The 2003 NBA Draft is arguably the best lottery the league has seen, of course it wouldn’t be complete without Michael Sweetney. The power forward was born in Washington, D.C. and dominated at Oxon Hill and then went on to play at Georgetown. Right off the bat as a freshman, Sweetney averaged nearly 13 ppg leading them to a Sweet Sixteen loss against Maryland (Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje was also in his frontcourt). As a sophomore Sweetney shot a career high 56.7%, and finished with 19 ppg in a disappointing season with no bid for the Big Dance. The next season the big fella averaged 22.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg, and 3.2 bpg completely owning the paint.
After his junior season Sweetney ranked 7th on Georgetown’s career scoring leaders, fifth in career rebounds, and sixth in career blocks.
With Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade not falling to the number 9 spot, Michael Sweetney was selected by the New York Knicks.
Playing in just 42 games, Sweetney only averaged 4.3 ppg and 3.7 rpg his first season. In 2004-05 Sweetney saw more minutes as a gradual starter and increased his play to 8.4 ppg and 5.4 rpg (both career highs). Despite the improving performances, the Knicks traded him along with Jermaine Jackson, Tim Thomas, a 2006 first rounder, and a 2007 first rounder, 2007 2nd rounder (Kyrlyo Fesenko), and a 2009 2nd round pick (Jon Brockman). Those first rounders deserve their own sentence: Picks ended up being Lamarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah. In return the Knicks received Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis, and a 2007 first rounder (Wilson Chandler).
In his first season as a Bull, Sweetney was able to start a career high 44 games, and earned 8.1 ppg. The next season Sweetney only saw 8 mpg and his numbers were significantly cut in half.
After the season Sweetney was forced to concentrate on his weight. He didn’t play again until Summer 2009. After a failed comeback to the NBA, Sweentey played for the Erie BayHawks, Cangrejeros de Santrurce, and Club Bigua. Sweetney in December 2011 made a comeback to the Celtics, but was waived later that month.
Sweetney currently plays for Vaqueros de Bayamon in Puerto Rico.
Can you imagine if the Knicks kept those first rounders? Of course not.