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Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 at 8:00 am  |  12 responses

Decade’s Worst: The 2000 NBA Draft

Not the best way to begin.

by Brett Callahan

Mamadou N’Diaye, Jake Tsakalidis, Igor Rakocevic, Khalid El-Amin, Scoonie Penn and, did I mention, Mamadou N’Diaye. If for nothing else positive, maybe the 2000 NBA Draft can go down in history as the draft class with the best names ever pronounced by David Stern. After the selections taken on June 28, 2000, most teams would probably jump at the chance to sway the attention away from their horrific scouting and selection process, and onto Stern’s pronunciation of Tuh-sack-a-ladies.

Deemed the NBA’s worst draft class ever by several writers over the years, the 2000 NBA Draft class certainly at least takes the cake for the last decade. When comparing the likes of recent drafts in which legitimate stars like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans continue to sprout out year after year, it’s hard to imagine a draft going so terribly wrong as the one in 2000 did. Yet, the let down of this draft from top to bottom was every bit as monumental as previously described.

Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer. Remember these guys? All top-4 picks. This all following a number one pick, Kenyon Martin, that has gone from supposed dynasty builder to an injury-prone defensive presence. This trend of now laughable roster building continued throughout the draft with such lowlights as Chris Mihm with the seventh pick, Mateen Cleaves and his heroic towel waving at the 14-spot, and Dalibor Bagaric (add to the Stern name column) with the 24th. In fact, only thirteen players from the first round, four from the second, and three undrafted free agents currently play in the NBA. They are:

Kenyon Martin (1st) – starting power forward – Denver Nuggets

Mike Miller (5th) – starting shooting guard – Washington Wizards

Jamal Crawford (8th) – sixth man – Atlanta Hawks

Joel Przybilla (9th) – Greg Oden’s replacement – Portland Trailblazers

Keyon Dooling (10th) – reserve – New Jersey Nets

Etan Thomas (12th) – reserve – Oklahoma City Thunder

Hedo Turkoglu (16th) – starting small forward – Toronto Raptors

Quentin Richardson (18th) – starting small forward – Miami Heat

Jamaal Magloire (19th) – reserve – Miami Heat

Speedy Claxton (20th) – reserve – Golden State Warriors

Morris Peterson (21st) – reserve – New Orleans Hornets

DeShawn Stevenson (23rd) – reserve – Washington Wizards

Primoz Brezec (27th) – reserve – Philadelphia 76ers

Eddie House (37th) – reserve – Boston Celtics

Michael Redd (43rd) – starting shooting guard – Milwaukee Bucks

Brian Cardinal (44th) – reserve– Minnesota Timberwolves

Jason Hart (49th) – reserve – Minnesota Timberwolves

Malik Allen – undrafted – reserve – Denver Nuggets

Ime Udoka – undrafted – reserve – Sacramento Kings

Yakhouba Diawara – undrafted – reserve – Miami Heat

Look at this list. These are the cream of the crop, the ones who survived: five starters, five consistent bench players, and ten locker spaces.

Redd, sandwiched between a nagging unproductive white forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves with an inexplicably large contract, Mark Madsen (29th), and, well, a nagging unproductive white forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves with an inexplicably large contract, Cardinal (44th), slipped to the 43rd pick? How again?

This is a draft that has produced a combined three All-Star appearances (Martin, Magloire, and Redd), one All-NBA Third Team selection (Redd), a Most Improved Player Award (Turkoglu), a Sixth Man of the Year Award (Miller), and two Van Wilder cameos (Miles, Richardson) in an entire decade. That’s half a rookie season for LeBron James.

If general managers were able to re-pick the top 5, it’d to go more like this:

1. Michael Redd
2. Hedo Turkoglu
3. Jamal Crawford
4. Kenyon Martin
5. Mike Miller

Fortunately, for the sake of this article and Madsen/Cardinal’s bank accounts, it didn’t shake out that way. And while the 2003 NBA Draft can boast for years about the Hall-of-Fame and Olympic Team selections it made in James, Anthony, Wade, and Bosh, there’s one thing they’ll never be able to take away from the class of 2000. Thank you for this, Mamadou N’Diaye, thank you.

***

For more Decade Awards, check out the archive.

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  • Yesse

    Well this is a pretty good one.Not sure do i think it’s the worst draft class, but definetly top 3 (or should i say low 3).

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    This class is fu*king HOPELESS.
    And 2001 isn’t much better mind you.
    *Throws up a little in mouth*

  • Dirtybird

    You could’ve added something like suit model for Craig Claxton.

  • Taylor

    man i miss d-miles

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Mamadou N’Diaye. I miss him.

  • ab_40

    Yakhouba Diawara – undrafted – reserve – Miami Heat he plays in france not with miami… get your facts straight

  • Don Juan

    Really???? Because he just logged 20 minutes one week ago for the MIAMI HEAT. Get your facts straight before you blast someone homie.

  • LA Huey

    oh, lord. i had no idea ‘sota had both madsen and cardinal keeping the bench from floating away.

  • Kas

    D. Rose a legitimate star? don’t make me laugh. he’s not a pointguard, not a good shooter and not a star at all.

  • Incubo

    I thought 2002 was bad but I guess looking at it in this view your right….lol

  • reidz

    its not like these guys are reserves on exactly elite teams either…

  • Jon

    i remember watching this draft and was so sure how martin would be amazing. was so sure d-miles was gonna be garnett-like. was even more sure that mike miller was gonna be an all-star reggie millertype player. was so sure that mateen cleaves had a really bright future ahead of him after his time at mich. WOW HOW WRONG WAS I?!

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