A Look Back: 2000 NBA Draft
Posted on November 17 2020
In preparation for the 2020 NBA Draft on Nov. 18, The Chucker, 19nine’s resident historian, takes us back to milestone drafts of the past. Today, the 2000 draft. The first NBA Draft of the Millennium, perhaps Y2K infected this group, as it produced a grand total of three All-Star game appearances and one All-NBA nod.
Pre-draft Buzz: Who would the Nets take at #1? There was no clear consensus and thoughts of a trade swirled around. Though Cincinnati big man Kenyon Martin seemed the clear-cut top choice during the college season, he suffered a broken leg at the end of the 1999-2000 season and could not work out for the Nets. Nets president Rod Thorn publicly identified LSU’s Stromile Swift and Illinois prep star Darius Miles as other top-pick candidates.
The Top Pick: After much debate, the Nets took Martin, confident that his broken leg posed no medical risk. After an All-Rookie campaign in 2001, Martin settled into a steady career. He earned one All-Star nod and joined with Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson in propelling the long-downtrodden Nets to relevancy, including two NBA Finals runs.
The Top Pro: This one is up for debate. Hedo Tukoglu leads the 2000 draft class in Win Shares, albeit narrowly. Mike Miller won Rookie of the Year honors and a Sixth Man of the Year award. Michael Redd’s 19-point per game average far outpaces anyone else and, at his peak, was arguably this group’s best pro. Jamal Crawford won three Sixth Man of the Year awards – and could probably still drop 40 in an NBA game. Let’s just call it a tie.
The Highest-Picked Who: Pre-YouTube and advanced international scouting, Kings fans were no doubt scratching their heads with the selection of Turkoglu with the 16th pick. Turkoglu, however, ended up being a gem, a stretch 4 who would average 11.1 points per game over 15 NBA seasons.
Notable Names: Perhaps the best thing the 2000 Draft gave us: Mark Madsen’s dancing at a Lakers victory parade.
The Hidden Gem: Though he played three years of Big Ten basketball at Ohio State, Michael Redd fell to Milwaukee at the 43rd pick. After averaging but 5 minutes per game as a rookie sitting behind Ray Allen, Redd earned more court time as a second-year pro and proved his mettle. He had a five-year run averaging more than 20 points per game and earned All-NBA honors in 2004 before knee injuries derailed his promising career. He played a total of 12 seasons in the Association.
Drop Knowledge on Your Boys: The 2000 NBA Draft was the last time a college senior was the #1 pick.
19nine Connection: Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson sparked Michigan State’s run to the 2000 NCAA title in this memorable Grecian-themed kit.