1998 NBA re-draft: The way it should have been

·6 min read

The 1998 NBA draft is headlined by two all-time great players, both of whom were taken with the final two picks of the Top 10.

Those players, of course, were Dirk Nowitzki, who went ninth overall to the Dallas Mavericks, and Paul Pierce, who went 10th to the Boston Celtics. Both players wound up winning one championship with their respective clubs, becoming legends in Dallas and Boston thanks to their high peaks as players and impressive longevities,

Outside of Pierce and Nowitzki, the 1998 NBA draft had one other player taken who would go on to become a superstar, Vince Carter (fifth overall pick) and various other borderline stars/solid long-term starters in Mike Bibby, Jason Williams, Rashard Lewis and Antawn Jamison.

Besides being the class that featured Nowitzki and Pierce, however, the 1998 draft is most remembered for its notorious top overall selection, who is now widely considered one of the biggest busts in NBA history: Michael Olowokandi, taken No. 1 by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Olowokandi’s NBA career would last nine seasons, five of which he spent with the Clippers. He would average just 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds over 500 career NBA games.

Below, check out our version of the 1998 NBA re-draft, with players taken in the order we believe they should have been taken with the use of hindsight.

Spoiler alert: We won’t make the same mistake the Clippers made.

No. 1 pick: Dirk Nowitzki

Actual position: No. 9 / Career earnings: $255,371,800 Career stats: 20.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.4 apg and 47.1 FG% in 21 seasons

No. 2 pick: Paul Pierce

Actual position: No. 10 / Career earnings: $200,708,312 Career stats: 19.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 apg and 44.5 FG% in 19 seasons

No. 3 pick: Vince Carter

Vince Carter, Toronto Raptors
Vince Carter, Toronto Raptors

Actual position: No. 5 / Career earnings: $186,916,012 Career stats: 16.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.1 apg and 43.5 FG% in 22 seasons

No. 4 pick: Mike Bibby

Mike Bibby and Rick Adelman
Mike Bibby and Rick Adelman

Actual position: No. 2 / Career earnings: $107,093,621 Career stats: 14.7 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3.1 rpg and 37.9 3P% in 14 seasons

No. 5 pick: Antawn Jamison

Actual position: No. 4 / Career earnings: $142,545,596 Career stats: 18.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.6 apg and 45.1 FG% in 16 seasons

No. 6 pick: Rashard Lewis

Actual position: No. 32 / Career earnings: $155,332,815 Career stats: 14.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.7 apg and 38.6 3P% in 16 seasons

No. 7 pick: Brad Miller

Actual position: Undrafted / Career earnings: $91,247,500 Career stats: 11.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.8 apg and 48.0 FG% in 14 seasons

No. 8 pick: Al Harrington

Actual position: No. 25 / Career earnings: $97,698,919 Career stats: 13.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.7 apg and 44.4 FG% in 16 seasons

No. 9 pick: Jason Williams

Actual position: No. 7 / Career earnings: $55,663,447 Career stats: 10.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 5.9 apg and 39.8 FG% in 12 seasons

No. 10 pick: Bonzi Wells

Actual position: No. 11 / Career earnings: $39,484,599 Career stats: 12.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.1 apg and 46.0 FG% in 10 seasons

No. 11 pick: Nazr Mohammed

Actual position: No. 29 / Career earnings: $39,484,599 Career stats: 5.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.6 bpg and 48.6 FG% in 18 seasons

No. 12 pick: Larry Hughes

Actual position: No. 8 / Career earnings: $84,845,538 Career stats: 14.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.1 apg and 40.6 FG% in 13 seasons

No. 13 pick: Ricky Davis

Actual position: No. 21 / Career earnings: $42,872,920 Career stats: 13.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.3 apg and 44.6 FG% in 12 seasons

No. 14 pick: Cuttino Mobley

Actual position: No. 41 / Career earnings: $67,463,250 Career stats: 16.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.7 apg and 37.8 3P% in 11 seasons

No. 15 pick: Mike James

Actual position: Undrafted / Career earnings: $32,291,974 Career stats: 9.9 ppg, 3.5 apg, 2.2 rpg and 37.9 3P% in 12 seasons

No. 16 pick: Earl Boykins

Actual position: Undrafted / Career earnings: $16,544,862 Career stats: 8.9 ppg, 3.2 apg, 1.3 rpg and 41.7 FG% in 13 seasons

No. 17 pick: Raef LaFrentz

Actual position: No. 3 / Career earnings: $84,135,042 Career stats: 10.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.6 bpg and 46.6 FG% in 10 seasons

No. 18 pick: Ruben Patterson

Actual position: No. 31 / Career earnings: $36,858,397 Career stats: 10.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 apg and 51.7 FG% in 10 seasons

No. 19 pick: Rafer Alston

Actual position: No. 39 / Career earnings: $28,129,531 Career stats: 10.1 ppg, 4.8 apg, 2.8 rpg and 35.4 3P% in 11 seasons

No. 20 pick: Radoslav Nesterovic

Actual position: No. 17 / Career earnings: $51,102,151 Career stats: 6.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg and 50.2 FG% in 12 seasons

No. 21 pick: Matt Harpring

Actual position: No. 15 / Career earnings: $48,217,041 Career stats: 11.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.4 apg and 48.1 FG% in 11 seasons

No. 22 pick: Tyronn Lue

Actual position: No. 23 / Career earnings: $21,382,580 Career stats: 8.5 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.7 rpg and 39.1 3P% in 11 seasons

No. 23 pick: Sarunas Jasikevicius

Actual position: Undrafted / Career earnings: $8,000,000 Career stats: 6.8 ppg, 2.9 apg, 1.6 rpg and 35.5 3P% in two seasons

No. 24 pick: Michael Olowokandi

Actual position: No. 1 / Career earnings: $37,906,690 Career stats: 8.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg and 43.5 FG% in nine seasons

No. 25 pick: Greg Buckner

Actual position: No. 53 / Career earnings: $29,653,476 Career stats: 5.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.3 apg and 45.0 FG% in 10 seasons

No. 26 pick: Brian Skinner

Actual position: No. 22 / Career earnings: $24,882,526 Career stats: 4.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.9 bpg and 49.4 FG% in 14 seasons

No. 27 pick: Keon Clark

Actual position: No. 13 / Career earnings: $15,186,563 Career stats: 8.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 bpg and 50.0 FG% in six seasons

No. 28 pick: Michael Dickerson

Actual position: No. 14 / Career earnings: $17,113,162 Career stats: 15.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.6 apg and 40.2 3P% in five seasons

No. 29 pick: Pat Garrity

Actual position: No. 19 / Career earnings: $22,788,021 Career stats: 7.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.8 apg and 39.8 3P% in 10 seasons

No. 30 pick: Anthony Carter

Actual position: Undrafted / Career earnings: $17,212,048 Career stats: 4.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, 2.1 rpg and 40.4 FG% in 13 seasons

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