
The Rockets at fourteen selected Kenneth Faried and they are dreaming of the tandem of Kenneth Faried and Dwight Howard destroying the opposition in the paint. At twenty-three, they decide to add to that and take Bismack Biyombo out of the Congo.
He was originally drafted number seven by the Sacramento Kings and after looking at his career, it is safe to say that him being picked there was nothing more than a reach. He only averages 4.6 PPG for his career and has not done anything that would show that the Kings were smart with selecting him that high.
During this past season’s playoffs, he showed that he can come off the bench and be a force on the glass, both defensively and offensively, and even gave the Cavaliers frontline fits inside the paint during the Eastern Conference Finals for the Raptors. He averaged 6.2 PPG and 9.4 RPG during the playoffs, which are still nothing to justify selecting him in the top ten, but the Rockets, with this pick, are thinking of grooming him behind Howard and Faried.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder – Shelvin Mack (Butler)
Original Pick: Reggie Jackson (Boston College)
In 2011, Oklahoma City went into this draft looking to draft a protégé for Russell Westbrook and their original pick of Reggie Jackson was just that. Jackson eventually got tired of sitting behind Westbrook and got his wish in a trade to the Pistons.
This time around, Jackson was selected by the Pistons at number eight and the Thunder are looking for a protégé for Westbrook. So, the best point guard on the board is Shelvin Mack from Butler. Mack was just off helping Butler do the unthinkable by reaching back to back National Championship games, only to fall short in both, so it can be assumed that he can handle the big stage.
During his time with the Bulldogs, he averaged double digit PPG in each of his three seasons and also helped get his teammates involved. In his NBA career, he has not had as much success as he had in college, only averaging 6.1 PPG, but has become a solid backup point guard. Who knows what he would have been if the Thunder brought him in to be Westbrook’s protégé?
25. Boston Celtics – Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech)
Original Pick: MarShon Brooks (Providence)
The Celtics’ original pick in MarShon Brooks looked good for a season or two before the flame on his potential went out. Having a chance at a do over, the Celtics pass on Brooks and take Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech.
Shumpert originally went with pick number seventeen to the New York Knicks, much to the dismay of their fans and, during his NBA career, he has been a role player at best. He is a career 7.4 PPG scorer and has become known around the league for his defensive ability. He was traded from the Knicks to the Cavaliers, along with swingman J.R. Smith, to provide help for LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and company. Since the trade, he has played a key part in helping the Cavaliers reach back to back finals, culminating with an NBA title, the first pro title for a Cleveland team in fifty-two years. If the Celtics got to draft him, he would probably still be playing a key role on their team.
26. Dallas Mavericks – Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia)
Original Pick: Jordan Hamilton (Texas)
The Mavericks, with their original pick, were looking for a forward that could slash to the basket and step out and shoot the three. They only picked the wrong one. Who knew the player they were looking for was in a draft-and-stash? The draft is about taking chances, right? Their original pick, Jordan Hamilton, lasted four years in the NBA and had mediocre numbers. Their re-draft pick is Bojan Bogdanovic out of Croatia.
Like Nikola Mirotic, drafted at number nineteen, he would spend the three years following the 2011 draft playing overseas and developing his game and came over before the 2014-15 season. He is a career 10.1 PPG scorer during his two seasons in the pros and was a 12.1 PPG scorer overseas. When you compare his numbers to that of Hamilton, who was a career 5.5 PPG scorer during his time in the NBA, you see why Bogdanovic was the pick here.
27. New Jersey Nets – Cory Joseph (Texas)
Original Pick: JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)
The New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets took JaJuan Johnson out of Purdue with their original pick here based on how well he performed during his time with the Boilermakers. He only lasted one season in the NBA and averaged 3.2 PPG during that season.
The Nets are happy for the do over and select the young Cory Joseph out of Texas. In 2010-11, the Nets were not any good and at the trade deadline, acquired point guard Deron Williams from the Jazz for Devin Harris. By looking at their roster, they do not have a backup point guard that can help take over from where Williams left off when he is taken out of the game to catch a breather.
Joseph would have provided the Nets with just that. He was originally drafted by the Spurs and sat behind Tony Parker and Patty Mills and did not really get much playing time. With the Nets, that would have all changed. Joseph would have been put into the backup role behind Williams and would have been able to learn from one of the best point guards in the game, at that time.
28. Chicago Bulls – Kyle Singler (Duke)
Original Pick: Norris Cole (Cleveland State)
Kyle Singler, going into this draft, was being overlooked by scouts, because when was the last time any player from Duke who was not a point guard was a real NBA star? You would probably have to go back to Grant Hill. There have been good players to come from Duke, like Carlos Boozer and Shane Battier, who were not stars but did their part to help their teams win.
Singler, in college, was a slasher who was not afraid to step out behind the three-point line and knock down the three. Looking at his play during his career in the NBA, his game sort of resembles that of Mirotic. Singler spent the year following the draft playing overseas and came back over to play in the NBA the following year. He only averages 7.1 PPG during his career, but that number is containing a season and a half in which he was played sparingly as a member of the Thunder. The Bulls could have found the American version of Mirotic in Singler, but we will never know.
29. San Antonio Spurs – E’Twaun Moore (Purdue)
Original Pick: Cory Joseph (Texas)
With their original pick, the Spurs were looking for a point guard to backup and learn behind Tony Parker, so they took Cory Joseph. He is not available at this spot, so they go with the next best available on their list and take E’Twaun Moore out of Purdue.
There is not really much of a difference between Moore and Joseph numbers-wise, so the Spurs, by losing out on Joseph this time around, are not losing out on much by replacing him with Moore.
Joseph has averaged 6.1 PPG and Moore has averaged 5.8 PPG during their respective NBA careers. Moore would fill in the same role that Joseph had, which was be the team’s third point guard behind both Tony Parker and Patty Mills. He has been on three teams during his career (Celtics, Magic, and Bulls) and has been in that role at each stop. He is a reliable guard that is usually brought in to the game during garbage time. Who knows? Knowing the Spurs, Moore could have become a great player who was better than Joseph, but we will never know.
30. Chicago Bulls – Jon Leuer (Wisconsin)
Original Pick: Jimmy Butler (Marquette)
Yes, the Bulls’ original pick of Jimmy Butler was the ultimate steal of the draft. His play so far in his career has teams’ front offices kicking themselves for not taking a harder look at him.
Well, during the re-draft, the front offices did and Butler went super early, leaving the Bulls to ponder something else up. They settle for the big forward, Jon Leuer, out of Wisconsin. He is a perfect example of a stretch-four, who is a player who is a big man who can spread the floor with his shooting range. Leuer is a career 37.5% three-point shooter, so he can stretch his game out to past the three-point line.
Looking at the Bulls’ last five drafts after this one, they like taking big bodies who can create havoc in the paint and step out and hit the occasional jumper. Leuer, with his game, can do exactly that and even take his game out to the three-point line.
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