Scouting players and predicting how their skills will translate to the NBA is one of the more difficult tasks front offices have on their plates. Looking back over past drafts and how many lottery picks never evolved into stars, or even made a significant impact in the league, illustrates just how often stats, combine numbers and pure gut instinct often come up short.
Of course, we get the opportunity to critique these moves with the benefit of hindsight — a luxury that GMs don’t have on draft night. Having said that, it’s still fun to go back in time and take a theoretical look at how these drafts should have/could have gone.
We’ve been revisiting 2008 draft, which had a number of players who have gone on to post big numbers in the league. This was the year of Derrick Rose (No. 1 overall), Russell Westbrook (No. 4), Kevin Love (No. 5), Brook Lopez (No. 10) and Nicolas Batum (No. 25). Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting a series of polls asking readers to vote on whom teams should have selected in each spot.
We’ve arrived at the No. 17 overall pick, which was originally held by the Raptors. In the “real world” draft, Toronto dealt the pick (which was used to select big man Roy Hibbert) along with T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and Maceo Baston to the Pacers in exchange for Jermaine O’Neal and the rights to Nathan Jawai (No. 41 overall). Since Hibbert is already off the board, having been snagged by the Suns at No. 15, we’ll nix this trade and Toronto will be selecting for itself.
Cast your vote for who the Raptors select and check back on Tuesday to see the results, as well as to vote on whom the Wizards should have taken with the No. 18 pick. Also, don’t limit yourself to a simple button click. Take to the comments section below and share your thoughts on the pick and why you voted the way that you did. If we fail to list a player who you think should be selected, feel free to post that in the comments section and we’ll be certain to tally those votes as well.
- Bulls — Russell Westbrook [Actual Pick — Derrick Rose]
- Heat — Kevin Love [Actual Pick — Michael Beasley]
- Wolves — Derrick Rose [Actual Pick — O.J. Mayo]
- Sonics/Thunder — DeAndre Jordan [Actual Pick — Russell Westbrook]
- Grizzlies — Brook Lopez [Actual Pick — Kevin Love]
- Knicks — Serge Ibaka [Actual Pick — Danilo Gallinari]
- Clippers — Nicolas Batum [Actual Pick — Eric Gordon]
- Bucks — Goran Dragic [Actual Pick — Joe Alexander]
- Bobcats/Hornets — Danilo Gallinari [Actual Pick — D.J. Augustin]
- Nets — Ryan Anderson [Actual Pick — Brook Lopez]
- Blazers (from Pacers) — Eric Gordon [Actual Pick — Jerryd Bayless]
- Kings — George Hill [Actual Pick — Jason Thompson]
- Pacers (from Blazers) — Robin Lopez [Actual Pick — Brandon Rush]
- Warriors — Courtney Lee [Actual Pick — Anthony Randolph]
- Suns — Roy Hibbert [Actual Pick — Robin Lopez]
- Sixers— Nikola Pekovic [Actual Pick — Marreese Speights]
- Raptors — ?? [Actual Pick — Roy Hibbert]
If you’re a Trade Rumors app user, click here to vote.