Redrafting the 2006 NBA Draft

21 Jan 2009: Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy dribbles against Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during their NBA basketball game at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Richard Clement/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

The 2006 NBA Draft is considered one of the weaker drafts in NBA history. However, that is not to say there were not some impressive players to come from the draft. For this re-draft, only the players who made an All-Star appearance will be on this list. So ultimately, some high draft picks like Andrea Bargnani, Rudy Gay, and Adam Morrison will not be on this list.

2006 NBA Draft: Redrafted

The Five Best Players from the 2006 NBA Draft

5. Brandon Roy (Actual Draft Position: 6)

Brandon Roy was drafted sixth by the Minnesota Timberwolves but was then immediately traded to the Portland Trail Blazers according to NBA.com. For the first four years of his NBA career, he was probably the best player of the 2006 NBA Draft. He was a three-time NBA All-Star from 2008-10. Roy made the All-NBA Second Team in 2009 and All-NBA Third Team in 2010. Lastly, he won the NBA Rookie of the Year and was on the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2007.

His greatest season was the 2008-09 NBA season when he averaged 22.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game. He also averaged over 20 points per game in the 2009-10 NBA season.  Most notably, he was the Portland Trail Blazers’ best player in the 2009 NBA playoffs. In that post-season, he averaged 26.7 points per game.

It was a shame he had a short career. His chronic knee issues forced him to retire early from the NBA in 2013.

4. Paul Millsap (Actual Draft Position: 47)

Paul Millsap was drafted 47th in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. He was a late bloomer as he did not make the NBA All-Star Game until 2013. In the 2012-13 NBA season with the Utah Jazz, he averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 block per game. His best season was the 2016-17 NBA season with the Atlanta Hawks, where he averaged 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. This includes scoring 27 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He is a four-time NBA All-Star and made the All-Star Game every year from 2014-17. He also was on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2016 and NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2007. In 2015, he was one of four Atlanta Hawks to make the NBA All-Star Game in Brooklyn, New York.

The other players to make it were Al Horford, Jeff Teague, and Kyle Korver. That team would end up winning 60 games and had the second-best record in the NBA. However, the team would get swept in the Eastern Conference Finals by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Millsap was still an instrumental player for the Atlanta Hawks though as he scored 27 points in the 2016-17 NBA season.

3. Rajon Rondo (Actual Draft Position: 21)

Rajon Rondo has considerably more NBA playoff experience than the previous two NBA players mentioned. He was drafted 21st by the Phoenix Suns but was traded shortly after to the Boston Celtics. His accomplishments include being on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2007, two times NBA All-Defensive First Team awards in 2010 and 2011, and being on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2009 and 2012.

Rondo was the NBA steals leader in 2010 and part of the All-NBA Third Team in 2012. He was also the assist leader in the NBA in 2012, 2013, and 2016. He is a four-time NBA All-Star from 2010-13 and helped bring the Celtics an NBA championship in 2008. His best season was the 2012-13 NBA season where he averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game.

2. LaMarcus Aldridge (Actual Draft Position: 2)

LaMarcus Aldridge is the highest draft pick in this list. He was drafted second by the Portland Trail Blazers and made the NBA All-Rookie Team in 2007. Aldridge made the All-NBA Second Team in 2015 and 2018 and made the All-NBA Third Team in 2011, 2014, and 2016. Aldridge is also a seven-time NBA All-Star. This is the most of any player from the 2006 NBA Draft. He was an NBA All-Star from 2012-16 and 2018-19.

His first NBA All-Star Game took place because of his performance in the 2011-12 NBA season. In that season, he averaged 21.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game for the Portland Trail Blazers. His best season was the 2013-14 NBA season, where he averaged 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.0 block per game.

In the following 2014-15 NBA season, although his other stats went down a bit, he averaged a career-high 23.4 points per game that season. He also performed well in the NBA playoffs, which included scoring 46 points and 18 rebounds against the Houston Rockets in the 2014 NBA playoffs.

Aldridge is currently a player for the San Antonio Spurs where he is still putting up NBA All-Star numbers.

1. Kyle Lowry (Actual Draft Position: 24)

Kyle Lowry, the 24th pick by the Memphis Grizzlies is the best player from the draft. It was not easy choosing between Aldridge and Lowry. However, the difference came down to Lowry being an NBA champion and his ability to take charges. Furthermore, when looking specifically at the 2019-20 NBA season, Lowry was averaging 19.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game.

Aldridge has slightly worse numbers with 18.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game in the 2019-20 NBA season. Furthermore, the impact of winning is quite significant. The Toronto Raptors are second place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 46-18. The San Antonio Spurs are currently 12th in the Western Conference with a record of 27-36.

Lowry, like Millsap, was a late bloomer to the NBA scene. He was averaging less than 10 points with the Grizzlies and did not average 15 points per game with the Houston Rockets. It was only when he went to the Toronto Raptors that he was able to become an NBA All-Star. With the guidance of Dwane Casey and the influence of close friend DeMar DeRozan, Lowry became one of the most feared players in the game.

He would end up making the All-NBA Third Team in 2016, make the NBA All-Star Games six years in a row (2015-20), and become an NBA champion in 2019. Lowry is the first and only NBA player in history to make six straight NBA All-Star Games after missing out in his first eight seasons according to TSN. His best season was the 2016-17 NBA season, where he averaged 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game.

He is well-known as a hard-nosed player willing to take charges. Nick Nurse, current Toronto Raptors head coach gave him some big praise according to Yahoo Sports Canada.

“I’ve never seen anyone play as hard as this guy,” Nurse said.

Overview of the 2006 NBA Draft

There were obviously other decent players to come from the draft like J.J. Redick, Bargnani, and Gay. However, there are only a select few from this draft that was able to become NBA All-Stars. Roy was probably the best player in the 2006 NBA Draft in 2010 as an explosive scorer. Rondo was also an excellent player who can dish out a pass to another player. He is one of the most recognizable faces of the draft.

Then there is Lowry and Millsap, who have developed into NBA All-Stars late in their careers. Finally, Aldridge is an incredible player that puts NBA All-Star numbers consistently in his career. For most of his career, he was able to average over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

This NBA Draft also proves that not everything is based on science. It is sometimes hard to predict who will be great players and who are going to struggle in the NBA. For example, three of the five NBA Draft picks were not in the top 10 and even one of them was not drafted in the first round.

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