In every NBA draft, there’s always lottery picks that bust, second round picks that shine, and front offices left wondering “what if…?”
Here’s what would’ve happened had the teams in the 2011 draft been given the chance to redraft the top-10 picks.
Actual Top 10 Selections:
1.) Kyrie Irving
2.) Derrick Williams
3.) Enes Kanter
4.) Tristan Thompson
5.) Jonas Valančiūnas
6.) Jan Veselý
7.) Bismack Biyombo
8.) Brandon Knight
9.) Kemba Walker
10.) Jimmer Fredette
1.) (Cavaliers) Kyrie Irving (Actual Draft Position: 1)
Although Kawhi Leonard should be recognized as the better player overall, the Cavs are in an interesting situation here. If they draft Leonard, they’ll have the superior talent, but this selection also rules out any possibility of LeBron James returning. So Kyrie it is.
2.) (Timberwolves) Kawhi Leonard (Actual Draft Position: 14)
Minnesota’s front office is likely salivating at the roster-that-could’ve-been had they taken Leonard instead of Michael Beasley. They’d have 3 of the 5 best players 25 years old or younger, and we’d be talking about a dynasty in Minnesota (although we already are, to an extent).
3.) (Jazz) Jimmy Butler (Actual Draft Position: 30)
Fresh off a gold medal with team-USA, this two-way stud would’ve been a franchise cornerstone for the up-and-coming Jazz.
4.) (Raptors) Klay Thompson (Actual Draft Position: 11)
Toronto would be taking a different Thompson had they been given a do-over. Tristan has panned out to be a quality NBA starter, but Klay is levels ahead of him in terms of talent.
5.) (Cavaliers) Tristan Thompson (Actual Position: 5)
Again, not the most talented player on the board, but Tristan ended up being a key figure in Cavs’ 2016 championship roster.
6.) (Wizards) Nikola Vučević (Actual Position: 16)