The annual NBA draft is one of the most random elements of the NBA season.
In a league where each game of an 82-game season is meticulously scouted with stats and analytics beforehand, and trades are mulled over weeks before they go down, one of the main ways for teams to acquire new talent is left to some ping-pong balls falling one way or the other. Crazy right?
And even when teams regain control of their destiny and are free to draft whomever they want with their pick, even after the hours and hours of scouting, it’s impossible for things to go as planned — just ask the Cavaliers when they drafted Anthony Bennett in 2013.
So with something that random, how can the NBA draft produce a fact like this, over the sample size of 43 years?
According to Reddit user Invicthor, a shooting guard has never been chosen with the number one pick in the draft dating all the way back to 1973, when the Denver Nuggets drafted David Thompson first overall.
Since then — over a 43 year span, only point guard, small forwards, power forwards and centers have been taken first overall, with one of each of those positions taken in the past four years (PG Fultz in 2017, PF Simmons in 2016, C Towns in 2015, and SF Wiggins in 2014).
Burnerfret offered to play Devil’s Advocate, however, and pointed out some of the greatest shooting guards of all-time were never considered first pick material heading into their respective drafts.
“How many are there who should have?
MJ, in retrospect, but even then it would have been a very unpopular pick by the Rockets.
Kobe was the first guard drafted out of HS more-or-less ever, so he wasn’t going to go 1.
Wade shouldn’t have gone ahead of LeBron.
Maybe Harden ahead of Blake, but even there Steph is the better bet in a re-draft.”
Could 2018 be the year we finally see the 43-year drought be broken with European prospect Luka Doncic being taken first overall? Or will it continue with center DeAndre Ayton being taken first? We’ll have to wait and find out.