The 2003 draft is widely regarded as one of the best draft classes of all-time.
But taking a closer look, this draft was very top-heavy. If you didn’t have a top-5 pick, you were out of luck in terms of selecting a player to build your franchise around.
But role-players that would end up being critical in championship runs were aplenty in 03′, if you only knew where to look.
Here’s how the top-10 picks in 2003 would look if the teams were given a do-over.
1.) LeBron James
2.) Darko Miličić
3.) Carmelo Anthony
4.) Chris Bosh
5.) Dwyane Wade
6.) Chris Kamen
7.) Kirk Hinrich
8.) T.J. Ford
9.) Michael Sweetney
10.) Jarvis Hayes
#1.) Cavaliers: LeBron James (Actual Draft Position: 1)
The obvious choice. The King has established himself as the 2nd best player in the history of the league and Cleveland would be foolish to even consider somebody else.
#2.) Detroit Pistons: Dwyane Wade (Actual Draft Position: 5)
Though they captured a championship the year after selecting Serbian bust Darko Miličić #2 overall, you just feel that Flash would’ve been able to put the Pistons over the top at least once more from 06′-10′.
#3.) Denver Nuggets: Chris Bosh (Actual Draft Position: 4)
Bosh showed the ability to be the face of the franchise in Toronto, but it’s his ability to adjust to a winning environment, put on display in Miami, that warrants a #3 selection.
#4.) Toronto Raptors: Carmelo Anthony (Actual Draft Position: 3)
Talk about his lack of winning all you want, but there’s no denying the raw talent of Melo. That, combined with the leadership of Vince Carter, and we may be talking about a different Carmelo Anthony had he fallen to the #4 slot.
#5.) Miami Heat: David West (Actual Position: 18)
With 3 of their future players off the board, Miami is in a tough spot. But West, a very productive player in his prime, seems like the right choice.
#6.) Clippers: Kyle Korver (Actual Position: 51)
Virtually all of the versatile players are gone by now. But Kyle Korver has been a valuable piece throughout his career, even notching an All-Star appearance.
#7.) Bulls: Mo Williams (Actual Position: 47)
LeBron’s right-hand man for years, the eventual NBA-champion proved throughout his prime years that he was very capable of performing at a very high level during the postseason.
#8.) Bucks: Kendrick Perkins (Actual Position: 27)
The fact that he was the starting center of the 08′-Celtics is the only reason that the Bucks would be taking any solace knowing that they just used a top-10 pick on this guy.
#9.) Knicks: Leandro Barbosa (Actual Position: 28)
The point-guard situation of the Knicks has been a mess since Marbury left. Surely Barbosa couldn’t do any worse if he was thrown into the fire.
#10.) Wizards: Zaza Pachulia (Actual Position: 42)
He’s a very similar player to Marcin Gortat, who the Wizards are apparently very fond of, as they inked him to a 5 year/$60 million contract in the summer of 2014.