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RE-DRAFTING THE 1982 NBA DRAFT

@Baldwin31

Top 10 Re-Draft

1. Los Angeles Lakers- James Worthy (Original: #1 Overall)

Dominique Wilkins had more flash to his game but, James Worthy was at the time and remains the best player for this first overall pick. Worthy was the perfect complement to Magic Johnson and became the ideal third option for arguably the greatest team of all-time. Big Game James as he became known was a staple of the Showtime Lakers and an integral piece to a league altering dynasty. Safe to say they got this one right.

Original Pick: James Worthy

2. San Diego Clippers- Dominique Wilkins (Original: #3 Overall)

One of the few men of Michael Jordan’s era to be able to stake a claim at being a similar type of athlete, Dominique Wilkins was known as the human highlight reel for a reason. One of the great in-game and contest dunkers ever, Wilkins game also included a diverse set of moves that coupled with his all-time athleticism made him a unique talent to say the least. Wilkins will forever remain underrated though thanks to being stuck on questionable Hawks teams for the duration of his prime.

Original Pick: Terry Cummings

3. Utah Jazz- Terry Cummings (Original: #2 Overall)

From 1983 to 1992, Terry Cummings averaged over 20 points a night. Unfortunately for Spurs fans and Cummings, an injury derailed his prime and forced him into being a role player for the rest of his career. Despite the shortened prime, Cummings still achieved multiple All-NBA selections and was the rookie of the year. He may not of had the perfect career for a number two pick but, any time a player survives the Donald Sterling Clippers to become an All-Star, he deserves some respect.  

Original Pick: Dominique Wilkins

4. Dallas Mavericks- Fat Lever (Original: #11 Overall)

Arizona State Legend and Denver Nugget jersey retirement recipient, Fat Lever, comes in at number four. Lever had a short but sweet NBA career that at the end, saw him achieve two All-Stars, one All-NBA second team selection and an All-Defensive selection. Most notably, Lever was a walking triple-double by the time he hit his full stride with the Nuggets. Lever remains top ten all-time in triple-doubles. His eleven-year career was short but impactful enough to earn the fourth selection on this list.

Original Pick: Bill Garnett

5. Kansas City Kings- Ricky Pierce (Original: #18 Overall)

Coming in at number five is one of the original off the bench microwaves, Ricky Pierce. Pierce is one of just five players to win the sixth man of the year award twice. In 1990 Pierce set the record of 23 points per game without starting a single one, a record unlikely to ever be broken. Also, he achieved the rare feat the following season of being named an All-Star without starting a game. Lou Williams before Lou Williams, Ricky Pierce was a really good NBA player.

Original Pick: LaSalle Thompson

6. New York Knicks- Mark Eaton (Original: #72 Overall)

If Pierce was all offence then our next selection, Mark Eaton, was all defence. A five-time member of the All-Defensive teams, the seven-foot four-inch Eaton was a defensive behemoth in Utah. At the time of his retirement, he ranked second all-time in league history in total blocked shots and is currently the NBA’s all-time leader in blocks per game, with a career average of 3.50. His presence was undeniable and his spot as the sixth best player in this draft is well earned.

Original Pick: Trent Tucker

7. Chicago Bulls- Paul Pressey (Original: # 20 Overall)

Another defensive stalwart comes in at number seven on this re-draft. Paul Pressey was a three-time All-Defensive selection during his time in Milwaukee. Coupled with Sidney Moncrief, the Bucks and Pressey were one of the best defensive teams of the late-80s. Pressey was also a capable offensive player, averaging almost 14 points a game and, a trailblazing almost seven assists a night as a small forward. Pressey’s game was unique and certainly worth a top seven selection in this draft.

Original Pick: Quintin Dailey

8. Indiana Pacers- Sleepy Floyd (Original: #13 Overall)

Georgetown legend and member of the All-NBA nickname team, Sleepy Floyd checks in at number eight. After leading the Hoyas to a national championship game, Floyd would go on to have a solid NBA career. A one-time All-Star, Floyd holds two unique NBA playoff records. In game four of the second round of the 1987 playoffs, Floyd recorded the NBA playoff record for points scored in a quarter (29) and in half (39) on way to a victory over one of the great teams in history, the 87 Lakers. Over his seven year prime, Floyd averaged over 15 points a game, more than good enough to earn a top eight selection.

Original Pick: Clark Kellogg

9. Detroit Pistons- Rod Higgins (Original: #31 Overall)

Rod Higgins had a solid NBA career as a role player that bounced around the league. He’s probably most known for holding the NBA record of playing for four teams in one season. Higgins was more than just a journeyman though, averaging over 11 points a game in his time in Golden State. For his career compared to his draft class, Higgins sits tenth in minutes, 11th in points, eighth in rebounds and tenth in win shares.  

Original Pick: Cliff Levingston

10. Atlanta Hawks- Cliff Levingston (Original: #9 Overall)

The final pick of the top ten in this re-draft is two-time NBA Champions Cliff Levingston. As a role player for Jordan’s Bulls, Levingston was known as a solid bench contributor. Prior to coming to Chicago, Levingston enjoyed more individual success, averaging almost ten points a game for the better part of five seasons in Atlanta. Still though, getting a role-playing contributor is a successful pick at any point of an NBA Draft.

Original Pick: Keith Edmonson

Best Pick: James Worthy

Worthy’s selection breathed new life into an aging Laker organization. With Kareem slowing, coming off a championship win, Worthy was able to step in and provide enough offence to help propel the Lakers to three more titles in the decade. His addition was an integral part to a Showtime dynasty in the eighties.

Biggest Bust: Bill Garnett

Despite being the fourth overall selection to Dallas, Bill Garnett managed just 300 career games and less than 1,700 career points. A brutal swing and a miss for a franchise that was maybe a high level player away from being a true challenger in the mid-part of the decade.

Biggest Steal: Mark Eaton

At 72nd overall, Utah was able to select one of the best players in their franchise’s history. Eaton was one of the great paint defenders of all-time and certainly an absolute steal in the fourth round of the draft.

Class Grade: B-

 

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