By Liam Melrose
Australia's Andrew Bogut was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
A draft class that includes a Hall of Fame point guard, forgotten names that were once stars of the league in their prime, as well as one season wonders. Liam Melrose looks back at the 2005 NBA Draft and re-selects his new top 10.
PICK 1: MILWAUKEE BUCKS – CHRIS PAUL (ORIGINALLY PICK 4 - NEW ORLEANS HORNETS)
ORGINAL PICK: ANDREW BOGUT
Paul will finish his career as one of the greatest point guards of all time. One of the best passers the game has ever seen, his ability to find open looks for his teammates but also score the ball himself has made him so difficult to defend. The ‘lob city’ era in Los Angeles with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan showed how dangerous Paul’s passing and pick and roll game is with the right pieces around him. Has averaged 18.5 points and 9.5 assists per game across his 14-year NBA career, as well as two steals per game. A 10-time NBA All-Star as well as a four-time All-NBA First Team member. Even at 35 years of age Paul is still performing at an elite level. He averaged 17.6 points and just under seven assists per game in the 2019-20 season for the Oklahoma City Thunder which included an unexpected playoff berth.
Chris Paul is one of the greatest on court generals the NBA has ever seen. Photo: Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
PICK 2: ATLANTA HAWKS - DERON WILLIAMS (ORIGINALLY PICK 3 – UTAH JAZZ)
ORIGINAL PICK: MARVIN WILLIAMS
Williams played his best basketball in Utah as well as a couple of seasons in New Jersey/Brooklyn. However, the first half of his career was considerably better than his second, with his numbers falling away after the 2012-13 season. This was likely due to a number of injuries, he was originally an explosive point guard that could attack the rim as well as pass the ball extremely well. Unfortunately, the injuries took away the athleticism we saw during the first part of his career. Finishing his tenure as a perimeter shooter, Williams averaged just over 16 points per game as well as eight assists across 14 seasons in the league, to go with three All-Star selections, and was also a two time All-NBA Second Team member.
Deron Williams enjoyed a consistent beginning to his career before he was hampered by injuries. Photo: Michael Ehrmann/Getty Images
PICK 3: UTAH JAZZ – LOUIS WILLIAMS (ORIGINALLY PICK 45 – PHILADELPHIA 76ERS)
ORIGINAL PICK: DERON WILLIAMS
Williams has improved with age and flourished as the best sixth man in the league. A three time recipient of the Sixth Man of the Year award (2015, 2018 and 2019) as well as averaging 18.2 points per game for the 2019-20 season off the bench once again. One of the most consistent performers in this draft, he has averaged double figure scoring numbers every season since 2007. Williams has also improved his passing as his career has gone on, averaging at least five assists per game off the bench for the Los Angeles Clippers in each of the past three seasons.
Lou Williams has aged like a fine wine with the Los Angeles Clippers. Photo: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
PICK 4: NEW ORLEANS HORNETS - MONTA ELLIS (ORIGINALLY PICK 40 – GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS)
ORIGINAL PICK: CHRIS PAUL
An explosive scorer at the two-guard position, Ellis put together a consistent career with his best seasons being at the Golden State Warriors between 2007 and 2012. The flashy guard averaged 25.5 points per game in the 2009-10 season along with just over five assists per game as Golden State’s starting shooting guard. Ellis teamed up with Baron Davis for a majority of those years, and later on a young Stephen Curry to form a formidable backcourt.
Monta Ellis with the Indiana Pacers in 2017. Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images
PICK 5: CHARLOTTE BOBCATS – DANNY GRANGER (ORIGINALLY PICK 17 INDIANA PACERS)
ORIGINAL PICK: RAYMOND FELTON
Another unfortunate case of injuries cutting a career short. A breakout season came in 2008-09 with the small forward averaging 25.8 points, five rebounds and just under three assists per game earning him an All-Star selection and the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. A wing that in his prime could do it all on both ends of the floor, his 2008-09 season proved that where he averaged both a block and a steal per game as well as his large scoring output.
Danny Granger was once an NBA All-Star who averaged nearly 26 points per game. Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
PICK 6: PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS – DAVID LEE (ORIGINALLY PICK 30 – NEW YORK KNICKS)
ORIGINAL PICK: MARTELL WEBSTER
A two-time All-Star, Lee had a solid career averaging 13.5 points and just under nine rebounds per game across 13 seasons in the league. He was an offensive weapon with a lethal left-handed hook shot in his earlier years at the New York Knicks, as well as a majority of his time at the Golden State Warriors. His best season came in 2009-10 with the Knicks, where Lee averaged just over 20 points per game and just under 12 rebounds before becoming a role player off the bench for the Warriors, and eventually finishing his career with the San Antonio Spurs. Was a member of the 2015 Golden State Warriors championship team.
David Lee Finished his career with the San Antonio Spurs. Photo: SooBum Im-USA TODAY Sports
PICK 7: TORONTO RAPTORS – ANDREW BOGUT (ORGINALLY PICK 1 – MILWAUKEE BUCKS)
ORIGINAL PICK: CHARLIE VILLANUEVA
While it’s unlikely if Bogut stayed healthy he would’ve remained the number one pick in this draft, he easily could have remained in the top three. A young Andrew Bogut could perform at both ends of the floor, averaging double-double numbers with the Milwaukee Bucks from 2007 to 2011. His best season came in 2009-10, where the center averaged 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds per game along with two and a half blocks, showing us when he was healthy how prolific he could be at both ends of the court. Bogut left Milwaukee after seven seasons and joined the Golden State Warriors where he was an NBA champion in 2015 playing a vital role as a defensive anchor.
The number one pick of the 2005 NBA Draft slides to pick seven in our redraft. Photo: NBA Getty Images
PICK 8: NEW YORK KNICKS – ANDREW BYNUM (ORIGINALLY PICK 10 – LOS ANGELES LAKERS)
ORIGINAL PICK: CHANNING FRYE
Similar to Bogut, if injuries didn’t cut Bynum’s career short the sky was the limit. A serious case of a breakout season only to vanish the following year. Bynum had a career best season averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds in 2011-12 which earned him an All-Star selection. However, following his career best season, he fell victim to a number of knee injuries and never fully recovered. Due to issues with his knees he sat out the entire 2012-13 season before signing a two-year deal with Cleveland ahead of the 2013-14 season, however he only managed 24 games with the Cavaliers before being traded.
Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers is closely guarded by Amare Stoudamire of the Phoenix Suns. Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
PICK 9: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS – MARVIN WILLIAMS (ORIGINALLY PICK 2 – ATLANTA HAWKS)
ORIGINAL PICK: IKE DIOGU
Williams has put together a solid career where has been both a starter and role player depending on who his teammates are. Can start if you need him to, but can also play a crucial role off the bench. Extremely efficient offensively, has averaged at least 40 percent shooting throughout his career to date. Can also shoot the three ball very well with a career best coming in the 2017-18 season, where Williams was just over 41 percent from behind the arc over 78 games, starting in all of them.
Marvin Williams with the Charlotte Hornets. Photo: Kent Smith/NBAE Getty Images
PICK 10: LOS ANGELES LAKERS – RAYMOND FELTON (ORIGINALLY PICK 5 – CHARLOTTE BOBCATS)
ORIGINAL PICK: ANDREW BYNUM
A tale of two halves. The first half of Felton’s career was promising with his best season coming in 2010-11 where the point guard averaged 17.1 points along with nine assists per game for New York. He returned to the Knicks for two years between 2011-2013 putting together two more solid seasons, however injuries de-railed his career in the end, limiting his ability to consistently start for his respective teams. Fortunately he was still able to play a role off the bench as a strong backup at the point guard position.
Raymond Felton with the New York Knicks, he averaged just over 17 points per game in the 2010-11 season. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Cover Photo: Cato Cataldo/Getty Images