2011 NBA re-draft: Klay Thompson, top 15 overall picks in hindsight
No. 1: Kawhi Leonard to Cleveland Cavaliers
Where Leonard originally was selected: No. 15, Indiana Pacers (Traded to San Antonio Spurs)
Cavs' original selection: Kyrie Irving
In a star-studded top group, Leonard rises to the top. When healthy, he is the best two-way player in the game and he’s shown the ability to backpack a solid, but unspectacular Toronto Raptors team all the way to a championship.
Leonard is a four-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA Defense selection. He’s won two rings and at 28-years-old. He seems to be getting better every season, although he doesn’t play every night. It’s hard to imagine that a player this good could fall all the way to No. 15.
No. 2: Kyrie Irving to Minnesota Timberwolves
Where Irving originally was selected: No.1, Cleveland Cavaliers
Timberwolves' original selection: Derrick Williams
An elite scorer and ball-handler, Irving won a ring playing alongside LeBron James in Cleveland. He’s a six-time All-Star, but he’s bounced around the league a bit since being selected No. 1 overall. He has missed time with knee and shoulder injuries, but he has played enough to be considered a star in the league.
Derrick Williams could jump out of the gym, but he was completely inconsistent and lacked the motor you would expect out of a top tier pick. He played his last game in the NBA during the 2017-18 season at just 26 years of age. Since leaving the league, he’s played in Germany, Turkey and Russia.
No. 3: Klay Thompson to Utah Jazz
Where Thompson originally was selected: No. 11, Warriors
Jazz' original selection: Enes Kanter
When it’s all said and done, Thompson will go down as one of the greatest 3-point shooters in the history of the NBA. He currently ranks 18th all-time, but at his current pace, he’ll jump into the top 10 by next season.
Thompson could be higher on this list. He could also fall a few spots, depending on who is doing the ranking. He’s a five-time All-Star in the guard heavy Western Conference and has three rings as part of the Warriors dynasty.
Kanter has put together a solid, but unspectacular career with stops in Utah, OKC, New York, Portland and Boston.
No. 4: Jimmy Butler to Cleveland Cavaliers
Where Butler originally was selected: No. 30, Chicago Bulls
Cavs' original selection: Tristan Thompson
After a slow start out of the gates, Butler has developed into a star during his nine-year career. Like Leonard, Butler thrives as a two-way impact player. He’s made the All-Star team in five of the last six years and is now the centerpiece of a very good Miami Heat team.
If you need any evidence of his ability to affect a franchise, look no further than his short stop in Minnesota. He helped snap the T-Wolves' 13-year postseason drought in 2018. When he forced his way out the next season, they struggled to a 36-46 finish.
Butler brings physicality, some glitz and on occasion, a whole lot of drama. He also is a very good NBA player that leads this entire draft class in career win shares.
Tristan Thompson still would be a lottery pick if the draft happened today, but much later than No. 4 overall.
No. 5: Kemba Walker to Toronto Raptors
Where Walker originally was selected: No. 9, Charlotte Hornets
Raptors' original selection: Jonas Valanciunas
Walker was the star of his own show for eight seasons in Charlotte before bolting for Boston Celtics green. The four-time All-Star is shifty and can create for both himself and others. He’s more of a really good second option than a superstar, but there is no shame in that.
Valanciunas put in some productive years in Toronto and he was an important piece to the Marc Gasol trade. Toronto could have done better with this top five pick, but at least Valanciunas was serviceable.
No. 6: Isaiah Thomas to Washington Wizards
Where Thomas originally was selected: No. 60, Kings
Wizards' original selection: Jan Vesely
Thomas has fallen off dramatically due to a hip injury, but he is a two-time All-Star who finished fifth in MVP voting during the 2016-17 season. Taken with the last pick in the draft, Thomas has defied odds throughout his career. He’s finally healthy again, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever be given another shot at being a No. 1 option.
Vesely was a complete bust at the NBA level, but he’s found his game in the EuroLeague with Fenerbahçe and even taken home a EuroLeague MVP.
No. 7: Tobias Harris to Kings
Where Harris originally was selected: No. 19, Charlotte Hornets (traded to Milwaukee Bucks)
Kings' original selection: Bismack Biyombo (traded to Charlotte Bobcats)
Harris is the model for the modern day stretch four. Despite putting up solid numbers at every stop, he has played for the Bucks, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers and now Philadelphia 76ers. He’s part of the best starting five in the NBA, but he has yet to make an All-Star team and his teams have only made the postseason twice.
Biyombo still is in the league, but he’s never developed beyond being a back end of the rotation big.
No. 8: Nikola Vucevic to Detroit Pistons
Where Vucevic originally was selected: No. 16, Philadelphia 76ers
Pistons' original selection: Brandon Knight
Vucevic took some time to get his sea legs at the NBA level, but he’s made an All-Star team and is one of the few players in the league to post a 20-point and 12-rebound season. Vucevic also has developed into an above-average passer and he has stretched his range out to the 3-point line. There is a chance he would go even higher if the draft was held today.
Brandon Knight looked like a solid pick at No. 8, but injuries and opportunity have relegated him to a bit player over the last few seasons in the NBA.
No. 9: Bojan Bogdanovic to Charlotte Hornets
Where Bogdanovic originally was selected: No. 31, Miami Heat (traded to New Jersey Nets)
Hornets' original selection: Kemba Walker
Bogdanovic waited three seasons before coming to the NBA. He put up modest numbers for the Brooklyn Nets early in his career, but he’s turned into a heck of a player in the last few seasons with the Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz. A knockdown 3-point shooter and crafty creator, Bogdanovic is a perfect complimentary piece on a very good Jazz team, although he’ll miss the NBA restart with a wrist injury.
Kemba Walker took advantage of his opportunity in Charlotte and turned himself into an All-Star.
No. 10: Jonas Valanciunas to Milwaukee Bucks
Where Valanciunas originally was selected: No. 5, Toronto Raptors
Bucks' Original selection: Jimmer Fredette (traded to Kings)
A throwback big man, Valanciunas has developed into a solid starting NBA center over his eight years in the league. After playing the first six-and-a-half seasons in Toronto, the 7-footer out of Lithuania has found a home in Memphis and turned into a double-double machine.
Fredette went from NCAA cult hero to NBA bust in a matter of minutes. After posting huge numbers at BYU, the sharpshooter never found his beat in the NBA. As part of a three-team trade on draft night, Fredette was dealt to the Kings, but lost his job to Isaiah Thomas by midseason. He’s made a nice career in China, but the Kings missed out on Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard when the Bucks made this pick for them.
No. 11: Tristan Thompson to Warriors
Where Thompson originally was selected: No. 4, Cleveland Cavaliers
Warriors' original selection: Klay Thompson
Tristan Thompson won a ring playing with LeBron and Kyrie, but he’s a role player and not someone you would select with a top-four pick. He can rebound and play defense, but his limited offensive game makes him a late lottery selection.
Klay Thompson should have gone higher than this, but there were some question marks surrounding him coming into the league. He’s developed into an All-Star on a championship team and a likely Hall of Famer after falling to pick No. 11.
No. 12: Enes Kanter to Utah Jazz
Where Kanter originally was selected: No. 3, Jazz
Jazz' original selection: Alec Burks
Kanter is an interesting player. He can score in bunches and he’s an accomplished rebounder. He has limited range, which is an issue in the modern NBA, but his overall numbers are solid. He’s played for five teams in nine seasons, which is somewhat problematic.
Injuries have hampered Alec Burks throughout his career. After a long stretch in Utah, Burks has played for five different teams since the start of the 2018-19 season, but he’s still getting NBA paychecks.
No. 13: Kenneth Faried to Phoenix Suns
Where Faried originally was selected: No. 22, Denver Nuggets
Suns' original selection: Markieff Morris
Remember when the Manimal was a thing? While his career has completely faded, there was a time when Faried was a beast for the Denver Nuggets. He also spent plenty of time playing with Team USA. If this list was done five years after the draft, Faried would be a lot higher on the list than this.
Markieff Morris still is going strong as an NBA role player. He isn’t quite as good as his brother, but it’s close.
No. 14: Reggie Jackson to Houston Rockets
Where Jackson originally was selected: No. 24, Oklahoma City Thunder
Rockets' original selection: Marcus Morris
Like Faried, Jackson looked like a long-term NBA fixture early in his career. Injuries and less than stellar 3-point shooting stopped him from being a household name, but the 30-year-old still has plenty left in the tank. Before the NBA shutdown, he was settling into a new role as a reserve for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Like his twin brother, Marcus Morris continues to post solid numbers in the league as a stretch four. After a good season with the Knicks, Morris was added by the Clippers for the stretch run before the season was put on hiatus. LA is his sixth NBA team in nine years.
No. 15: Markieff and Marcus Morris to Indiana Pacers
Where Markieff originally was selected: No. 13, Phoenix Suns
Where Marcus originally was selected: No. 14, Houston Rockets
Pacers' original selection: Kawhi Leonard (traded to San Antonio Spurs)
This isn't how the draft works but the Morris twins have been a package deal for their entire lives.
The Morris twins have both produced well for almost a decade. They aren’t starters in most situations, but they bring toughness and versatility. They went with the No. 13 and 14 picks in the original draft, which is right around where they would go in a re-draft.
San Antonio gave up plenty to move up to No. 15 to select Leonard. He started out as a 3-and-D wing, but he’s developed into an NBA superstar. The Pacers, who originally selected Leonard, acquired George Hill in the deal with San Antonio.