Over and Under: The 2003 NBA Draft

The 2003 NBA Draft is regarded as one of the best drafts in NBA history. Four of the top five picks (LeBron James #1, Carmelo Anthony #3, Chris Bosh #4 and Dwyane Wade #5) have been selected to multiple All-Star games, All-NBA teams, and Olympic teams, as well as a few championships for some. Including those four above, the draft has produced nine All-Stars (Chris Kaman #6, David West, Josh Howard, Mo Williams and Kyle Korver) total.

Before you scroll down, check out the other Over/Under Drafted teams have done for the 2000, 2001 and 2002 class.

2003 Over-Drafted Team

Guard: Marus Banks

  • Drafted: #13 Overall by the Memphis Grizzlies *traded to Boston
  • Years in the NBA: Eight
  • Career Stats: 5.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists
  • NBA Awards: None

Marcus Banks was the first draft selection for Celtics general manager Danny Ainge. The former UNLV guard was quick on the ball and a good defender. While Banks only missed two games in his first two years for Boston, he averaged 5.9 points and 4.6 points respectively. In his third season, he was traded to the Timberwolves then spent time with the Suns, Heat and the Raptors, last playing in 2011. Since then, Banks has been playing overseas.

Guard: Jarvis Hayes

  • Drafted: #10 Overall by the Washington Wizards
  • Years in the NBA: Seven
  • Career Stats: 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists
  • NBA Awards: All-Rookie Second Team

Hayes was viewed as an offensive weapon that could help Washington make that next step. Although he made the All-Rookie Second Team, nagging knee injuries ruined the potential that Hayes could have had as an offensive force for the Wizards.

(Photo by: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Forward: Ndudi Ebi

  • Drafted: #26 Overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Years in the NBA: Two
  • Career Stats: 2.1 points and 1.0 rebounds
  • NBA Awards: None

#26 overall considered an overdraft? Hear me out. If any other team drafted him I would not have considered him. Ebi was the Timberwolves first first-round draft pick in three years, due to the team had to forfeited three first-round picks after the team owner illegally made a deal with forward Joe Smith (another story for another day).

At the time, Minnesota had a superstar in Kevin Garnett and was consistently making the playoffs. The T-Wolves selected Ndudi Ebi straight out of high school in hopes that in due time he can be a good one-two punch with Kevin Garnett. Sadly that was not the case. Ebi was never able to crack the rotation and only averaged 0.8 points his rookie year in 17 games, followed by only two games in his second season. The team tried to send him down the D-League to develop but was ineligible due to being in his third season and Minnesota ultimately released him, never playing in the NBA since. Edi has been playing overseas and most recently signed with Shahrdari Tabriz of the Iranian Basketball Super League.

(Photo by: Sports Illustrated website)

Forward: Michael Sweetney

  • Drafted: #9 Overall by the New York Knicks
  • Years in the NBA: Four
  • Career Stats: 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds
  • NBA Awards: None

Sweetney was an absolute monster at Georgetown University, averaging 22.8 points and 10.4 rebounds during his junior before declaring for the draft. Most fans thought that Sweetney would be the next Georgetown star for the Knicks like Patrick Ewing but instead had two forgettable seasons before being shipped off to Chicago for another two subpar seasons. He has been playing overseas ever since and is considered one of the worst draft picks the Knicks have ever selected.

(Photo by: Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

Center: Darko Milicic

  • Drafted: #2 Overall by the Detriot Pistons
  • Years in the NBA: 10
  • Career Stats: 6.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks
  • NBA Awards: 2004 NBA Champion

LeBron James, Darko Milicic, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Which one of these five do not belong? Milicic was an unknown 17-year-old Serbian who had the size and untapped potential to be great. The Pistons at the time were a great team that had this draft pick from a previous trade back in 1997. Although Milicic is an NBA Champion in 2004, he only played in 96 games as a Piston and averaged 1.6 points per game. He bounced around to a few more teams before retiring in 2012.

Yeah, the Pistons won the championship that year but imagine if Detriot drafted Melo, Bosh or Wade? Maybe we’d be talking about a dynasty.

2003 Under-Drafted Team

(Photo by: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Guard: Mo Williams

  • Drafted: #47 Overall by the Utah Jazz
  • Years in the NBA: 13
  • Career Stats: 13.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists
  • NBA Awards: 2016 NBA Champion, 2009 All-Star

Mo Williams spent one year with the Utah Jazz before being traded to Milwaukee, where he spent four seasons as one of the top scoring options for the team. It wasn’t until his time in Cleveland where he got noticed. He was a one time All-Star for the Cavaliers and was the second leading scorer for the 66 win Cavs team in 2009. He then moved on to the Clippers, Jazz again, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves and Hornets before joining the Cavaliers again in 2015, winning a ring in the process. No matter where he played, Williams was an excellent scoring point guard.

Guard: Kyle Korver

  • Drafted: #51 Overall by the New Jersey Nets *traded to Philadelphia
  • Years in the NBA: 14
  • Career Stats: 10.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists
  • NBA Awards: 2015 All-Star

Despite four great years at Creighton University, Korver slipped to the tail end of the second round of the draft. He spent time with the 76ers, Jazz, Bulls, Hawks and most recently Cavaliers. Korver has led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage for four separate seasons (2013, 2014, 2017 and a still NBA record 53.6% in 10). The only time Korver was a consistent start was during his time in Atlanta, which was later in his career. Still impressive for late second round draftee.

(Photo by: Getty Images)

Forward: Josh Howard

  • Drafted: #29 Overall by the Dallas Mavericks
  • Years in the NBA: 10
  • Career Stats: 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals
  • NBA Awards: 2007 All-Star, All-Rookie Second Team

Howard was the last pick in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft. He made an immediate impact with the Mavericks, becoming one of the top scorers for the team. Howard was traded to the Wizards after a little under seven years with Dallas. Multiple knee injuries after his time in Dallas ultimately had him out of the league by 2013. In 2016, he was hired as the men’s head basketball coach for Piedmont International University.

Forward: David West

  • Drafted: #18 Overall by the New Orleans Hornets
  • Years in the NBA: 14
  • Career Stats: 14.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists
  • NBA Awards: 2017 NBA Champion, 2X All-Star (2008, 2009)

It is really impressive that after four years at Xavier University, David West is still playing today and just re-signed with the Golden State Warriors. Although recently he has been known as more of a ring chaser, there was a time when David West was one of the more underrated big men in the West. In his first two years, he did not do much but once he teamed up with Chris Paul in 2005, they formed a great 1-2 punch. After eight years in New Orleans, West was a consistent starter in Indiana for four years before heading to San Antonio then Golden State. The two-time All-Star is also the All-Time scoring leader for the New Orleans Hornets now Pelicans and also holds the franchise records in games played, minutes played and rebounds grabbed.

(Photo by: Associated Press)

Center: Zaza Pachulia

  • Drafted: #42 Overall by the Orlando Magic
  • Years in the NBA: 14
  • Career Stats: 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists
  • NBA Awards: 2017 NBA Champion

Not a lot of centers to choose from here so I went with the one that has had a longer career than any other centers in this class. No matter where Pachulia has been, he has been a hard nosed defender at the starting center spot and looks to be part of the Warriors future after re-signing with the team.

The 2003 Draft has had their fair share of All-Stars as well as consistent role players for different teams. Overall, I do think that this is one of the best drafts we have had since 2000. I’ll look at the 2004 NBA Draft class next.

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