Over and Under: The 2001 NBA Draft

The other day, I started up my over and under drafted series with the 2000 NBA Draft class. Continuing with the trend, I will be assembling the 2001 Over-Drafted and Under-Drafted teams. Per tradition, both teams will consist of two guards, two forwards and one center.

Unlike the 2000 NBA Draft, the 2001 draft had a few more bright spots in the first round and even the second round. The draft has produced eight All-Stars and six All-NBA team selections. However, there was still some questionable selections early in the first round, especially with the forwards and centers.

Let’s take a look at the Over/Under Drafted teams

2001 Over-Drafted Team

Guard: Joseph Forte

  • Drafted: #21 overall by the Boston Celtics
  • Years in the NBA: Two
  • Career Stats: 1.2 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists
  • NBA Awards: None

Forte left North Carolina after his sophomore year to enter the 2001 draft. The UNC product was named an All-American the year before. This was one of the three first round picks the Boston Celtics had that year (one being Joe Johnson and the other will talk about later). Forte only lasted eight games in his rookie year and was then traded to the SuperSonics and was out of the league by his sophomore year #21 might be a bit of a stretch to consider “Over-Drafted” but looking at who the Celtics missed out in the point guard group, one might agree that Forte is mentioned on this list.

Guard: Jeryl Sasser

  • Drafted: #22 overall by the Orlando Magic
  • Years in the NBA: Two
  • Career Stats: 2.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.8 assists
  • NBA Awards: None

Sasser was a star at South Methodist University. His NBA career, not so much. He barely played in two seasons with the Magic and was let go and never claimed by another NBA team again. Much like Forte at 21, Sasser at 22 shows that the guard selections in the first round were few and far between due to a deep forward/center class.

Forward: Rodney White

  • Drafted: #9 overall by the Detriot Pistons
  • Years in the NBA: Four
  • Career Stats: 7.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists
  • NBA Awards: None

Now for the forward/centers, there were many ways to go here. Rodney White spent one year at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before going 9th overall to the Pistons. White only lasted one season in Detriot and was then traded to the Denver Nuggets. He played two and a half seasons with Denver, before finishing with the Warriors.

(Photo by: Getty Images)

Forward: Kedrick Brown

  • Drafted: #11 overall by the Boston Celtics
  • Years in the NBA: Four
  • Career Stats: 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds
  • NBA Awards: None

Another first rounder Boston used that did not turn out the way they wanted. Brown played at Northwest Florida State College and played two seasons with the Boston Celtics. After, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and finished his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers.

(Photo by: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Center: Kwame Brown

  • Drafted: #1 overall by the Washington Wizards
  • Years in the NBA: 12
  • Career Stats: 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds
  • NBA Awards: None

One of the biggest draft busts of all-time. Brown was a “can’t miss” prospect out of Georgia. I give Brown credit, he played 12 seasons in the league despite the constant “draft bust” status. At the same time, he clearly did not meet the expectations of being a number one overall pick.

2001 Under-Drafted Team

(Photo by: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

Guard: Gilbert Arenas

  • Drafted: #31 overall by the Golden State Warriors
  • Years in the NBA: 11
  • Career Stats: 20.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.6 steals
  • NBA Awards: 3X All-Star (2005-2007), 2007 All-NBA Second Team, 2X All-NBA Third Team (2005-2006), 2003 Most Improved Player of the Year

Although his prime years were in Washington, he had a good start with the Golden State Warriors as a second round pick, averaging 10.9 points in his first year and 18.3 in his second year. Looking back now, it is crazy to think that many teams missed out on having Arenas, espeically with a lot of questionable selections in the middle of the first round.

(Photo by: DPA/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

Guard: Tony Parker

  • Drafted: #28 overall by the San Antonio Spurs
  • Years in the NBA: 16
  • Career Stats: 16.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists
  • NBA Awards: 4X NBA Champion (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014), 2007 Finals MVP, 6X All-Star (2006, 2007, 2009, 2012-2014), 3X All-NBA Second Team (2012-2014), 2009 All-NBA Third Team, 2002 All-Rookie First Team

Who knew that an 18-year-old kid from France would out into this? Parker started for the Spurs right off the bat and has not looked back since. The four-time champion and Finals MVP is certainly one of the best players to put on a San Antonio jersey. Another great move by the Spurs finding a late gem in the draft.

(Photo by: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Forward: Gerald Wallace

  • Drafted: #25 overall by the Sacramento Kings
  • Years in the NBA: 14
  • Career Stats: 11.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals
  • NBA Awards: 2010 All-Star, 2010 All-Defensive First Team

He only had one All-Star appearance and was never selected to an All-NBA Team, but Gerald Wallace had a play style that people were fans of. His defensive and high-energy play style had Wallace last in the league for 12 seasons. He was also part of the expansion draft with the thenCharlotte Bobcats and was one of the few bright spots of those Bobcat teams.

Forward: Zach Randolph

  • Drafted: #19 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers
  • Years in the NBA: 16
  • Career Stats: 16.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists
  • NBA Awards: 2X All-Star (2010, 2013), 2011 All-NBA Third Team, 2004 Most Improved Player of the Year

I gave Zach Randolph the nod here because even after his age, Z-Bo can still play now for a few more NBA seasons. It took him two years to fully develop into a dominant big man for the Portland Trail Blazers and even now for the Memphis Grizzlies after seven years.

(Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Center: Mehmet Okur

  • Drafted: #37 overall by the Detriot Pistons
  • Years in the NBA: 10
  • Career Stats: 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists
  • NBA Awards: 2004 NBA Champion, 2007 All-Star

Outside of Tyson Chandler (#2 overall), Only Okur was named an All-Star for the centers in the 2001 draft class. After winning a ring with Detroit in a minor bench role, Okur was able to improve his game with the Utah Jazz. The center class is really thin here, so it is safe to say Okur was the second best center behind Chandler in this draft class.

The 2001 NBA Draft was a slight improvement over the 2000 class. The top 10 produced three All-Stars (Tyson Chandler #2, Pau Gasol #3 and Joe Johnson #10) and two (Jason Richardson #5 and Shane Battier #6) had a successful career despite not making an All-Star team.

The Over/Under Drafted series will continue with the 2002 NBA Draft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *