The NBA Draft has given us several late lottery picks that wind up being way better than the top 5 prospects and end up being major steals for the teams that got them that low, helping out of the gate on their rookie season and having great careers despite not being considered to be among the best prospects of the Draft.
Number 13 has always been linked with bad luck, but basketball has proved over and over that those kind of superstitions doesn’t mean a thing and that the greatest athletes in the world are able to achieve anything they put their minds on.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 players that have been drafted 13th overall, proving that scouts can be wrong more often than not and that 13 may actually wind up being your lucky number.
Honorable Mention: Derek Anderson, Jay Humphries, Danny Schayes
10. Dale Davis
Few people remember Dale Davis because of his low profile, but truth to be told, the big man was always the most hardworking guy on the floor whenever he set a foot on the hardwood, playing for the Pacers, Blazers, Warriors and Pistons.
Davis played in 1094 games over his career, even making it to 1 All-Star game at age 30 due to his great hustle and efforts in both ends of the glass. Over his career, Double D averaged 8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a contest on 53% shooting.
9. Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell is looking like this Draft’s biggest seal and has already had a lot of high praise from players of the likes of Chris Paul, making a really strong case for this season’s ROY as the Utah Jazz’ go-to-guy.
Mitchell has already tied LeBron James for most 20 point games as a rookie and already looks like a veteran, with his offensive game being extremely developed and rarely making any mistakes. Up to this date, he’s putting season averages of 20 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists with 1.5 steals per game on 43% from the floor, and he keeps getting better by the day.
8. Devin Booker
Devin Booker doesn’t get the recognition he deserves because he plays for the worst team in competitive basketball, but he’s by far the most offensively skilled young player in the league right now.
Booker can create his own offense, can pull up from distance or take it all the way to the rim, is athletic, fast and a reliable shooter from all over the floor, and he’s already even had a 70 point performance against the Boston Celtics. He looks like he can be able to lead the league in scoring in a couple of seasons and has put averages of 24.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 dimes per game this season.
7. Sleepy Floyd
Few people remember Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, but don’t let his nickname fool you, as he was always wide awake as a terrific playmaker and deadly scorer over his 13 season NBA tenure with the Nets, Warriors, Rockets and Spurs.
Floyd made it to the 1986-87 All-Star game and up to this date, he still owns the record for most points scored in a quarter of a playoff game (29) and a playoff half (39) after getting 12 buckets in a row against the Lakers, posting career averages of 12.8 points and 5.4 assists to go along with 1.2 steals per game.
6. Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson has had a hell of a career and is one of the coolest teammates every player can ask for, now embracing a much smaller role as a veteran leader for the Denver Nuggets locker room, but during his Cavs’ stint he proved that he was still an athletic freak with a great ability to take off.
Jefferson had his best years as a member of those deadly New Jersey Nets that sadly weren’t able to go the distance and win the title. Throughout his career, he averaged 12.6 points, 4 rebounds and 2 dimes, finally winning the Chip with Cleveland a couple of seasons ago.
5. Jim McMillan
Jim McMillian was actually drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Nets, but he decided to play in the NBA rather of the ABA, choosing to wear purple and gold to step up and replace Elgin Baylor, a very difficult task he was able to live up to.
Playing for the Lakers, Braves, Knicks and Blazers before heading overseas, the small forward won the 1971-72 Championship with Los Angeles and posted career averages of 13.8 points and 5.3 rebounds, but the lack of playing time over the last passage of his career made him bail on the NBA after just 9 seasons.
4. Jalen Rose
Jalen Rose took a while before establishing himself as a reliable scoring option, but once he took off, he was one of the Go-To-Guys at Indiana with his ability to play at both guard spots and even as a small forward in some small ball sets.
Being Jimmy Walker’s son, Rose’s talent flourished after a couple of NBA seasons, even winning the Most Improved Player award. Over his career, he averaged 14.3 points, 3.5 boards and 3.8 dimes a game, playing for the Nuggets, Pacers, Bulls, Raptors, Knicks and Suns over a 13 season span.
3. Hal Greer
Way back in the day, Hal Greer established himself as quite a dominant combo guard, being accountable for 102.7 win shares over his career, third behind only Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant as a 13th overall pick, playing for the Syracuse Nationals and Philadelphia 76ers.
Over a 15 season span, Greer was considered to be one of the most skilled shooting guards in the league due to his scoring outbursts, posting career averages of 19.2 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists on 45% from the floor, leading the Sixers to the Chip in 1967 and making it to 10 All-Star games.
2. Karl Malone
Karl Malone is responsible for 234.6 Win Shares over his career, by far the most by any 13th overall pick in NBA history, and he’ll forever be remembered as one of the most dominant power forward in the history of basketball due to his ability to dominate the glass.
Malone was an extremely prolific scorer who also thrived by having one of the best playmakers in history next to him, and over his career, he was able to average a double-double with 25 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. Also, he won 2 MVPs, made 14 All-Stars and a couple of All-Defensive squads as well.
1. Kobe Bryant
The Charlotte Hornets have to still be regretting of the trade that sent Kobe to the Lakers after drafting him 13th overall back then in 1996, as he winds up being the greatest player in Lakers history, one of the deadliest scorers this game has ever seen and a huge role model due to his restless work ethic.
The Black Mamba was a late bloomer but he never slowed down once he settled as a key part of the team’s rotation, leading the Lakers to 5 NBA Championships, won 2 scoring titles, 2 Finals MVPs, 1 MVP, made it to 18 All-Stars and 12 All-Defensive teams, leaving career averages of 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game.