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Fantasy Draft Board: The All Time Best in One Draft E-mail
Written by Matthew Maurer   


TDR is counting down history's best in our Fantasy Draft Countdown. We examined the picks at each draft slot (1st pick overall, 2nd pick overall, etc) from 1950 to 2007.

Here's our selections for the best in NBA draft history.

  Honorable Mention The Pick Comments
1

LeBron James
Shaquille O'Neal
Elgin Baylor
Allen Iverson
Tim Duncan
Hakeem Olajuwon

Magic Johnson
Point Guard
6-9/220
Michigan St.
He’s the greatest point guard to ever play the game thanks to his unrivaled court vision. Magic performed no look passes with ease, unlike the variety we see today where players look and turn their head after the ball is passed. Johnson never looked. He always knew where everyone was on the court. Standing at 6-9, he’s so ahead of the game that today’s scouts have yet to find his equal. Johnson’s height and talent gave him the versatility to play all 5 positions equally well, but his career ended abruptly after he contracted the HIV virus. Magic returned briefly during the 1995-96 basketball season, but his condition made some players on the court uncomfortable. Johnson is a legacy who goes down as one of the league’s greatest attractions and most engaging personalities with his trademark smile and energetic play.
2 Jerry West
Maurice Stokes
Bob Pettit
Isiah Thomas
Dave Bing
Bill Russell
Center
6-9/220
San Francisco
Russell may be the ultimate winner to ever play a sport. He was a part of 11 Boston Celtics championship teams, 8 of them back to back. Russell was slightly above average offensively, but his real calling card was dominant post defense and rebounding. The NBA didn’t calculate shot blocking numbers during Russell’s time, but many agree that he would have had unreal stats in that area. Russell impressively achieved these accomplishments while playing his rival and friend, Wilt Chamberlain. Despite Chamberlain’s talent and reputation as the most dominant center of his era, Russell won 5 league MVP awards. The Celtics traded star Ed Macauley to the St. Louis Hawks for the talented Russell. This thinking was considered intelligent on St. Louis’s part for two reasons. Macauley was a local college star and the Hawks front office didn’t feel their fans would accept an African American on the team. St. Louis’s ignorance became bliss for Boston Celtics fans.
3 Carmelo Anthony
Pete Maravich
Nate Thurmond
Dominique Wilkins
Michael Jordan
Shooting Guard
6-6/205
North Carolina
This is obviously a no brainer. It’s virtually impossible to deny Jordan as the greatest player in basketball history. The younger generation may not remember how Air Jordan came into the NBA with an aerial assault that rivaled any high flyer before him. Even more impressive were his fundamentals and competitive drive to destroy anyone in his way. Jordan’s long list of accomplishments are too many to name, but he’s highlighted as a six time MVP with six championship rings. He was drafted third due to the NBA’s center driven philosophy that you need a big man to win a championship. Jordan revolutionized his position by proving that a dominant big man wasn’t necessary. There was joke around the NBA that the only person to hold Jordan under 20 was his college coach, Dean Smith.
4 Russell Westbrook
Rick Barry
Dave Cowens
Lou Hudson
Bob Cousy
Guard
6-1/175
Holy Cross
Cousy’s game was reared on the playgrounds of New York, but his flashy style with daring passing and ball handling wasn’t a great selling point to orthodox purist Red Auerbach, head coach of the Boston Celtics. Auerbach drafted Charlie Share while the Tri-Cities Blackhawks picked up Cousy, but he was immediately traded to the Chicago Stags. Cousy became a free agent when the Stags franchise folded. After that NBA teams absorbed the left over Stags players which left Auerbach with the wild card Cousy. The rest is history as the Houdini of the Hardwood became a pioneer and innovator of the fast break offense in the NBA.
5 Walt Frazier
Kevin Garnett
Sidney Moncrief
Scottie Pippen
Dwyane Wade
Charles Barkley
Power Forward
6-6/260
Auburn
Has there ever been a funnier, more outspoken athlete in the history of sport? In his prime, The Round Mound of Rebound was every bit the player, if not more, than his contemporary, Karl Malone. Barkley backed up everything he said like few others throughout history. His swagger and talent to make good on his boasts made him hard to dislike. Barkley was a tremendous rebounder and shot a high percentage from the floor despite having the stature of a shooting guard. Unfortunately, Barkley joined Karl Malone and John Stockton as superstar victims of Michael Jordan, who denied them the ability to win a championship ring before retiring.
6 Lenny Wilkens
Jerry Sloan
Adrian Dantley
Larry Foust
Larry Bird
Small Forward
6-9/220
Indiana St.
The Magic Johnson, Larry Bird duo gave the NBA profitability. Until this time, college basketball was more financially successful. Out of high school, Bird signed on to play for Indiana University, but strangely returned home after a few weeks and spent several months as a garbage man. Bird then moved on to Indiana State and became the school’s most dominant player. His talent went mostly unnoticed, but the shrewd Red Auerbach picked up on Bird and drafted him in 1978 as junior eligible. The Boston Celtic faithful couldn’t understand Auerbach’s logic until Bird returned for his senior season to lead the Sycamores to their only NCAA championship appearance. In Which they lost to Michigan State, who had Magic Johnson on their team. Bird continued his brilliance in the NBA leading the Celtics to a championship in only his second year. Bird slowly began to breakdown physically due to his all out style of play before a 1992 back injury sent him into retirement.
7 Billy Cunningham
Bernard King
Chris Mullin
Stephen Curry
Point Guard
6-2/180
Davidson
Few doubted Curry's elite shooting but many questioned if he had the skills or mindset necessary to play the point guard position. It took a couple of season but Curry has quickly established himself as the league greatest shooter ever. To top that Curry became the NBA's first unanimous MVP award winner 2016. Along with teammates Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and later Kevin Durant Curry has led the Warriors to 2 championship titles. Curry's biggest contribution to the game may be the way he transformed the regularity of three point shooting. Over the last 5 years (2012-13 to 2016-17) Curry averages 707 3-point attempts a season.
8 Robert Parish
George Yardley
Jack Sikma
Sam Jones
Guard
6-4/198
North Carolina Central
Jones was originally drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers, but returned to college after completing his military service. He had the ability to make difficult shots from anywhere on the floor, played fierce defense, and possessed clutch shooting that earned him tremendous respect among teammates and opponents. Jones was a fundamentally sound player who learned from one of the game’s most underrated coaches, John McLendon (who was taught by basketball inventor Dr. James Naismith at the University of Kansas). This gave Jones a great advantage that pioneering African American Charles Cooper (the first black player in Celtics team History) never had. Jones' abilities are echoed by nicknames his teammates gave him, Mr. Clutch and The Shooter.
9 Mel Daniels
Tracy McGrady
Dirk Nowitzki
John Havlicek
Forward
6-5/205
Ohio St.
“Hustle” is the term often yelled by coaches across America to motivate players to work harder on the court, but in his 15 year career no coach had to ever speak these words to Havlicek. He was a top notch perimeter defender and clutch player who did much more than what showed up in the box score. Havlicek was a dedicated player who many deemed as one of the Celtics’ most important players. His career in basketball would not have materialized if his tryout with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns panned out. Havlicek was a consummate team player with the leadership to guide a team and the humbleness to take on a secondary role if the team was better for it.
10 Paul Westphal
Paul Pierce
Jack Twyman
Willis Reed
Center
6-10/240
Grambling St.
Few athletes are memorialized in sports moments history more than Reed. During the 1970 NBA finals few thought he’d be able to play due to a bad tear in his leg that would most likely sideline him for the rest of the playoffs. During warm-ups, Knicks players and fans had no idea if their team’s captian would come out. But suddenly, hobbling down the tunnel, Reed entered to the roar of a Madison Garden ovation. He took off his warm-ups and proceeded to make the first two jumpers while dragging his leg. Inspired by his determination, the Knicks beat the Lakers for the championship. Sadly, Reed continued to sustain injuries, including a horrible knee injury that he fought through to win another title with the 1973 Knicks, before walking away from the game the following season after playing just 19 games.
11

Reggie Miller
Terrell Brandon
Klay Thompson

Gus Johnson
Forward
6-6/230
Idaho
Johnson is one of the most amazing NBA talents that many have forgotten, but what's even worse is that he's still not in the Hall of Fame. How good was Johnson? Most of the power forwards in the Hall of Fame couldn't even come close to him when he was in prime. At just 6-6 and 235 pounds Johnson was one of the first to play above the rim with the strength and grace that we take for granted today. Contrary to what many believe, Darryl Dawkins was not the first to break a backboard in the NBA. It was Gus Johnson, and he did it three times. Some may feel that Reggie Miller is the more logical choice at #11, and if the Fantasy Draft was simply about longevity, then yes, we're no doubt talking Reggie. But this is more about talent and impact on the game, so Johnson gets the nod. Do you realize that he entered NBA at age 28! Gus Johnson at his best, compared to Reggie Miller in his prime isn't even close. Gus is the man.
12 Paul Silas
Larry Costello
Mookie Blaylock
Cedric Maxwell
Rudy LaRusso
Julius Erving
Small Forward
6-6/200
UMASS
What can be said about Doctor J other than, "unbelievable". Erving took the reins from Connie Hawkins to become the next high flyer for a generation. Even though he wowed everyone from day one with his in the air antics, the NBA never really got to see Erving in all his aerial glory. This is because he spent the first 5 years of his career in the ABA. Erving was one of the NBA's greatest ambassadors along with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Together they ushered the league's product into the mainstream world to contend with baseball and football for television revenue.
13 Karl Malone
Kevin Loughery
Dick Van Arsdale
Dale Davis
Kobe Bryant
Shooting Guard
6-6/220
Lower Merion H.S.
Back in 1996 many wondered if a high school guard could successfully make the transition to the NBA. Although Kobe was named the top high school player in the nation, his selection was immediately traded by the Charlotte Hornets for Vlade Divac. In retrospect many considered the trade fair, but in hindsight, the LA Lakers and free agent Shaquille O'Neal were setting the franchise for a dynasty run. Karl Malone was difficult to pass on at #13, but Bryant's talent and accomplishments put a dent into any other selection. Make no mistake, Malone was a tremendous player, but Bryant will more than likely go down as the second best shooting guard ever behind Michael Jordan. Not to mention that some feel Bob Pettit and Charles Barkley were better than Malone in their prime.
14 Hal Greer
Maurice Lucas
Tim Hardaway
Peja Stojakovic
K.C. Jones
Clyde Drexler
Shooting Guard
6-7/210
Houston
Coming out of the University of Houston, Drexler was part of one of the nation's most breathtaking teams. Nicknamed Phi Slama Jama, the team consisting of Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Larry Micheaux and Michael Young were known for their above the rim play. Drexler was a nine time all-star who didn't slow down in the pros. His smooth acrobatic moves to the basket even caused the opposing fans to take notice. The talented guard finally earned a championship ring in 1995 when he teamed up with former college teammate Olajuwon after being traded from Portland.
15 Kawhi Leonard
Mike Mitchell
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Steve Nash
Point Guard
6-3/195
Santa Clara
In his first few years nothing alluded to a two-time MVP, but Nash has made the Phoenix Suns a contender for the NBA Championship since joining the club 3 years ago. He joined the Suns after leaving the Mavericks through free agency. What frustrated Maverick fans is that Nash could have remained with their team if owner Mark Cuban had matched the offer sheet. Nash is a tremendous point guard, but after his career is over the big question will be where he stands among legends like Magic Johnson and Isaiah Thomas at his position. Many argue that Nash's progression from a solid all-star to league MVP after the age of 30 has more to do with the system he plays in and the fact that his media exposure has been overrated. This philosophy is understandable. Ask yourself, how does Nash win two MVP awards while Isiah Thomas and John Stockton, who were better players in their prime, never won?
16 Swen Nater
Ron Artest
Rickey Green
Ricky Sobers
John Stockton
Point Guard
6-1/175
Gonzaga
Few outside the state of Washington were aware of John Stockton during the 1984 NBA Draft, but the little known guard soon let fans know why he was selected in the first round. Stockton is arguably one of the best point guards in NBA history. He owned a tremendous basket IQ and played defense with scrappiness and thievery to become the NBA's all-time leader in steals. Stockton led the NBA in assists for nine straight years; a feat that was previously held by Celtic great and ball handling pioneer Bob Cousy.
17 Shawn Kemp
Jermaine O'Neal
Richie Guerin
Bill Sharman
Guard
6-1/175
USC
Sharman was one of the finest shooters from his era, but his best ability was his competitive nature. Sharman was a two-sport standout for USC in baseball and basketball. He went on to play for the Boston Celtics while also a part of the Dodgers' minor league system. Sharman was called up to baseball's major league in 1951, but sat the bench and never played. He called it quits for baseball in 1955. During his time with the Celtics he and Bob Cousy were known as the NBA's best backcourt duo. Sharman made the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach. He joined John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens as the only others individuals to hold this distinction.
18 Calvin Murphy
Ricky Pierce
Joe Dumars
Shooting Guard
6-3/190
McNeese St.
Dumars was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with little more than a few words about his career at McNeese State. The fundamentally sound Dumars improved each year before becoming an offensive force in his 4th season. Despite his low numbers Dumars is statistically one of the NBA's greatest defenders. He also displayed great leadership and was one of the main devices on the Detroit Pistons championship teams of 1989 and 1990. Dumars is now the General Manager for the Pistons where his key signings and draftings have earned him the same respect around the league that he had as a player.
19 Rod Strickland
Bob Rule
Zach Randolph
Nate Archibald
Point Guard
6-1/150
UTEP
Tiny, as he was known growing up, had a big game that he learned on the playgrounds of New York City. Archibald's speed and ability to convert difficult shots in the lane made him a force in the NBA. He's the only player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring and assists in the same season. As Archibald aged he lost some quickness, but continued to develop as a point guard by making smarter decisions with the ball. This maturity helped him, along with Larry Bird, win the NBA championship in 1981. When Archibald was inducted to the Hall of Fame he rented three buses to take former coaches and street ball legend friends whom he learned from to the ceremony.
20 Larry Nance
Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Paul Pressey
Gus Williams
Point Guard
6-2/175
USC
There was a battle between Gus and Larry Nance at the #20 spot. Nance had 3 all-star appearances while Williams only had 2. Nance also aged gracefully, lasting 13 seasons and scoring double figures each and every year. But in 1979 Williams was the leader of the Sonics, who no one believed would win the NBA championship. Not only did they win, but beat the Washington Bullets 4-1 in the best of 7. Williams was crucial to the championship, scoring of 26.9 points per game. This New Yorker's style of play, speed, and daring acrobatic lay-ups earned him the nickname, The Wizard. Williams has been described as a fast break waiting to happen. He was an intimidating point guard who frustrated defensives. Opposing coaches were always trying to slow down his game.
21

Jayson Williams
Billy Knight
Rajon Rondo

Michael Finley
Point Guard
6-7/215
Wisconsin
When Finley was a high school senior he won a television prize to play Michael Jordan 1 on 1. Jordan gave the young man high praise saying that one day they may meet up in the NBA. Jordan’s eye for talent was apparent as Finley took a sleepy Wisconsin program (whose best years were behind them) and began to turn them into a national force. He was pegged by many to be one of the best players in the nation, but his senior year was spent with frustration as he failed to live up to expectations. NBA teams suddenly felt Finley wasn’t the player they believed could score consistently at the pro level. But things quickly things changed, as Finley exploded with an exceptional rookie year. He’s respected by many around the league for his professionalism and provides great lock room presence.
22 Reggie Lewis
Norm Nixon
Leonard Robinson
George McGinnis
Forward
6-8/235
Indiana
Some may call McGinnis overrated, but TDR calls him the best player to ever be drafted at the 22nd pick. As a college sophomore McGinnis’ talent was evident from day one. Leading the Big Ten Conference in scoring and rebounding his first year on varsity. McGinnis promptly left college to play professionally in the ABA where he spent 4 years on with Indiana Pacers averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. McGinnis was a dominant scorer from the inside and had the soft touch to shoot from the perimeter.
23 A.C. Green
Alex English
Lloyd Free
Brian Taylor
Tayshaun Prince
Wayne Embry
Forward
6-8/240
Miami (OH)
Embry was great rebounder for his size and played the game with a no-nonsense attitude. He was a team player who did all the dirty work to make others look good, like setting picks, diving for loose balls and bringing defensive toughness. This 4 time all-star was often overshadowed by NBA legends Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas. After the retiring from the game, Embry became the first African American to become an NBA General Manager for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971.
24 Arvydas Sabonis
Latrell Sprewell
Sam Cassell
Terry Porter
Point Guard
6-3/195
Wis.-Stevens Point
Porter snuck up on the draft charts after an All-American career at NAIA school Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Amazingly, the Trailblazers almost lost Porter two picks earlier. The Milwaukee Bucks were poised to take the hometown product, but ultimately choose Louisiana State’s Jerry Reynolds, who they initially thought would be unavailable at draft time. The Bucks were so certain that they were going to draft Porter that he spent the evening of the draft at the club’s draft headquarters as their guest. Porter shook off the disappointment and rewarded the Trailblazers with savvy defense and steady play at the point guard position. He became a key member of Portland’s two NBA finals appearances and also earned 2 All-Star trips. Jerry Reynolds never came close to making an All-Star team.
25 John Drew
Gerald Wallace
Mark Price
Point Guard
6-0/170
Georgia Tech
Price was one of the hardest workers to ever play basketball and a true gym rat in every sense of the word. His career almost ended in 1990 after he tore his ACL. In today’s world, ACL injuries aren’t as serious as back in the 90s, which at the time meant the death of an athlete’s career. But Price dedicated himself to rehab, made his way back to the NBA, and regained his role as one of the game’s most dangerous three point shooters. After several years as one of the NBA’s top point guard injuries began to take a toll. It severely hindered Prices’ durability to play an 82 game schedule.
26 Kevin Martin
Jerome Williams
Samuel Dalembert
Vlade Divac
Center
7-1/245
(Serbia)
Back in 1989 when Divac was drafted, the NBA philosophy regarding international players was damaged to say the least. With the frustration of not getting Arvidas Sabonis through the Russian red tape, and the failure of Georgi Glouchkov to live up to the immense hype, the stock on international players wasn’t very high. When the LA Lakers selected Divac not many people took it serious until he started to play. Fundamentally, Divac was ahead of many college centers in the United States, but what really set Divac apart was his high basketball IQ and passing ability. He may be the most beloved athlete of Serbia, and some have said that if he ever ran for president he would probably win by a landside.
27 Rudy Gobert
Elden Campbell
Dennis Rodman
Power Forward
6-8/210
SE Oklahoma St.
Rodman may be the game’s most controversial and entertaining player ever. He turned simple dirty work skills, such as rebounding and defense, and made them look beautiful. Rodman is also one of the greatest winners and was easily one of the most important pieces on 5 championships with Chicago and Detroit. Without him it would be highly doubtful that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen would have doubled the three-peat.
28 Sherman Douglas
Dan Roundfield
Tony Parker
Point Guard
6-2/180
(France)
Parker exploded in the 2000 Nike Hoop Summit with up 20 points, 7 assists and 2 steals. NBA teams immediately jotted his name down but figured it would still be a couple of years before Parker made an impact overseas. He returned home to enjoy a highly successful campaign in his second season with Paris Racing Club, but many were surprised when he declared for the draft. Parker had a number of workouts, but there was little draft buzz and few teams appeared to be seriously interested. As the last pick in the 1st round of the 2001 NBA draft, the Spurs stole one of the best point guards in the league with nothing more than a raised eyebrow from draft commentators and minimal fanfare.
29 Eddie Johnson
Josh Howard
P.J. Brown
Dennis Johnson
Point Guard
6-4/185
Pepperdine
The late Dennis Johnson was a tremendous perimeter defender whose extremely long arms and aggressiveness made him a terror to opposing guards. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish get much respect, but the Celtics struggled to win the Championship again until Johnson joined them in 1984.
30 Jimmy Butler
Spencer Haywood
David Lee
Gilbert Arenas
Point Guard
6-4/215
Arizona
Arenas is one of the biggest steals in recent history. He left Arizona after his sophomore year with many questions regarding his game. Pro teams wondered if Arenas was a tweener, as he played shooting guard in college and didn’t really show the play making ability to lead a team. Those questions now seem foolish, but at the time it was the main reason why Arenas didn’t get drafted in the first round. The talented Spencer Haywood would have been by TDR at the #30 spot if it weren’t for the weird circumstances surrounding his drafting. In 1971, Haywood was already playing for the Seattle Supersonics after spending a year in the ABA. The Buffalo Braves’ newly formed franchise selected him anyhow; claiming that Seattle’s signing of Haywood undermined the NBA draft process. For those that don’t remember Haywood, he is the first in basketball history to become an underclassman to pursue a professional career.
31

Ruben Patterson
Danny Ainge

Glenn Rivers
Point Guard
6-4/185
Marquette
Rivers spent most of his career setting up Dominique Wilkins and was a quality defender for his position. If there was anything that Rivers wasn't efficient at, it was his average perimeter shooting. Sadly, various injuries prevented him from being able to play a full season towards the end of his career. At the height of his career Rivers was a dependable and efficient point guard who coaches loved to have on their team. Rivers is now an NBA coach.
32 Rashard Lewis Bill Bridges
Power Forward
6-6/230
Kansas
Bridges was an undersized power forward even for his time, but was a dominant force in the low post. He made his living rebounding and cleaning up around the basket on put-backs and lay-ups. Bridges wasn't much of an offensive force, but did possess a decent hook shot he used shoot over bigger opponents. This rugged forward had some of the best hands in basketball history. Rashard Lewis could end up taking his spot on the board depending on how his career finishes. Lewis has made great strides since being drafted out of high school and is now in his prime.
33 Eric Money
Grant Long
Kevin Duckworth
Hassan Whiteside
Center
7-0/235
Marshall
Whiteside left school much to the dismay of many who felt that his promising freshmen season needs to built upon so that he can be a lottery pick. Whiteside felt compelled to go and was drafted by the Sacramento Kings. Because of the raw and still emerging skill level Whiteside was sent down to the NBDL. After that stop in foreign basketball leagues of Lebanon and China Whiteside was a basketball gypsy. After signing with the Miami Heat Whiteside started to show some of the athleticism and shot blocking ability that many hoped when he was selected out of college. Since his emergence Whiteside has become a constant league leader in blocked shots and rebounding.
34 Norm Van Lier Carlos Boozer
Power Forward
6-9/260
Duke
No one can deny Norm Van Lier's defensive ability and playmaking, but Carlos Boozer has clearly made every NBA team look foolish for passing him by in the first round of the 2002 NBA Draft. Although Van Lier has played more seasons, Boozer's play in Utah has solidified his place among the NBA's top power forwards. It was hard to pass on Van Lier, but something tells me that Boozer will continue to etch his name as the best 34th pick in NBA draft history.
35 DeAndre Jordan
Happy Hairston
Derek Smith
Rick Mahorn
Draymond Green
Power Forward
6-6/230
Michigan State
Few picks in NBA history have been picked with less perceived potential or expectation. Unlike rival 35th pick DeAndre Jordan who was viewed with potential. Green upside was viewed limited and his expected impact was that of a bench player. By his second year Green has transformed himself as a totally different player than what he showed during his 4 years at Michigan State. A versatile defender capable of legitimately guarding every position. Player like Green show that no matter all the tools scouting is an inexact science.
36 Cliff Robinson
Bob Love
Maurice Cheeks
Point Guard
6-1/180
West Texas St.
Cheeks was a great point guard, but fans and media sometimes fail to bring up his name when discussing the best point guards. Few at his position would have been able to keep everyone happy on that great scoring, 1983 championship 76ers team. Defensively, Cheeks was a terror who could pick and disrupt most guards. He was also a quiet leader who preferred to let his game do the talking for him. Nonetheless, Cheeks always seemed to rise to another level when the play-offs began.
37 Archie Clark
Nick Van Exel
Don Ohl
Guard
6-3/190
Illinois
Forgotten as he might be over the past few decades, Ohl was a tremendous player. He was a very skilled offensively and made 5 straight all-star appearances from 1963-1967. After being drafted by the NBA, Ohl played for the NIBL's Peoria Cats. Later, the Detroit Pistons spotted him and were able to offer him a contract on the spot. Many that played during his time have called Ohl one of the best perimeter shooters of their era. Had Ohl not been a factor at #37, Archie Clark and Nick Van Exel are notables who would have battled for this selection.
38 Chandler Parsons
Doug West
Louie Dampier
Guard
6-0/175
Kentucky
I know that this selection may lead some NBA purists to call for my head on a plate, but considering the other candidates (and mainly my own opinion), Louie Dampier wins the spot. One of the challenges in this Fantasy Draft is contrasting eras, especially ABA careers vs. NBA accomplishments. Dampier's 12 year career only consisted of 2 years in the NBA, so in order to get a true feel for who is worthy of this pick, I had to compared playing styles in today's NBA with the three candidates. Despite playing almost 32 years ago, the ABA's style of play lives on in today's NBA with the fast break offense and three-point shooting. Comparing Dampier to Steve Kerr is uncanny on many levels. Until someone else comes along, I am satisfied with Dampier here at #38. Doug West and Steve Blake provided little competition in my mind.
39 Khris Middleton
Al Attles
Kevin Porter
Guard
6-0/170
St. Francis (PA)
Porter is the former record holder of the most assists in one game with 29. Unfortunately, he is one of the most forgotten guards in the history of the game. Despite his positives in passing and quick hands on defensive to get easy steals, Porter was disruptive with many of his former coaches as he was a very independent, and to some degree, uncoachable player. At times he would make unsound basketball decisions and look for the pass too much. I'm not going say he was a number watcher, but Porter was often known as a selfish assist man looking only to pad his totals even at the team's expense. Al Attles was also a steal at this pick as not many were aware of this talented guard. Vince Miller, a close friend of Wilt Chamberlain who played on the Philadelphia Warriors, talked to the team's General Manager, Eddie Gottlieb, in order to get Attles drafted.
40 Wayne Cooper
Monta Ellis
Robert Reid
Clifford Ray
George Gervin
Guard
6-7/180
Eastern Michigan
Gervin may be one of the most electrifying scorers in NBA history. His height and patented Finger Roll move made Gervin virtually unguardable on most nights. Although some have foolishly argued that he was one dimensional, those pundits should remind themselves that few did any one thing better than Gervin. His role was to score, and after a career that spanned 4 seasons in the ABA and 10 in the NBA, Gervin finished with a total of 26,595 career points (20,708 of those points were in NBA competition).
41

Nikola Jokic
Otis Smith
Bobby Simmons
T.R. Dunn
Ronald Murray

Cuttino Mobley
Shooting Guard
6-4/210
Rhode Island
Mobley was one of the toughest picks to decide thus far because Bobby Simmons, T.R. Dunn, and Otis Smith were all great competition. Dunn was a tremendous perimeter defender with quick hands, while Simmons and Smith had great all around skills. In the end I selected Mobley as the deserving player despite his negatives. He was surprise draftee and few thought he was anything more than a mid-level overseas player, but 9 seasons later Mobley is still providing steady scoring for the LA Clippers.
42 Daniel Gibson
Matt Geiger
Stephen Jackson
Shooting Guard
6-8/220
Butler County C.C.
Jackson was a top ranked national recruit in 1996 and played in the McDonald's All-American game with future pros Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O'Neal and Mike Bibby. Jackson was signed and sealed to Arizona, but his ACT score prevented him from entering college. Butler County Community College was the alternative but he didn't play, so in a sense, Jackson was drafted off his high school merits. After bouncing around a few minor leagues he became a solid player capable of proving big scoring when his shot is dropping. In a few years Daniel Gibson may take Jackson's spot as all time best at #42.
43 Johnny Moore
Phil Jordon
Predrag Danilovic
Eric Snow
Michael Redd
Shooting Guard
6-6/210
Ohio State
Redd was a dominant scorer in college that many pegged as a first rounder. Then questions quickly arose regarding his defensive ability, and more importantly, his streaky perimeter shooting. Through hard work Redd has surprisingly become a big time scorer from the perimeter. I consider Redd the best player to come out of the 2000 NBA Draft.
44 Clemon Johnson
Malik Rose
Dave Robisch
Power Forward
6-10/235
Kansas
Many Kansas Jayhawks fans consider Robisch one of the school's finest players. He began his pro career in the ABA prior to the NBA merger. Robisch never became the standout player that he was in college, but was a dependable power forward. Clemon Johnson deserves honorable mention here. Had he played in today's NBA there's no doubt Johnson would have been a full-time starter.
45 Antonio Davis
John Williams
Bobby Phills
Bobby Dandridge
Forward
6-6/195
Norfolk St.
Danridge is easily one of the most underrated forwards to ever play the game. The 4-time all-star was often overshadowed by superstar teammates like as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson in Milwaukee, and again with the Washington Bullets frontcourt duo Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld. Danridge was a great team player whose accomplishments on the court were so significant that he beat out Antonio Davis for this #45 spot (but Davis comes in a very close second).
46 Jerome Kersey
James Edwards
Voshon Lenard
Jeff Hornacek
Shooting Guard
6-4/210
Iowa St.
Hornacek was a self made player, another example of the motto that practice makes the player. He was a walk on at Iowa State and eventually earned a scholarship. He didn't have many physical gifts but was still an achiever on the court. Despite his lack of athleticism and average height for a shooting guard, Hornacek's craftiness and ability to adjust to every game situation made his weaknesses a non-issue most of the time. The other serious candidate at #46 was Jerome Kersey. Despite his jaw dropping athleticism, Kersey was extremely raw coming out of Longwood, which at the time was a NAIA institution.
47 Gerald Wilkins
Craig Ehlo
Vernon Maxwell
Paul Millsap
Power Forward
6-7/250
Louisiana Tech
Millsap along with Draymond Green has become the blueprint for every power forward in the NBA. The four time all-star has everything you need in today's NBA with defensive versatility, three point shooting range and tough rebounding. A far cry coming out of college where despite leading the national in rebounding 3 straight years Millsap was viewed as too small and limited offensively to make a true impact at the NBA level.
48 Cedric Ceballos
Isaac Austin
Mike Gale
Marc Gasol
Center
7-1/270
Akasvayu Girona (Spain)
Gasol has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt is one of the best big men in the NBA. With three all-star appearances during his six seasons Gasol is one of the best picks ever at this spot. Originally I had Ceballos but towards the end of his career his accomplishments began to diminish and many labeled him a prima donna.
49 Andray Blatche
Kyle O'Quinn
Forfeited If it were not for the off court behavior of Auburn's "Fast" Eddie Johnson (from the 1977 NBA Draft), he would have been selected at #49. TDR forfeits this pick as Johnson's accomplishments as a basketball player are null and void, seriously overshadowed by charges of child molestation, rape, and burglary. There was initially some confusion in the media, as there is another Eddie Johnson that came out of Illinois in the 1981 NBA Draft.
50 Steve Kerr
Ryan Gomes
Larry Kenon
Forward
6-9/205
Memphis St.
Kenon was a tremendous athlete known much of career as a vicious dunker and flashy one handed rebounder. The 2-time NBA all-star made the transition from the ABA with teammate and NBA Top 50 player George Gervin. Many say that Kenon is the most successful professional player from Memphis State. Steve Kerr and Ryan Gomes are more recent 50th picks to make an impact in the NBA.
51 Lawrence Funderburke
Tony Smith
Kyle Korver
Small Forward
6-8/210
Creighton
Korver is well regarded by many to be one of the NBA’s most talented perimeter shooters. In college, some felt he could wind up in the early to mid second round portion of the draft, which is why many were surprised when he was selected at #51. Since then Korver has impressed with his court awareness and passing ability. His biggest flaws appear to be defense and creating off the dribble. Despite all this, one thing remains certain, shooters like Korver will always have a place in the NBA.
52 Fred Hoiberg Donald Royal
Small Forward
6-8/213
Notre Dame
Royal wasn’t always a great team player but possessed one of the best first steps in the NBA during his prime. This offensive ability enabled him to earn a living driving to the basket. What truly limited Royal’s impact was his below average ball handling and poor perimeter shooting. Some may point to Hoiberg as the best pick at this selection, but his biggest contributions were during the Bulls' mediocre years. Secondly, other parts of Hoiberg’s game left quite a bit to be desired. Royal is credited with great contributions to the Magic during Shaquille O’Neal’s and Anfernee Hardaway’s reign.
53 Greg Buckner Anthony Mason
Power Forward
6-7/250
Tennessee State
After Mason spent a year in Turkey he bounced around a few times between NBA teams and minor leagues before landing in New York in 1991. It was with the Knicks that Mason really began to bloom. Physically, he had a unique body that was not only strong but very mobile. The Knicks would often put him at power forward and basically allow him to run the offense. Despite playing at 250 pounds, Mason dribbled and passed better than a good portion of guards. But regardless of his talent, Mason's biggest detriment was with off court issues that led to several suspensions.
54 Shandon Anderson
Zelko Rebraca
Sam Mitchell
Small Forward
6-6/210
Mercer
Mitchell is living proof that success happens through hard work and persistence. He was drafted in 1985, but had to fight and scratch though various minor leagues to prove his worth. It wasn’t until the 1989 NBA season that Mitchell finally got into the league. The short on talent, newly formed Timberwolves gave Mitchell the one thing few thought he would ever have - an opportunity. After finally getting his big break, he never let it go and played in the league for 13 seasons. Mitchell possessed a great basketball IQ and was known as a great locker room guy.
55 Mark Blount
Patrick Mills
Kenny Gattison
Power Forward
6-7/220
Old Dominion
Old Dominion’s Gattison was one of the most respected players in the league. Physically, there is little he wouldn’t do, whether it was setting tough screens, diving on the floor, or rebounding over bigger opponents. Although Gattison’s reckless style didn't shorten his career, he was unable to play a full season of games towards the end. Some may argue that Mark Blount should have been chosen as the best pick at #55, but a glue guy like Gattison who loved competition will always get the nod over a player like Blount who plays for the check.
56 Amir Johnson
Luis Scola
Mickey Johnson
Power Forward
6-10/190
Aurora
Coming out of little known Aurora College, Mickey Johnson became one of the NBA's most versatile players. Basketball was just a hobby to Johnson, so attending Aurora (home to 600 students where half of them lived off campus) was no big deal. But once teams started to look at the stat sheet, Johnson’s name kept popping up. After the draft he continued to impress, as his versatile playing ability quickly endeared him with NBA teams. Johnson's ability to play multi-positions was so impressive that his teammates gave him the nickname “Mr. Utility”.
57 Frank Brickowski
Marcin Gortat
Manu Ginobili
Shooting Guard
6-8/210
(Italy)
The San Antonio Spurs once again proved to the basketball community that luck plays a part in draft day steals. In 1999 Ginobili was taken as the second to last pick with very little fanfare. As a matter of fact, after his name was announced, no one on the NBA Draft telecast had any information on him. Three years later information was plentiful. Ginobili continued to raise his ability and went on to develop his talent as one of Europe’s best players. Since joining the Spurs in 2002 Manu has made an immediate impact with his clutch shooting and savvy play. His success has served as a model for other NBA teams in picking up international players late in the draft and working to develop them overseas.
58 Henry Bibby
Don Reid
Kurt Rambis
Power Forward
6-8/213
Santa Clara
Rambis was drafted by New York, but the LA Lakers were the ones to benefit. After Rambis was cut from the Knicks, the rookie free agent showed up for the 1981 Lakers, but not many took notice. Rambis wasn’t a gifted scorer but fit well into the fast break oriented offense. More importantly, he gave the Lakers something they didn’t have a lot of - defensive toughness. Rambis quickly became an integral part of the team and contributed for years. He became a fan favorite because of his hustle and quirky style with his big black glasses and thick mustache. His playing style and appearance led many in the media to dub him Superman’s alter ego, “Clark Kent". Rambis had a 14 year NBA career surviving off hustle and determination...impressive.
59 Red Robbins
George Carter
Pat Cummings
Power Forward
6-9/230
Cincinnati
Noted for his great shooting touch, Cummings had a very productive pro career, 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1991. Cummings was drafted in 1978 by the Milwaukee Bucks as a junior eligible draftee (this was due to the fact that the talented power forward broke his leg in his junior season and had to sit out a year), but Cummings immediately returned to college for his final season. As a pro, nagging leg injuries quickly reduced Cummings effectiveness on the court, but for a span of 5 years he was one of the league’s most dependable starters.
60 Drazen Petrovic
Woody Sauldsberry
Michael Cooper
Isaiah Thomas
Point Guard
5-9/185
Washington
At pick #60 the candidates were impressive. Interestingly, Cooper and Sauldsberry were complete opposites to Petrovic. Both were noted for their defense and toughness, while Petrovic was an offensive genius capable of capturing great admiration for how he scored. In the end Petrovic’s career was short, which is why Thomas should be over him. As a player he might have been better but longevity matters and Thomas has been a consistent force in not just Boston but the moment he entered the league. Despite his size he remains a very hard player to keep from creating offensively. Make no mistake the Celtics rise starts with Thomas. Without him they would be anywhere near the team they are now.

 

 

 

Comments  

 
0 #2 Ball till I fall 2009-07-05 08:11
Jerry West Over Bill Russell is no comparison fool.... Bill Russell is head and shoulders over West. Learn basketball before you come in here and talk ...
 
 
0 #1 John 2009-07-04 10:46
Laughing at how he could miss Jerry West at number 2, the best shooter of all time.
 

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