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Re-Picking the 1996 NBA Draft

Obama Out: President imitates Kobe Bryant

When NBA fans think "best draft ever," the 2003 draft often comes to mind, which saw superstars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all selected in the top five picks.

And while that class holds up as arguably the best ever when expanded out to solid second-round picks like Kyle Korver, Mo Williams and Zaza Pachulia, if you delve just a little deeper into draft history, another year stands out for the magnitude of the stars it produced. The year was 1996, when future league legends like Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson realized their dreams of becoming NBA players.

As is the case with every draft, however, teams didn't exactly get it right. For instance, Bryant — a future five-time champion and 18-time All-Star — fell to No. 13 overall before being selected by the Charlotte Hornets.

SEE ALSO: Kobe Bryant sits down for first post-retirement interview, plays prank with Ellen DeGeneres

Following Bryant's retirement, PointAfter, a sports data visualization site that's part of the Graphiq network, set out to right the wrongs by re-picking the '96 draft. Based on each player's career win shares (an estimate of the number of wins contributed to a team by a player) and accolades (All-NBA teams, MVPs, championship rings, All-Star berths, etc.), we re-ordered the draft to better reflect the "correct" order in terms of how guys panned out in the pros.

Note: There are 29 first-round draft slots because 29 NBA franchises existed in 1996, rather than today's total of 30.

#1. Kobe Bryant

Team: Chicago Bulls
Original Slot for Knight: No. 29
Original No. 29 Pick: Travis Knight

Career Win Shares: 7.9

A 7-footer out of UConn, Travis Knight is the only player in the re-draft who retains the same draft position from 1996. With the final selection of the first round, the Chicago Bulls stick with Knight.

Interestingly, Knight never suited up for the Bulls in his NBA career, because Chicago released him less than one month after drafting him in 1996. While playing for the Boston Celtics under head coach Rick Pitino in 1997-98, Knight peaked by averaging 6.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. He was out of the league by age 28.

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Re-Picking the 1996 NBA Draft
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 22: Jonas Jerebko #8 of the Boston Celtics and Evan Turner #11 react after a foul was called against Turner during the fourth quarter of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden on April 22, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Hawks 111-103. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after being hit in the face by teammate Tristan Thompson #13 during the first half against the Toronto Raptors in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 21, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 11: DeMarre Carroll #5 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball and is fouled by Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat in the first half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 11, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers scores on a dunk in a 108-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 11: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point basket in the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 29: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates during the 101-83 win over the Toronto Raptors in game six of the 2016 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 29, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 26: Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks battles under the basket against Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: Norman Powell #24 of the Toronto Raptors dunks the ball late in the second half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on April 26, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 23: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives to the basket on DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter of Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center on April 23, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers won the game 96-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 18: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets is guarded by Draymond Green #23, Andrew Bogut #12 and Leandro Barbosa #19 of the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 18, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 16: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers goes up to shoot against Patrick Patterson #54 of the Toronto Raptors in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 17:Boris Diaw #33 of the San Antonio Spurs battles JaMychal Green #0 of the Memphis Grizzlies for a rebound in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 17, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 28: Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics reacts after receiving his 6th personal foul against the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter of Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 28, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Hawks defeat the Celtics 104-92. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 02: Andre Iguodala #9 of the Golden State Warriors goes up to dunk the ball against J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first half in Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 2, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: LeBron James #23 and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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