The NBA has had its fair share of dazzling young stars throughout the ages of basketball. Dating back to its first draft in 1947, the NBA became witness to its glorified future through the talents of elite-collegiate athletes. The NBA Draft has always been packed with excitement and the possibility of perhaps witnessing your favorite team select that "once-in-a-generation" type player. Some famous draft classes are comprised of those late round "steals" or, unfortunately, devastating "busts." Players like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant are the kind of players that turned a normal draft night into a night that went down in the history books as a night to remember. At the berth of a new millennium, the 2000 NBA Draft took center stage. Although this time, the draft class would go down as one of the worst of all-time.
Usually when referring to an NBA Draft, I could simply name the first few picks and then you would start to have a better understanding of the draft class. Yet, the infamous NBA Draft of the year 2000 was a little different. Sorry, A LOT different. Just take a look at the first overall pick selected by the New Jersey Nets (today's Brooklyn Nets), Kenyon Martin. One word for Kenyon's NBA career: BUST. The rest of the draft didn't go so well either. Players like Darius Miller, Marcus Fizer, and Stromile Swift were all taken within the first five picks and I can guarantee more than 99.99% of the audience reading this article don't even know who those players are. That is an exact reflection of this entire draft class. My job in this article is to somehow fix-up this abomination of a draft. In this article, I will "re-draft" all 29 picks (the Bobcats were not in existence yet) of the draft's first round. In each pick, I will factor in the team's current needs and the success of the player's NBA career.
29 1. New Jersey Nets - Michael Redd
28 2. Vancouver Grizzlies - Hedo Turkoglu
27 3. Los Angeles Clippers - Mike Miller
High school product Darius Miles was a hot commodity in NBA circles when he entered the league as the No. 3 overall pick. He graced the covers of SLAM Magazine and Sports Illustrated and was seen by many as the next big thing. Instead, he was under-developed and saw his career flip over entirely. Miles was out of the league by the time he was 27 years of age. He finished his career with averages of 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
26 4. Chicago Bulls - Jamal Crawford
25 5. Orlando Magic - Kenyon Martin
24 6. Atlanta Hawks - Morris Peterson
The former Spartan was never really anything more than a consistent role player, yet Peterson did prove he was a pretty solid NBA player. "Mo-Pete" was a 37.3% shooter from beyond the arc. Peterson's sweet stroke made him into a perimeter shooting standout with both the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets. On March 31st, 2006, Peterson scored a career-high 38 points against the Phoenix Suns, where he sunk 13 out of 19 shots (including 6-of-10 from three land).
23 7. Chicago Bulls - Quentin Richardson
22 8. Cleveland Cavaliers - Jamaal Magloire
21 9. Houston Rockets - Eduardo Najera
20 10. Orlando Magic - Joel Przybilla
Joel Przybilla, through his long 13 year career (making him one of the longer tenured players of this draft), earned the reputation as an enforcer in the league. Przybilla never shied away from getting in the face of other opponents and exchanging a few words. His demeanor towards other players could be viewed as a blessing and a curse at the same time, yet the true positive side to his game is his steady, reliable rebounding and rim protection. Przybilla spent the majority of his NBA career with the Trail Blazers, where the shot blocking big averaged 4.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.
19 11. Boston Celtics - Desmond Mason
If you were looking for a talented dunker to add to your roster in your favorite basketball video game, Desmond Mason wasn't a bad choice. As far as making an impact in reality, however, Mason wasn't a great roster add. The athletic high-flyer out of Oklahoma State University never developed an outside shot (career 26% three-point shooter). He was also a lackluster of a rebounder for his size at 6'7" and also vertical leap at roughly 40 inches. For his NBA career, he'd average 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game wile playing for four different franchises.
18 12. Dallas Mavericks - Stromile Swift
17 13. Orlando Magic - Eddie House
16 14. Detroit Pistons - Keyon Dooling
Keyon Dooling would have been a much better pick than Mateen Cleaves had he been available for the Detroit Piston's selection at No. 14 overall. A Michigan State standout, Cleaves played 78 games as a rookie and scored 5.4 points on 40% shooting. From then on, he suited up in just 89 contests and was out of the league by 2006.
Dooling hung his hat beyond the three-point arc. He was not very consistent from the deep land until later in his career, which is usual for most, though, so it's somewhat surprising he lasted as long as he did in the pros. Dooling played for the Clippers, Heat, Magic, Nets, Bucks, Celtics, and Grizzlies. Dooling finished his career in Memphis respectively, while averaging 7 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.3 rebounds per game throughout his 13-year career in the NBA.
15 15. Milwaukee Bucks - Brian Cardinal
Brian Cardinal, otherwise known as "The Custodian" for his tendency to do the dirty work out on the court, is actually the second-best player from this draft class when looking at win shares per 48 minutes (.114, tied with Sac-Town draftee Hedo Turkoglu and one behind Michael Redd). But because the former Boilermaker only got to play in 456 games throughout 12 seasons (38 games per season), he tumbled down the standings substantially. That shouldn't hinder how fans remember the gritty big man, though. He was a team guy who always did what the coaching staff asked of him and that's an important part of the game. And hey, he even knocked down three-pointers at an underrated 37.2% clip. In the end, he averaged 4.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game for his NBA career.
14 16. Sacramento Kings - Etan Thomas
The Kings encounter the biggest downgrade in the 2000 re-draft (not that that's saying much), by going from Hedo Turkoglu (the class's win share leader) to Etan Thomas. Although Thomas was a steady backup center during his time in the pros, he didn't do any one thing particularly well. He'd last nine seasons in the NBA, playing for the Washington Wizards, Olkahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks. In that time, he'd average 5.7 points and 4.7 rebound per game as a steady bench presence on which team he'd play for. The big man actually had the sixth best win share per 48 minutes of the entire draft at .101, which further demonstrates the weakness of this draft.
He now spends his time as an activist, philanthropist and motivational speaker.
13 17. Seattle SuperSonics - Speedy Claxton
If only Desmond Mason turned out the same as another Supersonic draftee who attended the University of Texas by the name of Kevin Durant. At 17th overall, I have the Seattle SuperSonics selecting Speedy Claxton, stealing him from the 76ers. Speedy finds himself as yet another guy from this draft with a great name, Speedy Claxton (born Craig Claxton). Claxton slides up three spots to the now extinct Seattle SuperSonics. Seattle most definitely did not need a point guard at the time, since Hall of Famer Gary Payton was currently holding the point guard position on the roster, but Claxton could have provided "The Glove" with much needed additional rest. Claxton was at his best while he suited up for the Golden State Warriors. That probably due to the fact that he was getting to start and play a lot of minutes, but it's also still worth keeping in mind that he averaged 13.1 points, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals per game for Dub Nation in the 2004-05 season.
12 18. Los Angeles Clippers - Chris Mihm
11 19. Charlotte Hornets - DeShawn Stevenson
Draymond Green might have a DeShawn Stevenson poster in his room, or he might not. Either way, you could say him and Draymond have one thing in common - they both shared a fued with one of the greatest players of all-time in LeBron James. DeShawn Stevenson is perhaps best remembered for his pointless feud with four-time MVP LeBron James. The tatted up wingman peaked in his 2006-07 season with the Washington Wizards when he started all 82 games and scored 11.2 points per game on a respectable field goal percentage of 51%, while shooting 40.4% from beyond the arc. Stevenson tried to silence his beef with King James in 2013 by tweeting that he wanted to join up with Miami, yet he never got an NBA job with the Heat or anywhere else. I guess that's what you get for messing with the King. See trash-talking Draymond Green for example, as he sits in his house wondering what he could have done differently this past Finals, as he watches LeBron hoist the trophy in Cleveland.
10 20. Philadelphia 76ers - Marko Jaric
As a Philadelphia fan, this selection was a bit more personable. In the seven seasons he spent with the Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies, Marko Jaric averaged 7.1 points, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Those aren't fantastic numbers, but keep in mind he was a backup point guard, so those numbers are more respectable in that aspect. He's best remembered for marrying Victoria's Secret supermodel Adriana Lima. Yes, he actually dated Adrianna Lima. There's photo evidence of it. Despite the two having split since then, Marko Jaric is currently rumored to be dating 23-year-old Serbian model Dusica Savic. It seems retirement suits him just fine.
9 21. Toronto Raptors - Jake Voskuhl
Sadly, the Ray Allen shooting touch doesn't seem to run in the UConn blood. Former Husky Jake Voskuhl suited up for the Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors throughout his nine-year career. The journeyman center had issues with foul trouble throughout his entire NBA tenure. Voskuhl averaged 6.5 fouls per 36 minutes in his career—yet he was a decent contributor in his time with the Phoenix Suns. That said, it's quite alarming that he's the 21st-best player from this draft class when looking at a win-shares basis. He'd finish his NBA career with averages of 4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
8 22. New York Knicks - Primoz Brezec
Former No. 27 overall pick Primoz Brezec, a 7'2" center from Slovenia, played just 62 games in three seasons with the Pacers before Charlotte snatched him up in the 2004 NBA Expansion Draft. From there, he became the Bobcats' starting center for two-plus seasons and actually posted some respectable stats. In his two year peak with the Bobcats, Brezec posted 12.7 PPG and 6.5 RPG. When he was traded to Detroit along with teammate Walter Hermann in exchange for Nazr Mohammed, his career hit bottom rather quickly. He'd end his career with averages of 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, having his last season in Milwaukee in 2009/10.
7 23. Utah Jazz - Jake Tsakalidis
Back in 2000, the Phoenix Suns snagged Greek center Iakovos "Jake" Tsakalidis with the 25th overall pick. He boasted a massive NBA-ready frame at 7'2.5", 285 pounds, but he had bricks for hands and was hopeless when shooting from mid-range. In the re-draft, I have the Utah Jazz nabbing him two spots higher at No. 23. Frankly, even Tsakalidis would have been as effective as Greg Ostertag for Utah. Over his career, he'd average 4.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in just 15.9 minutes per game. He'd only last seven years in the NBA.
Their original pick, DeShawn Stevenson, went earlier in this re-draft.
6 24. Chicago Bulls - Darius Miles
5 25. Phoenix Suns - Ime Udoka
Ime Udoka was born in Portland, went to high school in Portland and attended Portland State University, so you could pretty much say he was a "home-town" kinda guy. At Portland State University, he averaged 14.5 points per game in his lone season in his collegiate career. It makes the most sense that Udoka first truly latched on with an NBA team and flourished in Portland when he started all 75 games for the Trail Blazers in 2006-07. From there, the swingman, keep in mind, whom went undrafted, produced a mutual liking with the San Antonio Spurs. He now serves as an assistant coach with the franchise under the legend - Gregg Popovich.
4 26. Denver Nuggets - Jason Hart
3 27. Indiana Pacers - Mark Madsen
2 28. Portland Trail Blazers - DerMarr Johnson
Moving on to Portland, Oregon, the TrailBlazers took a leap of faith and hoped Erick Barkley from the University of St. John's could eventually pan out as solid NBA performer night in and night out. The Blazers got the exact opposite in that. Barkley was just another bust in this nightmare of a draft.
1 29. Los Angles Lakers - Donnell Harvey
Let's just say Donnell Harvey wasn't anything special. Harvey's longest tenure with an NBA team only lasted two years with the Dallas Mavericks. At 29th overall, Donnell Harvey would have been just fine for the last selection in the first round of the worst draft in NBA history. Harvey, coming out of Florida, seemed to be a promising NBA player averaging 10 points and 7 rebounds per game, respectively. Harvey, like many players selected in 2000, failed to perform consistently. Harvey finished his nine year NBA career averaging just 5.6 points and 4 rebounds per game. Goodbye Mark Madsen, hello Donnell Harvey.
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