Derek J. Hernandez

The NBA “UN-Draft” 2012 (Part 1/4) – Eastern Conference A-I

With the NBA Draft behind us and the Free Agency period in full-throttle you’ll be inundated with forecasts of your team’s future and articles about what your favorite team SHOULD be like. We’re going to take a different approach – we’re going to have NCB’s first annual “UN-Draft”.

What do we mean by UN-Draft you ask? Basically, we will select a player, decision, in-game moment etc. that each organization can un-draft or undo. We will try to limit these selections to decisions made in recent years. Say in the last half-decade or so. Otherwise, this (un)draft would be filled with dated (at least for NCB’s fan base) decisions like trading Robert Parish for Joe Barry Carroll or any personnel decisions the Providence Steamrollers made.

Before we dive in to each team’s selections I just want to make it clear that this isn’t meant to serve as an all-encompassing, historical reference piece. It’ll be obvious from the picks that this is a tongue-in-cheek write-up but we definitely want to hear your opinion on who or what you would un-draft for your favorite team.

Now let’s jump into the picks for each Eastern Conference team (A-I):

Atlanta Hawks –

Before Danny Ferry dropped the mic on Monday by clearing cap space and creating financial flexibility the picks here were obvious: un-drafting Marvin Williams or re-doing that “little” contract they gave out to Joe Johnson. Now that they literally un-drafted those 2 bad decisions my pick here is to un-draft the guy that made those moves – Billy Knight. He not only drafted Marvin Williams but he extended that lucrative contract to Joe Johnson.

The Pick: Billy Knight (Former Executive Vice President and General Manager)

Knight had full confidence in Marvin even though he didn’t even start for UNC

Boston Celtics –

The Perkins/Nate Robinson for Jeff Green/Nenad Kristic trade and impact of the trade are well-documented and could be the pick here. You could also argue that continuing to trap D-Wade in Game 6 of this year’s Eastern Conference Finals was a decision they would undo since that strategy allowed LBJ to run wild on them and sway the momentum of the series. I’m not going with either of these picks. One decision that gets entirely overlooked that would have softened the blow of that Perkins trade would have been if Boston drafted DeAndre Jordan instead of JR Giddens in the 2008 Draft.  JR Giddens. Go ahead and Google him.

The Pick: JR Giddens over DeAndre Jordan in the 2008 NBA Draft

The Celtics drafted this guy over DeAndre Jordan

Brooklyn (New Jersey) Nets –

We may have to revisit this pick at the end of free agency depending on what Deron Williams and Dwight Howard do but anytime you lose a franchise you have to say not providing the right environment both competitively and financially to keep your team in your city is the pick here. This is basically the last un-draft pick for New Jersey and it’s a painful one. Not quite Seattle Sonics painful but painful nonetheless.

The Pick: New Jersey losing its franchise to Brooklyn

Charlotte Bobcats –

So many options for this pick. Drafting Adam Morrison at #3 in the 2006 Draft. Having Michael Jordan basically run your team. Trading Tyson Chandler for a bag of peanuts. The list goes on but I think the decision they should regret the most was robbing us of all those cool Hornets Starter jackets being made when they relocated the team to New Orleans.

The Pick: Shipping the Hornets out of Charlotte and robbing us of those sweet Starter jackets

Everyone felt cool as sh*t rocking the original Hornets Starter Jackets

Chicago Bulls –

If you ask a Bulls fan this pick is a no-brainer: having D-Rose on the court with a little over a minute left in Game 1 versus the Sixers this year. Bulls fans have suffered enough so I’ll leave it at that.

The Pick: D-Rose on the court at the end of Game 1 versus the Sixers

Honorable Mention: Letting Carlos Boozer do whatever he does with his hair

If it wasn’t for D-Rose’s terrible injury Boozer’s “Paint Head” would have been the pick

Cleveland Cavaliers –

The people of Cleveland are no doubt done with any type of “Decisions” but you could argue they could be the ones celebrating an NBA title right now instead of the Tanned Witnesses down in South Beach if they didn’t decide to pair Lebron with some of the worst sidekicks this side of Bucky. Can you blame Lebron for leaving when you decided that his “Pippens” were Larry Hughes, Mo Williams and an almost-retired Shaq?

The Pick: Cav’s definition of sidekicks

This was the closest Cleveland ever came to hanging banners with Larry Hughes as LBJ’s sidekick

Detroit Pistons –

DARKO

The Pick: Drafting Darko Milicic at #2 in the 2003 Draft

This was less scary than Detroit’s 2003 1st round draft pick

Indiana Pacers –

With a talent like Reggie Miller and all the pieces they had around him during his career in Indiana you’d think they would have made the Finals more than once (’00). NCB’s Andrew Hammond explains the Dynasty that wasn’t in his piece here but I think if there was anything Indiana would undo it has to be the Pacer players losing their mind during the “Malice at the Palace”. You’ll never be able to harness Artest’s rage and there’s probably nothing you could have done to stop the madness once the beer was tossed Ron Ron’s way but this incident had too big an impact not to be included here.

The Pick: Pacer players losing their mind at the “Malice at the Palace”

Honorable Mention: Austin Croshere’s ridiculous contract after his 2000 NBA Finals Performance (see #6 here)

That’s the look of knowing you killed a dynasty before it ever happened

That’s all for part 1 of the NBA UN-Draft 2012. Stay tuned for remaining Eastern Conference picks as well as the entire Western Conference selections.

Disagree with the picks? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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