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News » Rating No. 1 picks of lottery era, worst to first

Rating No. 1 picks of lottery era, worst to first

Rating No. 1 picks of lottery era, worst to first
The Chicago Bulls were the lucky winners of the NBA draft lottery and received the top pick in the June 26 draft. The player they select, most likely Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley, might turn around Chicago's franchise. Or he might not.

As we've seen, the No. 1 pick isn't always a franchise player. The following is a ranking of the No. 1 picks over the past 23 years of the draft lottery.

23) Kwame Brown — 2001

Career stats: 7.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.7 bpg, 48% fg (7 seasons)

2) Shaquille O'Neal — 1992

Career stats: 25.2 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.4 bpg, 58% fg (16 seasons)

Comments: Shaq was the easiest pick in the history of the lotto (in a year that included another legit top overall pick in Alonzo Mourning) and he has delivered. But does he deserve the top spot ahead of Tim Duncan? Like Duncan, Shaq has won four championships and numerous awards throughout his career. He was a much better scorer. Duncan's highest average was 25.5 in 01-02. Shaq surpassed that 10 times and won the scoring title twice. Duncan never averaged 13 rebounds a game, something Shaq did three times. I guess you could say that Shaq's best years were better than Duncan's best. On the negative side, Shaq was such a poor free-throw shooter that it became a well-known strategy (Hack-a-Shaq). He also moved around from team to team whereas Duncan stayed loyal to the franchise that drafted him. From a marketing standpoint, Shaq surely gets the nod over Duncan, although that led to movies like Kazaam and Steel. Its a very close race, but ...

1) Tim Duncan — 1997

Career stats: 21.6 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.4 bpg, 51% fg (11 seasons)

Comments: I have to give the nod to Duncan. He will go down as one of the most fundamental, accomplished and dependable players in the history of the league. In 11 seasons, Duncan has never failed to average a double-double. He is a four-time NBA champion, two-time MVP, seven-time All-Defensive first team, nine-time All-NBA first team, and just an all-around nice guy. What puts him over Shaq is the fact that Duncan isn't finished collecting championships. Winning is everything and Duncan's Spurs will go down in history as an NBA dynasty. Shaq never won a title with the team that drafted him and Timmy has won four. That stat alone makes him the best No. 1 pick of the lottery era.

Draft lotto history

Year — Top pick (second pick, best remaining pick)
1985 — Patrick Ewing (No. 2 Wayman Tisdale, No. 13 Karl Malone)
1986 — Brad Daughtery (No. 2 Len Bias, No. 25 Dennis Rodman)
1987 — David Robinson (No. 2 Armon Gilliam, No. 5 Scottie Pippen)
1988 — Danny Manning (No. 2 Rik Smits, No. 5 Mitch Richmond)
1989 — Pervis Ellison (No. 2 Danny Ferry, No. 14 Tim Hardaway)
1990 — Derrick Coleman (No. 2 Gary Payton, No. 27 Elden Campbell)
1991 — Larry Johnson (No. 2 Kenny Anderson, No. 4 Dikembe Mutombo)
1992 — Shaquille O'Neal (No. 2 Alonzo Morning, No. 24 Latrell Sprewell)
1993 — Chris Webber (No. 2 Shawn Bradley, No. 3 Penny Hardaway)
1994 — Glenn Robinson (No. 2 Jason Kidd, No. 3 Grant Hill)
1995 — Joe Smith (No. 2 Antonio McDyess, No. 5 Kevin Garnett)
1996 — Allen Iverson (No. 2 Marcus Camby, No. 13 Kobe Bryant)
1997 — Tim Duncan (No. 2 Keith Van Horn, No. 9 Tracy McGrady
1998 — Michael Olowakandi (No. 2 Mike Bibby, No. 9 Dirk Nowitzki)
1999 — Elton Brand (No. 2 Steve Francis, No. 3 Baron Davis)
2000 — Kenyon Martin (No. 2 Stromile Swift, No. 43 Michael Redd)
2001 — Kwame Brown (No. 2 Tyson Chandler, No. 3 Pau Gasol)
2002 — Yao Ming (No. 2 Jay Williams, No. 9 Amare Stoudemire)
2003 — LeBron James (No. 2 Darko Milicic, No. 5 Dwyane Wade)
2004 — Dwight Howard (No. 2 Emeka Okafor, No. 17 Josh Smith)
2005 — Andrew Bogut (No. 2 Marvin Williams, No. 4 Chris Paul)
2006 — Andrea Bargnani (No. 2 LaMarcus Aldridge, No. 6 Brandon Roy)
2007 — Greg Oden (No. 2 Kevin Durant, No. 3 Al Horford)

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 24, 2008


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