Redraft 2007: Kevin Durant No. 1

Kevin Durant a consensus No. 1; interesting divergence thereafter

Updated: April 10, 2014, 10:57 PM ET
By Amin Elhassan and David Thorpe |
ESPN Insider

Durant/NoahUSA TODAY SportsIf we could redo the 2007 NBA draft, Kevin Durant is No. 1, but what about Joakim Noah?

The NBA draft is two rounds. Two.

That's because there are just so few spots "open" for teams each offseason, thanks to typical 13-man early-season rosters that are mostly filled with players from the previous season.

Consequently, each rookie class has about 50 or so players who spend at least some time in an NBA jersey that season, and that number dwindles each year until eventually, after just a few seasons, only about 15 guys from the class have made any real impact. A few are All-Stars or are close to it, a few are starters, and the rest are reserves who are solid rotation guys.

The class of 2007 is chock full of impact players, obviously, but just seven years after those young men were drafted, a full third of the 30 first-round picks are not in the NBA anymore. In leagues like the NFL and MLB, so many players get drafted each year that it is easy to come up with 30-40 names of players who were deserving of being first-round picks when looking backward. In the NBA, the magic number is 15.

Based on what we know now and what the teams looked like then, here is how the lottery picks (top 14) should have or even could have gone down:


1. Portland Trail Blazers | Actual pick: Greg Oden
Amin Elhassan's pick: Kevin Durant | David Thorpe's pick: Durant

Elhassan: No need to waste too many words explaining this one. I'd be shocked if Coach has a different opinion.

Thorpe: I remember getting beat up in the media for merely suggesting to Chad Ford and in my chats that Durant deserves consideration to be the top overall pick. Fun times.