Top 10 Re-Draft
1. Houston Rockets- Clyde Drexler (Original: #14 Overall)
The only surprising part about Clyde Drexler’s location in this re-draft should be that initially he went 14th overall. One of the ten best players of his generation, a dream team member and the best player on two separate finals teams, Drexler had an incredible career. After starring at the University of Houston, his high-flying style translated beautifully to the NBA and there’s no doubt he had the best career of anyone in this draft.
Original Pick: Ralph Sampson
2. Indiana Pacers- Ralph Sampson (Original: #1 Overall)
In another draft Sampson would’ve dropped more in the re-draft but for me in this one, I can’t have him go any lower than two. He was one of the 15 best players in the league instantly and once Hakeem arrived in 84-85, the Rockets were an automatic contender. Sure, his prime really only lasted four seasons but I’ll take an automatic superstar any day of the week in this weak draft.
Original Pick: Steve Stipanovich
3. Houston Rockets- Jeff Malone (Original: #10 Overall)
Jeff Malone was the textbook roleplaying shooter/scorer of the late 80s and early 90s. Though he never really expanded his game beyond the three-point line, inside it for the duration of his prime, he was near automatic. Two All-Star appearances and an over eight year stretch where he averaged just over 20 points a game is more than enough for a top 3 selection.
Original Pick: Rodney McCray
4. San Diego Clippers- Byron Scott (Original: #4 Overall)
Long before he was the coach of the Lakers and Nets, Byron Scott was the perfect match for a two guard to play with Magic Johnson. Scott was the kind of athlete who had just as much of an ability to hit a jumper in your face as he did to dunk on you. There’s no doubt that without the trade of Norm Nixon for Byron Scott, Showtime would have fewer titles.
Original Pick: Byron Scott
5. Chicago Bulls- Dale Ellis (Original: #9 Overall)
No player would’ve benefitted more from being drafted in 2020 as opposed to 1983 than sharpshooter Dale Ellis. Ellis was shooting over four threes a game long before it was cool and, in 1988-89 in his lone All-Star season, made 48% of them. A career 40% shooter from deep is hard to find and certainly worth a top 5 selection when coupled with his 22-point a game prime.
Original Pick: Sidney Green
6. Golden State Warriors- Derek Harper (Original: #11 Overall)
Derek Harper is on the shortlist of greatest players to never reach an All-Star game. Much like this generation’s version, Mike Conley, Harper played the majority of his career in an elite guard conference on teams that weren’t quite good enough to steal some national attention. Still though, a prime average of 18 points and 7 assists a night with high quality defence is a winning player in any era, no matter if he got the recognition he deserved.
Original Pick: Russell Cross
7. Utah Jazz- Doc Rivers (Original: #31 Overall)
Doc Rivers was a hell of a point guard before he coached a second in the league. Rivers was known for his high-level ability to run an offence, shown by his prime average of 14 points and 8 assists a game. His best success came in Atlanta, running the show on Dominique Wilkins’ impressive Hawks teams of the late 80s and early 90s. He’s obviously better known as a coach now but that doesn’t mean for his prime, he wasn’t an All-Star level floor general.
Original Pick: Thurl Bailey
8. Detroit Pistons- Rodney McCray (Original: #3 Overall)
Rodney McCray was a high-quality role-playing defensive forward who could score when needed throughout his time in the NBA. Although he never developed into the scorer a third pick is expected of, McCray’s defence and above average offensive game allowed him to be a useful piece on Hakeem’s Rockets. Thankfully this pick didn’t happen in real-life, it’s not like the 80’s Pistons were short on defensive forwards.
Original Pick: Antoine Carr
9. Dallas Mavericks- Sedale Threatt (Original: #139 Overall)
For some reason the NBA Draft used to have six rounds and in the sixth round of this draft, Sedale Threatt was selected. Threatt went on to have a solid role-playing guard career where he peaked as the lead guard on the Lakers when Magic suddenly retired in 1992. Threatt was the type of guard who was probably best suited off the bench but could start at any time, a type of player any NBA can use.
Original Pick: Dale Ellis
10. Washington Bullets- Antoine Carr (Original: #8 Overall)
Another player best suited as a role player but could also start at any time was Antoine Carr. Carr excelled in both, averaging over 20 a game for Sacramento starting and, helping Utah immensely off the bench in the late 90s. Either way, he was the type of hard-nosed centre that any team can use.
Original Pick: Jeff Malone
Best Pick: Clyde Drexler
Getting the best player in the draft and a lock Hall of Famer outside the lottery is basically guaranteed to win best pick in any NBA Draft.
Biggest Bust: Russell Cross
The fact you probably just said “who” when reading his name (I know I did) should be reason enough that the sixth pick of this draft is far and away the biggest bust.
Biggest Steal: Doc Rivers
Doc Rivers was an All-Star level point guard for Atlanta they found in the second round. Finding an All-Star outside the top ten is a big deal let alone outside the first round. Rivers is pretty obviously the biggest draft oversight from 1983.
Class Grade: C