1998 Draft Do-Over

By: 01.14.08
IMAGE DESCRIPTIONVince on Dime #21 … as a Nugget?

In a draft class headlined by three potential Hall of Famers, leave it to the Clippers to make the worst possible choice with the #1 overall pick. In all fairness, back in 1998 there didn’t seem to be many sure things in the NBA Draft. Everyone knew Arizona PG Mike Bibby would be a solid pro, everyone knew Paul Pierce would be a solid scorer, and everyone knew Vince Carter would be a highlight-reel fixture. But the Clippers decided to go with the intriguing 7-footer from across the water who would be something of a project … and even then they landed the wrong one; taking Michael Olowokandi over Dirk Nowitzki. But had they known then what they know now, which way would the Clippers have gone? Let’s go back a decade:

(One more thing: We’re assuming that while teams know how these potential draftees will turn out, they don’t know how other players on their roster will turn out. For example, the ’98 Raptors were building around Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby and a young T-Mac. For these purposes, they don’t necessarily know T-Mac will become a League-leading scorer, nor do they know backup PG Chauncey Billups will turn into a Finals MVP.)

1. L.A. Clippers — Dirk Nowitzki, PF/SF, Germany
2. Vancouver — Paul Pierce, SG/SF, Kansas
3. Denver — Vince Carter, SG, North Carolina
4. Toronto — Rashard Lewis, SF/PF, Alief Elsik H.S. (Texas)
5. Golden State — Antawn Jamison, PF, North Carolina
6. Dallas — Mike Bibby, PG, Arizona
7. Sacramento — Jason Williams, PG, Florida
8. Philadelphia — Cuttino Mobley, SG, Rhode Island
9. Milwaukee — Brad Miller, C, Purdue
10. Boston — Al Harrington, SF/PF, St. Patrick’s H.S. (N.J.)
11. Detroit — Larry Hughes, SG/PG, Saint Louis
12. Orlando — Ricky Davis, SF/SG, Iowa
13. Orlando — Nazr Mohammed, C, Kentucky

OTHER NOTABLES: Rafer Alston, Earl Boykins, Pat Garrity, Matt Harpring, Jerome James, Mike James, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Raef LaFrentz, Tyronn Lue, Rasho Nesterovic, Michael Olowokandi, Ruben Patterson, Brian Skinner, Tractor Traylor, Bonzi Wells.

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