Estimated read time: 6-7 minutes
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Paul Millsap was the 47th pick in the 2006 draft. Some may not remember this, but he was actually the second Jazz pick in the second round. Remember who went one pick ahead of Millsap? Deron's buddy, Dee Brown from Illinois (who is now out of the league).
The draft is an inexact science. That makes it one of my favorite things in the summer (narrowly beating out the now-defunct Rocky Mountain Revue).
I thought it would be fun to re-draft the 2006 draft and examine the hits and misses. Believe me, there are some frightening misses.
The big question: Where would Paul Millsap go and to whom?
Jazz Vice President of Player Personnel and SportsBeat staff favorite, Walt Perrin, said "Always draft best available." We're going to apply that edict to our draft. You may argue that these draft picks may not fit perfectly with the team, but we're going to narrow the scope and "draft best available." Why? Because Walt is the guru.
So here we go. Special thanks to my uber-intern Todd Heaps (intern... not Ravens TE, minus the s) for pulling the numbers for me and helping me with the project.
Andrea Bargnani - Italy
Our Pick: Brandon Roy - Washington
Analysis: Roy is the obvious choice as the number one pick. He lived up to his last name and was R.O.Y his first season. He was selected to the all-star game in his second and third season. He has the highest career scoring average out of any one in the draft so far at 19.8, averaging a career high 22.6 per game last season, 10th in the NBA. He has taken his team from one of the worst, to one of the best teams in the NBA in just three years.
Pick 2:Portland Trailblazers
LaMarcus Aldridge - Texas
Our Pick: LaMarcus Aldridge - Texas
Analysis: The Blazers came away with not only the best player in the draft, but the second best player as well. We kept Aldridge at the spot he was originally drafted. He is a big, powerful, scoring, rebounding, defensive, 6-11 power forward with his best yet to come. He averaged 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1 block per game last season. Easy pick at 2.
Pick 3:Charlotte Bobcats Adam Morrison - Gonzaga
Our Pick: Rudy Gay - UConn
Analysis: We decided to take Gay over Morrison here because..........well, I don't think we really need to explain that one. Let's just say Morrison has spent more time on his mustache than he has on the court. Gay is an explosive scorer with good range and a good all-around game. He is the second leading scorer from the draft, behind Roy. He is also in the top five of the draft in steals, rebounds and blocks. He averaged 20.1 and 18.9 points per game the past two seasons respectively. He is a future all-star and has the potential to be one of the top five players in the league.
Pick 4:Chicago Bulls Tyrus Thomas - LSU
Our Pick: Rajon Rondo - Kentucky
Analysis: Best PG in the draft by a long-shot. Led his team as the starting point guard to the NBA Championship. Was sixth in assists in the NBA last season with 8.2 per. He is a triple-double threat and is a good scorer if he needs too but, he plays on a team of scorers and by default takes the role of distributor most of the time instead.
Pick 5:Atlanta Hawks Shelden Williams - Duke
Our Pick: Paul Millsap - Louisiana Tech
Analysis: Made the biggest jump on our draft board from pick no. 47. He is one of the best rebounds in the league. Averaged 13.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last season, leading all draftees in rebounds. Averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds as a starter while Carlos Boozer was out injured.
Pick 6:Portland Trailblazers Brandon Roy - Washington
Our Pick: Andrea Bargnani - Italy
Analysis: Although Bargnani has not lived up to his No. 1 selection, he is still a very talented player. A 6-11 forward/center that can knock it down consistently from long range, shooting 40% from downtown last season, is not easy to find. In fact, only a few come to mind in the NBA right now; Dirk Nowitzki and Mehmet Okur. He averaged 15.4 points per last season.
Pick 7:Minnesota Timberwolves Randy Foye - Villanova
Our Pick: Tyrus Thomas
Analysis: Thomas is a long, athletic defender, which don't come along very often. He averaged 10.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game last season in 27.5 minutes. His offensive game needs some work, but he has shown signs of a low-post and mid-range game. Plus, he is still young (only 22) and has the potential to develop.
Pick 8:Memphis Grizzlies Rudy Gay - UConn
Our Pick: Ronnie Brewer - Arkansas
Analysis: He worked his way into Jerry "the young player hater" Sloan's starting lineup as a second-year player. Shot 50% last season as a shooting guard. He is a solid defender. Finished last season seventh in the NBA in steals with 1.7 per game.
Pick 9:Golden State Warriors Patrick O'Bryant - Bradley
Our Pick: Randy Foye - Villanova
Analysis:Believe it or not, there was actual discussion as to who was the better player prior to this draft, Brandon Roy or Randy Foye. Seems silly now. Foye has gotten better each year increasing his scoring average by three points every year and scored a career high 16.3 points but only shot 41% from the field on a bad team. However, progress is progress, and it's nice to see a player continue to improve.
Pick 10:Seattle Sonics Saer Sene - Senegal
Our Pick: Craig Smith - Boston College
AnalysisKarl Malone loved this player. He said he was "hungry". Thank goodness Karl is moving land instead of choosing players. He was said to be very raw as a basketball player. We say, no projects in the lottery!
Pick 11:Orlando Magic JJ Redick - Duke
Our Pick: Daniel Gibson - Texas
Analysis:Great three point shooter. Stuck behind Mo Williams this year, but he's a pretty good player and one of the best bombers in the league.
Pick 12:NO/OK City Hornets Hilton Armstrong - UConn
Our Pick: Leon Powe - California
Analysis:Leon Powe was a monster in the Celtics championship year. Great energy and effective garbage man (that's a compliment). He'd probably rate higher except for his injury. Like I said, we're re-drafting, have to take the bad with the good.
Pick 13:Chicago Bulls Thabo Sefolosha - Switzerland
Our Pick: Thabo Sefolosha - Switzerland
Analysis:Expected more from the Swiss. He's been a nice on the ball defender, but would like to see more progress from a lottery pick.
Pick 14:Utah Jazz Ronnie Brewer - Arkansas
Our Pick: JJ Redick - Duke
Analysis:He's been buried on the bench in Orlando. As a three-point specialist, he is on a team full of three-point gunners. Bringing another gunner off the bench does change the pace up much. I still believe he can play a nice role in the NBA, just not with the Magic Blasters.