Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls' No. 1 overall pick from the 2008 NBA draft, is a special young superstar. Only 23, he won the 2011 NBA MVP award and is an All-NBA-level point guard. The Bulls' hometown hero will be injured for most of the 2012-2013 season, but most fans believe that he will be back to dominate with a vengeance when he returns to full health.
So, how does Rose stack up against all of the other No. 1 overall draft picks since 2000? Check out this video for even more detailed analysis.
Well, it's pretty safe to say that Rose outranks the all-time No. 1 busts since the turn of the millennium.
Kwame Brown, Washington's No. 1 pick from 2001 and Michael Jordan's first (but hardly last) poor management decision, was the worst of the bunch.
Greg Oden, Portland's No. 1 pick from 2008, was a very efficient, dominant big man in the few healthy minutes he played over five seasons. But his career was derailed by injuries. Oden was a hard-working, gentle giant, and the injuries he suffered probably destroyed an All-Star career.
Rose is also much better than the No. 1 picks who turned into decent players but never lived up to their potential. Andrea Bargnani (Toronto's pick from 2006), Andrew Bogut (Milwaukee's from 2005) and Kenyon Martin from 2000 all fall firmly within this category.
Bogut also suffered from debilitating injuries, and Bucks fans saw flashes of the dominant center he could have become in between his long stints in injury rehab.
Then, it gets tougher, because Rose has some near contemporaries at the No. 1 spot who have nearly equaled his accomplishments. Rose definitely outranks John Wall, Washington's No. 1 pick in 2010, who is a very talented athlete but an erratic player. But Kyrie Irving, Cleveland's No. 1 pick from 2011, was an All-Star-level player in his first season and was the Rookie of the Year.
Nonetheless, even though Irving is more advanced now than Rose was entering his sophomore season, Rose's ability to improve dramatically in his second season, turn into an electrifying scorer and then become the youngest NBA MVP in league history puts him in a class above Irving.
It also puts him above Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers' No. 1 pick from 2009. Griffin has been an All-Star and a dominant big man, but he is more likely to win the All-Star Game dunk contest than the NBA MVP award.
After that, Rose's No. 1 comparisons since 2000 are all Hall of Fame-caliber players.
Yao Ming, Houston's No. 1 pick in 2002, was a very special center who averaged nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds, with excellent percentages over his career. He also had seven All-Star seasons before turning 30 years old.
But Ming's career was derailed by injury. He never won the NBA MVP award, and he barely got past the first round of the NBA playoffs, so its conceivable to rank Rose equal to, or ahead of, Ming right now. Likely, Rose is not quite at Ming's level over his career, but, his current injury notwithstanding, he is very likely to surpass him one day.
So, there are only two players left: LeBron James and Dwight Howard. James just won his first NBA title (to go with his three NBA MVP awards), and even his detractors now admit he is one of the top-10 best NBA players of all-time. Rose is a spectacular player and a franchise leader, but he will not get to James' level.
Rose will also have a tough time reaching Howard's level of greatness.
Orlando's center has been the best at his position for over a half decade. He's been in the top three in the NBA's MVP voting more than once, he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and he reached the 2009 NBA Finals. If Rose gets an All-Star supporting cast around him and wins multiple times while Howard stays ring-less, then that could be a debate worth having at the end of their careers.
So Derrick Rose is already the fourth-best No. 1 pick of the current millennium. That is quite impressive, especially considering he is only 23 years old! If he continues to get better and wins championships, Rose could eclipse Yao Ming and even Dwight Howard coming close to the pinnacle of his era.
Still, though, when comparing him to James, Rose will always take second place.