2006 NBA Draft Redux

The 2006 NBA draft was filled with trades and regrets. Five teams passed on the best player from the class, Brandon Roy, and two other teams missed out on a chance to build a team around the young star. The draft was also filled with second round sleepers and lottery busts, exposing some seriously poor scouting around the league.

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4134#1] TORONTO RAPTORS –
BRANDON ROY / WASHINGTON / SGtor
Size: 6-6 210
’05 team needs: SF, C
Actual selection: ANDREA BARGNANI
Analysis: Bargnani was a great fit for Toronto, where GM Bryan Colangelo was building a multi-dimensional international squad. But only three years later, it’s evident that Roy would have been the better pick. He may not have been an ideal fit with Anthony Parker already at the two-guard position, but he and Chris Bosh could’ve formed one of the league’s top young dynamic duos.

4130#2] CHICAGO BULLS –
LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE / TEXAS / PFchi
Size: 6-11 240
’05 team needs: PG, PF
Actual selection: SAME
Analysis: The Bulls drafted Aldridge and shipped him to Portland for Tyrus Thomas and Russian forward Viktor Khryapa. That was obviously a mistake. If they were to do it all over, it would be a tough call between Aldridge and Rajon Rondo, both of whom have come into their own as All-Star caliber performers. But Aldridge has a higher PER, VA and EWA, so he get’s the nod here.

4149#3] CHARLOTTE BOBCATS –
RAJON RONDO / KENTUCKY / PGcha
Size: 6-2 170
’05 team needs: SG, C
Actual selection: ADAM MORRISON
Analysis: The Bobcats drafted Raymond Felton in 2005, but Rondo is the better long-term floor general. He’d be the point guard of the future in Charlotte and the team would be able to build around him instead of looking for an eventual replacement like they did in 2008 with D.J. Augustin. Morrison obviously wasn’t the right fit, and may never be a legit NBA player.

4136#4] PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS –
RUDY GAY / CONNECTICUT / SFpor
Size: 6-9 220
’05 team needs: SG, C
Actual selection: TYRUS THOMAS
Analysis: The Blazers had one pick in the lottery and turned it into Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, the top two players in the class. Under this scenario, however, they still end up with an elite young player in Gay. Portland’s lineup would look a lot different under this scenario, but they’d at least have the explosive wing player they’ve been lacking for quite some time.

4175#5] ATLANTA HAWKS –
PAUL MILLSAP / LOUISIANA TECH / PFatl
Size: 6-8 245
’05 team needs: PF, C
Actual selection: SHELDEN WILLIAMS
Analysis: It wasn’t difficult to see that the Hawks were making a mistake when they took Williams this high. Three years later, it looks like they could’ve filled the hole at power forward with multiple players. Millsap, who lasted until the second round, is certainly one of them. The knock on him coming out of college was that he was too small, but nobody says that anymore.

4142#6] MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES –
RONNIE BREWER / ARKANSAS / SGmin
Size: 6-7 220
’05 team needs: SG, C
Actual selection: BRANDON ROY
Analysis: The Timberwolves took Roy here and foolishly moved him to Portland in exchange for the rights to Randy Foye. The Celtics, who drafted Foy, could have had Roy had they held onto Foye instead of shipping him to Minnesota for Sebastian Telfair and cap relief. But under this scenario, with Roy already off the board, Brewer would likely be the pick here.

4132#7] BOSTON CELTICS –
TYRUS THOMAS / LOUISIANA STATE / PFbos
Size: 6-9 220
’05 team needs: PF, C
Actual selection: RANDY FOYE
Analysis: Instead of taking Foye here, the Celtics would likely go with Thomas if they were to do it all over again. They got the raw end of the deal when they shipped Foye to Minnesota for Telfair, and probably could’ve had Roy had they played their cards right. But they ended up with Rondo through a trade with Phoenix, so perhaps there’s some comfort in that.

4129#8] HOUSTON ROCKETS –
ANDREA BARGNANI / ITALY / PFhou
Size: 7-0 235
’05 team needs: SF, SG
Actual selection: RUDY GAY
Analysis: Bargani hasn’t been a bust, but he’s just taken a bit longer to come into his own than most expected. His numbers have been solid and he’s able to play all three frontcourt positions in his young career, so Toronto fans should be encouraged by his progression. The Rockets drafted Gay and sent him to Memphis for Shane Battier, so it worked out in a way.

4135#9] GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS –
RANDY FOYE / VILLANOVA / CGgsw
Size: 6-4 210
’05 team needs: C, SG
Actual selection: PATRICK O’BRYANT
Analysis: O’Bryant is basically non-existent, though he’s still in the league – barely. If Foye were still available, as he is under this scenario, he’d be a great fit in the Warriors system. He’s big enough to play the two-guard position and can handle the point in a pinch. With his shooting ability and perimeter skills, he’d be too good to pass on here.

4177#10] SEATTLE SUPERSONICS –
LEON POWE / CALIFORNIA / PFsea
Size: 6-8 240
’05 team needs: PF, C
Actual selection: SAER SENE
Analysis: The late lottery hasn’t been kind to project big men, and O’Bryant and Sene are prime examples of that. The Sonics would’ve been much better off with Powe, a power forward with lottery slipped into the second round because of durability concerns. He’ll never be more than a role player in the NBA, but he has tremendous value as a solid competitor coming off the bench.

4152#11] ORLANDO MAGIC –
KYLE LOWRY / VILLANOVA / PGorl
Size: 6-0 190
’05 team needs: SG, PG
Actual selection: J.J. REDICK
Analysis: Lowry was never really given much of an opportunity in Memphis, but he’s shown that he can be a very good second point guard and even a starter in some cases. He’s still young and has a lot of potential, so there’s reason to believe he can still get much better. But even if he’s reached his ceiling, his toughness at the point has attracted a lot of fans around the league.

4164#12] NEW ORLEANS HORNETS –
CRAIG SMITH / BOSTON COLLEGE / PFnor
Size: 6-7 250
’05 team needs: PF, C
Actual selection: HILTON ARMSTRONG
Analysis: Most of us were a little surprised when the Hornets took Armstrong in the lottery, because he didn’t have an incredibly productive four-year career at Connecticut. If the Hornets were to do it all over, it’s safe to say they’d go another direction. Smith was a second round sleeper as a bruising power forward, which appears to be the theme of this draft. He’s a bit undersized, but based on his production; he probably should’ve been a lottery pick.

4154#13] PHILADELPHIA 76ERS –
JORDAN FARMAR / UCLA / PGphi
Size: 6-1 175
’05 team needs: SF, PG
Actual selection: THABO SEFOLOSHA
Analysis: Farmar’s numbers have been down since Derek Fisher regained the starting job in Los Angeles. But while he was starting, his PER and VA were as good as almost any guard in the class. He’s efficient enough that he could take over for Andre Miller as the Sixers starting point guard after spending three years under his tutelage.

4141#14] UTAH JAZZ –
THABO SEFOLOSHA / SWITZERLAND / SGuth
Size: 6-6 215
’05 team needs: SG, PG
Actual selection: RONNIE BREWER
Analysis: The Jazz were fortunate to have Brewer fall to them here, but Sefolosha wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. He doesn’t have the athleticism or scoring ability Brewer has, but he has a nice all-around game and can defend the wing. Few knew about Sefolosha before the draft, but he’s proven that he can play in this league, and will be a solid contributor wherever he plays.

*Email Andrew at ajohn135@gmail.com

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3 Responses to “2006 NBA Draft Redux”

  1. Jeremiah J. Says:

    Wow the Jazz and the Blazers really cashed in on this draft.

  2. Absolutely. Both teams ended up with two of the top six players, respectively. It’s really quite amazing that the Blazers turned the No. 4 pick, Sebastian Telfair and some dead contracts into two of the league’s best young players in Roy and Aldridge. The Jazz turned the 14th pick into Brewer and Millsap (from the second round). That makes up for Kevin O’Conner screwing up in so many other draft’s.

  3. Jeremiah J. Says:

    I am also noticing that the two best players on this list have to two worst “beards”. Brandon Roy deserves a European Union passport for his perpetual stubble look.

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