The 1997 NBA draft redone: Did the Jazz make the right choice?

The 1997 NBA draft had some great players and plenty of first-round picks that didn’t pan out. There were three all-stars, two first-team All-NBA performers and an MVP as well as a number of players who were out of the league within five years.

The draft consisted of 57 picks over two rounds, including 28 picks in the first round. Of the 57 selections, 47 played in the league.

The player drafted the latest who played in the league was Mark Blount. He was selected with the 26th pick in the second round (54th overall) by the Seattle SuperSonics, and he played for nine seasons.

Here is how the 1997 draft would have gone if it were done today. 

H.M. Ed Gray, California

The Atlanta Hawks selected Gray with the 22nd overall pick and played two years for the Hawks. His best year came as a rookie when he played 30 games and averaged 7.6 points on 38.1 percent shooting from the floor. He added 1.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.7 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 6.2 points on 33.9 percent shooting with 1.2 rebounds in 60 games.

H.M. Rodrick Rhodes, USC

Rhodes was taken by the Houston Rockets with the 24th overall pick. He played three years for the Rockets, Vancouver Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks. His best season came with Houston in 1997-98 when he played 58 games and averaged 5.8 points on 36.7 percent shooting from the floor. He added 1.9 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 18.4 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.3 points on 34.7 percent shooting with 1.7 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 72 games.

H.M. Charles Smith, New Mexico

Smith was the 26th overall pick by the Miami Heat. He played five years for the Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets. His best season came with the Spurs in 2001-02 when he played 60 games and averaged 7.4 points on 42.5 percent shooting from the floor. He added 2.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 19 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.1 points on 40.9 percent shooting with 1.4 rebounds in 142 games.

H.M. Chris Anstey

Anstey was selected with the 18th overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers and traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He played three years for the Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls. His best season came in 1999-2000 when he played 73 games and averaged 6.0 points on 44.2 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 3.8 rebounds in 13.8 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.2 points on 41.3 percent shooting with 3.4 rebounds in 155 games.

H.M. John Thomas, Minnesota

The New York Knicks took Thomas with the 25th overall pick and traded to the Boston Celtics before he ever played a games. He played five years for the Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks and New Jersey Nets. His best season came in Toronto in 1998-99 when he played 39 games and averaged 4.3 points on 57.7 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 3.4 rebounds in 15.2 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 2.7 points on 50.2 percent shooting with 2.1 rebounds in 208 games.

H.M. Chris Crawford, Marquette

Crawford was the 22nd pick in the second round (50th overall) by the Atlanta Hawks. He played his entire seven-year career with the Hawks. His best season came in 2003-04 when he played 56 games and averaged 10.2 points on 44.8 percent shooting from the floor with 3.1 rebounds in 21.6 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 6.6 points on 43.7 percent shooting with 2.2 rebounds in 252 games.

H.M. Cedric Henderson, Memphis

Henderson was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 16th pick in the second round (44th overall). He played five years for the Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. His best year came as a rookie in 1997-98 when he played 82 games and averaged 10.1 points on 48 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.8 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 7.3 points on 43.6 percent shooting with 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 260 games.

H.M. Tariq Abdul-Wahad, San Jose State

Adbul-Wahad was taken by the Sacramento Kings with the 11th overall pick. He played six years for the Kings, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks. His most productive season came in 1999-2000 when he played 61 games and averaged 11.4 points on 42.4 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 25.9 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 7.8 points on 41.7 percent shooting with 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 236 games.

H.M. Predrag Drobnjak

Drobnjak was the 20th pick of the second round (48th overall) by the Washington Bullets and traded to Seattle. He played four years for the SuperSonics, Los Angeles Clippers and the Atlanta Hawks. His best season came in 2002-03 when he played 82 games and averaged 9.4 points on 41.2 percent shooting from the floor. He added 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 24.2 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 7.9 points on 42.5 percent shooting with 3.5 rebounds in 278 games.

28. Ira Newble, Miami (Ohio)

Newble went undrafted, but landed with the San Antonio Spurs in 2000. He played eight years for the Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Seattle SuperSonics and the Los Angeles Lakers. One of his best seasons came with the Hawks in 2001-02 when he played 42 games and averaged 8.0 points on 49.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 30.3 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.1 points on 44.6 percent shooting with 2.9 rebounds in 380 games.

27. Marc Jackson, Temple

The Golden State Warriors landed Jackson with the ninth pick in the second round (37th overall). He played seven years for the Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. His best season came as a rookie in 2000-01 when he played 48 games and averaged 13.2 points on 46.7 percent shooting from the floor. He added 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 29.4 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 8.4 points on 44.6 percent shooting with 4.3 rebounds in 387 games.

26. Scot Pollard, Kansas

Pollard was taken by the Detroit Pistons with the 19th overall pick. He played 11 years for the Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. His best year came with the Kings in 2001-02 when he played 80 games and averaged 6.4 points on 55 percent shooting from the floor. He added 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 23.5 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 4.4 points on 49.4 percent shooting with 4.6 rebounds in 506 games.

25. Jacque Vaughn, Kansas

The Utah Jazz took Vaughn with the 27th overall pick. He played 12 years for the Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets and the San Antonio Spurs. His best season came with the Hawks in 2001-02 when he played 82 games and averaged 6.6 points on 47 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 22.6 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 4.5 points on 42.9 percent shooting with 2.5 assists and 1.3 rebounds in 776 games.

24. Mikki Moore, Nebraska

Moore went undrafted, but landed with the Detroit Pistons in 1999. He played 13 seasons for the Pistons, Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle SuperSonics, Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors. His best year came with the Nets in 2006-07 when he played 79 games and averaged 9.8 points on 60.9 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 5.1 rebounds in 26.4 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.8 points on 55.1 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds in 564 games.

23. Anthony Johnson, College of Charleston

Johnson was the 11th pick in the second round (39th overall) by the Sacramento Kings. He played 13 years for the Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets, Indiana Pacers and the Dallas Mavericks. One of his best years came with the Pacers in 2004-04 when he played 63 games and averaged 8.4 points on 44.5 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 27.7 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.6 points on 41.4 percent shooting with 2.9 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 793 games.

22. Adonal Foyle, Colgate

Foyle was taken by the Golden State Warriors with the eighth overall pick. He played 12 years for the Warriors, Orlando Magic and the Memphis Grizzlies. One of his best seasons came in 2002-03 when he played 82 games and averaged 5.4 points on 53.6 percent shooting from the floor. He added 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 21.8 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 4.1 points on 47.7 percent shooting with 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 733 games.

21. Kelvin Cato, Iowa State

Cato was the 15th overall pick by the Dallas Mavericks and traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. He played 10 years for the Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks. One of his best seasons came with the Rockets in 1999-2000 when he played 65 games and averaged 8.7 points on 53.7 percent shooting from the floor. He added 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 24.3 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.5 points on 50.7 percent shooting with 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 541 games.

20. Damon Jones, Houston

Jones went undrafted, but turned a shot with the New Jersey Nets into a long career. He played 11 years for the Nets, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Vancouver Grizzlies, Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers. One of his best seasons came with the Heat in 2004-05 when he played 82 games and averaged 11.6 points on 45.6 percent shooting from the floor, including 43.2 percent from beyond the arc. He added 4.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 31.4 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 6.6 points on 40.7 percent shooting with 2.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 657 games.

19. Troy Hudson, Southern Illinois

Hudson went undrafted, but managed to find a spot with the Utah Jazz. He played 11 years for the Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors. One of his best seasons came with the Timberwolves in 2002-03 when he played 79 games and averaged 14.2 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 5.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 32.9 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 9.0 points on 40.1 percent shooting with 3.4 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 517 games.

18. Austin Croshere, Providence

The Indiana Pacers selected Croshere with the 12th overall pick. He played 12 years for the Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs. His best season came with Indiana in 1999-2000 when he played 81 games and averaged 10.3 points on 44.1 percent shooting from the floor. He added 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 23.3 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 6.8 points on 40.7 percent shooting with 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 659 games.

17. Tony Battie, Texas Tech

The Denver Nuggets took Battie with the fifth overall pick. He played 14 years for the Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. One of his best seasons came with the Celtics in 2002-03 when he played 67 games and averaged 7.3 points on 53.9 percent shooting from the floor. He added 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 25.1 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 6.1 points on 48.8 percent shooting with 5.1 rebounds in 837 games.

16. Mark Blount, Pittsburgh

Blount was the 26th pick of the second round (54th overall) by the Seattle SuperSonics. He played nine years for the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Miami Heat. His best season came with the Timberwolves in 2006-07 when he played 82 games and averaged 12.3 points on 50.9 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 6.2 rebounds in 31 minutes.

For his career, he 8.2 points on 50.4 percent shooting with 4.6 rebounds in 605 games.

15. Anthony Parker, Bradley

Parker was the 21st overall pick by the New Jersey Nets and traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. He played nine years for the 76ers, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. One of his best seasons came with Toronto in 2007-08 when he started all 82 games and averaged 12.5 points on 47.6 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.1 minutes

For his career, he averaged 9.1 points on 44.4 percent shooting from the floor, including 40.4 percent from beyond the arc with 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 494 games.

14. Alvin Williams, Villanova

The Portland Trail Blazers took Williams with the 19th pick in the second round (47th overall). He played nine years for the Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers. One of his best seasons came with the Raptors in 2002-03 when he played 78 games and averaged 13.2 points on 43.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 5.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 33.8 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 9.0 points on 42.1 percent shooting with 4.1 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 460 games.

13. Antonio Daniels, Bowling Green

Daniels was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the fourth overall pick. He played 13 years for the Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers. One of his most productive seasons came with the Sonics in 2004-05 when he played 75 games and averaged 11.2 points on 43.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.1 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 27 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 7.6 points on 44.4 percent shooting with 3.4 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 872 games.

12. Danny Fortson, Cincinnati

Fortson was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 10th overall pick and traded to the Denver Nuggets. He played 10 years for the Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and the Seattle SuperSonics. One of his best seasons came with the Warriors in 2001-02 when he played 77 games and averaged 11.2 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 11.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.8 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 8.2 points on 47.2 percent shooting with 7.2 rebounds in 440 games.

11. Maurice Taylor, Michigan

The Los Angeles Clippers took Taylor with the 14th overall pick. He played nine years for the Clippers, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings. One of his best seasons came in Los Angeles in 1999-2000 when he played 62 games and averaged 17.7 points on 46.4 percent shooting from the floor. He added 6.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 35.9 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 11 points on 46.6 percent shooting with 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 534 games.

10. Ron Mercer, Kentucky

Mercer was taken with the sixth overall pick by the Boston Celtics. He played eight years for the Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and the New Jersey Nets. One of his best seasons came with the Bulls in 2000-01 when he played 61 games and averaged 19.7 points on 44.6 percent shooting from the floor. He added 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 41.6 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 13.6 points on 42.9 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 432 games.

9. Bobby Jackson, Minnesota

Jackson was the 23rd overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics and traded to the Denver Nuggets. He played 12 years for the Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Hornets and the Houston Rockets. One of his best seasons came in 2002-03 when he was the NBA Sixth Man of the Year after he averaged 15.2 points on 46.4 percent shooting from the field. He added 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 28.4 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 9.7 points on 41.7 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 755 games.

8. Brevin Knight, Stanford

Knight was the 16th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played 12 years for the Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats, Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz. One of his best seasons came with the Bobcats in 2005-06 when he played 69 games and averaged 12.6 points, 8.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 34.1 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 7.3 points on 41.2 ppercent shooting with 6.1 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 729 games.

7. Tim Thomas, Villanova

Thomas was taken by the New Jersey Nets with the seventh overall pick and traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. He played 13 years for the 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks. One of his best seasons came in 2003-04 when he played 66 games and averaged 14.7 points on 44.6 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals in 31.7 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 11.5 points on 43.7 percent shooting with 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 824 games.

6. Derek Anderson, Kentucky

Anderson was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 13th overall pick. He played 11 years for the Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats. One of his best seasons came with the Clippers in 1999-2000 when he played 64 games and averaged 16.9 points on 43.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 34.4 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 12 points on 40.8 percent shooting with 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 615 games.

5. Stephen Jackson, Butler County

Jackson was the 14th pick in the second round (42nd overall) by the Phoenix Suns. He played 14 years for the New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers. One of his best seasons came with the Warriors in 2008-09 when he played 59 games and averaged 20.7 points on 41.4 percent shooting from the floor. He added 6.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 39.6 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 15.1 points on 41.4 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 858 games.

4. Keith Van Horn, Utah

Van Horn was taken by the Philadelphia 76ers with the second overall pick and traded to the New Jersey Nets. He played nine years for the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks. One of his best seasons came in New Jersey in 1998-99 when he played 42 games and averaged 21.8 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals in 37.5 minutes.

For his career. he averaged 16 points on 44.3 percent shooting with 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 575 games.

3. Chauncey Billups, Colorado

Billups was the third overall pick by the Boston Celtics. He played 17 years for the Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers. He was a five-time all-star, three-time All-NBA second or third-team, a two-time second-team all-defensive selection and the 2004 NBA Finals MVP. One of his most productive seasons came in Detroit in 2005-06 when he played 81 games and averaged 18.5 points on 41.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 8.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 36.1 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 15.2 points on 41.5 percent shooting with 5.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 1,043 games.

2. Tracy McGrady

The Toronto Raptors landed McGrady with the ninth overall pick. He played 15 years for the Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks. He was a seven-time all-star, seven-time first, second or third-team All-NBA selection and led the league in scoring twice. One of his best seasons came with the Magic in 2002-03 when he averaged 32.1 points on 45.7 percent shooting from the floor. He added 6.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.7 steals in 39.4 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 19.6 points on 43.5 percent shooting with 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 938 games.

1. Tim Duncan, Wake Forest

Duncan was taken by the San Antonio Spurs with the first overall pick. He has played his 18-year career in San Antonio and is one of the best players in NBA history. He has been a 15-time all-star, 15-time all-defensive first or second-team, 15-time All-NBA first, second or third-team selection and a two-time league MVP. One of his best years came in 2001-02 when he played 82 games and averaged 25.5 points on 50.8 percent shooting from the floor. He added 12.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.5 blocks in 40.6 minutes.

To this point in his career, he has averaged 19.5 points on 50.6 percent shooting with 11 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.2 blocks in 1,331 games.

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