Where would Monta Ellis be drafted if the second round of the 2005 NBA draft got a do-ver?
Scott's comment about the 2005 draft in today's earlier post gave me the idea that folks could probably use a do-over. But here at Ridiculous Upside we're all (mostly) about the D-League, so I'll just be re-drafting the second round. Sorry, Atlanta Hawks. There were a lot of quality guys drafted in that round or not drafted at all, so I thought it would be interesting to give them a better shot at making a roster than they originally got. This turned out long though, even for me, so I split it up into two parts since this is already late going up. I'll give a team's original pick first, then some analysis of what the team probably needed instead, then give my new pick. And remember, I'm going to assume the first round went the same way as it really did, so guys like Monta Ellis and Brandon Bass are still available.
Part 1 is after the jump. Part 2 will go up tomorrow.
**Now with correct information**
31. Phoenix Suns (original pick - Salim Stoudamire)
I didn't think Stoudamire was a terrible pick at the time, though if he were a wrestler his current whereabouts would be "parts unknown." He was briefly with the Spurs last year, but is currently out of the league. It also wasn't a bad pick on the Suns' end, as he was a good shooter in college and at the time they liked shooters. Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of other shooters available. There is a guy who went undrafted, though, and got some D-League experience (see how this ties in?) before making it to the NBA, where he shot almost 45 percent on three-pointers last season: Kelenna Azubuike
32. Los Angeles Clippers (original pick - Daniel Ewing)
Daniel Ewing's another "where are they now" guy. Looking at the '05-'06 Clippers roster, they could have used a little more depth at shooting guard and center. Ronnie Price went undrafted that year, though he's been used more as a point guard in Utah. Same with Lou Williams in Philadelphia. So is the guy I'm going to pick for them, though he's more of a hybrid anyway, and would form maybe the most differently-heighted backcourt ever with Shaun Livingston. I'm talking about the man, the myth, the moped, Monta Ellis
33. New Orleans Hornets (original pick - Brandon Bass)
Hey, someone still in the league! I actually like Bass a fair amount, though he's more of a combo forward, and the last few years have shown that the Hornets could have used a competent backup center. I considered giving them Serbian center Mile Ilic, but they actually traded for him once then immediately released him, so it's pretty clear that wouldn't have worked. This may be a product of the recency effect, but this guy's been doing solid work in the playoffs and could have helped New Orleans as well: Marcin Gortat
34. Utah Jazz (original pick - C.J. Miles)
Again, a guy having a solid NBA career. He played in the D-League for a year, though his relationship with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has been rocky. Miles wouldn't be a bad pick again here, but to make things interesting I'll say they should've gone with Crispy Von Wafer
35. Portland Trailblazers (original pick - Ricky Sanchez)
Sanchez was traded on draft night for Jarrett Jack, so apparently Portland was really in the market for a point guard. I'm not totally sure why, as even without Jack, Portland already had several point guards (including guys who still thought of themselves as point guards - I'm looking at you, Bassy). They were kind of a mess in the middle, though, outside of Joel Przybilla (does anyone remember that Theo Ratliff played 55 games for Portland that year?) Andray Blatche would have been a decent pick, as he's shown at least some ability to play all three frontcourt spots, and he was a very good rebounder his first few seasons in the league.
36. Milwaukee Bucks (original pick - Ersan Ilyasova)
Even though he didn't play much in the NBA before returning to Europe, I don't hate this pick. Ilyasova was the MVP of the Europe Under-20 Tournament, and he averaged decent numbers in the D-League, about 12 and a half points and 7 rebounds. Still, the Bucks didn't get much out of this pick, and there are better forwards available. They didn't necessarily need to go with a forward, since their backcourt that year was a mess beyond Michael Redd, TJ Ford and Mo Williams, and they had Josh Davis holding things down up front, but we'll humor the Bucks and let Brandon Bass land here.
37. Los Angeles Lakers (original pick - Ronny Turiaf)
People pretty much forgot about Turiaf this year, but he was solid in Golden State and was a nice backup/occasional starter with the Lakers. I know I said (or implied) that I'd keep things interesting, but I think Turiaf makes as much sense here as he did four years ago.
38. Orlando Magic (original pick - Travis Diener)
Diener can shoot, or could at the time, but he was a point guard at a time the Magic already had two of them. Plus they'd eventually figure out that Hedo Turkoglu can handle the ball pretty well. Orlando was criticized for drafting a third PG at the time, and I'm going to take that into account and go elsewhere. Their centers that year? Well, they'd just drafted Dwight Howard, but their backups included Darko Milicic (meh), Tony Battie (meh) and Kelvin Cato (ugh). Clearly they need help there. There aren't a ton of centers available who wouldn't need a year or two of seasoning, though. I'm going to make the Orlando Magic forward-looking and give them rebounding machine Chuck Hayes.
39. Los Angeles Lakers (original pick - Von Wafer)
Yes, again. The Lakers were clearly trying to put together a well-rounded draft, as that year they drafted a power forward (Turiaf), a shooting guard and a center (Andrew Bynum). With that in mind, and with Wafer already gone at this point, we'll give them someone who would understand Bynum's cultural references, C.J. Miles
40. Golden State Warriors (original pick - Monta Ellis)
We're in the middle of a guard run here, though Ellis is off the board. The Warriors were apparently looking for someone to run the point who could also score, and Louis Williams has shown himself to be someone would can do just that.
41. Toronto Raptors (original pick - Roko Ukic)
Another point guard. The Raptors clearly were a bit iffy on this pick themselves, since they signed undrafted Jose Calderon later on. We're also starting to run out of available guards, but Toronto was filled with forwards that year. Chris Bosh, Antonio Davis, Matt Bonner, Charlie Villanueva, Pape Sow. He's not an international player, but he had a solid D-League career before being called up to the NBA, so Will Bynum gets the call.
42. Golden State Warriors (original pick - Chris Taft)
Yes, again. Again. Taft's the first total washout we've had in awhile, though he was drafted as a big man who can score, I guess to pair with Ellis and first round pick Ike Diogu. The Warriors were still a year away from Nellie Ball, but Ersan Ilyasova makes sense for what they'd become. I talked about him a bit earlier, but he profiled as a combo forward, sort of a Rashard Lewis-type.
43. New Jersey Nets (original pick - Mile Ilic)
The Nets love their European centers, it's just too bad all of the good ones are gone by now. Ilic wasn't a bad pick, though, as he's a pretty good shot blocker and finisher around the rim, though he's not very quick. The Nets stick with Ilic
44. Orlando Magic (original pick - Martynas Andriuskevicius)
See? The Magic thought they needed a center, too. See? A lot of teams had multiple second-picks this year, apparently. So with the pivot taken care of, Orlando's free to do whatever it wants. An outside shooter to pair with the developing Howard couldn't hurt, so call me crazy, but how about Salim Stoudamire?
45. Phildelphia 76ers (original pick - Louis Williams)
This was Chris Webber's second year in Philadelphia. Remember how that turned out? The 76ers were thin upfront that year, with Samuel Dalembert, Steven Hunter and, uh, Shavlik Randolph accompanying Webber. Whoever I pick shouldn't need the ball a whole lot, at least for the two more years Iverson is there, and while his career has stalled a little bit, I think Amir Johnson works here.