Revisiting the 2000 NBA Draft
It's not as if a number of gems were passed up -- this was just a poor crop players coming out, filled with collegians who made putrid mistakes in leaving school early such as Erick Barkley, Donnell Harvey, Jerome Moiso and Khalid El-Amin.
If that wasn't enough evidence that this was a forgettable draft, the best player in this group was drafted 43rd, Milwaukee's Michael Redd, perhaps the biggest oversight in recent draft history.
Since we at FanHouse promised to review every draft of the past decade and give our do-overs, we will. But we do wish this whole draft could be done over, because it had very little impact on the future of the league. And here's another fun stat: Of the 58 players drafted, 34 are either out of the league or never made it. Unfortunately this includes the late Jason Collier, the productive Atlanta Hawks center who passed away just before the 2005-06 season.
OK, let's get started: Martin was the No. 1 overall pick by the New Jersey Nets and at the time, it was a cinch pick. He won the Wooden and Naismith Player of the Year Awards and only a leg injury prevented him from playing in the NCAA Tournament. Martin's career has been solid, but nothing close to reaching No. 1 overall pick potential. He has made one All-Star Game and never been the best player on his team. So the Nets instead take Redd first overall, giving themselves a pinpoint shooter, prolific scorer and eventual Olympian.
Martin is easily the second-best player in this draft, so he goes to Vancouver instead of Stromile Swift, the poster boy for freakish athletes who don't necessarily love the game. Nine years ago the Clippers took Darius Miles, which was a risk, especially considering it was the Clippers and Miles was straight out of high school. It worked for a while, but Miles' career was nearly ruined with knee injuries, poor decisions and a bad attitude, and he's now barely hanging on. So in hindsight, the Clippers take Mike Miller, not the pure talent of Miles but more steady and a much better scorer.
The Bulls had two lottery picks and were desperately trying to move on in the post-Jordan era. They started by picking Marcus Fizer, a mammoth man who was undersized and not athletic enough to play power forward. He had two solid seasons but then twice tore the ACL in his right knee and was never the same. So the Bulls' second lottery pick -- Jamal Crawford -- moves up to become their first at No. 4.
Miller was the fifth pick by Orlando, since he moved up to third, the Magic take what would eventually become a familiar face, Hedo Turkoglu. Now the Turk wasn't exactly lottery material in his first few years but he eventually emerged as one of the most productive players of this draft. The Atlanta Hawks took DerMarr Johnson, a wildly athletic freshman entry from Cincinnati, but a car accident nearly ended his career and he became merely a spot-up shooter. The Hawks adjust their thinking and take DePaul's Quentin Richardson.
That's right, Chris Mihm was a lottery pick, but Cleveland wouldn't make that mistake again. The Cavaliers take NCAA hero Morris Peterson at No. 7 while the Bulls nab Oklahoma State's Desmond Mason. Now this gets dicey. Miles was a talented player for a stretch and the Bucks take him at ninth; perhaps playing closer to his St. Louis home would have helped the troubled prep forward.
The Clippers took Keyon Dooling at 10 and he was no better than a backup guard, so they instead take Kentucky's Jamaal Magloire, not much of an upgrade but an adequate big man. That leaves Joel Przybilla to the Celtics at 11 instead of Jerome Moiso, who should have stayed at UCLA. Dallas' two picks end this awful lottery and the Mavericks finish with DeShawn Stevenson and Eddie House -- two players who vastly improved as their careers progressed, although neither are lottery material.
The way it was:
1) Kenyon Martin – New Jersey
2) Stromile Swift – Vancouver
3) Darius Miles– Los Angeles Clippers
4) Marcus Fizer – Chicago
5) Mike Miller– Orlando
6) DerMarr Johnson – Atlanta
7) Chris Mihm – Cleveland
8) Jamal Crawford – Chicago
9) Joel Przybilla – Milwaukee
10) Keyon Dooling – Los Angeles Clippers
11) Jerome Moiso– Boston
12) Etan Thomas– Dallas
13) Courtney Alexander – Dallas
The way it should have been:
1) Michael Redd – New Jersey
2) Kenyon Martin – Vancouver
3) Mike Miller – Los Angeles Clippers
4) Jamal Crawford – Los Angeles Clippers
5) Hedo Turkoglu – Orlando
6) Quentin Richardson – Atlanta
7) Morris Peterson – Cleveland
8) Desmond Mason – Chicago
9) Darius Miles – Milwaukee
10) Jamaal Magloire– Los Angeles Clippers
11) Joel Przybilla – Boston
12) DeShawn Stevenson – Dallas
13) Eddie House– Dallas