Saturday , Oct , 25 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Rethinking Denver’s pick at 2003 draft: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, or Dwyane Wade?

There was no hesitating or blinking in the Mile High City. Chris Bosh, a lanky left-hander from Georgia Tech, wasn’t given much consideration. Ditto for Marquette’s Dwyane Wade. Anthony was their guy. Commissioner Stern called his name. First round. Third overall.

Rethinking Denver's pick at 2003 draft: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, or Dwyane Wade?Each week, HoopsVibe the Blog will drop a player comparison for fans to weigh-in on. We call it head-to-head … 

At the time, with the information available, it was the right move. Cleveland had done the expected, taking LeBron James straight from his Ohio high school first overall in the 2003 draft. Detroit then went exotic unknown, selecting ‘Euro’ Darko Milicic with the second pick.

Denver must have felt Lotto 649 Lucky to have Carmelo Anthony land in their lap. Months earlier, he led the Syracuse Orangemen to an NCAA Title as a freshman. Anthony’s game was polished and he had the franchise persona teams build around.

There was no hesitating or blinking in the Mile High City. Chris Bosh, a lanky left-hander from Georgia Tech, wasn’t given much consideration. Ditto for Marquette’s Dwyane Wade. Anthony was their guy. Commissioner Stern called his name. First round. Third overall.

Five years later, Denver’s choice can be questioned. Anthony is an elite scorer, but there are concerns about his ability to lead on and off court. More than once, he has put the team in a negative light with his decisions.

In this edition of head-to-head, HoopsVibe wants fans to re-examine that third selection from 2003. Using the last five years as a reference, and with the luxury of hindsight, should Denver have selected Bosh or Wade over Anthony? Read the post, form an opinion, and hit us up in the comment box below.

Staying with Anthony …

He is a ‘legit’ first option. A modern Dominique Wilkins capable of getting his in any offensive scheme or circumstance. Many of Anthony’s baskets are highlight reel material, full of Baltimore playground flair.

The forward has a broad frame, which helps him post steady rebound numbers and, when in the mood to share, he can recognize double-teams and distribute to open teammates.

Fair or not, Anthony has a mixed reputation. On court, some see him as a one-dimensional, shot-hoisting machine. Off-court, he has stumbled several times making news for the wrong reasons.

What Bosh offers …

Bosh is a talented post. He averages excellent numbers, but doesn’t hog the ball or take poor shots. Recently, ‘CB4’ has developed on the defensive end, emerging as Team USA’s interior stopper in Beijing. Look for this to continue in Toronto.

The Texan is a superb franchise face. Bosh allows Toronto coach Sam Mitchell to hold him accountable, which forces everyone else to buy-in to the team concept. Off the court, he stays out of trouble, gives back, and entertains.

But Bosh has fallen short in the playoffs, losing twice in the first round of the weaker Eastern Conference. Some question if he can ever develop into a tier one superstar.

What Wade offers … 

Flash has a Finals MVP and an NBA Title on his resume. And who can forget the way he elevated his game in the championship series against Dallas?

Wade is an elite player. He can score, distribute, get to the line, and bring fans out their seats with athletic plays. Best of all, he gets points without overshooting or hindering teammates.

The guard is injury-prone, missing significant stretches of the last two seasons. Wade must continue his weight regime and do a better job protecting himself on-court.

Our Call: Wade. In 2003, the Nuggets would’ve been panned for picking a relatively unknown combo guard (Wade) instead of an NCAA champion (Anthony). And Anthony has become a very good professional player. But Denver would be better off today with Wade, an NBA champion and proven playoff performer.

Should Denver have taken Bosh or Wade instead of Anthony? Agree or disagree with our call? Get at us in the comment box below and revisit HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Grammer Hammer.