Josh Cohen’s Analysis: As the Magic continue their renovation, it’s quite interesting to examine the team’s current cast and how most of them were chosen much lower than they should have been in their respective NBA Draft classes. CLICK NEXT for an assessment of where seven of Orlando’s players would be taken if these drafts were redone.
Arron Afflalo (2007): Actual Pick: 27; Redo Pick: 6 - Despite playing in two consecutive Final Fours in college and earning the Pac-10 Player of the Year in his final season at UCLA, Afflalo slipped in the NBA Draft and was eventually selected by the Pistons at No. 27. Afflalo has developed a more inclusive offensive arsenal and remains committed to defensive excellence. Only Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol and maybe Mike Conley would be selected ahead of Afflalo if the 2007 NBA Draft was redone.
Nikola Vucevic (2011): Actual Pick: 16; Redo Pick: 4 – Since Vucevic was selected in 2011, it’s still indistinct who from just a year-and-a-half ago will evolve. But barring any major breakthroughs from this draft class, only Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Klay Thompson would likely be chosen ahead of the previously concealed, but now budding young center. He has rapidly transformed into one of the league’s elite rebounders and has an assortment of skills in his offensive repertoire.
Jameer Nelson (2004): Actual Pick: 20; Redo Pick: 6 – Still one of the more underrated point guards in the NBA, Nelson has defied the countless critics since he was selected 20th in the 2004 NBA Draft. They all said he was too undersized and not superior in any one category, but Nelson has, by and large, reversed those judgments. Only Dwight Howard, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson and Josh Smith would be selected ahead of Jameer from this draft class.
J.J. Redick (2006): Actual Pick: 11; Redo Pick: 6 – We know by now just how valuable and resourceful Redick is. His fundamentals are supreme and suddenly he has progressed into a legitimate playmaker. If you account for injuries, J.J.’s draft value from 2006 would probably presently be higher than No. 6. Brandon Roy’s career is basically over, Andrea Bargnani is continually plagued by ailments and now Rajon Rondo has a torn ACL.
Glen Davis (2007): Actual Pick: 35; Redo Pick: 7 – It’s one of the biggest draft gap blunders in the league. Despite guiding LSU to a Final Four berth, practically every team was reluctant to select Big Baby before he was a toss-in in the Ray Allen draft-day trade in 2007. However, before fracturing his foot recently, Davis had transformed into a major asset because of his intangibles (ex. screening, taking charges) and massive size.
Al Harrington (1998): Actual Pick: 25; Redo Pick: 7 – Let’s put it this way, Harrington was the only player from the First Round of the 1998 NBA Draft that was not picked in the lottery that amounted to anything. Rashard Lewis proved to be an All-Star, but he slipped all the way to the Second Round. It’s interesting that both Al and Rashard entered the NBA directly out of high school. Harrington has boosted every team he ever played for. It’s just unfortunate a knee injury has kept him out of action so long.
Andrew Nicholson (2012): Actual Pick 19, Redo Pick: Somewhere in lottery – It’s way too early to start making any conclusions about the class of 2012. But based on early observations, Nicholson’s smooth offensive repertoire, including creative footwork and a silky jump shot, increases his chances of evolving into a dependable pro.