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Re-Drafting the 2006 NBA Draft Class – Bleacher Report

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21. Phoenix Suns: Sergio Rodriguez

A superstar overseas, Rodriguez spent two stretches on this side of the Atlantic. His penchant for passing was obvious (8.1 assists against 3.3 turnovers per 36 minutes for his career), but so were his limitations as a scorer.

His last NBA season was arguably his best, when he gave the 2016-17 Philadelphia 76ers contributions of 7.8 points, 5.1 assists and 1.4 threes in only 22.3 minutes per game.

                 

22. New Jersey Nets: Ryan Hollins

The 7’0″, 240-pound Hollins’ combination of length and athleticism helped him easily outperform his original draft position of 50th overall. But his skills lacked refinement, and stronger centers could move him around the paint. Hollins played for nine teams in 10 NBA seasons.

                  

23. New Jersey Nets: Lou Amundson

Undrafted out of UNLV, Amundson hustled his way to a 10-year NBA run. He did his best work as a rebounder and rim-runner, and he averaged a per-36-minutes double-double for his career (10.2 points and 10.1 rebounds).

                   

24. Memphis Grizzlies: Leon Powe

Originally the 49th pick, Powe actually leads this class in win shares per 48 minutes (.174). He won a ring with the Boston Celtics in 2008, and he made four playoff trips over his five NBA seasons.

He wasn’t very big or explosive at 6’8″, but he compensated with length, strength and interior skill. Unfortunately, he had knee problems before arriving in the Association, and ongoing injury issues led to his early exit.

               

25. Cleveland Cavaliers: Craig Smith

An undersized interior player at 6’7″ and 250 pounds, Smith relied mostly on bully ball to overpower other backup bigs. The Minnesota Timberwolves made him the 36th pick, and he rewarded them with three-year averages of 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in only 19.5 minutes per game.

                 

26. Los Angeles Lakers: Renaldo Balkman

Maybe most known now for fighting a teammate in the Philippines, Balkman split his six-year NBA career between the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets and was involved in the 2011 megatrade that put Carmelo Anthony in NYC. Balkman played spirited defense, but his offensive range didn’t reach much beyond the restricted area.

                      

27. Phoenix Suns: Hilton Armstrong

Armstrong adds to the list of interchangeable backup big men who make up the bulk of this draft’s final third. He paired athleticism with a 7’4″ wingspan to become a modestly valuable interior presence. He played six seasons and averaged 9.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes.

              

28. Dallas Mavericks: Shelden Williams

It was obvious early that Williams had been overdrafted at No. 5 overall, and the Hawks traded him midway through his sophomore season. He played for seven different teams during his six NBA seasons, as his length and defense offered value in limited bursts.

                    

29. New York Knicks: Solomon Jones

Yet another long big man with some bounce, Jones was a late bloomer who always had better tools than skills. But considering he wasn’t taken until 33rd overall, he more than justified that draft slot by logging 281 appearances over eight seasons.

                

30. Portland Trail Blazers: Rodney Carney

Carney had athleticism and flashes of a jump shot, which was enough to make him the 16th pick in the real-life version of the talent grab. But he didn’t bring much beyond the occasional rim-rocker, and he averaged less than 18 minutes in each of his five NBA seasons.

                           

All stats courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball Reference unless otherwise noted.

Zach Buckley covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @ZachBuckleyNBA.

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