The 1996 Draft class was one of those "once in a decade" draft classes and is widely considered one of the GOAT draft classes along with the 03 draft class as well as the coveted 84 draft.
The 96 draft infused a plethera of talent into the league and has produced multiple MVPS, finals apperances and mutiple HOFers.
Lets take a look back at how the ACTUAL draft panned out on draft day.
1. Philadelphia Allen Iverson Georgetown
2. Toronto Marcus Camby Massachusetts
3. Vancouver Shareef Abdur-Rahim California
4. Milwaukee (a) Stephon Marbury Georgia Tech
5. Minnesota (a) Ray Allen Connecticut
6. Boston (from Dallas) Antoine Walker Kentucky
7. LA Clippers Lorenzen Wright Memphis
8. New Jersey Kerry Kittles Villanova
9. Dallas (from Boston) Samaki Walker Louisvile
10. Indiana (from Denver) Erick Dampier Mississippi State
11. Golden State Todd Fuller North Carolina State
12. Cleveland (from Wash.) Vitaly Potapenko Wright State
13. Charlotte Kobe Bryant Lower Merion HS
14. Sacramento Predrag Stojakovic PAOK (Greece)
15. Phoenix Steve Nash Santa Clara
16. Charlotte (from Miami) Tony Delk Kentucky
17. Portland Jermaine O'Neal Eau Claire HS
18. New York (from Detroit) John Wallace Syracuse
19. New York (from Atlanta) Walter McCarty Kentucky
20. Cleveland Zydrunas Ilgauskas Lithuania
21. New York Dontae Jones Mississippi State
22. Vancouver (from Houston) Roy Rogers Alabama
23. Denver (from Indiana) Efthimis Rentzias PAOK
24. LA Lakers Derek Fisher Arkansas-Little Rock
25. Utah (b) Martin Muursepp BC Kalev Tallinn
26. Detroit (from San Antonio) Jerome Williams Georgetown
27. Orlando Brian Evans Indiana
28. Atlanta (from Seattle) Priest Lauderdale Peristeri (Greece)
29. Chicago Travis Knight
Looking back with perfect 20/20 hindsight this is how i personally believe that draft should have went, feel free to agree or disagree.
I would like to get more in depth about the reasons why i feel each team should pick a certain player, however i'm on a time crunch and would just like to get this thread out there for some discussion.
So lettuce begin.
1. Philadelphia- Kobe Bryant. The reasons here are obvious, best player in the draft without question, playing in his home town would have been something special. Even with Stackhouse at the helm and holding down the 2 spot at the time, you pick Kobe and you make it work.
2. Toronto- Allen Iverson. Can you imagine AI in canada? Neither can i, but i gurantee it would have been interesting to watch. Iverson would have had an immediate impact on the Raptors and could have helped captivate the American audience enough to start paying attention to that little team in Toronto.. also, the next year the Raptors would go on to draft T-Mac. Although a Damon Stoudamire back court would have caused some problems when facing taller opposing back courts this pick is still easily Iverson. The Raptors needed a franchise player at the time and Iverson had the potential, Stoudamire didn't.
3. Vancouver- Steve Nash. Who could have ever of fathomed that Steve Nash had 1/4 of the potential that he ended up fufilling, from a small college and relatively unkown to the general public Steve Nashty, would end up being a 2x MVP, and considered one of the best players of his generation. I bet Vancouver and the rest of the NBA would have found that more fathomable at the time. Playing in Vancouver the Canadian Nash would have fit right in.
4. Milwaukee (a) Ray Allen. Milwaukee got this one right the first time. A franchise shooting guard with unlimited range, extremely athletic who will continue to be productive for years to come. Looking back, Ray Allen might have been the safest pick in this entire draft.
5. Minnesota (a) Marcus Camby. Yeah yeah, a lot of people might have Jermaine O'Neal in this spot, but i don't. A Marcus Camby & Kevin Garnett front course is a lot more intriguing IMO than a Jermaine/KG. Can you imagine that front court defense with both Camby and KG patrolling the paint? Would have been an amazing piece to added next to KG
6. Boston (from Dallas) Jermain O'Neal. O'neal. This dude should have gone to college. It took him 5 years before he was ready to do anything in the L and i think he could have lengthened his career by first preparing himself in the college ranks. With that being said, this was not the right pick for Boston at the time, they were horrible and needed some immediate help. However since we have the advantage of living in the future, we reep the benefits of knowing exactly just how he turned out. O'neal along with Pierce (drafted in 98) would both eventually start producing at around the same time and could have made a formidable 1 2 punch. Could have been Shaq/Kobe light.
7. LA Clippers: Ben Wallace. Talent wise, i'd go Marbury here, but would i want to bring Marbury into the mid 90's Clippers? No, that would have gotten ugly fast, instead The Clippers would have been better off taking Ben Wallace. A 4x DPOY and a juggurnaut of a defensive anchor capable of leading a championship defense.
8. New Jersey: Peja Stojavick. This pick is a pretty easy one. Think about those Nets teams that made the finals in the early 2000's, now replace Kerry Kittles with a 20+ ppg scorer with range from the moon.
9. Dallas (from Boston): Stephon Marbury. At the time they still had J-Kid, however he would be gone by years end. Marbury would have taken over where J-Kid left off, albeit with more scoring and a tad less passing. Some forget how much of a talent Stephon really was, and if put in the right situation with the right team, right owner, who knows maybe it would have turned out differently. We know how high Cuban is on keeping his starts happy.
10. Indiana (from Denver): Antoine Walker Go chuck away in Indiana Antoine.
11. Golden State: Shareef Abdur Rahim. A consistently consistent 20 & 10 guy who was stuck on bad teams his whole career. They had just drafted Joe Smith the year before, but once again since we live in the future and know Smith is a bust, it would make sense to draft Rahim & pair him next to Sprewell.
12. Cleveland (from Wash.) Zydrunas Illgauskas. Why wait until the 20th pick? Draft him now.
13. Charlotte: Derek Fisher. The true definition of a role player. And a damn good one at that, there's a reason Fisher was a starting point guard on multiple championship teams, he was consistent, smart, unselfish and clutch as hell.
If i made any notable mistakes in the OP feel free to let me know, like i stated earlier i'm doing this pretty quickly just to get a discussion started.
Would you guys have done it any differently?
Last edited by TheMarkMadsen : 01-14-2013 at 05:17 PM.