Boy did we have one all-time draft on our hands here. There were lots of interesting approaches to team construction, lots of eras visited and lots of match-ups we could only dream of. Take for example the battle for second place, which in my mind is between Dallas and San Francisco. The team's pit Kareem against Bill Russell, then nail their first co-star selections in Steve Nash and Clyde Drexler. It’s not long after that you force me into a corner trying to decide between the better role player for their respective lineups between Ray Allen and Pau Gasol.
But as good as those two teams are, I gave the nod for first seed to Chicago. They provided the perfect balance of stardom, offensive firepower, defensive strength and superb late-round selections. While it’s easy to load your bench with the best players available, taking guys that fill a unique role better than anybody else separates you. As awesome as Clyde-Ewing-LeBron is to picture, Chicago really stole the show with picks like Blake Griffin and Tony Allen.
Then again, some people weren’t focused on the on-court meshing at all. This is fine, everyone went about the draft differently, but it did produce hilarious results. Like Brooklyn, which drafted Manu Ginobili and Terry Porter, but plans on starting Manu(uuuuuuuu) at the point instead of bringing him off the bench as sixth man. Also, some teams’ repetitiveness is really entertaining. Take Washington, who drafted Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor and Dominique Wilkins within the first four rounds. Those three guys do relatively the same thing for a team at relatively the same positions. Then we had teams like San Antonio that literally went out and got two of everything like they were building an arc. Steph Curry AND John Stockton? Bruce Bowen AND Shane Battier?
Speaking of team-building, we need to talk about injuries. Are they a thing in this all-time draft of ours? Because, if they are a thing, I have bad news for some teams. Los Angeles 2 drafted Bill Walton, Derrick Rose and Brandon Roy. Miami actually took Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill! In the second and third rounds! I get that in this alternate universe these guys might have been okay, but I swear I was going to run into a team that took Greg Oden and Jonathan Bender.
But one team had to take the crown as the worst of them all, and in the end, it had to go to the Dragons. Taking Tracy McGrady third overall was really ballsy, and I respected it. Following it up with Allen Iverson and Anthony Davis? Bad, bad, bad, bad, oh my god DeAndre Jordan in the eighth round?! I will say, the worst individual pick came from New York, taking Gilbert Arenas in the fourth round. Here are some of the point guards that followed: Tony Parker, Sam Jones, Jason Kidd, Bob Cousy, Nate Archibald, Chauncey Billups, Kyrie Irving.
Anyway, enough with the negativity. Here are some things teams did awesome. Atlanta got Mitch Richmond in the seventh round, Washington landed John Starks in round 13, Brooklyn is being coached by Brad Stevens, Detroit got Larry Johnson in the 13th round, Russell Westbrook got picked in the second round (maybe not the smartest thing, I’m just glad it happened), we get Big O-Dirk pick-and-pops, we get Jason Kidd feeding Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade for days, we get Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen and Shawn Marion on the same team, we get Bill Russell and Pau Gasol in the same frontcourt, we get Joakim Noah and Dennis Rodman in the same frontcourt, we get Anthony Mason and Marcus Camby on the same team, Stephen Jackson and Charles Oakley on the same team and Tim Duncan mentoring Karl-Anthony Towns.
So that’s all really, really fun, and so was this entire draft. We may not get to see these teams play out a season, but let a fan dream.