Redoing the 2007 NBA Draft


Portland Trail Blazers fans will always look at the 2007 NBA Draft as the day their championship hopes died. Oklahoma City Thunder fans look at it as the day their franchise began. Wherever you may fall in between, ’07 was an incredibly solid draft filled with one superstar, one incredible center, and a bunch of really solid NBA players. But with that all said, let’s take a look at how the first ten picks of the draft could have panned out if we could see the future ahead of us:

1. Portland Trailblazers

Original Pick: Greg Oden

New Pick: Kevin Durant

This is a no-brainer for Portland. Since being drafted in 2007, Durant has been to the All-Star Game six times, been All-NBA First Team five times, has won four scoring titles, including three straight, and taken his team to three Western Conference Finals. Sorry, Greg Oden.

2. Seattle Supersonics

Original Pick: Kevin Durant

New Pick: Marc Gasol

With Durant now off the board, the Sonic take the next best player available in Marc Gasol. A gifted low-post scorer and passer, Gasol is one the league’s premier centers and we still haven’t seen him at his best. Not too bad of a player to build your franchise around. (Editor’s Note: How would this have changed the Sonics/Thunder moving forward? While Gasol clearly has some great offensive skills, would this have reshaped the team into a more defensive-minded group, like Memphis, West Coast version? Would Russell Westbrook have become a scoring champion without KD in the lineup?)

3. Atlanta Hawks

Original Pick: Al Horford

New Pick: Al Horford

With the need for a big man still present, it doesn’t make sense for the Hawks to take anyone other than Florida center Al Horford. Their future remains the same.

4. Memphis Grizzlies

Original Pick: Mike Conley Jr.

New Pick: Mike Conley Jr.

A perennially underrated point guard, mostly due to the fact he plays in the Western Conference, Conley is one of the league’s top perimeter defenders at this position. With Memphis in dire need of a floor general, they stick with their man Conley out of Ohio State.

5. Boston Celtics

Original Pick: Jeff Green

New Pick: Joakim Noah

Immediately after he was drafted, Jeff Green was shipped off to Seattle in a monster trade to acquire Ray Allen. Whether the same fate lay awaiting for Noah (Editor’s Note: Probably not, with Gasol on the roster) wouldn’t matter as he would fit in fine with either team. His supreme passing and defense, even at that young age, are plug-and-play for any team and working with Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo would give him plenty of time to develop

6. Milwaukee Bucks

Original Pick: Yi Jianlian

New Pick: Thaddeus Young

If I’m ever the head of an NBA franchise, I’m steering clear of Chinese seven-footers. With Yao Ming’s knee injuries in mind, the Milwaukee Bucks still selected Yi Jianlian and hoped he would turn their franchise around. But their go-to pick at number six should have been Young, the talented scoring forward from Georgia Tech. Given some time to develop and with free reign over the team, Young could have turned into a star. But sports are full of what-ifs.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Original Pick: Corey Brewer

New Pick: Arron Afflalo

As we’ve see throughout his career, Brewer is all hustle. Afflalo is not only a more well-rounded player, but also a better athlete with better…everything. Arron can be a swingman, like Brewer, but has a great shot and actually understands basic basketball fundamentals. If I’m Minnesota, he’s my pick all the way.

8. Charlotte Bobcats

Original Pick: Brandan Wright

New Pick: Jeff Green

In the pre-Michael Jordan days of the Charlotte Bobcats, the team was a fringe playoff squad, making do with a roster that had been hastily assembled. With the likes of Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace on the team, their best best would have been to go with Green, another talented guard/forward. At number eight there are no stars left, but Green is a pretty solid bet.

9. Chicago Bulls

Original Pick: Joakim Noah

New Pick: Wilson Chandler

A talented swingman who’s never really been given an opportunity to prosper, Chandler could have filled the Jimmy Butler-role before the Marquette man even got there. Under the tutelage of head coach Tom Thibodeau, Chandler’s defense would have been prioritized and his floor spacing utilized, especially in the next season with the arrival of rookie Derrick Rose.

10. Sacramento Kings

Original Pick: Spencer Hawes

New Pick: Nick Young

While not a Nick Young fan myself, it’s hard to deny his scoring ability. His long-range bombing would have added tremendously to Sacramento’s total dearth of scoring at the time and his attitude might have brought a little swagger to a team with a rapidly dying fan base.

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