Thursday, June 28, 2007

1997 NBA Draft Revisited

With the NBA draft taking place tonight and the Portland Trailblazers in a seemingly can’t miss situation I thought it would be fun to travel back 10 years in time and see who hit and who missed in the 1997 draft. Only one player taken in the first round led the team that drafted them to an NBA Championship and only two have spent their entire careers with the same team.

Is the NBA draft a crap shoot? See for yourself!

1. San Antonio Spurs - Tim Duncan, Wake Forest – 1998 Rookie of the Year, two-time league MVP (2002, 2003), four-time NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007), one time NBA All-Star Game MVP(2000)and three-time NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005. HIT

2. Philadelphia 76ers - Keith Van Horn, Utah - Van Horn has played for the New Jersey Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers, the New York Knicks, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks. - MISS

3. Boston Celtics - Chauncey Billups, Colorado - Billups was traded to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Kenny Anderson midway through his first season. Billups then played for the Denver Nuggets, who traded him to the Orlando Magic. Had a breakthrough 2001-2002 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In June 2002 Billups signed with the Detroit Pistons. MISS

4. Vancouver Grizzlies - Antonio Daniels, Bowling Green - Over his career Daniels has played for the Grizzlies, the San Antonio Spurs (Daniels was on the 1999 team that won the NBA Championship), the Portland Trail Blazers, the Seattle SuperSonics and the Washington Wizards. MISS

5. Denver Nuggets - Tony Battie, Texas Tech – Played one season in Denver. Played for the Boston Celtics six seasons, then Cleveland Cavaliers who traded him to the Orlando Magic for Drew Gooden and Anderson Varejão to the Cavaliers. MISS

6. Boston Celtics - Ron Mercer, Kentucky - After two seasons in Boston, Mercer was traded to the Denver Nuggets. He played 37 games for Denver in 1999-2000, then was traded to Orlando for the final 31 games of the seadon. In 2000 he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bulls where he averaged 19.7 points per game in his first year with them. He was traded partway through the season to the Indiana Pacers. Before the 2003-2004 season, he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs. After playing 39 games with the Spurs, he was released. MISS

7. New Jersey Nets - Tim Thomas, Villanova - immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the Sixers' draft pick Keith Van Horn. In 1999, he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. In 2004, he was traded, again in exchange for Van Horn, to the New York Knicks. On the eve of training camp in 2005, he was again traded, to the Chicago Bulls. In 2006 he was waved by the Bulls and then signed by Phoenix. MISS

8. Golden State Warriors - Adonal Foyle, Colgate - Foyle is tied with Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs (10 years) for third place among active NBA players who have played their entire career for one team, behind Kevin Garnett (12 years) and Kobe Bryant (11 years). HIT

9. Toronto Raptors - Tracy McGrady, Mount Zion Academy (NC) - The Toronto Raptors made a sign-and-trade deal which sent McGrady to the Orlando Magic in exchange for a first round draft pick in 2000. In the 2000–01 season, he won the NBA Most Improved Player Award and was selected as a starter in the All-Star Game. On June 29, 2004, McGrady was traded to the Houston Rockets in a seven-player deal. MISS

10. Milwaukee Bucks - Danny Fortson, Cincinnati - Immediately traded to the Denver Nuggets. In his first year, he averaged double-digit points and the next year averaged a double-double in both points and rebounds. Before the 1999-2000 season, he was traded to the Boston Celtics. Following that season, he was traded to the Golden State Warriors. In 2002-2003 he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks who traded him to Seattle in 2004. MISS

11. Sacramento Kings - Tariq Abdul-Wahad, San Jose State - In November 2006 Italian team Climamio Bologna invited Abdul-Wahad to a try out, but he was not signed. MISS

12. Indiana Pacers - Austin Croshere, Providence - On July 5, 2006, Croshere was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Marquis Daniels.Croshere was the last Pacer remaining from the 1999-2000 Eastern Conference championship team. HIT

13. Cleveland Cavilers - Derek Anderson, Kentucky – Played two seasons in Cleveland, on in L.A. with the Clippers, one in San Antonio, four in Portland, one in Houston, one in Miami and is currently with Charlotte. HIT

14. L.A. Clippers - Maurice Taylor, Michigan - signed with the Houston Rockets in 2001 and was then traded to the New York Knicks in 2005, before joining the Sacramento Kings in 2006. MISS

15. Dallas Mavericks - Kelvin Cato, Iowa State - Cato's draft rights were immediately traded to the Portland Trail Blazers where he played two seasons before being traded to the Houston Rockets. MISS

16. Cleveland Cavilers - Brevin Knight, Stanford – Knight has played for the Cavaliers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Phoenix Suns, the Washington Wizards, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Charlotte Bobcats, averaging 7.6 points and 6.5 assists per game in his career. MISS

17. Orlando Magic - Johnny Taylor, Tennessee-Chattanooga – Played four seasons in the NBA for the Magic and the Denver Nuggets. MISS

18. Portland Trailblazers - Chris Anstey, Australia – Played three seasons in the NBA, none for Portland. MISS

19. Detroit Pistons - Scot Pollard, Kansas – Played only one season in Detroit. MISS

20. Minnesota Timberwolves - Paul Grant, Wisconsin – Played three seasons in the NBA but only one in Minnesota. MISS

21. New Jersey Nets - Anthony Parker, Bradley – Played three seasons in the NBA before going overseas. Returned last season to the NBA to play for the Toronto Raptures. MISS

22. Atlanta Hawks - Ed Gray, California - Had a brief stint with the Harlem Globetrotters. MISS

23. Seattle Sonics - Bobby Jackson, Minnesota - Traded to the Denver Nuggets prior to his rookie season. MISS

24. Houston Rockets - Rodrick Rhodes, Southern California - Played for the Rockets, Vancouver Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks in three NBA seasons. MISS

25. New York Knicks - John Thomas, Minnesota – Played two seasons in the NBA. MISS

26. Miami Heat - Charles Smith, New Mexico – Played in only 11 games in his one season in Miami. MISS

27. Utah Jazz - Jacque Vaughn, Kansas – Played four seasons for the Jazz. MISS

28. Chicago Bulls - Keith Booth, Maryland – Played only two seasons in the NBA. MISS