NBA in the 2000s: If draft classes were team rosters
Some draft classes didn't just have talent, they were one for the ages.
There are a lot of comparisons that are thrown up in the air when comparing draft classes. Some statistical, some purely perceptional, and some driven by the number of rings a few draft selections have under their belts. We thought of a way of legitimizing some of these claims and counters by means of a very simplistic process.
What we’ve done here is considered draft classes to be NBA teams, and put together a traditional starting 5 – one point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and centre each from all of the draft classes from the decade of the 2000’s (2000 – 2009).
While the mix of draft classes changes every year, we’ve been able to handpick a starting 5 from every class and ranked them. The following is an ascendingly arranged list of the top 5 draft classes according to us from the 2000’s.
#5 The Class of 2006
Point Guard: Rajon Rondo (Picked 21st)
Shooting Guard: Brandon Roy (Picked 6th)
Centre: LaMarcus Aldridge (Picked 2nd)
Small Forward: Rudy Gay (Picked 8th)
Power Forward: Paul Millsap (Picked 47th)
The only championship pedigree on this unit comes from a floor general who needs no descriptions. Rondo may not be the most lethal shooters, but is one of greatest facilitators of the modern era and was at one point of time racking up triple doubles for fun.
Brandon Roy’s career may have been cut short owing to injuries and a troubled knee, but let’s not forget, he was Rookie of the Year in the draft class not short on talent by any means. LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay and Paul Millsap represent a frontcourt which would be an opposing coach’s nightmare.
In Rudy Gay, we have a temperamental small forward who can score at will. Paul Millsap is not just a team player, he’s also a prolific rebounder and scorer, having proven that in his college days as well. Aldridge, may not love playing centre, but his size and strength, coupled with his ability to hog rebounds and dominate the post, play off the elbow and create openings for his teammates, make this unit a complete package.
Here’s a short tip on each of the starters:
Rajon Rondo: 1-time NBA champion, 3-time Assists Leader
Brandon Roy: 3-time All Star, Rookie Of The Year
LaMarcus Aldridge: 5-time All Star
Rudy Gay: NBA All-Rookie First Team
Paul Millsap: 3-time All-Star