When everybody recalls major sports drafts, they always remember the number one pick, but there are others numbers that gave someone the opportunity to shine and to be a star in these leagues.
The 1st overall pick isn’t always the best and the last one isn’t the worst, either, and you can ask Isaiah Thomas if you don’t want to take our word for it, or any other successful 2nd rounder or even undrafted players.
The NBA has shown plenty of these cases, but today we’re not going to be that far and we’ll only list the top 10 fourth picks in NBA draft in past 10 years. There aren’t too many remarkable players who were drafted in this position, but the ones who were are pretty great.
10. Wesley Johnson
Johnson arrived to the league being an exciting prospect. Minnesota picked him in 2010, hoping to get their next start, but Johnson’s performances were everything but good, putting awful numbers on the sheets.
After that Johnson has been wandering around and now is part of the Clippers where he barely sees any playing time at all, being stucked as a mediocre role player with no significant talent or achievements so far.
9. Dragan Bender
Dragan was selected in 2016 by the Phoenix Suns, but the Croatian player hasn’t displayed all the things both the team and fans were expecting from him. Now the Suns acquired a very good in Marquese Chriss, which is going to take over Phoenix rim and Dragan will either go to another team or take his talents to Europe.
So far, Dragan has been a disappointing player, struggling with injuries and not being able to be on the hardwood for much time, although he may still become a very successful player with his Porzingis’ type of play.
8. Cody Zeller
This appears to be the path of the previous player. Cody arrived to the league after being a very good player at Indiana, but as soon as he landed he decreased his level. Nobody remembers him as the fourth pick in 2013 draft –one of the worst ever- and he doesn’t seem to be the good player he used to be in college.
The Zellers aren’t really good in anything at all, but Cody has to be way more disappointing than his brother Tyler, that has at least established himself as one of the most important pieces in a mediocre Hornets rotation.
7. Tyreke Evans
Tyreke started his career in the association having outstanding performances and even winning the Rookie of the Year award, but after that he only decreased his level, becoming just another player from the pile.
Right now he is part of Memphis Grizzlies, a team which loses talents and hopes every season, just like Tyreke. He went from being the future star of Sacramento to just wander around looking for a team, struggling with injuries, inconsistency and not being able to sustain his good performances.
6. Aaron Gordon
Gordon is becoming a fluke –or maybe he already is one. Aaron was set to take over the league as one of the most prominent players, but after a couple of good seasons, he lowered his performances.
He was one of the favorites for the audience, but everything points to that he’s about to be a regular player. Gordon is another proof that Orlando’s front office is wasting money and hopes in untalented players, being not much of a dunker without any touch from distance.
5. Dion Waiters
Dion was picked by Cleveland in 2012, but after several seasons at the Q without showing his best, he toured a couple of teams before arriving at Miami Heat, where he apparently has found his shape.
Dion became a very important player in Erik Spoelstra’s team and this season appears to be the one where he leads Miami to the playoffs, that, of course, if the big mouthed shooting guard doesn’t get into trouble and manages to stay healthy for a chance.
4. Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson started Cleveland’s rebuilding project alongside Kyrie Irving back in 2011 when both players were drafted to the Cavs. Since then, Tristan has shown interesting stuff, but at the moment he still has things to improve if he wants to really become an elite player like his teammates LeBron James or Kevin Love.
He is good and young, so he surely will time to improve his game, that has a lot of liabilities despite being an elite offensive rebounder. Thompson doesn’t bring much to the table at this point of his career, but his ability to give second and third chances to the Cavs have made him earn a lot of dough.
3. Mike Conley Jr.
Conley is that kind of player that if he were in a different team, he would have won at least two championships. Conley arrived to the league in 2007 with Memphis Grizzlies, his first and only team, and since then, he hasn’t stopped showing us his good game.
Unfortunately for him, Memphis’ style of playing is not the right one to explore Mike’s game at his maximum potential, but there is no doubt that he is a very talented player and a big reason why Memphis has been a recurrent team in playoffs.
2. Kristaps Porzingis
One of the biggest surprises for Knicks’ fans in recent years, as nobody but the front office, was happy when New York decided to draft Porzingis a couple of seasons ago. Since the very beginning, he’s only improved his game and yet he’s still exploring his potential.
Porzingis is going to leave his mark in Knicks history, but it will be useless for everybody if they don’t put talented people around him. However, he has shown very good things and that’s why he earned this spot.
1. Russell Westbrook
Russ is the current MVP of the NBA and how couldn’t he be if the only thing he had done since his arrival to the league is working hard. Westbrook landed in OKC via draft in 2008 and quickly created one of the best duos ever alongside Kevin Durant. Russell has proved he can be a franchise player and his past season is the prime example.
Now he will lead OKC with Paul George and perhaps that could bring a meaningful change for both OKC and Westbrook, who hasn’t made it to the finals since 2012 when they lost against LeBron’s Miami Heat.