Who do you take with the second pick?

Steve Ausburne
Steve Ausburne
Elite Columnist

A friend of mine plays this annoying game when the guys get together. He sets up a draft for all time NBA players. He gets the number one pick and selects Michael Jordan. He then gives you the next five picks. Then he picks four so that we have our starters. No matter who you pick, he says that his team wins because Jordan is the X-factor.

First, who would your five picks be, sans Jordan? Second, is my friend right that he wins every time?

Mark Bruty
Mark Bruty
Analyst

Surely you can put together a starting five that would rival Jordan's brilliance! I am a huge MJ fan and I also have the belief that no-one could ever beat him (although we know that wasn't the case!!!) so I understand your friend's bias. BUT, what if we had a five like this - all in their prime:

PG - Magic Johnson
SG - Kobe Bryant
SF - LeBron James
PF - Tim Duncan
C - Shaquille O'Neal

Kobe can go with Jordan and get help from James / Magic etc. Plus that frontline is huge and are proven winners. Thoughts?

Steve Ausburne
Steve Ausburne
Elite Columnist

That is a terrific line up. I could see his follow up picks creating a team like this:

C- Bill Russell
PF- Karl Malone
SF- Larry Bird
SG- MJ
PG- John Stockton

While Magic has the edge when Stockton is guarding him (and, hell, Magic could slide into any position), Stockton runs the floor and distributes to the big three scoring machines. Russell may not match Shaq pound for pound, but his defense would give the sometimes lackadaisical O'Neal fits.

@Gorev Ahuja, that is an intriguing lineup

Mark Bruty
Mark Bruty
Analyst

Then we might swap in Wilt or Hakeem? Surely that gets us across the line!

Steve Ausburne
Steve Ausburne
Elite Columnist

@Mark Bruty, the bench will decide it.

Mark Bruty
Mark Bruty
Analyst

Very true @Steve Ausburne - you should go for a full roster, 12 deep and compare then! He picks MJ, you get 5 picks, he gets 4 - THEN you go one for one with you starting. Can only have max 3 centres ;) Sounds fun!

Aditya Trivedi
Aditya Trivedi
Senior Analyst

Hakeem for Wilt is clutch. Hakeem was a better offensive center and dominated the elite while Chamberlain…..as dominating as he was…..usually got stopped by Russell.

Hakeem could also spread the floor decently for a guy who's 7 feet tall.

Gorev Ahuja
Gorev Ahuja
Senior Columnist

PG- Magic
SG- Lebron
SF- Larry Bird
PF- Hakeem
C- Shaq

I know Lebron isn't a two guard, but this is would be my top 5 without Jordan.

Steve Ausburne
Steve Ausburne
Elite Columnist

@Gorev Ahuja, that is an intriguing lineup. Very big, but also crazy athletic at the guard spot causing mismatches all over.

Gorev Ahuja
Gorev Ahuja
Senior Columnist

@Steve Ausburne I like the fact that the two "guards" can score but are unselfish playmakers as well. Bird would spread the floor with his outside shooting ability and like @Aditya Trivedi mentioned Hakeem at the 4 could spread the floor a little. I could also substitute Duncan for Hakeem at the PF. Of course Shaq is the most dominant post player I have ever seen. Who would be your five with Jordan to matchup with my team?

Krithic Annamalai
Krithic Annamalai
Elite Columnist

PG: Magic Johnson
SG: Reggie Miller
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Patrick Ewing

My favorite is Miller at shooting guard, he's clutch and a cold blooded assassin. He's ranks 1st in playoff three pointers and 4 point plays.

Peter Thai
Peter Thai
Senior Columnist

PG: Steve Nash
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Lebron James
PF: Tim Duncan
C: David Robinson

A floor general in Steve Nash (although stockton would have been a great choice as well), arguably, the most accurate quick release in the NBa and the all-time 3pt leader, King James - nuff said, and the twin towers of the fundamental sound Tim Duncan and the Admiral. Game Over.

Trevor Roberts
Trevor Roberts
Senior Columnist

PG: Magic
SG: Gary Payton
SF: LBJ
PF: Hakeem
C: Shaq

My team brings in Gary Payton to assist Lebron in stopping MJ. Magic runs the offense and everyone can pound the ball inside, where Jordan isn't as much of a defensive threat. I wasn't sure about Shaq at first, normally my go-to 4-5 tandem in Hakeem and Kareem, but Shaq brings the kind of physicallity I'm going to need to stop MIchael. Also, @Steve Ausburne, what rules are we playing by? Are we talking the physical, Jordan-rules permitted defense of the 80's, or today's no hand-checking, superstars-get-away-with-murder-on-defense-then-shoot-25-free-throws-in-one-game rules? That will greatly affect the way we can stop MJ.