Top 10 Re-Draft
1. Houston Rockets- Michael Jordan (Original: #3 Overall)
Let’s not over think this. Yes, Hakeem was outstanding but any time I can select arguably the greatest player of all-time in a sport, no matter how great Dream was, MJ is the obvious pick. In fairness to Houston for passing on him, pre-Jordan it was thought you needed a centre to win championships. Ironically, this draft took place in the middle of the Bird and Magic era but still, centres were the thought key to success. Since then though, safe to say you’d want the do it everything guard every day of the week and twice on Sunday’s.
Original Pick: Hakeem Olajuwon
2. Portland Trail Blazers- Hakeem Olajuwon (Original: #1 Overall)
How good is Hakeem Olajuwon that he was selected ahead of Michael freaking Jordan and no one thinks the Rockets made a mistake? Yeah so, the Blazers benefit off the Jordan bump and instead of busting on Bowie, get the best big man of this generation to pair with his former college teammate, Clyde Drexler. Hakeem misses out on the twin tower era but maybe stumbles into one of the great duos that could’ve been in NBA History if they played their entire primes together as opposed to just the tail-end.
Original Pick: Sam Bowie
3. Chicago Bulls- Charles Barkley (Original: #5 Overall)
Chicago misses out on Jordan and instead has to “settle” for Charles Barkley. Barkley instantly is the best player in Bulls history and with the track record of Jerry Krause finding elite talent like Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, is it crazy to think he wins multiple titles as a Bull? Barkley’s career is pretty incredible all things considered as an undersized power forward who came into the NBA with serious questions of his weight. By the time he retired, Sir Charles had answered all the questions of his ability as one of the great players the game has ever seen.
Original Pick Michael Jordan
4. Dallas Mavericks- John Stockton (Original: #16 Overall)
So, we’re four picks in and still getting top forty players all-time, that’s pretty ludicrous. In this re-draft, Dallas ignores the athleticism concerns and selects one of the great point guards in NBA History. It’s unlikely John Stockton finds as much success without the ideal partner like Karl Malone was but, Dallas had some talent in the 80’s so who knows? Either way, the fact he went 16th overall is pretty remarkable and the Mavericks will be more than ecstatic to grab the future hall of famer fourth overall.
Original Pick: Sam Perkins
5. Philadelphia 76ers- Alvin Robertson (Original: #7 Overall)
Alvin Robertson was one of the great defensive guards of his era. He holds the record for the most steals per game played, averaging 2.71 steals per game for his career and, is the only guard in NBA history to have recorded a quadruple-double. A four-time All-Star, six-time All-Defensive team member and capable jump shooter would be a really good fit for a contending 76er team. He may not be Charles Barkley but a multiple-time All-Star and instant contributor is what every team is looking for this high in the draft.
Original Pick: Charles Barkley
6. Washington Bullets- Otis Thorpe (Original: #9 Overall)
In a lot of other re-drafts, Otis Thorpe goes much higher than fifth overall. Thorpe was a key role player on Hakeem’s Rockets first title before being the main piece in the trade that brought Drexler to Houston the next season. In his six-year peak, Thorpe averaged over 18-points and almost 10 rebounds a night. Thorpe was a high-quality power forward from a foregone era tha at the time, any team could use.
Original Pick: Melvin Turpin
7. San Antonio Spurs- Sam Perkins (Original: #4 Overall)
Sam Perkins has to be one of the greatest contributors to winning that never won a title in NBA history. Everywhere he went, the teams got better and, he was a major piece to three teams that made the finals. Unfortunately for Perkins, he ran into his former college teammate Michael Jordan in two of those and Shaq and Kobe in the other. Regardless, a stretch four before stretch fours were cool that’ll give me almost 14-points a game is certainly a player any team would sign up for.
Original Pick: Alvin Robertson
8. Los Angeles Clippers- Kevin Willis (Original: #11 Overall)
Kevin Willis played a long time in the NBA. How long you ask? Well, with the 21 seasons he amassed, Willis is tied for second most all-time with the likes of Robert Parrish, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki. Unlike those lock hall of famers he’s tied with in longevity, Willis was more of a role player for the majority of his career. At his peak, he averaged around 16-points a game playing mostly for Atlanta. Unfortunately for Willis, due to the strength of this draft, despite the impressive career he had, eight is as high as he would go in the re-draft.
Original Pick: Lancaster Gordon
9. Kansas City Kings- Jerome Kersey (Original: #46 Overall)
Jerome Kersey is one of the great second round picks in NBA history. Almost immediately he proved he was taken too low, helping the Blazers off the bench. By the late-80s and early-90s, Kersey was a starter on a team that made two finals appearances, averaging 16 points a game over that stretch. He’s seventh all-time in games played for a second rounder and sixth in this class amongst all picks so it’s safe to say that the late Kersey way overplayed his original draft spot.
Original Pick: Otis Thorpe
10. Philadelphia 76ers- Vern Fleming (Original: #18 Overall)
Vern Fleming was your textbook average point guard of the 90s. For his first seven seasons in the league, all with Indiana, Fleming averaged 14-points and six assists a night, helping the Indiana Pacers to a series of solid seasons. Though he would’ve never been mistaken for their best player, Fleming was an integral part of helping build the Pacers to becoming a respectable NBA franchise after their early struggles coming over from the ABA. At tenth overall, getting a solid starter like Vern Fleming is pretty unbelievable in a re-draft and shows the quality and depth of this draft.
Original Pick: Leon Wood
Best Pick: Charles Barkley
Most would go with Michael Jordan but here’s the thing, MJ was the no-brainer at 3 for Chicago. There was a clear and obvious top 3 coming into the draft so everyone knew what they would do. Philadelphia on the other hand had a choice to make with their selection and obviously, made the right one in Charles Barkley.
Biggest Bust: Sam Bowie
I know he got hurt but if you’re the guy who went before Michael Jordan in the draft and your name isn’t Hakeem, you were a massive bust. It’s not fair to put that much on a guy who was never fully healthy in the league but, I can’t ignore him being the reason the Blazers didn’t take MJ and then not having a career many remember. Sorry.
Biggest Steal: John Stockton
Getting a lock hall of famer outside the top 5 let alone top 15 is borderline insanity but that’s what Utah pulled off when John Stockton fell to them at 16. Teams were scared of his lack of athleticism coming into the draft although coming out, I think Stockton found a way to adjust to the pro game.
Real Quote from back then:
New York Times June 18, 1984:
“The next two, and possibly three picks, will provide little mystery. The Portland Trail Blazers are expected to use the second choice for 7-1 Sam Bowie of Kentucky, and the Chicago Bulls will follow by selecting 6-6 Michael Jordan of North Carolina. The pro scouts have tabbed Jordan, the college player of the year, ”a certainty to become a superstar.”
Class Grade: A+