The NBA playoffs are in full swing and we haven’t seen more than a year of these rookies, but who doesn’t love to do the draft again?
As this is a redraft, I’m not choosing the players based on who is the best. Instead, I’m selecting them based on the team situation combined with talent.
For obvious reasons in this redraft, the Dallas and Atlanta trade doesn’t happen.
1. Luka Doncic – Phoenix Suns
No surprise here. He would’ve been taken with the first selection if the Suns hadn’t been scared off by previous European guards who had been taken with high picks, such as Mario Hezonja and Ricky Rubio.
Doncic had a historic rookie campaign and although Dallas is likely to find themselves with another high pick, their future is very bright with a young superstar on their hands.
2. Jaren Jackson Jr – Sacramento Kings
This was a hard choice. Sacramento have a future star point guard in De’Aaron Fox. which takes Trae Young off the board.
And although it is tempting to go with their original pick Marvin Bagley, who looked promising towards the end of his rookie season, Jaren Jackson Jr is the big who I have Sacramento taking with their second pick.
Adding Jackson to the roster creates an opportunity to be creative with the line-up.
You could play both Jackson and Willie Cauley-Stein in the front court giving a huge amount of interior defence, or you could space the floor by sliding Jackson to the five and move Nemanja Bjelica to the starting squad.
Being the youngest player in the draft, Jackson has a tonne of upside and could one day mirror the likes of an Al Horford or a more agile Marc Gasol.
3. Trae Young – Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks stick with the first pick and take the hyped Oklahoma guard Trae Young.
We all saw the crazy rookie season Young recorded, putting up historic numbers while making a solid case to be named rookie of the year.
Young finished the season with the most points by a rookie combined with the most assists, averaging more than 19 points and eight assists which is more than Chris Paul in his rookie season in both categories.
4. DeAndre Ayton – Memphis Grizzlies
Although Marvin Bagley is a better talent than Ayton, Memphis take the original No.1 pick.
He is a player who can give you 18 points and ten rebounds a night, but Ayton doesn’t care about winning as much as some of the other players in this draft class and he could learn a thing or two from Marc Gasol.
Ayton has a stack of talent, which does translate to the box score, and he would have had a more respectable season if he was playing in Memphis.
5. Marvin Bagley – Dallas Mavericks
Dallas don’t get Luka in this redraft, however Marvin Bagley isn’t a player to be unhappy with.
Playing off the bench for the majority of his rookie campaign, Bagley showed flashes of star potential throughout the second half of his season.
Proving to be a versatile scorer and a tenacious rebounder, the former Duke star was also brought a tonne of energy to the game, which would replace the void left by Doncic.
Learning under Dirk Nowitzki for a year would certainly add a few extra moves to Bagley’s bag of tricks.
6. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Orlando Magic
With Nikola Vucevic emerging as an all-star and Mo Bamba not living up to expectation, the Magic take the Kentucky star.
Although Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t fill the stat sheet like Collin Sexton, he was the starting point guard for a starless Clippers team that took the Golden State Warriors to six games.
He is a crafty 198-centimetre guard with a good feel for the game, as well as a deadly mid-range jump shot and a near seven-foot wingspan as a point guard.
Adding Gilgeous-Alexander into Orlando’s starting five would add to their crazy length, with the likes of Jonathan Isaac, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic all being taller than 195 centimetres.
7. Wendell Carter Jr – Chicago Bulls
Although it is tough not to go with Collin Sexton, Chicago already have enough scoring and they go with their original selection in Wendell Carter.
Carter is a big man who does the little things that don’t stuff the stat sheet. Setting screens, interior defence, making the right play and creating floor spacing for team-mates.
Carter just looks like the right fit for Chicago.
8. Collin Sexton – Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland don’t take Kevin Knox and stick with their original pick in Collin Sexton.
The former Alabama man is a gifted scorer who still needs to work on making his team better.
He has a high ceiling and in this scenario remains as the likely future point guard for Cleveland.
9. Kevin Knox – New York Knicks
Another team that picks the same player. With his body frame and skills, Knox is a future star scorer and has a ceiling comparable to the likes of Paul George.
However it will take a lot of hard work for him to get there. Team fit isn’t a big thing for the Knicks so they go with the best player available.
10. Landry Shamet – Philadelphia 76ers
Although Mo Bamba clearly has more upside, there is no point in drafting a centre when you already have superstar Joel Embiid.
The 76ers get Shamet again, but at a much higher pick this time.
Shamet showed promise during his stint with the 76ers, posting a 20-point outing on more than one occasion and proving to be a knock-down shooter from three-point range.
Shamet transitioned to become a starter with the Clippers soon after being traded for Tobias Harris and played a huge role in their success, including a clutch shot against the Warriors in what would be the biggest comeback in a playoff game ever.