2004 – Draft Pick No. 10
Drafted: Luke Jackson
Re-Drafted: Kevin Martin
The team did not get the most out of their top-10 selection in 2004. In hindsight, Al Jefferson Tony Allen, Kris Humphries, Josh Smith, and even J.R. Smith are upgrades over Oregon’s Luke Jackson. Injuries slowed his progress and hampered his development. He lasted only two years and was an absolute waste of a draft pick; even if he came in highly touted.
The other names listed were all upgrades. Humphries was a better double-double machine than Gooden when Humphries was at his peak. Josh Smith is one of the more noteworthy names to never make an All-Star team, even if he was a key part of the Hawks run in the late ’00s. J.R. Smith has always been a unique shooter to warrant key minutes. Allen would’ve been the best defender on a team built for defense. So that one stings. Then there’s Jefferson, who arguably had the best career outside of the top10 but didn’t fit with what the Cavs were looking for at this spot.
So who should the team have taken instead? Kevin Martin.
Now Martin doesn’t have the awards or name value that some may expect but he averaged 17 points a game for an entire season nine times in his career. He hit 20 points a game six times. James never played with one player who was a 20 PPG scorer until he left the Cavs in 2010.
Martin was actually the type of player everyone had hoped Jackson would be. He fit into the scheme and he was a scrappy defender. Alongside James, this team actually wins a lot more and Martin goes to the All-Star game a few times.
The team didn’t have a second-round pick but did acquire Anderson Varejao, the 31st pick in the draft (first in the second-round) just a month after the draft ended.