Pundits and fans constantly analyze the NBA Draft, thinking they can nail the right pick. But sometimes you just get a bad draft. The draft might be deft of superstars and your favorite team may be left with a middling player who ends up sitting on the bench for the majority of his NBA tenure. And sometimes, you get a draft where you can’t miss. Most of the high draft picks go on to succeed and play an integral part of your team’s future.
I took a look at the drafts from 1989-2000, ranking them based on the best 10 players selected, using a select few categories to get the best perspective on their impact in the NBA. Some of these drafts will have numbers that are completely shifted due to the dominance of one great player, but that just shows how impactful that one player was.
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12. 2000 NBA DRAFT
This list is a bit devoid of superstars. They had the worst numbers across the board of the 12 drafts that I looked at. None of these players became “stars” and most of them would go on to become slightly more than role players for the majority of their careers. Michael Redd might have had the greatest peak out of all these players because of the burden that he carried for the Bucks, but it was so short lived due to injuries that he was unable to sustain any long-term success. Jamal Crawford has had the longest amount of success but has done so being one of the best bench players in the league, not a go-to player.
11. 1990 NBA DRAFT
This list had only one great player: Gary Payton. Payton was an extremely talented point guard who was one of the best defensive guards of all-time. The only caveat with Payton was his accused volatile nature, and even that has been dismissed by some teammates who played with him. Coleman was relatively successful but never progressed into the franchise star that many thought we would become. The next best player, Toni Kukoc, is best known for his role on the Chicago Bulls championship run in the ’90s. Antonio Davis was a bruiser down low but is best known now for his work on ESPN as a NBA analyst, as well as running into the stands to protect his wife in Chicago.
10. 1993 NBA DRAFT
They don’t have a player like Payton, but Chris Webber was a superb offensive force that led the Kings deep into the playoffs in his prime. Penny Hardaway, Jamal Mashburn, Allan Houston and Sam Cassell were important pieces to contenders. This draft had a couple of strong players but is distinctive for its entire crop of important contributors to the NBA.