The NBA Draft is the starting point for the league’s next great talents. It’s a chance for teams to finally get that franchise-changing player they’ve been waiting on. Teams searching for that player in 2000 had to wait at least one more year.
There’s only one word to describe the 2000 NBA Draft:
2000 NBA Draft
In all fairness, expectations for this draft weren’t high going in. Kenyon Martin, the first overall draft pick, was projected to be solid though not someone who can carry a franchise. Other than that….*crickets*
Here’s how the lottery shaped out:
No. 1: New Jersey Nets – Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati
No. 2: Vancouver Grizzlies – Stromile Swift, LSU
No. 3: Los Angeles Clippers – Darius Miles, East St. Louis High School
No. 4: Chicago Bulls – Marcus Fizer, Iowa State
No. 5: Orlando Magic – Mike Miller, Florida
No. 6: Atlanta Hawks – DerMarr Johnson, Cincinnati
No. 7: Chicago Bulls (traded to Cleveland Cavaliers) – Chris Mihm, Texas
No. 8: Cleveland Cavaliers (traded to Chicago Bulls) – Jamal Crawford, Michigan
No. 9: Houston Rockets (traded to Milwaukee Bucks) – Joel Przybilla, MinnesotaAdvertisement
No. 10: Orlando Magic (traded to Los Angeles Clippers) – Keyon Dooling, Missouri
No. 11: Boston Celtics – Jerome Moiso, UCLA
No. 12: Dallas Mavericks – Etan Thomas, Syracuse
No. 13: Orlando Magic (traded to Dallas Mavericks) – Courtney Alexander, Fresno State
No. 14: Detroit Pistons – Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State
The guy who arguably had the best career in the class, Michael Redd, wasn’t drafted until the second round by the Milwaukee Bucks. Of the 58 picks, only Redd, Martin, and Charlotte Hornets’ power forward/center Jamaal Magloire — the 19th overall pick — made an All-Star team. Each member of the trio made the squad in 2004 for the only appearance of their respective careers. Redd made the All-NBA Third Team the same year and is the only player in the class to make an All-NBA team.
This isn’t to say some guys in the class didn’t have good careers. Mike Miller won the Rookie of the Year award in 2001 and was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2006. He contributed to the Miami Heat‘s back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.
Jamal Crawford is basketball’s iron man. He’s a three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner and the epitome of a sparkplug off the bench. He’s STILL looking to hoop 20 years after being drafted. Crawford signed with the Brooklyn Nets as a substitute player for the NBA Bubble in Orlando. He scored five points and dished three assists in his debut on August 4, 2020 in a 119-116 win against the Milwaukee Bucks.
JCrossover became the 29th player to play an NBA game at age 40, and joined Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kobe Bryant as the only players to play for at least 20 seasons.
Hedo Turkoglu, the 16th overall pick by the Sacramento Kings, was ahead of his time as a big man who played like a guard. He won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2008 and helped lead the Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals.
That about wraps it up for this draft class’ success. Desmond Mason; Donnell Harvey; Morris Peterson; Quentin Richardson; Dalibor Bagaric; DeShawn Stevenson; Eddie House; Eduardo Najera; Erick Barkley; Speedy Claxton; Jason Collier; Mamadou N’Diaye; Mark Madsen; Primoz Brezec; Jake Tsakalidis; Jake Voskuhl; Jason Hart; Marko Jaric; and Brian Cardinal are the closest things to honorable mentions.
The draft is commonly referred to as the worst of the modern era. Whether you’re the Denver Nuggets; Houston Rockets; New York Knicks; Los Angeles Lakers; Portland Trail Blazers; Indiana Pacers; Philadelphia 76ers; Phoenix Suns or any other team, it’s best to leave the 2000 NBA Draft in the past.