By Ollie Nash
The 2006 NBA Draft Class. Photo: NBA
Let's be honest, the 2006 NBA Draft isn't a great one in terms of stars, but it's provided some really effective role players that have had a big part to play in playoff and championship runs. Almost more impressively, there are multiple players in this draft that have rolled with the changes of the NBA style of play and have kept themselves relevant, a tough ask in any career.
PICK 1: TORONTO RAPTORS – KYLE LOWRY (ORIGINALLY PICK 24 – MEMPHIS)
ORIGINAL PICK – ANDREA BARGNANI
It was a tough decision for the first pick of this re-draft, but Kyle Lowry’s 2019 NBA Championship just gets him over the line. After some tough initial years with Memphis and Houston, he blossomed into the leader and flat-out baller that we know today at Toronto during the 2012-13 season and beyond. Is now a six-time All-Star, NBA champ and was voted to the All-NBA Third team in 2015-16.
Kyle Lowry was a key cog of Toronto's championship run in 2019. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star/Getty Images
PICK 2: CHICAGO BULLS (TRADED TO PORTLAND) – LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE (ORIGINALLY PICK TWO – CHICAGO)
Original pick – LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge would have every right to feel hard done by not being pick one. Pick two isn’t a bad consolation prize though. Aldridge was one of the premiere power forwards of the mid 2000s to early 2010s. He was the franchise player in Portland for the best part of eight years and has continued to put up numbers in San Antonio, despite losing a step or two in his older age. Seven-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA member and one of the nicest mid-range jump shots the league has ever seen.
PICK 3: CHARLOTTE BOBCATS – PAUL MILLSAP (ORIGINALLY PICK 47 – UTAH)
ORIGINAL PICK – ADAM MORRISON
He’s not the guy you can rely on to carry a team but he’s the guy you can never neglect on the defensive end either. Paul Millsap has shown over the years he can be a key cog of a strong playoff team, playing on both ends of the floor. He has made the playoffs in 11 of his 14 seasons and even in 2020 at the ripe old age of 34, was the spark that Denver needed in Game 5 against the Clippers to ignite their comeback from 3-1 down.
Paul Millsap has been a four-time All-Star with three teams. Photo: Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post
PICK 4: PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS (TRADED TO CHICAGO) – RAJON RONDO (ORIGINALLY PICK 21 TO PHEONIX, TRADED TO BOSTON)
ORIGINAL PICK – TYRUS THOMAS
If you asked me three or four years ago, Rondo might have been lower on this list, but his resurgence back into an NBA effective player with the Pelicans and Lakers has bumped him back up to fourth. A star in Boston, averaging a double-double in two seasons and going extremely close to doing it a further two times. Had issues as he bounced around with Dallas, Sacramento and Chicago, but has found his place again with this Lakers team and was a vital contributor in multiple Finals games in 2020. Without Rondo, the series may very well have gone to seven games.
PICK 5: ATLANTA HAWKS – J.J. REDICK (ORIGINALLY PICK 11 – ORLANDO)
ORIGINAL PICK – SHELDEN WILLIAMS
With the way the NBA game is moving, J.J. Redick could play until he is 43. A lights-out three-point shooter, going at 41.6 percent over his career, with the ability to hit them off screens at speed. Hasn’t averaged below double digit scoring since 2009-10 and has put up 15 points or more per game every season since 2012-13. A great veteran now that provides a lot of leadership while still being effective out on the floor.
JJ Redick missed the playoffs for the first time in 2020. Photo: Matt York/Associated Press
PICK 6: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (TRADED TO PORTLAND) – RUDY GAY (ORIGINALLY PICK EIGHT – HOUSTON, TRADED TO MEMPHIS)
ORIGINAL PICK – BRANDON ROY
One of the most consistent stat padders of the late 2000s and early 2010s, but never quite the impact of others at his position during the same stretch. Was a regular 18 to 20 points per game scorer for 10 years from 2007-08 to 2016-17, but poor efficiency was an area he was criticised for. Has found a nice little role to end his career with San Antonio, still showing glimpses of some of his best form that we saw earlier in his career.
PICK 7: BOSTON CELTICS (TRADED TO MINNESOTA) – BRANDON ROY (ORIGINALLY PICK SIX – MINNESOTA, TRADED TO PORTLAND)
Original pick – Randy Foye
One of the biggest “what could have been” stories in NBA history. Could only manage five seasons with Portland before being struck down by injury for good, but in those years managed three All-Star appearances, two All-NBA selections and a Rookie of the Year Award. Averaged 18.8 points, four rebounds and nearly five assists in his 326 games while providing some unbelievable highlights. A career cut too short, but someone I’d be taking at seven, even if it was for just those five crazy years.
Brandon Roy was a five-year highlight reel in Portland. Photo: Getty Images
PICK 8: HOUSTON ROCKETS (TRADED TO MEMPHIS) – P.J. TUCKER (ORIGINALLY PICK 35 – TORONTO)
ORIGINAL PICK – RUDY GAY
P.J. Tucker is a great story of perseverance and in an era where the NBA style of play changed so drastically, he moved with the times well. After his rookie season where he only played 17 games, Tucker spent five seasons overseas. Since returning to the league in 2013-13 with Phoenix, he’s become a more than serviceable player on both ends of the floor. He has increased his three-point shooting over the years, much of this thanks to Houston, but it has proven vital for him to stay relevant in the league.
PICK 9: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS – THABO SEFOLOSHA (ORIGINALLY PICK 13 – PHILADELPHIA, TRADED TO CHICAGO)
ORIGINAL PICK – PATRICK O’BRYANT
Thabo Sefolosha was one of the OG three and D guys in the NBA. After finding his way to Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Sefolosha became a big part of the team on the defensive end, while increasing his three-point attempts to between two and three per game. Has bounced around the league since leaving the Thunder and is now a good veteran locker room presence, but certainly a career to be proud of.
Thabo Sefolosha has been an NBA journeyman in his 14-year NBA career. Photo: Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports
PICK 10: SEATTLE SUPERSONICS – ANDREA BARGNANI (ORIGINALLY PICK ONE – TORONTO)
ORIGINAL PICK – MOUHAMED SENE
The original number one pick of the draft slides his way into pick 10, just making the cut. While the expectations of a number one pick weren’t met by Andrea Bargnani, he still enjoyed a very solid career. 10 seasons, nine of those averaging double digit scoring and a nice four year stretch in the middle where he put up 15 to 20 points per game. Was ahead of his time as a stretch four or five, putting up three shots from behind the arc per game for his career and shooting 35 percent.
Cover Photo: Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press