Few things in the NBA can change a franchise’s destiny like a No. 1 overall draft pick, but that’s not always a good thing. For every Tim Duncan who can carry the team for more than a decade, there’s a Michael Olowokandi who can’t even stay in the league for a decade.
The latest top prospect to get his chance to sink or swim as a pro is Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, chosen No. 1 by the Hornets last week. It’s much too early to tell what Davis’ NBA future looks like, but after his magnificent season in Lexington, the Hornets have good reason to hope that he will turn out to be the best player in the 2012 draft class.
Read on for a look at Davis and the rest of the last decade of No. 1 overall selections, with an eye both to their NBA performance and to how badly their teams might have wished for a do-over with the advantages of draft-class hindsight.