With Joe Johnson back on Celtics, let's do a 2001 NBA re-draft


The 2001 NBA Draft is alive again with the report that Joe Johnson is signing a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics.

Johnson was among the top players in the 2001 draft class and ultimately went No. 10 overall to the Celtics. Boston didn't give him much of a chance, though, and traded him during his rookie season to the Phoenix Suns for a couple veteran players.

It was a poor decision by the Celtics as Johnson went on to play 17 seasons and make seven All-Star teams. He was a very good scorer and a solid outside shooter. 

The Celtics made the right pick even though it didn't work out with Johnson in the end. The same can't be said for many of the other teams in the lottery, most notably the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards held the No. 1 overall pick and selected high school center Kwame Brown. It's one of the worst No. 1 picks this century. Brown never came close to meeting expectations and played just four seasons in Washington.

In our redraft, the Wizards select center Pau Gasol first overall. Gasol is a future Hall of Famer who averaged 17 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in his career. He won two NBA championships with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

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French point guard Tony Parker goes No. 2 to the Los Angeles Clippers in our redraft. The Clippers originally selected center Tyson Chandler before trading him to the Chicago Bulls for former No. 1 pick Elton Brand. Almost the entire league missed on Parker, who slid all the way to No. 28, where the San Antonio Spurs took him. He became part of a Big 3 in San Antonio alongside Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. This trio won four titles together, including the 2007 NBA Finals when Parker was named series MVP.


The Celtics' third pick of Round 1 came at No. 21 overall. They needed a point guard, but instead of selecting Parker, the C's opted for Joe Forte out of North Carolina. Forte played only eight games as a rookie and was out of the league in 2003.

In this redraft, the Celtics take forward Gerald Wallace at No. 10 and center Mehmet Okur at No. 11. With the benefit of hindsight, the Atlanta Hawks take Johnson at No. 3, so he's not available to the C's in this exercise.

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Wallace was an underrated small forward taken No. 25 overall by the Sacramento Kings. He averaged 17.3 points per game from 2005-06 through 2010-11, a run that included an All-Star appearance and an All-Defensive team selection. Okur was one of a few second-round picks from this draft class who had a productive career. From 2004-05 through 2007-08, he averaged 15.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He was an All-Star in 2006-07. Okur also was a pretty good 3-point shooter for a center with a 37.5 percent career rate on those attempts.

Here's our 2001 NBA redraft for the 14 lottery picks.

Pick Team Original Pick New Pick
1 Washington Wizards Kwame Brown Pau Gasol
2 Los Angeles Clippers Tyson Chandler Tony Parker
3 Atlanta Hawks Pau Gasol Joe Johnson
4 Chicago Bulls Eddy Curry Gilbert Arenas
5 Golden State Warriors Jason Richardson Zach Randolph
6 Memphis Grizzlies Shane Battier Richard Jefferson
7 New Jersey Nets Eddie Griffin Jason Richardson
8 Cleveland Cavaliers DeSagana Diop Tyson Chandler
9 Detroit Pistons Rodney White Shane Battier
10 Boston Celtics Joe Johnson Gerald Wallace
11 Boston Celtics Kedrick Brown Mehmet Okur
12 Seattle SuperSonics Vladimir Radmanovic Troy Murphy
13 Houston Rockets Richard Jefferson Vladimir Radmanovic
14 Golden State Warriors Troy Murphy Jamaal Tinsley