July’s live recruiting period is right around the corner, meaning that the Class of 2016 will have a chance to truly prove themselves to the recruiters and the recruitniks around the country. Scholarships will be earned and rankings will be justified over the course of those three weekends in July.
But scholarship offers and rankings don’t always tell us who the best players in a given class will end up being. Ask Steph Curry. Over the course of the coming weeks, we will be re-ranking eight recruiting classes, from 2004-2011, based on what they have done throughout their post-high school career.
Here are the 25 best players from the Class of 2005, with their final Rivals Top 150 ranking in parentheses:
READ MORE: The complete Re-ranking the Classes series
1. Monta Ellis (No. 3): Since entering the league out of high school Ellis has been a potent scorer who has averaged double figures every year since his second season. At 19.3 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game over 10 seasons, Ellis is a proven talent who was named the league’s most improved player in 2007.
2. Andrew Bynum (No. 6): It appears Bynum’s career could be over due to bad knees and a bad attitude, but he’s the only player in the class to make an All-NBA team (second in 2012), an all-star game (2012) and he’s a two-time starting center on the championship Lakers (09-10). At his peak, Bynum was one of the best centers in the game.
3. Wesley Matthews (No. 85): Going from undrafted to averaging at least 13 points per game the last five seasons, Matthews has become one of the NBA’s best two-way two-guards. Matthews suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in March of last season.
RELATED: Re-ranking the Class of 2004
4. Lou Williams (No. 7): The only player in his class to be name-dropped by Drake, Williams won the 2015 Sixth Man Award during the best season of his career. A volume shooter, Williams can score points in a hurry, but he’s also inefficient sometimes as a shooter.
5. Darren Collison (No. 100): Collison has averaged double figure points in all six of his NBA seasons and he’s been a steady presence playing good minutes. After leaving UCLA tied as the program’s winningest player, Collison has averaged 12.4 points, 5 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
6. Wilson Chandler (No. 44): After two seasons at DePaul, Chandler has carved out a solid NBA career with a brief stint in China during the NBA lockout. Chandler is coming off of a solid season with the Denver Nuggets and he’s averaging 13.7 points and 5.3 points over the course of his career.
7. Danny Green (No. 31): A champion at both the college (2009 North Carolina) and NBA (2014 Spurs) level, Green has carved out a solid career as a three-and-D guard on a championship contender. Green set the NBA Finals record for 3-pointers and is also coming off of a solid 2014-15 season.
8. Mario Chalmers (No. 12): Also a champion in college (2008 Kansas) and the NBA (2012-13 Heat), Chalmers has received steady point guard minutes for a championship contender. The former Kansas star averaged 8.9 points, 3.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while making second-team all-rookie in 2009.
9. C.J. Miles (No. 19): Now a 10-year NBA veteran after being drafted in the second round out of high school, Miles had a good 2014-15 season with Indiana, giving the Pacers some much-needed scoring.
10. Gerald Green (No. 1): Once known only as the Slam Dunk Champion from 2007, Green re-started his NBA career after some time in the D-League and overseas to become a potent role scorer for the Phoenix Suns. Green has improved his three-point shooting to become a high flyer who can also hit shots.
11. Amir Johnson (No. 29): Also out of high school, Johnson has been a consistent producer as a reserve forward for the Toronto Raptors the last five seasons.
12. Andray Blatche (No. 4): Another high school prospect who slipped to the second round, Blatche is still playing in China after some productive stints in the NBA.
13. Martell Webster (No. 5): Webster has been a productive scorer as a role player the last few years after being selected No. 6 overall out of high school.
14. Tyler Hansbrough (No. 10): One of the most decorated college players in recent memory, Hansbrough still gets some minutes after his title and four-year All-American run at North Carolina.
15. Josh McRoberts (No. 2): McRoberts has never been a particularly impressive player in terms of production, but he’s steady and he’s developed a 3-pointer to be a stretch forward.
16. Alonzo Gee (No. 33): Playing with Denver this past season, Gee has been in the league six seasons after going undrafted out of Alabama. He’s averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game during his career.
17. Brandon Rush (No. 13): A member of the 2015 champion Golden State Warriors, Rush has only played in 73 games the last three seasons after a productive four-year stretch. Injuries have limited him.
18. Shawne Williams (No. 15): Since finishing his Memphis career as a one-and-done, Williams has stayed in the NBA, having played for seven different teams. Williams started 22 games for the Heat last year and appeared in 57 total games.
19. Chris Douglas-Roberts (No. 75): Playing with the Clippers for 12 games last season, CDR has played for five different teams since his career at Memphis ended.
20. Terrence Williams (No. 111): The former Louisville wing hasn’t been in the league since the 2012-13 season, but Williams had a briefly solid stretch when he entered the league with the Nets.
21. Sam Young (No. 71): Entering the league with two solid years with Memphis, Young only played two more seasons and hasn’t appeared in the league since the 2012-13 season.
22. Jeff Adrien (No. 41): Appearing in parts of five seasons in the NBA, Adrien never played more than 52 games in a season. He still plays professionally in China.
23. Jeremy Pargo (No. 105): Pargo played in 83 games over three seasons in the NBA after his career at Gonzaga. The last few seasons for Pargo have been played in Israel.
24. Julian Wright (No. 8): A lottery pick out of Kansas, Wright hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2010-11 season after only four years in the league. He still plays professionally, most recently in Puerto Rico.
25. Jon Brockman (No. 47): Four good years at Washington and three years in the NBA before Brockman carved out a solid professional career. He’s currently in Germany.
Greg Paulus (11)
Tyler Smith (34)
Eric Devendorf (46)
Bobby Frasor (51)
Antonio Anderson (56)
Marcus Williams (76)
Luke Zeller (79)
Jerel McNeal (99)
Derrick Brown (115)
Justin Dentmon (119)
Taylor Griffin (141)
Martellus Bennett (UR)
Jimmy Graham (UR)