NBA Draft

Heat Check: Re-Drafting the 2008 NBA Draft

2008 NBA Draft (Getty Images)

It's Draft Week in the NBA and as teams get set to select their next franchise player, the experts at NBA Canada have decided to look back and re-draft the 2008 NBA Draft.

With the benefit of hindsight, we asked our writers to select their top 10 picks today from that draft that had so much intrigue 10 years ago.

Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): Russell Westbrook is the obvious first overall pick - it shouldn't be debated. I took Anthony Randolph in the re-draft because the Randolph you would be getting now isn't what he was 10 years ago. He's more mature, far more comfortable in his game and can shoot well enough and defend to be a stretch big in the NBA today. He's won in Europe this season at the highest level and the hunger would be there to compete for an NBA title - proving all his doubters wrong.

1. Russell Westbrook
2. Kevin Love
3. DeAndre Jordan
4. Eric Gordon
5. Nic Batum
6. Serge Ibaka
7. Anthony Randolph
8. Danilo Gallinari
9. Luc Mbah a Moute
10. Derrick Rose

Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): Westbrook, the reigning MVP and triple-double machine, should be the undisputed first pick in this re-draft. Goran Dragic was the 45th pick in 2008 but was one of just three players in that draft class to be named to the All-Star Game 10 years later. Michael Beasley rounds out my top 10 as he is hard to pass up from a pure talent standpoint. Despite a rocky career, Beasley had a resurgent 2017-18, averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game with the Knicks.

1. Russell Westbrook
2. DeAndre Jordan
3. Kevin Love
4. Goran Dragic
5. Eric Gordon
6. Serge Ibaka
7. Danilo Gallinari
8. Derrick Rose
9. Brook Lopez
10. Michael Beasley

10 years ago... the 2008 #NBADraft Class arrived in NYC! #NBAvault

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Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane): Westbrook is a lock at No. 1 for me, but I don't have Eric Gordon too far back at No. 3. After a hot start to his career, injuries slowed him down, but what we're seeing from Gordon now is what was promised on draft night. Pound-for-pound, Michael Beasley is among the best scorers in this class and he has re-modeled his game to become a solid bench player, scoring 20+ points on 21 occasions last season. He sneaks in on sheer bucket-getting ability.

1. Russell Westbrook
2. Kevin Love
3. Eric Gordon
4. DeAndre Jordan
5. Goran Dragic
6. Serge Ibaka
7. Nic Batum
8. Danilo Gallinari
9. Michael Beasley
10. Derrick Rose

Jordan Greer (@jordangreer42): The Westbrook-Love-Jordan trio at the top isn't all that surprising, but it's important to remember why Derrick Rose went ahead of all them on draft night. During his 2010-11 MVP season, Rose averaged 25.0 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 81 games. That was only his third year in the league. It might come down to if you value a short burst of excellence vs. long-term consistency, but Rose is likely higher on my board than others. Maybe his career changes with a different training staff.

Let's also give some credit to Brook Lopez. The former Nets star has played in at least 72 games in eight of his 10 seasons and averaged 18.6 points per game for his career. He refused to become a dinosaur, essentially jumping from no 3-pointers at all to more than five attempts per game last season with the Lakers.

1. Russell Westbrook
2. Kevin Love
3. DeAndre Jordan
4. Goran Dragic
5. Serge Ibaka
6. Derrick Rose
7. Eric Gordon
8. Brook Lopez
9. George Hill
10. Nic Batum

Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm not sure there's much of a debate when it comes to who should've gone first and second. After that is where it gets interesting. I have DeAndre Jordan and Goran Dragic going third and fourth respectively because they're one-time All-Stars who have been contributors for most of their NBA careers. Then I've gone with Eric Gordon, Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum in three of the next four spots because of their versatility - Gordon with his shooting, Ibaka with his defense, Batum with his all-around play - followed by Danilo Gallinari and Brook Lopez.

Derrick Rose was the toughest one to place. As Jordan noted, Rose was incredible in his MVP season. Even though he's never developed a consistent 3-point shot, imagine that version of Rose in today's NBA, with players at every position who could space the floor for him to attack the basket relentlessly. There's no doubt he'd be considerably higher on this list had he not dealt with all those injuries, but No. 7 seems right for 2.5 seasons of peak Rose.

1. Russell Westbrook
2. Kevin Love
3. DeAndre Jordan
4. Goran Dragic
5. Eric Gordon
6. Serge Ibaka
7. Derrick Rose
8. Nic Batum
9. Danilo Gallinari
10. Brook Lopez

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