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NBA WHAT-IF (DRAFT EDITON)

mikeyvthedon
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LOL

Knicksboy, you make a post all about hypothetical situations and than you shoot down another guys hypothetical situation? I don't know, had me cracking up. I mean, Len Bias (who is a very tragic figure in sports, and an extremely sad story) coming back from the grave sounds a tad more ridiculous than the trade JCJ offered. Also, if Pippen had stayed in Seattle, than maybe the Bulls might have made moves to get different players to surround Michael (and that is not a maybe, it would have been a definitely, and someone would have gone to help Michael win, if Michael himself didn't bounce). Also, how does Larry Nance come into the equation with the Isiah Thomas thing? Dude never played for Dallas, and if I remember correctly, I think Adrian Dantley did, and Isiah chased his ass out of Detroit. Big Dog was a beast out of Purdue, and never lived up to the hype and while Jason Kidd and Grant Hill had better careers, would either of them lead Milwaukee to titles? A better question for 1996 would have been what if Tim Duncan had entered the draft, because than Philly would have gotten a franchise center (because he would not have had David Robinson and would actually be considered one). Kevin Garnett had much more of a chance of going one the year before than Kobe did, some people really thought the Warriors would take him, but Shaq without Kobe would most likely not have at least a couple rings (though I am far less enamored with that Jerry Stackhouse and Kobe Bryant combo than I am of the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant combo that came to be).

They thought that Rick Pitino left college to draft Tracy McGrady, but instead he went with his own guy Mercer. McGrady supposedly would have gone to Kentucky had he gone to college though. Billups and McGrady would have been intriguing, plus add Antoine Walker, that is a lot of shots, lol. But hastily trading Billups away for Kenny Anderson seemed like the right move at the time (sarcasm), and the Raptors trading of Billups was equally as ridiculous. I think that Nowitzki and Traylor trade is the easiest of your hypotheticals to see happening, because you could see disaster written all over it. Robert Traylor was an undersized PF who broke a backboard for Michigan against Duke, which meant he had to be a combination of Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal (again sarcasm). Unfortunately, Robert Traylor could only make it down the court faster than his man if there was a cheese burger sitting on the baseline (which would clearly take his attention away from the game anyway, but you catch my drift). Dirk Nowitzki had just scored 30, I think actually more than 30, against the best high school players in the US at the Hoop Summit (plus I remembered he had a sick stat line, and 4 threes and even though it was sort of a weak HS class, it was the same draft as Al Harrington and Rashard Lewis, who Dirk tentatively made his &$#%#&@! and who went 25 and 32 in the draft respectively and made a bunch of teams pay themselves). That Dirk Nowitzki trade to me is one of the bigger bonehead moves on draft day.

Now, with the whole Darko thing, many people even than thought Melo would have been the better pick, and even though we throw there names around now no one expected Bosh or Wade to go 2 in that draft. What made Darko so appealing was that he was a legit 7 footer, had a decent skill set and great athleticism for a guy his size and was 17 years old! I mean, people are throwing cautions flags on Rubio now, but back than with Darko, especially when the Pistons already had a squad that had done fairly well in the play-offs, they figured what could they lose? They may have indeed lost one, maybe two championships, but I do not think either of those would have been a certainty. If they have a player like Carmelo, I do not see that Rasheed Wallace deal, which was a ridiculous deal of ridiculous deals, going down. As much as Larry hates to play rooks, I just do not think the Hawks would have been stupid enough to make that ridiculous move and just stock pile that team with more talent, basketball Karma would not have allowed it :). So, imagine if they had not gotten Rasheed Wallace and ended up with Melo and Tayshaun splitting minutes, maybe playing Okur a little bit and getting some decent production. Are they a better team? It's possible, but I doubt it. I would have liked the Lakers in a series switching Rasheed for Melo at the time, but, who knows, maybe Melo gets a ring. All I know is he wouldn't have challenged LeBron for rookie of the year and would have had about as much fun with Larry Brown as he did sitting on the bench for the bronze medal Olympic team the summer afterwards (and who knows if he plays on that team with Brown as his coach in Detroit, which might have been a good thing for Melo).

Situation has so much to do with these things, which is why it is very hard to make sense out of something that did not happen or could have happened. What if Kevin Garnett stayed healthy this year? What if Manu and Timmy were healthy? Would the Suns had made the play-offs had Amare worn goggles this year? If the Cavs made the Shaq trade this year, would they had won the finals, or even beaten the Magic? I think what a lot of people were wondering is, how good would the Rockets had been if Yao and Tracy McGrady were both healthy? A lot of those hypotheticals when you look at them are far fetched, and back than were probably even more far fetched. If Detroit told GMs back than they were going to pick Dwyane Wade at 2, I am sure a number of them would have laughed or said they were crazy for passing up on Darko. I think Larry Brown beat the hell out of Darko and just gave up on him, and ask Darko's Detroit team mates and I believe they will say the guy can play. But, I think you could maybe even ask if Darko went to a team where he had a chance to play and make mistakes and wasn't just picked apart by everybody due to his counterparts having so much early success, would he maybe had a nice NBA career at this point? I still have faith that Darko can do alright, and though he has to be considered a bust up to this point, I still think he is only 23. Well, these things can be fun, but for any hypothetical you have to have an open mind, because there are always reason why it did or did not happen.

Knicksboy34
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I hear you about Kobe..he

I hear you about Kobe..he said he only wanted to play in LA. Thats why he didint go to Charlotte....And John Calipari (who was coach at the time) like Kittles

Orlando would have been in a less postion...a playoff team but not a final contender

I got one : Why if Everyone had 2 go to college?

Knicksboy34
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what did I shoot down?

what did I shoot down? Jordan and Hakeem?

That would have never happened...come on now....it had like a 0000000.000001% chance of happening?

jcj
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Jordan-Hakeem

"That would have never happened...come on now....it had like a 0000000.000001% chance of happening?"

@Knicksboy34: Isn't that what this post is all about? Things that are unlikely to have happened but which in hindsight would have been good? I would think that's what a "what-if" scenario is all about...lol

mikeyvthedon
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And......

So did all of yours man. If everyone had gone to college, the NBA would be a league where incredible changes could happen in single seasons time. Rookies would be able to change teams drastically and there would be a lot more solid rookie players. Players in the league would be extremely physically mature and it would be at a point where people might wonder how underclassmen could complete in the league. College would be crazy competitive and a lot more interesting to watch. Players would all be taking payola. Also, pigs would sprout wings and snow balls would be abundant in hell.

Mr. Basketball
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what if baron davis gave a

what if baron davis gave a **** about the team last year?

Knicksboy34
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No im saying thing that

No im saying thing that could have happened...Come on now...Houston trades the rookie of the year, 7-3 C for 2 unproven players?

mikeyvthedon
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Knicksboy

Man, their would have been much more mind boggling trades before that one. Kobe for Divac. No one for Gasol and Rasheed (yes, I still consider Marc Gasol no one). Just let the man live his dream. The biggest one for most Blazers fans though, of things that were probably more likely to happen than most things listed before was what if Arvydas Sabonis had played in the NBA when he was young instead of starting off as a 30 year old rookie? Everyone says how incredible Sabonis was as a younger player, some even going as far as to call him Shaq with a 3 point shot. People here still kill themselves over thinking what Arvydas could have done had he came over in 1986 instead of 1995. He basically came over, got help on his knees from doctors over hear, than went back to Lithuania until he was pretty much past his prime. It is super unfortunate we did not get to see Sabonis when he was at his best, as though he was not dominant during his time in the league, he was still a pretty darn good player. Great passing big, hada nice shot to spread the court and just huge as all hell. Also, if you are going to talk about players passing away too soon, Reggie Lewis and Drazen Petrovic were both guys who died right as they were becoming All-Star players. Very sad stuff.

Knicksboy34
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Yea I mean, in the history

Yea I mean, in the history of the NBA, there were ,many trades

Also, to the Houston guy. I dont think Houston just took Hakeem for hometown ties. They saw him play. He had the grace enough to play PF. It only failed because they had a power struggle and all thier guards were not that good. Also, 2 years later, Sampson got hurt and traded.

mikeyvthedon
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Hakeem

Houston did not just pick Hakeem because of hometown ties, but they picked Hakeem because he was considered a potential franchise player. I am pretty sure he made the All-Star team as a rook, didn't start like Jordan, but I think he made it. Hakeem was considered a step below Ewing back than when it came to potential franchise players. I mean, a great what if is if Ewing would have gone in the draft. I am almost sure that Houston would have taken Ewing number 1, even with Hakeem's hometown ties, than Portland scoops Hakeem at 2 and Phi Slamma Jamma moves to Portland. Ewing at that time was considered to be the second coming of Bill Russell, which sounds crazy to us now, even after a very solid career but no rings and no real dominance. I even was in Borders and saw a book of Dick Vitale's top 25 or 50 college players of the last like 30 years, or whatever the hell his timeline was, but my point is that Patrick was #1. I can not believe I forgot that one, as I have sometimes thought of that, as Portland truly wanted to take Hakeem and just took Bowie as they thought he was the next best center available.

Also, sorry to keep harping on you Knicksboy, lol, but I thought of this a little while ago with regards to the dude's Jordan/Drexler for Ralph Sampson trade. Ralph Sampson was an awesome college baller, and was the years previous rookie of the year, and he was 7-4, but they were going to be drafting a legitimate possible franchise center. How is trading him for the #3 pick and a guy who was definitely going to surpass his #14 billing the year before (and was the basic reason for Portland having taken Sam Bowie instead of Jordan) any crazier than drafting the guy who ended up going #13 with the #1 pick (in your Kobe over Iverson scenario). I am just saying, both had a sliver of a percentage of happening, does not mean that it is still not something a person can dream about.

Knicksboy34
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Well...no problem. Your not

Well...no problem. Your not harping on me, its cool. But like i said. I mean Hakeem and Sampson was a ok combo and the Jordan thing never happened because i believe they had a all-star at SG there and they felt Hakeem can play the PF.

The Kobe thing could have happened. Kobe outplayed Stackhouse at a practice weeks before the Combine at a Fordham workout. Stackhouse wanted to work with Kobe, he even wanted to play at 3 so Kobe can play the 2.

jcj
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@Knicksboy34

Re the Houston-Portland fantasy trade, it would have been Sampson (and maybe Robert Reid) not just for Jordan and Drexler, but also Calvin Natt (who was a solid starter at forward then averaging about 17 ppg), Wayne Cooper who averaged between 8-12 points as a part time starter and Fat Lever (then the backup of Darnell Valentine). That trade would have netted Houston 2 starters (Jordan at SG, Natt at PF), and 3 starter quality reserves (Drexler at OG/SF, Lever at PG, and Cooper at C/PF). And looking at how the careers panned out, Drexler would have eventually supplanted Rodney McCray as starting SF, and Lever replaces John Lucas when drugs knock him out of the lineup. Assuming the still drafted Jim Petersen in the 3rd round of the 1985 draft, the Lakers may have been facing the following Rockets lineup:

PG: Fat Lever
OG: Michael Jordan
SF: Clyde Drexler
PF: Calvin Natt
C: Hakeem Olajuwon

Bench: SF/OG/PG Rodney McCray, C/PF Wayne Cooper, PF Jim Petersen, OG Lewis Lloyd, PG Allen Leavell.

Also, let me correct the impression that I felt Olajuwon was drafted because he was a hometown guy. He really was going number 1. For me the hometown guy would have factored in deciding whether to trade Sampson or Olajuwon. During the 1984 draft, not many people believed that the two 7 footers could play together. If Houston had to trade one of them at that time (that was before Olajuwon clearly established he would be a better player), and they were even up in terms of potential, they would more likely have still kept Olajuwon and his greater potential over Sampson and his more impressive college credentials.

I do agree though that the twin towers were interesting. I became a fan of Houston because of that. I only wish we would have been able to get full value for Sampson by trading him before the injuries. Outside of the Portland deal, the best option might have been in 1985 with Dallas. Perhaps Sampson for Sam Perkins, Ro Blackman (or Dale Ellis), possibly Derek Harper plus the 8th pick in the draft (used for Detlef Schrempf but could also have been used for Karl Malone or Charles Oakley) and the 16th pick. Portland's 84 package though would still be better. Oh well, not as if our discussion would make things happen that way.

jcj
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@Knicksboy34

BTW, in relation to the Houston SG issue then, they did have Lewis Lloyd. He was not an all-star but a productive player who averaged around 17 ppg in 1984-85 and 1985-86. He did bomb out in the finals against the Celtics and then ended up being banned from the league because of drug use in 1986-87 together with his back-up Mitchell Wiggins, who was a better defender and all around player but not much of a scorer.

Also, the twin towers concept was conceptualized because they felt that Sampson was the one to play PF. They felt that with his agility and ballhandling he could play the 4 spot. During the twin tower years, Olajuwon was officially the center, and Sampson the power forward.

Mr. Basketball
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what if lebron went to

what if lebron went to college. then the magic still got #1 and the clips still #2. would the clips have traded down to #4 for livingston still or no because howard was available.

maravich44
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Twin Towere

I've done my share of fantasy on this topic. My comment is a little off track, but since we are discussing it...... Does it bug anyone else when 2 franchise centers wind up on same team? I mean they come along so infrequently and then Hakeem and Ralph or Robinson/Duncan wind up on same team. Yes, I know Duncan is "considered" power foreard, but he was touted as franchise center in college.

Knicksboy34
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no...I mean yea 2 good

no...I mean yea 2 good Centers on 1 team is tough to beat but the reason those combo are though of to be good is because of the two C have PF skills and post moves (Hakeem and Duncan)

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