2003 NBA Re-Draft: Lottery Edition
Another NBA Re-Draft. The Series continues here on The Sports Scientist. Today we look back at the 2003 NBA Draft Lottery.
The 2003 NBA Draft is one of the best, if not the best, and deepest Drafts in NBA History. It featured 4 Franchise changing players and future Hall of Famers, as well as a litter of future All-Stars and solid Starters. This Class ranks right up there with the historic 1984 and 1996 NBA Draft Classes.
Today we’ll take a look back at the 2003 NBA Draft and re-pick every Lottery selection. Team needs and the best player’s available will be taken into account for this Re-Draft.
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Now, Let get into this 2003 NBA Re-Draft!
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James, SF, St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S. (Akron, Ohio)
Cavs Original Draft Pick: LeBron James
James Original Draft Slot: Cleveland Cavaliers, 1st Overall
No change here. This was a slam dunk pick in 2003 and is a slam dunk pick once again in this Re-Draft. Even with LeBron leaving after 2010, his first six years in Cleveland are more than worth it. LeBron did come back though after a four-year stint with the Miami Heat and was able to deliver Cleveland its first Championship in 2016. James is a once-in-a-generation talent and is still one of, if not the best Player as of 2020.
2. Detroit Pistons: Carmelo Anthony, SF/PF, Syracuse, Fr.
Pistons Original Draft Pick: Darko Milicic
Anthony Original Draft Slot: Denver Nuggets, 3rd Overall
Let me be clear. I think the hype surrounding Darko was real. I think he was as good as advertised. He just went to the wrong team for his development. Anthony wouldn’t have had that problem. Even off the bench for a contender, Anthony would’ve been a great fit for this team.
Anthony is a versatile Forward that can rebound, score, and might’ve developed better defensive habits playing for this team. The Pistons could’ve won more than just the one Championship if they drafted Melo here.
3. Denver Nuggets: Dwyane Wade, SG, Marquette, Jr.
Nuggets Original Draft Pick: Carmelo Anthony
Wade Original Draft Slot: Miami Heat, 5th Overall
Melo is no longer on the board for the Nuggets in this Re-Draft. But believe me, they aren’t complaining. They still end up with a 3 time NBA Champion and future Hall of Famer. Wade was one of the best scorers and the 2nd best SG in his prime. He would’ve brought the Nuggets the same or even more success as Anthony did.
4. Toronto Raptors: Chris Bosh, PF/C, Georgia Tech, Fr.
Raptors Original Draft Pick: Chris Bosh
Bosh Original Draft Slot: Toronto Raptors, 4th Overall
Yes, Bosh ended up leaving the Raptors. But who knows, maybe this time around the Raptors do a better job of surrounding Bosh with more pieces and he doesn’t leave. Either way, he’s the last Hall of Famer left and is the no-brainer pick here. The Raptors made the correct choice on draft day and get themselves a double-double machine, and a premier big-man.
5. Miami Heat: David West, PF, Xavier, Sr.
Heat Original Draft Pick: Dwyane Wade
West Original Draft Slot: New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, 18th Overall
Is there disappointment for the Heat here? Sure. They miss out on future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade. But David West isn’t a bad constellation prize. West was an All-Star Forward in his prime that could stretch the floor and at times carry the load offensively. Also, he was a great defender and Rebounder. The Heat aren’t too disappointed with this selection.
6. Los Angeles Clippers: Kyle Korver, SG, Creighton, Sr.
Clippers Original Draft Pick: Chris Kaman
Korver Original Draft Slot: New Jersey Nets (Traded to Philadelphia 76ers) 51st Overall
In hindsight, it’s unbelievable that a future All-Star Guard of Korver’s caliber lasted till the end of the second round. While Kaman wasn’t a bad pick, Korver is the better player and lasted much longer in the league because of his adaptable style of play and scoring.
Korver can score whether he comes off the bench or starts. He’s instant buckets, is an underrated Rebounder for his position, and a solid team defender. Korver’s style of scoring fits any era of basketball.
7. Chicago Bulls: Mo Williams, PG, Alabama, Soph.
Bulls Original Draft Pick: Kirk Hinrich
Williams Original Draft Slot: Utah Jazz, 47th Overall
Hinrich was a good pick for the Bulls, but Williams would’ve been a better one. Williams was a better and more efficient shooter and scorer. Williams even made an All-Star team and played 13 seasons in the NBA.
8. Milwaukee Bucks: Chris Kaman, C, Central Michigan, Jr.
Bucks Original Draft Pick: T.J. Ford
Kaman Original Draft: Los Angeles Clippers, 6th Overall
Kaman was a solid big-man for a good while in the NBA. He made an All-Star team and averaged double-digit PPG for 9 out of his 13 Seasons. That’s really good Production.
Kaman was a solid low-post presence that could defend and score. His mid-range at times left a lot to be desired, but the Bucks could do a lot worse than a future All-Star big-man in the middle of the Lottery.
9. New York Knicks: Kirk Hinrich, PG, Kansas, Sr.
Knicks Original Draft Pick: Michael Sweetney
Hinrich Original Draft Slot: Chicago Bulls, 7th Overall
In an alternate universe, the Knicks don’t have to trade and overpay for Stephon Marbury’s services. Instead, they get a promising young prospect in Kirk Hinrick in this 2003 NBA Re-Draft. That’s no knock on Marbury, he was a really good player just not a good fit for the Knicks at the time.
Hinrich certainly produced early on in his career and was a really good defender and solid Point Guard. He was a leader and floor general that didn’t always put up flashy numbers, or have a flashy game by any means, but it’s hard to argue with his production and the results he produced in his prime. This is a great pick for the Knicks.
10. Washington Wizards: Josh Howard, SG/SF, Wake Forest, Sr.
Wizards Original Draft Pick: Jarvis Hayes
Howard Original Draft Slot: Dallas Mavericks, 29th Overall
The Wizards seemingly had the right idea when they drafted a wing player like Hayes. Hayes was solid for about 5 or 6 years but disappeared after that. If you’re going to take a “disappearing act” at least take a future All-Star.
Josh Howard was a good 2nd or 3rd option for a Championship caliber team in Dallas. Much like the Wizards' “flop” of a pick, Hayes, Howard’s prime didn’t last too long. He’s still the best option for what the Wizards were looking for at the time. Ironically, Howard would end up playing for the Wizards (past his prime) anyway.
11. Golden State Warriors: Leandro Barbosa, SG/PG, Brazil
Warriors Original Draft Pick: Mickael Pietrus
Barbosa Original Draft Slot: San Antonio Spurs (Traded to Phoenix Suns)
The Warriors needed a Point Guard at the time. Luckily for them, Barbosa was a combo Guard that could play both Guard positions and is available here in this Re-Draft. Pietrus turned out to be a solid role player, but Barbosa without a doubt is the far superior player who could’ve put up big numbers if asked to take on a bigger role.
With a young team like the Warriors at the time, Barbosa might’ve developed into an All-Star. At the very worst the Warriors get a high-scoring 6th man that can put up 15 to 18 Points a night.
12. Seattle Supersonics: Jose Calderon, PG, Spain
Supersonics Original Draft Pick: Nick Collison
Calderon Original Draft Slot: Undrafted Free Agent
Calderon is one of those borderline All-Star talents that never actually made the All-Star team, but at times certainly felt, and played like an All-Star. Calderon is one of the best free-throw shooters in NBA history. He was a crafty and savvy ball handler that can hit the open shot, create for teammates, and played with a high basketball I.Q. He had to be crafty and savvy because he wasn’t a great athlete. It’s crazy to think he was Undrafted.
13. Memphis Grizzlies: Boris Diaw, G/F/C, France
Grizzlies Original Draft Pick: Marcus Banks
Diaw Original Draft Slot: Atlanta Hawks, 21st Overall
Diaw, aside from maybe LeBron James, is the most versatile player of this Draft. He literally could play 5 positions. He had handles, passing, a jump-shot, Rebounding, and size. He fits the many needs of the Grizzlies here at the time.
14. Seattle Supersonics: Darko Milicic, PF/C, Serbia and Montenegro
Supersonics Original Draft Pick: Luke Ridnour
Milicic Original Draft: Detroit Pistons, 2nd Overall
Hear me out. You can’t tell me a young core of Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Desmond Mason, Jose Calderon, and Darko Milicic doesn’t sound appealing. The fact of the matter is, Darko was never supposed to be the 2nd pick in the Draft. He was too raw. A raw player like Milicic needed playing time to rough out the “kinks” in his game.
A young team like the Sonics would’ve been perfect for his development, as he would’ve seen the consistent playing time that his game yearned for. I strongly believe Darko would’ve developed into an All-Star had he been drafted into the right team and situation.
Jeffrey Genao is a Writer and Contributor for The Sports Scientist. You can read more of his Content at The Sports Scientist. You can also Follow his Publication below: