This week at SB Nation we’re doing a “what if” theme week. As in, What if Dell and Sonya Curry Hadn’t Decided to Have Children? and What if Patrick McCaw Weren’t the Greatest Player in NBA History?
I’ll have some more Golden State Warriors specific content on Friday, but today we redid the 2015 NBA Draft, to see how picks would change with five years of hindsight. With each team represented by a writer for their SB Nation site, we re-did the first round of the draft.
It turns out things changed quite a bit, though that shouldn’t be surprising. Of the 30 original selections, only two players kept their spot in the re-draft — top pick Karl-Anthony Towns, and No. 10 pick Justise Winslow.
Twelve of the original first-round picks dropped out of the first round in our re-draft, replaced by seven second-round picks and five undrafted players. It was a little bit of a harsh reminder as to how hard it is to draft, and how much we should temper expectations at the time. Three top-10 picks went unselected.
Back in 2015, the Golden State Warriors chose Kevon Looney. That pick took a while to materialize, but certainly looks good in hindsight.
I was hopeful that Looney would fall to the Warriors in the re-draft, since his value is much higher with the Warriors than with other teams. Alas, the Houston Rockets — the one team that has been repeatedly hurt by Looney’s tremendous defensive abilities — smartly picked him at 18.
Was this just to keep from letting the Warriors grab him? Possibly. If so, I can’t fault them one bit.
Alas, the Warriors ended up with undrafted wingman Malcolm Miller, who has played a limited role in three years with the defending-champion Toronto Raptors. Would Miller be an impact player on the Warriors? Quite unlikely, but he’s a career 39.3% shooter from deep, and 37.4% on high volume in the G League.
The Warriors can use shooters. The can always use shooters. That was my reasoning.
Here’s the full re-draft:
|1||Karl-Anthony Towns||Karl-Anthony Towns||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|2||D'Angelo Russell||Devin Booker||Los Angeles Lakers|
|3||Jahlil Okafor||Kristaps Porzingis||Philadelphia 76ers|
|4||Kristaps Porziņģis||Myles Turner||New York Knicks|
|5||Mario Hezonja||D'Angelo Russell||Orlando Magic|
|6||Willie Cauley-Stein||Kelly Oubre||Sacramento Kings|
|7||Emmanuel Mudiay||Josh Richardson||Denver Nuggets|
|8||Stanley Johnson||Montrezl Harrell||Detroit Pistons|
|9||Frank Kaminsky||Terry Rozier||Charlotte Hornets|
|10||Justise Winslow||Justise Winslow||Miami Heat|
|11||Myles Turner||Larry Nance||Indiana Pacers|
|12||Trey Lyles||Christian Wood||Utah Jazz|
|13||Devin Booker||Norman Powell||Phoenix Suns|
|14||Cameron Payne||Frank Kaminsky||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|15||Kelly Oubre Jr.||Bobby Portis||Washington Wizards|
|16||Terry Rozier||Rondae Hollis-Jefferson||Boston Celtics|
|17||Rashad Vaughn||Royce O'Neale||Milwaukee Bucks|
|18||Sam Dekker||Kevon Looney||Houston Rockets|
|19||Jerian Grant||Tyus Jones||New York Knicks|
|20||Delon Wright||Willie Cauley-Stein||Toronto Raptors|
|21||Justin Anderson||Cedi Osman||Dallas Mavericks|
|22||Bobby Portis||Delon Wright||Chicago Bulls|
|23||Rondae Hollis-Jefferson||Richaun Holmes||Brooklyn Nets|
|24||Tyus Jones||Pat Connaughton||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|25||Jarell Martin||Trey Lyles||Memphis Grizzlies|
|26||Nikola Milutinov#||Willy Hernangómez||San Antonio Spurs|
|27||Larry Nance Jr.||Quinn Cook||Los Angeles Lakers|
|28||R. J. Hunter||Jahlil Okafor||Boston Celtics|
|29||Chris McCullough||T.J.McConnell||Brooklyn Nets|
|30||Kevon Looney||Malcolm Miller||Golden State Warriors|
In all likelihood, this redraft doesn’t change things too much for the Warriors, but I think you could make the case they fall to the Rockets in 2018 if not for Looney repeatedly putting the clamps on James Harden and Chris Paul when switched.
But then again, we don’t know what Miller might have done if given the Warriors spacing.
Who would you have picked?