With the third pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards select ...
... Draymond Green, from Michigan State.
Knowing what we know now, that is what should have transpired.
But as you already know -- Draymond fell all the way to the second round. And the Warriors -- who selected Harrison Barnes at No. 7 and Festus Ezeli at No. 30 -- were fortunate enough to nab Draymond with the No. 35 overall pick.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis went No. 1 overall to the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans), which was the right choice 100 times out of 100.
But in a re-draft, Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard (the sixth pick) would have been the Charlotte Bobcats' choice at No. 2 instead of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Which brings us to No. 3.
The Washington Wizards went with Bradley Beal, and it was a great pick. The Florida Gators product is averaging 30.5 points and 6.1 assists per game this season, and was an All-Star in 2018 and 2019. He has a real shot at being an All-NBA performer moving forward.
So it wasn't like the Wizards messed up or anything.
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But when you take everything into account -- and you think about what Draymond has accomplished so far in his career -- he deserves to be recognized in that No. 3 spot.
Do circumstances matter for a player? Of course. Is Draymond "lucky" to be teammates with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson? Sure. But he also created his own luck and blazed a path.
"Yeah, Steph Curry do make me better. Yeah, Klay Thompson do make me better. And? I make them better," Green said last month on the "All the Smoke" podcast. "I think I changed the game of basketball with the help of Steph Curry. I think Steph Curry changed the game of basketball with the help of me. I think it was a match made in heaven. And then Klay Thompson ... us three changed the game forever.”
A lot of people believe Draymond is crazy for this take. But he isn't wrong.
During the 2015 playoffs, the three-time NBA champion averaged 13.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks.
In the 2015-16 season, Draymond averaged 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks, while shooting nearly 39 percent from deep. He was Second-Team All-NBA and finished seventh in MVP voting.
In Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the five-time All-Defensive selection racked up 32 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.
In 2017, he was an All-Star for the second straight year and took home the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. He made the All-Star team again in 2018, and averaged 13.1 points, 11.5 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.3 blocks through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
His production definitely dipped during the 2018-19 regular season. But I'd like to remind everybody that he averaged 16.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.8 blocks during the Warriors' sweep of the Blazers in last year's Western Conference finals.
Those numbers are insane. And as always with Draymond, they don't even begin to tell the full story because he impacts the game in so many ways that go beyond the box score.
"To everybody out there who want to talk s--t about this year -- I don't really give a f--k," he said. "So, I appreciate everybody talking. I kind of needed them to relight that fire under my a--.
"I think so many people get pissed off that I am who I am, and I've had the success that I've had. I don't do what they can see -- which is a scorer. So many people think they know basketball and don't know s--t ... talking basketball and X's and O's, I'll f--king run circles around most people in this world."