NBA, NBA Draft / Jan 4, 2008 / 8:03 am

2005 Draft Do-Over

IMAGE DESCRIPTIONPhoto. David Deal

If the Bucks could do it over, who would they take #1 in the ’05 Draft?

We put that question up as the DimeMag.com poll a few days ago, but the results were so surprising I think it’s worth a deeper look.

Think back to 2005: At the time, most people felt Chris Paul was the best overall player in the field. But seeing as the Bucks already had Mo Williams on-board and T.J. Ford returning from missing the previous season following spinal surgery, there wasn’t as big of a need at that position. In addition to CP, having two NBA starting-caliber point guards put Deron Williams and Ray Felton out of the mix.

So that left big man Andrew Bogut and promising wing Marvin Williams as realistic options. Milwaukee went with Bogut, and while he’s been solid (11.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg 1.8 bpg), by Year 3 it’s become clear he isn’t even the best center — or even the best Andrew — in the class. Andrew Bynum (12.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2 bpg), a project coming out of high school in ’05, was picked 10th overall and has since become one of the top centers in the NBA.

But had they known then what they know now, what would the Bucks have done? The readers answered in the poll:

CHRIS PAUL (203 votes)
DERON WILLIAMS (57 votes)
ANDREW BYNUM (44 votes)
ANDREW BOGUT (6 votes)

First off, with the way people go back-and-forth in the “CP vs. Deron” debate (check out Dime #37’s Letters section), I didn’t expect Paul to be such a runaway winner and get almost four times as many votes as Deron.

Then there’s Bynum. While CP (21.3 ppg, 10.3 apg, 2.9 spg) and Deron (19.3 ppg, 9.1 apg) are knocking on All-Star status right now — and Chris should be a lock this year — looking ahead 3-4 years down the road, don’t be shocked if Bynum is the more valuable commodity. Deron and CP will be battling for the crown of the L’s top point guard by then, but go and ask the 21st-century Spurs, the most recent three-peat Lakers, the ’04 Pistons and the ’06 Heat how having a dominant big man can lead to a championship. Bynum could be that in a few years. He’s only 20 years old right now and is improving almost daily this season.

It would be tough to pass on Paul or Williams, but a 7-footer with All-NBA potential who could be the cornerstone for a championship team? It’s definitely appealing. And as for Bogut … well, he’d still be a sure Top-10 pick.

My ’05 do-over Lottery:

1. Milwaukee — Chris Paul, PG, Wake Forest
2. Atlanta — Deron Williams, PG, Illinois
3. Utah — Andrew Bynum, C, St. Joseph’s H.S. (N.J.)
4. New Orleans — Ray Felton, PG, North Carolina
5. Charlotte — Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Lanier H.S. (Miss.)
6. Portland — Danny Granger, SF, New Mexico
7. Toronto — David Lee, PF, Florida
8. New York — Andrew Bogut, C, Utah
9. Golden State — Marvin Williams, SF, North Carolina
10. L.A. Lakers — Martell Webster, SF/SG, Seattle Prep (Wash.)
11. Orlando — Andray Blatche, PF/SF, South Kent Prep (Conn.)
12. L.A. Clippers — Charlie Villanueva, PF/SF, UConn
13. Charlotte — Jason Maxiell, PF, Cincinnati
14. Minnesota — Lou Williams, PG, South Gwinnett H.S. (Ga.)

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  • nig

    ahahha i love how u put bogut as a pick by the knicks… u could def trust isaih to mess up like that

  • boogey banger

    i’m not hatin on dwill or cp3 but it’s not like ford and mo will are scrubs. if it was me and you couldn’t predict the future i would have went with bynum. that would give you a young athletic core of tj, redd, mase, joe smith and bynum.

  • QQ

    Marv Willaims is playin’ right now, #9 is a bit too low… More like 5 or 6.

  • YOUNGFED

    Villanueva and Blatche and David Lee over Jason Maxiell with what we know now (GTFOH) and yes thats “Get The F–K Outta Here”. You gotta be kidding me Dime.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Even with what we know now, Maxiell would slip because he’s undersized for his position. Charlie V and Blatche aren’t producing like Max right now, but they still have potential and they’re both still 6-10 or 6-11. As for Lee, I’d think several GMs would take him over Maxiell. He’s a 10-rpg type even when he doesn’t get starter’s minutes.

  • rathauneak

    Austin, I agree with your comments on Maxiell being undersized, but if the whole point of this “do-over” was to pick based on what we know NOW…I’d go with Maxiell over Charlie V and Blatche. They’re both still working on that same “potential” that got them drafted while Maxiell is actually producing and contributing to W’s.

    I’d also pass on the PG’s with the first pick if I had Ford & Williams already. Neither are slouches and adding Bynum to what they had would’ve looked real good right now.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Why not take Paul and trade TJ or Mo to get an impact player at another position? If you know that CP will end up being better than both the PGs you have, pick him.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    In fact, I’d take Chris Paul and trade TJ (like they eventually did anyway). Your backcourt is CP and Mike Redd, with Mo coming off the bench as a Ben Gordon-type combo scorer (that way he gets all the shots he wants with the 2nd unit and you can play all three in crunch time). Trade TJ to a team that needs a PG and get yourself a quality wing/forward (like they wanted to get with the Charlie V trade) or at least a good draft pick for the future.

  • dagwaller

    I’m with Austin here, in a way. I think that they should’ve traded down, because their biggest need (C) wasn’t the best player available at the time. In the NBA, I think you should always pick the best player available, because they’re going to end up being more valuable to someone else than you. In other words, they could’ve grabbed CP, then traded him to the Hornets for Bogut AND a future pick, cash, a player, etc.

    OR they could’ve just kept him and traded for someone else, a la Austin’s suggestion.

  • YOUNGFED

    Maxiell has proveds time and time again that size doesnt matter in his case (eg. Ben Wallace) but Austin if we’re going of now I’d take Maxiell he could be the next barkley if the Pistons weren’t so Damn Good.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    if the bobcats would have never selected Sean May then the world would be a better place.

  • Brown

    I can’t remember the exact picks I had predicted in this draft, but I knew Milwaukee would take Bogut. Why do GMs fall in love with foreign big men? Have we not learned from Bogut, Gasol, Milicic and Bargnani that they’re seriously overhyped and overrated?

    The only other picks I can remember predicting were CP3 at #2 to the Hawks (seeing as they already had a glut of versatile guards/forwards and no PG – still doesn’t make sense no matter how well Williams is playing), Danny Granger going at #7 to the Raptors, Charlie Villanueva at #8 to the Knicks, and Jarrett Jack at #15 to the Raptors.

    Just another example of how terrible Rob Babcock is at judging talent. Personally, I would have taken Granger and Jack over Villanueva and Joey Graham any day. I loved Jack’s game at G-Tech, and given his relationship with Chris Bosh, thought he’d be a sure-fire pick at #15.

  • Dismayed

    Forget the Bucks. The Blazers could have had Paul, but traded down to take Martell Webster. Imagine their current squad with CP running the point. Nasty.

  • kowtz

    If the GM’s could have guessed how drafts turnout…

    Jordan would have played with the Rockets… ;)

  • QQ

    And Kwame Brown would’ve never played a single minute in an NBA court. Ah, again I mock that despicable pile of goo.

  • Nick

    I think a lot of you are underestimating the value of getting a decent big man. Bogut is no D-Howard, but he’s better than the guy most teams have at his spot. Franchise point guards like Deron and CP3 aren’t easy to come by, but i would say that guys like Granger and Marvin Williams are much easier to come by. I mean granger drops into that Marion, AK47, Josh Smith, Gerald Wallace, Josh Howard mold for me and thats good company but there are plenty of em. Likewise Marvin Williams….Bogut is a decent big guy – not a cornerstone, but with the right pieces around him could be valuable.

  • Kobeef

    I agree with Nick and Dagwaller – you always have to pick the best player. Even if it takes a few years for them to develop you have the first (and best) chance to re-sign him long term.

    Using that logic, I’d do this:

    1. CP3
    2. Deron
    3. Bynum
    4. Bogut
    5. Marvin Williams
    6. Charlie V. (is better than his playing time suggests)
    7. Granger
    8. Andray Blatche
    9. Ray Felton (better than Monta cause he can play pG)
    10. Monta (keep in mind – he dropped to 2nd round because of concerns about his knee…let’s see how that plays out)

    11. Jason Maxiell
    12 Nate Robinson
    13. Hakim Warrick
    13. Gerald Green
    14. Ryan Gomes

    Generally, outside of the top 5-10 2005 was a horrible draft – I am still not sure if 75% of the guys drafted will make the league.

  • Steve

    Lou Williams needs to be higher.

  • MiCkeY MoNDaY

    i wouldve definitely taken chris paul #1 overall and trade tj or mo will. By doing so you’d get a decent contributor that could help right away.

  • boogey banger

    let’s not forget no one wanted tj. he just had a major back injury so NO ONE was lining up for him. and if you traded mo then you were rollin the dice that tj was going to be his old self.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Even if they traded Mo and T.J. didn’t work out, you can get a backup PG somewhere; you can’t just get Chris Paul.

  • dagwaller

    I think that the Cavs are proving that you can’t just go out and get a PG, Austin. That having been said, “if we knew then what we knew now”, obviously TJ Ford wouldn’t have gotten traded (if even kept in the League), CP would’ve gone first overall, C-Webb wouldn’t have taken that timeout, and Jordan would be playing for the Rockets (thanks kowtz).

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    The thing is, you can get a backup PG if you do your homework. They could have drafted someone in the second round to insurance in case T.J. didn’t come back. They could have signed a fringe guy like Eddie Gill or Randy Livingston. They could have acquired a vet like Darrell Armstrong or Anthony Carter. Just because Danny Ferry doesn’t know what he’d doing doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

  • miamiVIS3

    How do you say the Bucks didnt need CP3 and hav them take him #1 anyways?

  • doc

    You cant just find a franchise PG that being said you get CP3 and trade somebody. And Kwame would have went number 1 regardless like I said in the past. He is MJ’s son on the low. Peep after Mike left the Wiz who was Kwame next team. The man who owes Mike for all them big contracts he’s gettin now. Phil Jack. Lokk at Kwame he looks like a tall ass Mike with braids.

  • Gmoney

    As a long time hawks fan (yeah that’s right), the most crushing moment was not scooping up CP3. Me and my boy Adam were yelling at the tube. I knew then he would be who he is now…Deron Williams is no scrub; his game speaks volumes, but Paul will be the best 1 of the next decade (if he can stay healthy).

  • IGP

    hey Gmoney I’m a huge hawks fan too (clippers and lakers too) but when they drafted Marvin I was like what the hell? Can’t the Josh’s hold that spot down? they get CP3 and they have Joe Johnson at the 2, Smooth at the 3 and Paul playin point. They never would have gotten Horford then but could u imagine that team if they did? damn…

  • Willis

    What about Cisco? You don’t think he makes the lottery over Blatche or somebody like that if GMs could see the future? El FLaco is a nice player.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Garcia almost made the cut, but Blatche has too much potential (same with Villanueva). With Blatche, everyone still thinks he can be a star. Garcia’s ceiling isn’t as high.

  • Stallion

    You can’t just say that the Bucks should’ve taken Bynum in the draft. Of course they have played far different ranges in minutes, but Bogut has at least been a pretty consistent player his whole career. Bynum’s had a lot of improvement, but he also has had a lot more room for improvement.

  • gdon

    lol @ Stallion: “Bynum’s had a lot of improvement, but he also has had a lot more room for improvement.”

    that’s a downside how?

    Bogut is a joke. Picking him at #1 is an ever bigger one. Sooner you accept this, the earlier the healing comes…

  • derz

    You put david lee above bogut? come on now…lets not over-react here. bogut has not really dominated, stats wise.

    but i dunno if you guys have watched many bucks games, or are just going by stats. watch a bucks game and you can see bogut really really wants to win. he’s one of those players that coaches love. he’ll do what’s best for the win. he is, after all, australian. we australians don’t really give a shit about stats. take today for example – he scored like 7 points down the stretch when the bucks were 8 points down and the bucks got the win. the bucks are a jump-shooting team. i have no doubt that bogut could average 18/9 in this league if in the right system for him. he is also a good passer. this year he has improved his defense too, and is a little lighter. i don’t believe you should judge a centre until their fourth year – they take a little longer to develop.

    yes bynum will probably be a better center…i just love bynum i reckon he is a beast.

    but bogut is not as much of a bust as some people make out. sure, he is no number 1 pick in hindsight. but you also cannot blame the bucks because at the time EVERYONE was saying pick bogut, and a few people were saying marvin williams. the bucks didn’t really screw up…CP3 and deron just turned out to be better players than everyone expected in the league.

    P.S. CP3 for MVP!!!!

  • http://vacation-renter.com christian

    The list looks fair, but I would change the current top 3. I’d take Bynum first overall and then the 2 super PG’s. Bynum is turning into an all star and big men have proven to be rarer and more valuable then PG’s.

  • johnsacrimoni

    Bogut should be fourth on the list. As “derz” said, he could average 18/9 in the right system. The problem is, the Bucks haven’t really developed him as a feature player until recently. It also doesn’t help that your starting guards are both ballhogs. Outside of Charlie Bell, Bogut may be the best playmaker on the team.

  • Old Skool Kobe

    Bynum’s a bitch. Dat ho be lucky if he can get outta wheelchair. CP is da man. CP is betta than Bitch Bynum AND Kobe! And I’m #1 Kobe fan. We go waaaay back in Phili. But CP smokes Kobe dis year.