The 1996 NBA Draft is among the most talented drafts in league history. Multiple Hall of Famers will come out of this draft with Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers among them.
Along with Kobe, a few former Lakers might also get serious consideration. Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash will almost certainly be a Hall of Famer and five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher may also sneak in there at some point down the road.
During the NBA Summer League, Fisher, current head coach of the New York Knicks, was asked to redraft the top-five selections from 1996. A lot of notable names to choose from, but Fisher chose to go in an interesting direction, via Bleacher Report:
#5 – Steve Nash
#4 – Ray Allen
#3 – Allen Iverson
#2 – Kobe Bryant
#1 – Derek Fisher
Obviously, Fisher was having a bit of fun picking himself over some all-time greats like his former teammate, but redrafting does pose some interesting questions.
Of the players Fisher redrafted, only himself, Kobe and Allen have won rings over the course of their career. Fisher and Bryant combined have 10 while Allen can’t even compete with one of them with only two.
Here’s how the real 1996 NBA Draft went from one to five:
#1 – Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
#2 – Marcus Camby, Toronto Raptors
#3 – Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Vancouver Grizzlies
#4 – Stephon Marbury, Milwaukee Bucks (traded to Minnesota Timberwolves)
#5 – Ray Allen, Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Milwaukee Bucks)
Bryant was taken with the 13th pick by the Charlotte Hornets and ultimately traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac. Nash (15th) was taken two picks later by the Phoenix Suns.
Other notable players from the 1996 draft include Antoine Walker (6), Peja Stojakovic (14), Jermaine O’Neal (17) and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (20). Even Ben Wallace was available in this draft, but went undrafted.