The NBA Draft is one of the most determinant and important nights of the season for any single NBA franchise, as some of them enter rebuild mode and try to send their stars elsewhere in exchange for some assets for the future, while other teams look to build up on their roster with some prospects, or the franchises that are close to contention become aggressive in their pursuit for stars.
Over the course of the years, we’ve seen a lot of outstanding talents go in the first couple of picks of the Draft, while other late bloomers become good out of nowhere and wind up overplaying their draft stock, making everybody that passed on them regret it a lot.
Nonetheless, other guys have been major flops despite being the highest ranked prospects in the nation and the world, disappointing fans, scouts and media as they struggle and fail to deliver what was expected of them during their youth, becoming below average or mediocre ballers.
Today, we’ll see a bit of both, as we rank the top 10 1st overall picks of the past years, obviously excluding both Ben Simmons and Fultz.
10. Anthony Bennett
This guy was one of the biggest disappointments of NBA history going first overall just to mightily struggle in both ends of the court as a tweener big guy with no distinctive talent whatsoever, even failing to be a starter on his own national team.
After a couple of failed stints, Bennett didn’t make it to any team’s rotation and he doesn’t deserve to be on an NBA Court, and he was a terrible pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers that passed on Victor Oladipo because they already had Dion Waiters in their roster.
9. Greg Oden
Oden was an extremely dominant big man during his college years and there was absolutely no doubt about how well his game would translate to an NBA level, being a physical specimen that could matchup against the strongest players in the world.
Sadly, his proneness to get hurt never let him actually shine despite being incredibly talented, and after a couple of failed attempts to go back to the NBA, he miserably failed, making the Blazers feel sorry for passing on Kevin Durant to land this big guy.
8. Andrea Bargnani
Bargnani has to be one of the worst guys to ever play in the NBA, although he managed to fool pretty much everybody and become a semiproductive player during his first couple of seasons as a horrid defender and supposed stretch big man for the Raptors.
The Italian big guy made a fortune in the NBA despite being a mediocre scorer, mediocre three point shooter (he’s so called special touch) and way below the average defender and rebounder. Furthermore, he was slow and even kind of dumb, so we should be thankful for the fact that he’ll never set foot on an NBA court once again.
7. Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins has improved in pretty much every aspect of the game since his first game and he’s still a work in progress, showing great defense with outstanding athleticism, although he has lacked that clutch gene and the ability to become a vocal leader for his team despite being incredibly talented.
Still, he’s put a lot of work to improve in both ends of the floor and flourish as a scorer despite his poor shooting from distance, and there’s absolutely no doubt that he’ll become an All-Star when he finally finds his touch and the Timberwolves contend in the West.
6. Karl-Anthony Towns
This guy has been incredibly impressive and has vastly improved his game in both ends of the floor, actually becoming a very reliable scorer from beyond the arc despite his size while also being a very crafty defender in the paint.
His skill set and ability make us think that we might be looking at a future MVP in this guy, and he’s become the main reason why the Timberwolves have become quite an interesting project, and if Thibodeau manages to build a nice team around him, we may be witnesses of a new NBA Dynasty.
5. Derrick Rose
Rose was poised for stardom after taking the league for assault since the very first day he set foot on an NBA court, leading the Chicago Bulls back to contention and winning the MVP award after an incredible season as one of the most athletic and talented scorers the league has ever seen.
Sadly, constant nagging pains and injuries completely destroyed Rose’s growth and he’s never going to reach his former level again, lacking explosiveness and never improving his shot, making him nothing more than just a reliable substitute point guard at this point of his career.
4. Blake Griffin
Griffin has really grown into a very complete player despite being called soft on defense and struggling to hit from the free throw line or midrange during his first couple of seasons, working hard to improve and become a perennial All-Star that never ceases to amaze with his circus-like athleticism.
Now, as the Clippers are on the verge of a new era, it’s very likely that Blake winds up leaving the Staples Center to join a new franchise, where he could thrive and be actual title contenders, hoping to win his first ever NBA Championship.
3. John Wall
After struggling with inconsistency and poor shooting during his first years in the Association, Wall has grown to be the best point guard in the Eastern Conference and one of the best players in the league due to his incredible playmaking ability.
On top of that, he’s become a very pesky defender, and his assist to turnover ratio is just off the charts. He’s also develop a very consistent shot from beyond the arc, becoming better and better every single season while leading a not so good Washington Wizards franchise to the playoffs.
2. Anthony Davis
The Unibrow has been a complete monster since being drafted 1st overall out of Kentucky, although the lack of a capable support cast around him has made him struggle to lead his team to contention in the fierce Western Conference.
Still, he’s been terrific since the early going on an individual level, becoming one of the league’s elite scorers and rim protectors, and even if he’s struggled to develop his touch from below the arc, his shooting form isn’t broken beyond fixing, so when he manages to pull that off on a consistent basis, he’s a lock to win the Most Valuable Player award as the most versatile guy in the association.
1. Kyrie Irving
Irving really struggled to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to the playoffs before LeBron James decided to go back to his hometown, but he’s always shown how incredibly talented he was as perhaps the best dribbler in the NBA nowadays, showing a vast offensive repertoire despite struggling to contain opposing guards.
At his tender age, this guy’s already a World Cup Champion, an Olympic Medalist, an All-Star MVP, a World Cup MVP, a 3 point Champion and even an NBA Champion, making the game winning shot to end Cleveland’s Championship drought and make his way to basketball elite in the history of the game.