Hindsight always makes it easier to know whether the choice was right or not. No team is certain how a player will turn out when they first draft them. Many players bust while others shine bright. This is the first part of a series to re-draft all 10 drafts of the 2010s.
1. Washington Wizards: John Wall
No changes to the first pick in this draft, John Wall is a talent like no other. Injuries have definitely affected his playing and put the Wizards in an impossible position with his salary, but the Wizards, especially in 2010, needed a Point Guard more than anything and John Wall is the clear best choice for that position.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Paul George
The Philadelphia 76ers originally selected Evan Turner with this pick. Turner would quickly become one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history and his career appears to be at the end of his career.
Paul George was originally drafted 7th overall by the Indiana Pacers and blossomed into a superstar. If George were to be drafted by the 76ers, he would’ve become Philadelphia’s new Golden Boy, something they hadn’t had since Allen Iverson.
The 76ers would’ve had a nice core of Jrue Holiday, Paul George, Andre Iguodala, and Thaddeus Young. If that was their core instead of Evan Turner, the Andre Bynum trade may have never happened and the 76ers would’ve been contenders much sooner.
3. New Jersey Nets: Gordon Hayward
The Nets originally drafted Derrick Favors with this pick. Favors has been a solid player for his entire career, but not worthy of the No. 3 pick in the draft. Favors would be traded after just one season for superstar Point Guard Deron Williams. Favors would be a serviceable Power Forward for Utah for several years but would eventually become injury prone and played less than 70 games for several seasons.
Gordon Hayward was originally drafted 9th overall by the Utah Jazz. He wouldn’t take off right away and in their rookie seasons, Favors would’ve been considered the better player, but Hayward would soon take off and would quickly become one of the most talented scorers in the NBA.
It’s unclear how New Jersey’s/Brooklyn’s future would’ve turned out if they had drafted Hayward and odds are he would’ve ended up back in Utah anyway and the Deron Williams trade would happen as scheduled, but Hayward is the clear best player remaining and is drafted at No. 3
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: DeMarcus Cousins
The Minnesota Timberwolves had originally drafted Wesley Johnson with the 4th overall pick. Johnson had a lot of hype coming out of Syracuse and to many, it was the obvious choice. That choice, unfortunately, wouldn’t pan out. Johnson had a solid rookie season averaging 9.0 points and the Timberwolves were hopeful that he would break out next season. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t get better, and would actually regress and his rookie season would be considered his best.
DeMarcus Cousins was originally drafted fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings. Reports were that Cousins fell because of his attitude problem, but many teams simply had other needs. Cousins would quickly find his footing in the NBA and establish himself as an elite Center.
The Timberwolves may have originally drafted a guard with their pick, but their starting Center was Darko Milicic. Milicic is known as one of the biggest busts in NBA history after being drafted second in the iconic 2003 draft over the likes of Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh. The Timberwolves would’ve loved to have a Center of this caliber to join Kevin Love in the front-court that would’ve been arguably the most dangerous front-court of the decade.
5. Sacramento Kings: Hassan Whiteside
The Kings had originally drafted DeMarcus Cousins with this pick, but DeMarcus Cousins is now taken and the best Center left in this draft is Hassan Whiteside.
Whiteside was originally drafted 33rd overall by none other than the Sacramento Kings. He didn’t spend much of his time in Sacramento playing, though. He actually blossomed two years later in Miami, but the Kings would love to have a player of his caliber. If they had played him more minutes in his second season, he could’ve blossomed earlier, but they opted to trade him.
In this redraft, the Kings are aware of the potential Whiteside has and do not hesitate to get him some playing time. He’s obviously not as good as Cousins, but he is a solid replacement for their All-Star Center.
6. Golden State Warriors: Greg Monroe
The Warriors had originally selected Ekpe Udoh with their sixth pick. Udoh too would go down as one of the more disappointing choices in the draft. Udoh’s career was cursed by injuries and he never had a season where he was a consistent starter.
Greg Monroe was originally drafted 7th overall by the Detroit Pistons. Contrary to many beliefs, Monroe was actually an impressive player while in Detroit. It was after he was traded that his career began to slip. Monroe actually was a double-double machine in Detroit and he would’ve been a great help for the struggling Warriors.
Monroe would join David Lee in the front-court and his backcourt teammates would be Monta Ellis and a young Stephen Curry. The Warriors likely still wouldn’t make the playoffs until the Splash Brothers broke out, but Monroe’s career could’ve been remembered much more fondly had he found himself in Golden State.
7. Detroit Pistons: Derrick Favors
Favors was originally drafted 3rd overall by the New Jersey Nets but in this redraft, Monroe was drafted one earlier by the Golden State Warriors.
Favors was a solid player throughout his career so being drafted at seven by the Pistons makes better sense. At his peak, Favors was a very good player averaging over 16 points per game. In Detroit, his legacy would be better remembered as the expectations wouldn’t be so high since he wasn’t drafted in the top five.
Favors would essentially fill the role that Monroe filled as a four/five type of player. The only difference is that he’d fit better when the Pistons select Andre Drummond a year later. Favors would be a good player for the Pistons who would bring back fond memories. He wouldn’t help bring them to the playoffs, but he’d help his own career be remembered in a lighter fashion.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe was originally drafted 18th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ironically, he’d be traded to the Clippers that same offseason. Bledsoe would have a hell of a career for himself, especially starting in his breakout fourth season in Phoenix. He’d average over 20 points per game in his peak and has been an above-average Point Guard for the majority of his career.
The Clippers originally selected Al-Farouq Aminu with this pick. Aminu has been a role player his entire career and is serviceable wherever he plays. Still not worthy of a top-ten selection, though.
The Clippers would draft Bledsoe knowing what he’d become. They wouldn’t trade him and they’d have their star Point Guard of the future. Bledsoe would be a great complimentary piece, along-side Blake Griffin, they’d be an unstoppable scoring duo.
9. Utah Jazz: Lance Stephenson
Stephenson was originally drafted 40th overall by the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers had two great steals in this one. Lance would a borderline All-Star while with the Pacers being known as one of the better all-around players in the league. His career went down a bit after leaving the Pacers, but he returned to Indiana and was back to full form.
With Gordon Hayward, their original draft pick, taken third overall, the Pacers go with Lance. Lance is capable of playing Point Guard and would likely play that over Raja Bell for the season. The Jazz were looking for anyone to help Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to make a run in the playoffs.
Stephenson would have an immediate impact as an energy player. He’d take the pressure off of the two big men with his immense ball-handling and defense. He’d be a huge help to Utah and would ensure that they’d return to the playoffs.
10. Indiana Pacers: Avery Bradley
The Pacers had originally drafted Paul George with this pick, but in this redraft, he was drafted second by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Bradley was originally drafted 19th overall by the Boston Celtics. His skills as a scorer and defender elevate him into the top ten in this draft. Bradley would become one of the better role players in the NBA averaging more than 13 points for five straight seasons. His defense is also a huge factor in his play and is a great complimentary piece in every team.
Avery Bradley fills a similar need that Paul George originally filled as a Shooting Guard. Obviously losing out on Paul George is a bummer, but Bradley’s no slacker. The Pacers also had Danny Granger on the team so they could’ve definitely done some damage in the Eastern Conference.