2001 – Draft Picks No. 8, 20 and 36
Drafted: DeSagana Diop
Re-Drafted: Joe Johnson
Drafted: Branden Hayward
Re-Drafted: Gerald Wallace
Drafted: Jeff Trepagnier
Re-Drafted: Mehmet Okur
Chris Mihm made sense. DeSagana Diop did not. Diop was an 18-year-old high school graduate when the Cavaliers took him. He rarely played and when he did he was ineffective from all sides of the court. He was a solid enough defensive rebounder but he was an offensive liability if there ever was one.
Later in the draft, the Cavs opted to draft ANOTHER center in Branden Hayward, though he was traded away for Michael Doleac. Hayward, on the other hand, was apart of that early-mid 2000’s revival of the Washington Wizards, alongside Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison. Hayward was often the fourth-best player among those Wizard playoff teams.
Second-round pick Jeff Trepagnier didn’t achieve much in the NBA.
So think about that team for a minute. The Cavs could’ve had All-Stars Joe Johnson (instead of Diop), Gerald Wallace (instead of Hayward), and Mehmet Okur (instead of Trepagnier), wow, this draft looks even worse in hindsight. Let’s say you still have Mihm, that means Andre Miller, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, Mehmet Okur, and Mihm, alongside Lamond Murry and Wesley Parsons? It’s not a dream team but they could have won 35 games that year.
Considering how good of a shooter Johnson was and how great of a two-way player Wallace became, this team could’ve been truly impressive. Especially if the Cavs still landed LeBron James in 2003.