2. Draft KD over Oden in 2007?
The Portland Trail Blazers had the seventh-worst record in the NBA in 2007, but their 5.3 percent odds were enough as they won the lottery and the right to first overall pick.
It was a two-player draft with plenty of debate between Kevin Durant and Greg Oden for the top spot. KD can score from anywhere and handle the ball at 6’9, but Oden was viewed as the next dominant big man. Strength was a big talking point after Durant was the only player at the combine that couldn’t bench 185 pounds.
Oden was an athletic freak at seven-foot tall and 250 pounds. Many projection systems had him going down as an all-time great, but he could not stay healthy. He played 82 total games in his first six years in the NBA and retired in 2016 with just 105 appearances. Oden was never an All-Star or dominant big man because his body did not hold up.
Durant scored 20 a night as a rookie and quickly became an all-time great. The Portland Trail Blazers had the opportunity to put him next to a young LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy to form a Big 3, but they opted for Oden. In some ways, it was repeating a mistake they have made two decades earlier that goes down as the biggest what-if in NBA history.