Redrafting the 2001 NBA Draft: Wizards get an upgrade over Kwame Brown
2001 NBA redraft
Let's wind the clocks back for a minute and look at redrafting the 2001 NBA Draft, where the Wizards infamously took big man Kwame Brown straight out of high school.
With the benefit of hindsight, they're in line for a future Hall of Famer at the top of the draft.
*Just a reminder for this redraft. There were only 28 first-round selections in 2001 because there were only 29 teams and the Timberwolves had to forfeit their pick for salary cap violations.
1. Washington Wizards: Pau Gasol
Original Pick: Kwame Brown
How different to the Wizards look if they spent the rest of the 2000s with Pau Gasol on the roster?
Do he and Gilbert Arenas lead Washington to a Finals appearance? Are they still in line for John Wall and Bradley Beal?
Either way, it's hard to imagine turning down a future Hall of Famer like Gasol in any scenario.
2. Los Angeles Clippers: Tony Parker
Original Pick: Tyson Chandler
Taken with the last pick in the first round in 2001, Parker turned into one of the best point guards in the league and proved to be the perfect running mate for Tim Duncan during a four-title run in San Antonio.
Here, the Clippers take Parker, stick him at starting point guard for 15 years and enjoy the show.
3. Atlanta Hawks: Joe Johnson
Original Pick: Pau Gasol
The Hawks had to wait until Johnson was 24 to secure the seven-time All-Stars services. Now, they can get him as a rookie with their original pick off the board to Washington.
4. Chicago Bulls: Gilbert Arenas
Original Pick: Eddy Curry
Over a three-year span, Arenas was one of the best scorers in the NBA and electrified crowds with his outside shooting.
Even though his career didn't last as long as other players as talented as he was, his ceiling and three-point mastery would be hard to pass up in today's NBA.
5. Golden State Warriors: Tyson Chandler
School: High School
Original Pick: Jason Richardson
An exceptional defensive center who's athleticism would make for a tantalizing option for teams in need of a center, you can't go wrong with Tyson Chandler.
6. Memphis Grizzlies: Jason Richardson
School: Michigan State
Original Pick: Shane Battier
Richardson was a good shooter, bouncy athlete and might have had more success in today's NBA thanks to the premium put on wings.
For now, he goes No. 6 in the redraft and we're only left to wonder what would've happened with Richardson in a different era.
7. New Jersey Nets: Shane Battier
Original Pick: Eddie Griffin
A steady, crafty and physically imposing wing who could defend across four positions and knock down threes at a high clip.
I'd imagine 30 teams would be ready to pounce on drafting a rookie Battier if they had the chance.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Richard Jefferson
Original Pick: DeSagana Diop
Jefferson is another player who might have had a better career if he entered the league 10 years later. He was an excellent two-way player who could do a little bit of everything and maintained his production and value into the twilight of his career with the Cavaliers.
9. Detroit Pistons: Zach Randolph
School: Michigan State
Original Pick: Rodney White
Randolph was a better player than some of the guys taken before him here, but that;s mostly due to the emphasis the league has put on strong wing play in recent years.
Post players like Randolph who typically occupy one area all game aren't as valuable as they used to be. Still, I'd bet Randolph would find a way to be effective. He's too good a basketball player not to be.
10. Boston Celtics: Gerald Wallace
Original Pick: Joe Johnson
We have yet another wing who could've made a few more All-Star teams had he been drafted in 2011 instead of 2001.
Wallace was a great defender, ball-handler and distributor as a wing and could get a bucket for you here and there as well. I could see him filling an Andre Iguodala role for a championship team if he was drafted later on.
11. Boston Celtics: Mehmet Okur
Original pick: Kedrick Brown
Okur was ahead of his time as a stretch big man who could knock down threes at a consistent rate. Somebody today would find that useful enough to take him.
12. Seattle Supersonics: Samuel Dalembert
Original pick: Vladimir Radmanovic
Dalembert had a decent career with the Sixers and five other teams after that. He wasn't ever one of the game's top big men but longevity earns him a spot in the lottery.
13. Houston Rockets: Troy Murphy
Original pick: Richard Jefferson
Murphy is another player who's floor spacing contributions would make it hard for teams today to pass up on. Even if there's not much else he can do on the floor.
14. Golden State Warriors: Jamaal Tinsley
Original pick: Troy Murphy
Tinsley was a fun player who was a good passer and dribble penetrator, but he'd have to develop his outside stroke to succeed in today's NBA. Point guards who can't shoot are tough to win with.
15. Orlando Magic: Earl Watson
Original pick: Steven Hunter
Watson's another pass-first point guard who developed a decent perimeter game later in his career. He'd be a solid backup point guard for any team today.
16. Charlotte Hornets: Vladimir Radmanovic
Original pick: Kirk Haston
Shooting is king, and Radmanovic could certainly knock down jumpers during his career. At 6-10 he'd be an interesting player to have on your team to space the floor.
17. Toronto Raptors: Kwame Brown
Original pick: Michael Bradley
Brown may have been one of the biggest draft busts of all time, but there's a reason he was taken No. 1 overall. His talent was tantalizing and I'm sure one team would take another shot at him if given the chance.
18. Houston Rockets: Eddy Curry
Original pick: Jason Collins
Curry may have had a different career arc if he played on better teams, so maybe a shot on the Rockets would turn his generally empty stats into significant production on a contender.
19. Portland Trail Blazers: Jason Collins
Original pick: Zach Randolph
Collins was a steady defensive big man off the bench who didn't have much of an offensive game but rarely got you into trouble on the other end. Solid pick here by Portland.
20. Cleveland Cavaliers: Brendan Haywood
Original pick: Brendan Haywood
Funny how things work out. The Cavs get Haywood in the same spot they did in 2001 and they're content with it.
21. Boston Celtics: Brian Scalabrine
Original pick: Joseph Forte
If any team is going to pick Scalabrine in the first round, it's the Celtics. He became the ultimate end of bench contributor and fan favorite, so why not take him here with limited talent left on the board?
22. Orlando Magic: Jarron Collins
Original pick: Jeryl Sasser
Jason Collins' brother goes a few spots below him as the Magic get themselves a steady contributor as well.
23. Houston Rockets: Bobby Simmons
Original pick: Brandon Armstrong
Simmons had two good seasons in 2004-05 and 2005-06, earning the Most Improved Player award in 2005. Unfortunately, an ankle injury derailed his momentum.
24. Utah Jazz: Trenton Hassell
Original pick: Raul Lopez
Hassell was a consistent contributor on a contending Timberwolves team alongside Kevin Garnett. Not a bad pick here by any means.
25. Sacramento Kings: Eddie Griffin
Original pick: Gerald Wallace
Talent was never an issue with Griffin, and the Kings get him 18 spots lower than his original draft slot in hopes of tapping into some of his potential.
26. Philadelphia 76ers: Rodney White
Original pick: Samuel Dalembert
A potential 3-and-D wing drafted in the wrong era, White would surely find a role in today's NBA.
27. Memphis Grizzlies: DeSagana Diop
Original pick: Jamaal Tinsley
Diop had potential to earn himself a top-ten selection in 2001, so the Grizzlies take a flier here to see if they can figure out what other teams couldn't.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Steven Hunter
Original pick: Tony Parker
Hunter isn't Tony Parker, but I'm sure the Spurs or their fans care about who they should've gotten in this draft.