They could have taken: Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Thaddeus Young, Jared Dudley, Marc Gasol,
Career stats: 272 games, 22.2 MPG, 7.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.7 APG
The outcome: A predraft workout with a stationary seat left Yi Jianlian branded with the nickname "The Chairman," and that lowlight proved to be most of the highlights of his short career. He turned in his best season in 2009-10 with the Nets -- when he started 51 games -- but he was relegated to a reserve role with the Wizards the next season and with the Mavericks in 2011-12.
That was his final season in the NBA, though he signed with the Lakers in August 2016. He played in six preseason games with L.A. before he was waived a month later at his request.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Swinger
2008 -- New York Knicks: Danilo Gallinari (F), Italy
They could have taken: Brook Lopez, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, George Hill, DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic
Career stats: 460 games, 31.1 MPG, 15.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.0 APG
The outcome: The top of the class was stacked, with Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love all coming off the board in the top 5. Danilo Gallinari represented the start of second tier of the draft, and he has turned in a productive career as a reliable swingman with a solid 3-point shot. He was traded to the Nuggets as part of the three-team Carmelo Anthony mega-deal in 2011.
An ACL injury in April 2013 ended up costing him the 2013-14 season, and he has been limited to about 60 games per season in the three years since.
USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
2009 -- Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonny Flynn (G), Syracuse University
They could have taken: Stephen Curry, James Johnson, Jrue Holiday, DeMarre Carrol, Danny Green
Career stats: 163 games, 22.9 MPG, 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.9 APG
The outcome: In a guard-heavy class, the Timberwolves made some eyebrow-raising decisions on draft day, taking Syracuse's Jonny Flynn one pick after selecting Ricky Rubio -- and then drafting UNC guard Ty Lawson at No. 18. Rubio has been a franchise stalwart, but Flynn lasted just 1 1/2 seasons in Minnesota before he was traded to the Rockets in June 2011. Flynn was shipped to Portland in March 2012, playing in 18 games.
He hasn't appeared in the NBA since. Meanwhile, Steph Curry -- taken with the pick right after Flynn -- became one of the league's elite talents.
Getty ImagesJim McIsaac
2010 -- Golden State Warriors: Ekpe Udoh (F), Baylor University
They could have taken: Greg Monroe, Gordon Hayward, Paul George, Eric Bledsoe, Hassan Whiteside
Career stats: 270 games, 16.9 MPG, 4.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.7 APG
The outcome: Considered a threat to exploit mismatches at either forward position coming out of Baylor, Ekpe Udoh instead saw the inefficiency of his college days exacerbated in the pros. He lasted 1 1/2 seasons with Golden State in a reserve role before he was traded to the Bucks as part of the deal that brought Andrew Bogut to the Warriors.
USA TODAY SportsGary A. Vasquez
2011 -- Washington Wizards: Jan Vesely (F), Czech Republic
They could have taken: Almost anyone; Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, either of the Morris twins, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Isaiah Thomas
Career stats: 162 games, 15.2 MPG, 3.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.6 APG
The outcome: Jan Vesely's three seasons and 162 career games were the fewest by far of anyone selected with a lottery pick in 2011, and only No. 18 pick Chris Singleton played fewer career games among those taken in the top 20.
Vesely was prized for his athleticism, but he struggled to develop any kind of range in the NBA and was generally a net negative during his time on the court. On the plus side, the Wizards went 20-46 his rookie season and ended up with the third pick in 2012, where they selected Bradley Beal.
USA TODAY SportsGeoff Burke
2012 -- Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard (G), Weber State University
They could have taken: Draymond Green
Career stats: 396 games, 36.4 MPG, 22.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 6.2 APG
The outcome: Hard to find more bang for your buck from the 2012 class than Dame Lillard at No. 6: Rookie of the Year, 2 All-Star selections, All-NBA 3rd team in 2013-14, All-NBA 2nd team in 2015-16.
Lillard has become a prolific scorer, a franchise cornerstone and iron man (he has missed only 14 games in his career), and the undisputed leader of Rip City. Redo this draft, and he is the surefire No. 2 pick and a possibility to go ahead of actual No. 1 Anthony Davis.
USA TODAY SportsKevin Jairaj
2013 -- New Orleans Hornets: Nerlens Noel (F), University of Kentucky
They could have taken: Steven Adams, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gorgui Dieng, Mason Plumlee, Rudy Gobert
The outcome: Traded to the 76ers shortly after being selected by the Hornets (right before their name change), Nerlens Noel missed the entirety of his first NBA season -- something that became a bit of a Philadelphia trend. He turned in a productive two and half seasons with the 76ers (10.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.6 BPG) before he was traded to the Mavericks during the 2016-17 season.
Though a handful of players may have worked out better, the deal to land Noel included, in fitting Philadelphia fashion, several future assets, among them a 2014 first-rounder from New Orleans, which was used to pick Elfrid Payton, whom Philly turned into Dario Saric while also wiping out the first-round pick they owed to the Magic. The 76ers received two second-round picks for sending Noel to Dallas.
USA TODAY SportsBill Streicher
2014 -- Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart (G), Oklahoma State University
They could have taken: Dario Saric, Jusuf Nurkic, Rodney Hood, Nikola Jokic
The outcome: A strong, high-energy guard with a knack for defensive tenacity, Marcus Smart has served as a valuable role player for the Celtics from the day he stepped on the court. He dabbled as a starter during his rookie season (38 starts), but found his niche as a backup to Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley in Boston's roster full of dymanic wing players.
A talented player when it comes to driving the lane, Smart has yet to develop a passable 3-point shot -- he is a career 29 percent shooter from deep -- and that limits the offensive impact he can have in a more up-tempo NBA.
USA TODAY SportsKen Blaze
2015 -- Sacramento Kings: Willie Cauley-Stein (C), University of Kentucky
They could have taken: Justise Winslow, Myles Turner, Larry Nance Jr., Josh Richardson, Norman Powell
Career stats: 141 games, 7.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.8 APG,
The outcome: Willie Cauley-Stein played second fiddle to Nerlens Noel, Julius Randle and then Karl-Anthony Towns while at Kentucky, and that didn't change much when he got to Sacramento, where he was paired with another former Wildcat, DeMarcus Cousins.
Considered a prospect who could step in right away defensively but would need to grow offensively, Cauley-Stein has at times thrived in the post. His shots come almost exclusively near the basket and he has attempted four 3-pointers in two seasons. He has not emerged as the top-flight defensive player the Kings probably envisioned, with 1.4 blocks per game and 1.3 steals per game so far in his career.
USA TODAY SportsSergio Estrada
2016 -- New Orleans Pelicans: Buddy Hield (G), University of Oklahoma
They could have taken: Marquese Chriss, Thon Maker, Pascal Siakam, Malcolm Brogdon
Career stats: 82 games, 10.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.5 APG
The outcome: Buddy Hield's final season at Oklahoma put him among the top prospects in last year's draft, as he shot 45 percent on his 3-pointers and scored 25 points per game as a senior.
He struggled to find his footing a bit with the Pelicans, but after he was traded to the Kings -- as part of the DeMarcus Cousins blockbuster -- he found another gear. In Sacramento, he played more (29.1 MPG), shot more (almost 12 shots a game) and scored more (15.1 PPG)