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View Full Version : The Greatest Picks (at their respected draft positions) of All Time



NuffSaid
05-21-2008, 01:59 PM
Since we're all in NBA Draft Lottery mode, I thought this piece of draft lore might be of some interest.

The Greatest Picks of All Time (http://www.nba.com/features/greatest_picks_070627.html)

AI topped the list as the best player to ever been draft #1.

Our own Reggie Miller tops the list of those players ever to have been draft at #11.

It's a pretty interesting read and just goes to show that you never really know where talent will come from or who will actually turn out to be that diamond in the rough or an All-Star, i.e., Tony Parker best #28 overall pick or "Agent Zero" as best ever #30 overall pick.

Read up and enjoy, folks.

Mourning
05-21-2008, 02:10 PM
Where's Duncan?

Unclebuck
05-21-2008, 02:16 PM
I read who they picked for the number 1 slot and I stopped reading. Is this supposed to be funny or is it based upon some weird criteria

Slick Pinkham
05-21-2008, 02:30 PM
I read who they picked for the number 1 slot and I stopped reading. Is this supposed to be funny or is it based upon some weird criteria

I almost quit, but the rest of their picks made sense and they only used the goofy criteria of "not an obvious pick" for #1.

SycamoreKen
05-21-2008, 02:42 PM
I didn't buy his qualification on #1 as well. KAJ was too obvious I guess.

NuffSaid
05-21-2008, 03:32 PM
I read who they picked for the number 1 slot and I stopped reading. Is this supposed to be funny or is it based upon some weird criteria

At first, I didn't take AI's selection as the best overall #1 pick that serious either. But then you look at the measuring stick that the author uses (whomever he is...there is no byline) and it kinda makes sense:

Individual accomplishments, longevity (11 yrs and counting), 1 Finals appearance...

...from a not-so-obvious choice for a #1 draft pick. Or in other words, AI could have easily been a #2-#10 pick, but the fact that the 76ers took such a huge gamble in selecting him and he's done so well over the course of his career, you have to give him his props. I'm pretty sure most of us old timers figured guys like Magic, Hakeem, Shaq and Duncan would have done just fine in their own rights when drafted. But AI? I mean, really who'd have thunk it? That a 6'0", 180 lbs Guard would have still been around doing what he does for as long as he's done it? Really?

On the surface of it, I'd have choose Jabbar or any of the other aforementioned players myself as the best overall #1 draft pick in draft history. But in hindsight, I can see why AI was chosen ahead of some of the very best in basketball. Not saying I agree, but I can understand the choice - and it's a good one.

JayRedd
05-21-2008, 03:46 PM
I like this list a lot actually.

It's not "Who was the best player to be picked #1?" It's "Who was the best pick."

Kareem wasn't a "good pick." He would have gone #1 overall to any team that was picking first overall after even his sophomore year at UCLA. Nor was Magic and Duncan a "good pick." They were absolute no-brainers that any owner/GM would have made in a coma. Shaq wasn't maybe a 100% no-brainer cause of Laettner and Zo, but I don't think anyone would have seriously considered passing on the man-child that was Shaq at LSU. As for Hakeem, he was arguably a "bad pick" in the grand scheme of things seeing as Houston could have done even better (the Mike guy).

It's a good list, and I have very few disagreements. And none of my disagreements are really based on anything aside from my own personal biases.

Bernard over Mully is tough, but Bernard was a lot better...he just got hurt. My St. John's alum status doesn't like it though.

Personally, I'd take TMac (and some might take JoJo) over Dirk, although I assume I'm in the minority there.

I'd also definitely take Truth over Westphal, but I do realize how good Westphal was...I just like Pierce that much and am a big fan.

Gus Williams/Larry Nance is probably a wash.

I could imagine yall won't like #22, but I'm too young to call it.

And none of the others are even close, IMO.

What's also really weird how bad #4 and #12 are though. Kelly Tripucka? Really? Ouch. Good luck with that, Philly.

count55
05-21-2008, 04:01 PM
It's not "Who was the best player to be picked #1?" It's "Who was the best pick."


I get what you're saying here, but doesn't the first sentence in the article:


Who is the most important player ever to be drafted No. 1?

kind of imply that it was the best player to be picked.

Plus, even if Allen Iverson may have been the most perceptive, most clever #1 pick, wouldn't the best pick still be the guy who turned out to be the most productive, even if it was a no-brainer? (Sorry...that's a rabbit hole not worth going down.)

It is an interesting list, though.

JayRedd
05-21-2008, 04:07 PM
Okay. Understandable.

But regardless of how you feel about that, #2-#30 are pretty accurate and it's really interesting to see who got taken at each spot.

Sollozzo
05-21-2008, 05:42 PM
Where's Duncan?


"Relax. I know, the guy in the cubicle next to you knows and even your grandmother is aware of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s accomplishments (six titles, six MVPs) ….And of course there are fellow No. 1’s Magic, Hakeem, Shaq and Duncan who merit ridiculous consideration --but what gives A.I. the edge here is the fact that he wasn’t a no brainer No. 1 pick ..Days leading up to the draft there was growing sentiment that may be Stephon Marbury was the best all-around point guard in the draft and some even had Marcus Camby out of UMass as the deserved No. 1"

ABADays
05-21-2008, 06:53 PM
AI? Are you kidding me? Ridiculous. Did you happen to notice the writer didn't note Reggie being a HOF lock at #11 whereas he did in some of the later choices?

Sollozzo
05-21-2008, 07:36 PM
AI? Are you kidding me? Ridiculous. Did you happen to notice the writer didn't note Reggie being a HOF lock at #11 whereas he did in some of the later choices?


If you read his reasoning for AI, then I think it's legitimate. Like JayRedd mentioned, he's talking about the "best pick", not "best player"

Shaq, Duncan, Magic, Kareem...they were all "no brainers." AI, however, required some thought, as many talking heads thought Camby or Steph would have been a better pick. The Sixers made the right choice.

Doddage
05-21-2008, 08:58 PM
Umm...


13. Karl Malone, Utah Jazz, 1985
The greatest power forward of all time...
:confused:

Shade
05-21-2008, 09:07 PM
There is absolutely no way AI deserves to be #1 over Shaq, Magic, Hakeem, Kareem, or Duncan. Not over a SINGLE ONE of them.

I'm sorry, but that's just a stupid pick. And the weird criteria attached to that selection was not applied to the rest of the picks.

rexnom
05-22-2008, 07:44 AM
There is absolutely no way AI deserves to be #1 over Shaq, Magic, Hakeem, Kareem, or Duncan. Not over a SINGLE ONE of them.

I'm sorry, but that's just a stupid pick. And the weird criteria attached to that selection was not applied to the rest of the picks.
Yeah, that's kind of the problem. Was Carmelo a bad 3 pick because Dwyane Wade went number 5? Was Bosh a bad 4 pick because Wade went number 5? Using the author's criteria, Wade, who has not projected that high, should be better than Barkley. Wasn't MJ at 3 a no-brainer for Chicago at that point? Couldn't I argue that it wasn't such a great pick. Was Danny at 17 a bad pick because he was a no-brainer but Shawne a great one because he was a tough call at the time?

Tha author obviously just wanted to create a ruckus at number one. And he succeeded. Congrats.

Young
05-23-2008, 03:38 PM
Shaq, Duncan, Magic, Kareem...they were all "no brainers." AI, however, required some thought, as many talking heads thought Camby or Steph would have been a better pick. The Sixers made the right choice.

Exactly.

I actually like what the author did here. He looked at who could have been picked.

How does it make sense to give credit to the Spurs for drafting Tim Duncan over Keith Van Horn and Tony Battie? They got that pick by luck and in a draft with Tim Duncan. As pointed out the 76ers had a tougher choice because Allen Iverson was not the no brainer number one pick.

I can be the GM for a day, get lucky with the number one pick, and draft a no brainer like Duncan or Lebron James. Does that mean I made a great pick? Not so much. It means I didn't have a dumbass attack and screw up a no brainer pick.

JayRedd
05-23-2008, 05:18 PM
Using the author's criteria, Wade, who has not projected that high, should be better than Barkley.

Not at all.

Using this criteria, drafting an undersized PF who few people thought could maintain his rebounding prowess n a league of 7-footers -- and he wasn't even a huge scorer at Auburn -- was an amazing pick. They gambled on the Chuckster and he turned out to be a Top 3 PF of All Time.

That's a lot better than Wade will ever do. There's a reason it took him three years to get into Charles' Fav Five.

(And btw, I'm pretty sure I'm the biggest Wade fan on PD.)

As for Melo, I wouldn't say he was a "bad pick" because of Wade. But seeing as how, IMO, they could have done better, Melo will likely never be seen as a great pick either.


Wasn't MJ at 3 a no-brainer for Chicago at that point? Couldn't I argue that it wasn't such a great pick.

Yup. You easily can. MJ wasn't a "good pick." It was an absolute no-brainer for Chicago and they deserve no praise for making it. Portland on the other hand...


Was Danny at 17 a bad pick because he was a no-brainer but Shawne a great one because he was a tough call at the time?

Danny wasn't a bad pick. But he wasn't a good pick either. Donnie and Bird put exactly zero thought into that selection.

Shawne will never be considered a good pick by any criteria in my mind. He's not even particularly good. Plus he's hurt the team reputation with the off-the-court stuff.

Tom White
05-23-2008, 07:06 PM
AI topped the list as the best player to ever been draft #1.



If that is the ways they start, I'll not waste time reading the rest.