The Philadelphia 76ers missed out on the opportunity to select the jewel of the 2000 NBA draft with the 20th pick of the first round.
It was beyond evident that Allen Iverson needed help on offense after the Philadelphia 76ers lost second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in the 1999-2000 season. The Sixers were solid defensively, but they needed to find Iverson that secondary scorer to play along side of.
One of the easiest ways to add talent is through the draft and by the time the Sixers first selection came at the 20th pick in the 2000 draft, there was one player still available that former general manager Billy King should have selected. While it might have taken a couple of seasons for Michael Redd to make a significant impact, choosing Redd instead of Speedy Claxton with the 20th pick would have benefited the Sixers in the long term.
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Out of all of the players still available when the Sixers were still on the clock in the first round, Michael Redd was in hindsight the best player still on the board. While Redd’s rookie year wasn’t anything special, his overall career was beyond respectful. Redd had career averages of 19.0 points and 3.8 rebounds, while he shot 38.0 percent from the 3-point line. He had a six season stretch where he averaged 21 or more points.
Redd’s fit with Iverson would have been great as well. Iverson could play either guard position and Redd could play either wing position so starting them both wouldn’t be an issue. While Redd didn’t become an elite scorer until his fourth season, he still would have been an upgrade over who Iverson had on the wing in the 1999-2000 season.
Now there was logic as to why former general manager King decided to take Speedy Claxton. Claxton had a very good college career, averaging 16.9 points, 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals in four seasons. On top of that the Sixers only had Iverson, Eric Snow and Kevin Ollie as the only playmakers prior to drafting Claxton in 2000. It made sense for King to draft Claxton. Claxton appeared to be the scorer and defender that could pair next to Iverson, however King ended up being wrong.
Claxton didn’t play the 2000-2001 season due to injury and only played one season for the Sixers before getting traded. King made a mistake in drafting Claxton. The franchise should have been trying to find Iverson more help on the wing instead of another point guard.
Almost every team missed out on drafting Michael Redd in the 2000, however if the Philadelphia 76ers would have selected Redd, the Iverson era would have been more successful and would have lasted longer. Redd and Iverson could have become one of the more formidable duos in the NBA. What the two players could have accomplished together would have gotten Sixers fans excited. Drafting Redd would have meant long term success for the Sixers.