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Redoing the 2014 through 2016 NBA Drafts

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As part of SB Nation’s week about what-ifs, we revisit the 2014 through 2016 drafts to see what could’ve been done differently.

2015 NBA Draft Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Here’s a fun exercise. A group of site managers and other representatives re-drafted the 2014, 2015, and 2016 NBA Drafts. I made selections for the Charlotte Hornets. Let’s see how I did so you can yell at me.

We’ll start with 2014. Here’s how it shook out in the re-draft:

2014 picks 1-8

Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
1 Andrew Wiggins Joel Embiid Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Jabari Parker Nikola Jokic Milwaukee Bucks
3 Joel Embiid Marcus Smart Philadelphia 76ers
4 Aaron Gordon Aaron Gordon Orlando Magic
5 Dante Exum Spencer Dinwiddie Utah Jazz
6 Marcus Smart Zach LaVine Boston Celtics
7 Julius Randle Jusuf Nurkic Los Angeles Lakers
8 Nik Stauskas Clint Capela Sacramento Kings

The Hornets originally took Noah Vonleh with the hopes that he would become the team’s power forward of the future. He was not that. He barely played his rookie season and then was shipped off to Portland as part of the Nicolas Batum. So instead the Hornets select:

Julius Randle, F/C, Kentucky

Randle isn’t a superstar by any means, but he’s closer to a long term solution at power forward that Vonleh ever was. He can play the four or small ball five and at the time would have been a much more useful piece for a Hornets team that was trying to claw their way into the playoffs.

After my selection of Randle, here’s how the next several picks panned out:

2014 picks 10-25

Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
10 Elfrid Payton Andrew Wiggins Orlando Magic (from 76ers)
11 Doug McDermott Gary Harris Chicago Bulls (from Nuggets)
12 Dario Šarić Joe Harris Philadelphia 76ers (from Magic)
13 Zach LaVine Dario Saric Minnesota Timberwolves
14 T. J. Warren Bogdan Bogdanovic Phoenix Suns
15 Adreian Payne TJ Warren Atlanta Hawks
16 Jusuf Nurkić Rodney Hood Denver Nuggets (from Bulls)
17 James Young Jerami Grant Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn)
18 Tyler Ennis Dwight Powell Phoenix Suns (from Washington)
19 Gary Harris Jabari Parker Denver Nuggets (from Bulls)
20 Bruno Caboclo Elfrid Payton Toronto Raptors
21 Mitch McGary Jordan Clarkson Oklahoma City Thunder (from Dallas via L.A. Lakers and Houston)
22 Jordan Adams Doug McDermott Memphis Grizzlies
23 Rodney Hood Kyle Anderson Utah Jazz (from Golden State)
24 Shabazz Napier Nik Stauskas Miami Heat (from Hornets)
25 Clint Capela Langston Galloway Houston Rockets

Doing re-drafts really makes you appreciate how hard it is to find talent throughout the draft. By the time we got towards the back end of the first round, I was scanning through undrafted free agents and deep second round picks to find players who contributed anything meaningful at all in their NBA careers to this point.

The selection I made was more of a hopeful one. The Hornets originally selected PJ Hairston, who quickly found court time and did nothing productive with it. This pick might not have been as NBA ready at the time, but the potential is much higher.

Dante Exum, G, Australia

Exum would provide the Hornets with a combo guard off the bench that could replace some of the minutes occupied by Brian Roberts and Gary Neal that season. And who knows, maybe he doesn’t have the same injury problems in Charlotte and his career arc is totally different.

Here’s the rest of the 2014 re-draft for your records:

2014 picks 27-30

Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
27 Bogdan Bogdanović Maxi Kleber Phoenix Suns (from Indiana)
28 C. J. Wilcox JaMychal Green Los Angeles Clippers
29 Josh Huestis Shabazz Napier Oklahoma City Thunder
30 Kyle Anderson Glenn Robinson 3 San Antonio Spurs

On to 2015. The 2015 lottery was a mess, but the draft was pretty deep with quality rotation players. The Hornets selected ninth once again. Here’s how the first eight picks went:

2015 picks 1-8

Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
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

Full disclosure: due to the nature of us doing these re-drafts simultaneously, I made this pick before I made the Exum pick. Had I known I was going to get Exum in 2014, I probably would’ve approached this pick differently. That said, with the ninth pick in the 2015 NBA re-draft, the Charlotte Hornets select:

Terry Rozier, G, Louisville

Rookie Rozier is redundant with Walker, Exum, and 2015 offseason signing Jeremy Lin. But long term, Rozier gives the Hornets a solid point guard rotation long term. And he could play minutes next to Walker, which seemed to be the Hornets ideal backup point guard for Walker that they could never find.

If I were to re-draft this re-draft knowing I got Exum in 2014, I might have gone with Justise Winslow instead of Rozier. Here are the rest of the 2015 draft picks:

2015 picks 10-30

Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
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 (from Hawks)
16 Terry Rozier Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Boston Celtics
17 Rashad Vaughn Royce O'Neale Milwaukee Bucks
18 Sam Dekker Kevon Looney Houston Rockets (from New Orleans)
19 Jerian Grant Tyus Jones New York Knicks (from Atlanta Hawks and Wizards)
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 (from Blazers)
24 Tyus Jones Pat Connaughton Minnesota Timberwolves (from Cavs)
25 Jarell Martin Trey Lyles Memphis Grizzlies
26 Nikola Milutinov# Willy Hernangómez San Antonio Spurs
27 Larry Nance Jr. Quinn Cook Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston)
28 R. J. Hunter Jahlil Okafor Boston Celtics (from L.A. Clippers)
29 Chris McCullough T.J.McConnell Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta)
30 Kevon Looney Malcolm Miller Golden State Warriors

The Hornets didn’t have a pick in 2016 because they traded it for Marco Belinelli (I’m starting to hurt on the inside from writing this). But here’s how it went if you’re curious:

2016 picks 1-30

Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
Pick No. Original Pick New Pick Team
1 Ben Simmons Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers
2 Brandon Ingram Brandon Ingram Los Angeles Lakers
3 Jaylen Brown Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn)
4 Dragan Bender Pascal Siakam Phoenix Suns
5 Kris Dunn Jamal Murray Minnesota Timberwolves
6 Buddy Hield Domantas Sabonis New Orleans Pelicans
7 Jamal Murray Buddy Hield Denver Nuggets (from New York)
8 Marquese Chriss Malcolm Brogdon Phoenix Suns (from Kings)
9 Jakob Pöltl Caris LaVert Toronto Raptors (from Denver via New York)
10 Thon Maker Dejounte Murray Milwaukee Bucks
11 Domantas Sabonis Malik Beasley Oklahoma City Thunder (from Orlando Magic)
12 Taurean Prince Fred VanVleet Atlanta Hawks (from Jazz)
13 Georgios Papagiannis Ivica Zubac Sacramento Kings (from Suns)
14 Denzel Valentine Dorian Finney-Smith Chicago Bulls
15 Juan Hernangómez Jakob Pöltl Denver Nuggets (from Houston)
16 Guerschon Yabusele Cheick Diallo Boston Celtics (from Dallas)
17 Wade Baldwin Furkan Korkmaz Memphis Grizzlies
18 Henry Ellenson Alex Caruso Detroit Pistons
19 Malik Beasley Taurean Prince Denver Nuggets (from Portland)
20 Caris LeVert Kris Dunn Brooklyn Nets (from Pacers)
21 DeAndre' Bembry Danuel House Atlanta Hawks
22 Malachi Richardson Bryn Forbes Sacramento Kings (from Hornets)
23 Ante Žižić Juan Hernangómez Boston Celtics
24 Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot Yogi Ferrell Philadelphia 76ers (from Miami via Cleveland)
25 Brice Johnson Derrick Jones Jr. Los Angeles Clippers
26 Furkan Korkmaz Jake Layman Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City via Cleveland and Denver)
27 Pascal Siakam+ Skal Labissière Toronto Raptors
28 Skal Labissière Patrick McCaw Sacramento Kings (from Suns)
29 Dejounte Murray Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot San Antonio Spurs
30 Damian Jones Marquese Chriss Golden State Warriors

So in summation, the Hornets originally left the 2014 and 2015 drafts with Noah Vonleh, PJ Hairston, and Frank Kaminsky. With these re-drafts, I got them Julius Randle, Dante Exum, and Terry Rozier.

I think I won, but I could be wrong.

What do you think Hornets fans? Did I do a good job? Was I even worse than Rich Cho? Sound off in the comments.