For the last six or so years of watching the NBA, I have finally enjoyed a draft night. For years, my favorite team has either: a) traded picks to avoid luxury tax, or, b) drafted the inferior one of siblings. Let’s take a look at a list of players my team could have drafted had we kept our picks:
WESTERN CONFERENCE – PACIFIC
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Last Season: 57-25, Division Champions, 2nd Overall in West, Lost to Dallas in Western Conf Semis
Key Losses: Shannon Brown, Lamar Odom, Phil Jackson (head coach)
Key Additions: Jason Kapono, Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy, Darius Morris (draft), Andrew Goudelock (draft), Mike Brown (head coach)
Main Rotation: Starters – Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum; Key Reserves – Steve Blake, Jason Kapono, Matt Barnes, Josh McRoberts, Luke Walton, Troy Murphy
How are the Lakers going to react to losing two key components to their championship runs as well as the voided trade that could’ve landed Kobe’s first ever all-star point guard Chris Paul? Gone are Phil Jackson who retired and Lamar Odom who was traded to Dallas. Roll out the red carpet for their replacements – new head coach Mike Brown and Josh McRoberts…or wait.. is it Troy Murphy. Brown is an ok replacement but as far as Odom’s replacement…. wow, what a downgrade. Odom’s versaility, size, and offense will be sorely missed by the Lakers. Josh McRoberts wouldn’t have been that bad of a choice to fill in another bench spot but not like this. He’s a serviceable big man but will not provide anywhere near the impact Odom brought. For Troy Murphy, I can’t believe he’s still in the league.
Alright, we just analyzed the Eastern Conference, now let’s go through the more competitive Western Conference.