2011 NBA Draft: Ranking The Draft Classes Of The Last 20 Seasons

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2011

2011 NBA Draft: Ranking The Draft Classes Of The Last 20 Seasons

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    With the possible exception of John Wall, the players from the 2010 NBA Draft class have not exceeded anyone's expectations.

    If the rest of their careers resemble the way they've started, this draft class may go down as one of the worst we've seen.

    To punctuate this point, I'll add the fact that the best rookie this year wasn't even drafted in 2010.

    Obviously, there's still some time for these young players to develop, and I hope they will.  As of right now, they're one of the worst draft classes of the last 20 years.

    Let's see how the rest of the classes stack up...

20: 2000 Class

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    Best Player: Hedo Turkoglu


    Biggest Bust: Marcus Fizer


    Best Surprise: Michael Redd


    There really isn't one legitimate superstar in this entire crop.  When I have to debate whether the top player from the group was Hedo Turkoglu or Kenyon Martin, you know that pool is shallow.

    Who remembers the high hopes you had for this class?  We all thought Kenyon Martin, Stromile Swift and Darius Miles would be beasts.

    Marcus Fizer dominated at Iowa State, and Mateen Cleaves led Michigan State to a national title.  Both of those players were out of the league shortly after the start of their sixth seasons.

    If Kenyon Martin and Michael Redd could stay healthy, they may have been legitimate superstars.  Unfortunately, the dreaded injury bug has been feasting on both of them for years.

    Take a look at the picks from this draft for yourself. See if you disagree with their ranking as the worst draft class of the last 20 years.


    First Round:

    1: Kenyon Martin

    2: Stromile Swift

    3: Darius Miles

    4: Marcus Fizer

    5: Mike Miller

    6: DerMarr Johnson

    7: Chris Mihm

    8: Jamal Crawford

    9: Joel Przybilla

    10: Keyon Dooling

    11: Jerome Moiso

    12: Etan Thomas

    13: Courtney Alexander

    14: Mateen Cleaves

    15: Jason Collier

    16: Hedo Turkoglu

    17: Desmond Mason

    18: Quentin Richardson

    19: Jamaal Magloire

    20: Speedy Claxton

    21: Morris Peterson

    22: Donnell Harvey

    23: DeShawn Stevenson

    24: Dalibor Bagaric

    25: Jake Tsakalidis

    26: Mamadou N'diaye

    27: Primoz Brezec

    28: Erick Barkley

    29: Mark Madsen


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Marko Jaric, Jake Voskuhl, Eddie House, Michael Redd, Brian Cardinal

19: 1991 Class

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    Best Player: Larry Johnson


    Biggest Bust: Mark Macon


    Best Surprise: Rick Fox


    Like a lot of the early 90s drafts, many of these guys were forgotten as a result of playing in the Jordan era (no one would know who Luc Longley was had he not played for the Bulls).

    That being said, there are a few guys at the top of this first round that were great. Larry Johnson, Dikembe Mutombo and Steve Smith all had long and successful careers.

    The first round also features a couple of solid role players like Dale Davis and Rick Fox.

    As for notable second-rounders from this draft, I had to search the group with a fine-toothed comb to find someone for that part of this slide.


    First Round:

    1: Larry Johnson

    2: Kenny Anderson

    3: Billy Owens

    4: Dikembe Mutombo

    5: Steve Smith

    6: Doug Smith

    7: Luc Longley

    8: Mark Macon

    9: Stacey Augmon

    10: Bison Dele

    11: Terrell Brandon

    12: Greg Anthony

    13: Dale Davis

    14: Rich King

    15: Anthony Avent

    16: Chris Gatling

    17: Victor Alexander

    18: Kevin Brooks

    19: LaBradford Smith

    20: John Turner

    21: Eric Murdock

    22: LeRon Ellis

    23: Stanley Roberts

    24: Rick Fox

    25: Shaun Vandiver

    26: Mark Randall

    27: Pete Chilcutt


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Bobby Phills

18: 1993 Class

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    Best Player: Chris Webber


    Biggest Bust: Shawn Bradley


    Best Surprise: Nick Van Exel


    Outside of the top pick and a few solid players, this draft has a lot of no-names.

    At one time, Chris Webber was one of the best power forwards in the NBA, and may one day be on his way to the Hall of Fame.  

    After him, the pickings from this class are pretty slim.

    There are a few other solid players like Allan Houston, Jamal Mashburn and Isaiah Rider, but there also a lot of virtual no-names.

    The third overall pick, Anfernee Hardaway, could've been truly elite if injuries hadn't derailed his career.


    First Round:

    1: Chris Webber

    2: Shawn Bradley

    3: Anfernee Hardaway

    4: Jamal Mashburn

    5: Isaiah Rider

    6: Calbert Cheaney

    7: Bobby Hurley

    8: Vin Baker

    9: Rodney Rogers

    10: Lindsey Hunter

    11: Allan Houston

    12: George Lynch

    13: Terry Dehere

    14: Scott Haskin

    15: Doug Edwards

    16: Rex Walters

    17: Greg Graham

    18: Luther Wright

    19: Acie Earl

    20: Scott Burrell

    21: James Robinson

    22: Chris Mills

    23: Ervin Johnson

    24: Sam Cassell

    25: Corie Blount

    26: Geert Hammink

    27: Malcolm Mackey


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Gheorghe Muresan, Nick Van Exel, Bryon Russell

17: 2010 Class

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    Best Player: John Wall


    Biggest Bust: To Be Determined


    Best Surprise: Landry Fields


    The verdict is still out on well, everybody in this year's draft class.  So far, they've been underwhelming at best.

    If I was forced to pick the biggest bust right now, I'd have to say Evan Turner.  Right now, he just doesn't look cut out to compete on this level.  However, he has plenty of time to prove me wrong.

    Others who have not made as much of an impact as expected include: Greg Monroe, Gordon Hayward, and Derrick Favors (though in these players cases, you can easily blame that on a lack of minutes).

    Take a look and tell me who else in this group can still become a star.


    First Round:

    1: John Wall

    2: Evan Turner

    3: Derrick Favors

    4: Wesley Johnson

    5: DeMarcus Cousins

    6: Ekpe Udoh

    7: Greg Monroe

    8: Al-Farouq Aminu

    9: Gordon Hayward

    10: Paul George

    11: Cole Aldrich

    12: Xavier Henry

    13: Ed Davis

    14: Patrick Patterson

    15: Larry Sanders

    16: Luke Babbit

    17: Kevin Seraphin

    18: Eric Bledsoe

    19: Avery Bradley

    20: James Anderson

    21: Craig Brackins

    22: Elliot Williams

    23: Trevor Booker

    24: Damion James

    25: Dominique Jones

    26: Quincy Pondexter

    27: Jordan Crawford

    28: Greivis Vasquez

    29: Daniel Orton

    30: Lazar Hayward


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Landry Fields, Luke Harangody, Gary Neal

16: 2001 Class

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    Best Player: Pau Gasol


    Biggest Bust: Kwame Brown


    Best Surprise: Tony Parker


    The top pick of the 2001 Draft may go down as the biggest bust of all-time.

    The first pick is almost always looked at as a potential franchise-savior, and Kwame Brown obviously did not become that.  He has some competition for biggest bust of all-time, but he's up there.

    This class has a good amount of solid players who were taken later in the draft.  Guys like Richard Jefferson, Zach Randolph, Gerald Wallace and Tony have exceeded the expectations of many.

    There are a lot of solid role players in this bunch as well.


    First Round:

    1: Kwame Brown

    2: Tyson Chandler

    3: Pau Gasol

    4: Eddy Curry

    5: Jason Richardson

    6: Shane Battier

    7: Eddie Griffin

    8: DeSagana Diop

    9: Rodney White

    10: Joe Johnson

    11: Kedrick Brown

    12: Vladimir Radmanovic

    13: Richard Jefferson

    14: Troy Murphy

    15: Steven Hunter

    16: Kirk Haston

    17: Michael Bradley

    18: Jason Collins

    19: Zach Randolph

    20: Brendan Haywood

    21: Joseph Forte

    22: Jeryl Sasser

    23: Brandon Armstrong

    24: Raul Lopez

    25: Gerald Wallace

    26: Samuel Dalembert

    27: Jamaal Tinsley

    28: Tony Parker


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Gilbert Arenas, Brian Scalabrine, Mehmet Okur, Earl Watson

15: 2006 Class

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    Best Player: LaMarcus Aldridge


    Biggest Bust: Adam Morrison (by no fault of his own)


    Best Surprise: Rajon Rondo


    This draft had some gems, but it's also rife with disappointments.

    Although I've argued that Adam Morrison never got a fair shot after the Bobcats, he's certainly produced less than a third overall pick should.

    Other disappointments include Shelden Williams, Patrick O'Bryant and Mouhamed Sene.

    But enough with the negatives, this year had some great players at the top and the bottom of the first round (and one in the second round).

    I put Rondo in the slot for "Best Surprise" because I doubt anyone expected him to be putting up these kind of assist numbers, but you could easily make a case for Paul Millsap deserving that honor.


    First Round:

    1: Andrea Bargnani

    2: LaMarcus Aldridge

    3: Adam Morrison

    4: Tyrus Thomas

    5: Shelden Williams

    6: Brandon Roy

    7: Randy Foye

    8: Rudy Gay

    9: Patrick O'Bryant

    10: Mouhamed Sene

    11: J.J. Redick

    12: Hilton Armstrong

    13: Thabo Sefolosha

    14: Ronnie Brewer

    15: Cedric Simmons

    16: Rodney Carney

    17: Shawne Williams

    18: Oleksiy Pecherov

    19: Quincy Douby

    20: Renaldo Balkman

    21: Rajon Rondo

    22: Marcus Williams

    23: Josh Boone

    24: Kyle Lowry

    25: Shannon Brown

    26: Jordan Farmar

    27: Sergio Rodriguez

    28: Maurice Ager

    29: Mardy Collins

    30: Joel Freeland


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Daniel Gibson, Paul Millsap

14: 2007 Class

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    Best Player: Kevin Durant


    Biggest Bust: Brandan Wright


    Best Surprise: Marc Gasol


    The biggest discussion of this draft will always be Oden going before Durant.  With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy for all of us to say we would've taken Durant.  

    However, if we put ourselves in the position of the Blazers brass of the time, we might understand how enticing the prospect of a potential franchise center can be.

    Outside of those two, this class has also produced several solid players who may still be on the rise.

    Guys like Al Horford, Jeff Green, Nick Young, Wilson Chandler and Aaron Brooks could all be all-stars at some point in there careers (Horford could be this season).


    First Round:

    1: Greg Oden

    2: Kevin Durant

    3: Al Horford

    4: Mike Conley

    5: Jeff Green

    6: Yi Jianlian

    7: Corey Brewer

    8: Brandan Wright

    9: Joakim Noah

    10: Spencer Hawes

    11: Acie Law

    12: Thaddeus Young

    13: Julian Wright

    14: Al Thornton

    15: Rodney Stuckey

    16: Nick Young

    17: Sean Williams

    18: Marco Belinelli

    19: Javaris Crittenton

    20: Jason Smith

    21: Daequan Cook

    22: Jared Dudley

    23: Wilson Chandler

    24: Rudy Fernandez

    25: Morris Almond

    26: Aaron Brooks

    27: Arron Afflalo

    28: Tiago Splitter

    29: Alando Tucker

    30: Petteri Koponen


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Carl Landry, Glen Davis, Marc Gasol, Ramon Sessions

13: 1992 Class

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    Best Player: Shaquille O'Neal


    Biggest Bust: Adam Keefe


    Best Surprise: Latrell Sprewell


    This year gave the league some elite big men.  

    Christian Laettner and Tom Gugliotta were both very solid for a time, and Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning will both be in the Hall of Fame.

    After that, there are a few solid players like LaPhonso Ellis, Latrell Sprewell and Bryant Stith, but not much else.

    The dominance of Shaq brings this group's rank up a bit, but they're certainly not top 10.

    Take a look at the picks, and tell me if you think they belong higher than where they are.


    First Round:

    1: Shaquille O'Neal

    2: Alonzo Mourning

    3: Christian Laettner

    4: Jim Jackson

    5: LaPhonso Ellis

    6: Tom Gugliotta

    7: Walt Williams

    8: Todd Day

    9: Clarence Weatherspoon

    10: Adam Keefe

    11: Robert Horry

    12: Harold Miner

    13: Bryant Stith

    14: Malik Sealy

    15: Anthony Peeler

    16: Randy Woods

    17: Doug Christie

    18: Tracy Murray

    19: Don MacLean

    20: Hubert Davis

    21: Jon Barry

    22: Oliver Miller

    23: Lee Mayberry

    24: Latrell Sprewell

    25: Elmore Spencer

    26: Dave Johnson

    27: Byron Houston


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: P.J. Brown

12: 1995 Class

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    Best Player: Kevin Garnett


    Biggest Bust: Joe Smith


    Best Surprise: Theo Ratliff


    This class features a few great players, and a lot of flops.

    Kevin Garnett is a surefire Hall of Famer, and Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Michael Finley and several others were all stars at one time.

    There are also several solid role players to be found in this class (including the top pick).

    Rasheed Wallace and Damon Stoudamire may end up being known for their attitudes and their place among the "JailBlazers", but they were both very talented players.

    Check out the picks of 1995 and see if you agree with where I've ranked them.


    First Round:

    1: Joe Smith

    2: Antonio McDyess

    3: Jerry Stackhouse

    4: Rasheed Wallace

    5: Kevin Garnett

    6: Bryant Reeves

    7: Damon Stoudamire

    8: Shawn Respert

    9: Ed O'Bannon

    10: Kurt Thomas

    11: Gary Trent

    12: Cherokee Parks

    13: Corliss Williamson

    14: Eric Williams

    15: Brent Barry

    16: Alan Henderson

    17: Bob Sura

    18: Theo Ratliff

    19: Randolph Childress

    20: Jason Caffey

    21: Michael Finley

    22: George Zidek

    23: Travis Best

    24: Loren Meyer

    25: David Vaughn

    26: Sherell Ford

    27: Mario Bennett

    28: Greg Ostertag

    29: Cory Alexander


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Eric Snow

11: 2002 Class

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    Best Player: Amare Stoudemire


    Biggest Bust: Nikoloz Tskitishvili


    Best Surprise: Carlos Boozer


    Arguably the best player in this draft came out of the second round.  What does that tell you about the first round?

    Well, that it wasn't great.  However, it wasn't terrible either.

    When Yao Ming was healthy, was easily one of the best centers in the NBA.  He was probably the best player over 7'3" in history.  It's unfortunate we may never see him play again.

    There are a couple of real superstars in this bunch, and a handful of guys who had one or two good seasons.


    First Round:

    1: Yao Ming

    2: Jay Williams

    3: Mike Dunleavy

    4: Drew Gooden

    5: Nikoloz Tskitishvili

    6: Dajuan Wagner

    7: Nene Hilario

    8: Chris Wilcox

    9: Amare Stoudemire

    10: Caron Butler

    11: Jared Jeffries

    12: Melvin Ely

    13: Marcus Haislip

    14: Fred Jones

    15: Bostjan Nachbar

    16: Jiri Welsch

    17: Juan Dixon

    18: Curtis Borchardt

    19: Ryan Humphrey

    20: Kareem Rush

    21: Qyntel Woods

    22: Casey Jacobsen

    23: Tayshaun Prince

    24: Nenad Krstic

    25: Frank Williams

    26: John Salmons

    27: Chris Jefferies

    28: Dan Dickau


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Roger Mason, Carlos Boozer, Matt Barnes, Rasual Butler, Luis Scola

10: 1998 Class

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    Best Player: Dirk Nowitzki


    Biggest Bust: Michael Olowokandi


    Best Surprise: Rashard Lewis


    This class features a serious contender for biggest bust of all-time.  After that, there are several superstars and even a few future Hall of Famers.

    Michael Olowokandi is obviously the biggest bust in this group, and many would argue he is the biggest bust of all-time.

    Mike Bibby, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter and Al Harrington have all had very good careers.  Plus, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce will almost certainly be in the Hall of Fame one day.

    This year also had one of the best second rounds of the last 20 years.


    First Round:

    1: Michael Olowokandi

    2: Mike Bibby

    3: Raef LaFrentz

    4: Antawn Jamison

    5: Vince Carter

    6: Robert Traylor

    7: Jason Williams

    8: Larry Hughes

    9: Dirk Nowitzki

    10: Paul Pierce

    11: Bonzi Wells

    12: Michael Doleac

    13: Keon Clark

    14: Michael Dickerson

    15: Matt Harpring

    16: Bryce Drew

    17: Rasho Nesterovic

    18: Mirsad Turkcan

    19: Pat Garrity

    20: Roshown McLeod

    21: Ricky Davis

    22: Brian Skinner

    23: Tyronn Lue

    24: Felipe Lopez

    25: Al Harrington

    26: Sam Jacobsen

    27: Vladimir Stepania

    28: Corey Benjamin

    29: Nazr Mohammed


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Ruben Patterson, Rashard Lewis, Rafer Alston, Cuttino Mobley

9: 1997 Class

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    Best Player: Tim Duncan


    Biggest Bust: Tony Battie


    Best Surprise: Stephen Jackson


    1997's draft featured one of the greatest forwards of all-time.  Tim Duncan has led his team to four championships.  

    He also finished in the top ten in MVP voting in each of his first 11 seasons.  There is no doubt he'll be in the Hall of Fame.

    The guy selected after him had a fantastic start to his career, but for some reason, basically fell off the NBA map after a few years.

    Other players from this draft who have had great careers include Chauncey Billups, Tracy McGrady and Stephen Jackson.


    First Round:

    1: Tim Duncan

    2: Keith Van Horn

    3: Chauncey Billups

    4: Antonio Daniels

    5: Tony Battie

    6: Ron Mercer

    7: Tim Thomas

    8: Adonal Foyle

    9: Tracy McGrady

    10: Danny Fortson

    11: Tariq Abdul-Wahad

    12: Austin Croshere

    13: Derek Anderson

    14: Maurice Taylor

    15: Kelvin Cato

    16: Brevin Knight

    17: Johnny Taylor

    18: Chris Anstey

    19: Scott Pollard

    20: Paul Grant

    21: Anthony Parker

    22: Ed Gray

    23: Bobby Jackson

    24: Rodrick Rhodes

    25: John Thomas

    26: Charles Smith

    27: Jacque Vaughn

    28: Keith Booth


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Stephen Jackson

8: 2004 Class

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    Best Player: Dwight Howard


    Biggest Bust: Rafael Araujo


    Best Surprise: Kevin Martin


    So far, this class has only produced one legitimate superstar.

    However, they have produced a strong group of players who have become major contributors for their team.

    Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Devin Harris, Al Jefferson and Andre Iguodala have all been the best players on their teams at some point in their careers.

    You can also add Kevin Martin to that list, who is also the best surprise of this draft.  He has developed into one of the best pure scorers in the NBA.

    All that, plus Dwight Howard will go down as one of the greatest rebounders of all-time.


    First Round:

    1: Dwight Howard

    2: Emeka Okafor

    3: Ben Gordon

    4: Shaun Livingston

    5: Devin Harris

    6: Josh Childress

    7: Luol Deng

    8: Rafael Araujo

    9: Andre Iguodala

    10: Luke Jackson

    11: Andris Biedrins

    12: Robert Swift

    13: Sebastian Telfair

    14: Kris Humphries

    15: Al Jefferson

    16: Kirk Snyder

    17: Josh Smith

    18: J.R. Smith

    19: Dorell Wright

    20: Jameer Nelson

    21: Pavel Podkolzin

    22: Viktor Khryapa

    23: Sergei Monia

    24: Delonte West

    25: Tony Allen

    26: Kevin Martin

    27: Sasha Vujacic

    28: Beno Udrih

    29: David Harrison


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Anderson Varejao, Chris Duhon, Trevor Ariza

7: 1994 Class

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    Best Player: Jason Kidd


    Biggest Bust: Sharone Wright


    Best Surprise: Wesley Person


    This year features a fantastic top three.  

    Glenn Robinson was great for years, and Grant Hill and Jason Kidd are both all-time greats and future Hall of Famers.

    The two players selected second and third respectively, were engaged in one of the best Rookie of the Year races ever during the 1994-1995 season.  

    They wound up sharing the award that year.

    Other solid players from this group include Eddie Jones, Jalen Rose and Wesley Person.


    First Round:

    1: Glenn Robinson

    2: Jason Kidd

    3: Grant Hill

    4: Donyell Marshall

    5: Juwan Howard

    6: Sharone Wright

    7: Lamond Murray

    8: Brian Grant

    9: Eric Montross

    10: Eddie Jones

    11: Carlos Rogers

    12: Khalid Reeves

    13: Jalen Rose

    14: Yinka Dare

    15: Eric Piatkowski

    16: Clifford Rozier

    17: Aaron McKie

    18: Eric Mobley

    19: Tony Dumas

    20: B.J. Tyler

    21: Dickey Simpkins

    22: Bill Curley

    23: Wesley Person

    24: Monty Williams

    25: Greg Minor

    26: Charlie Ward

    27: Brooks Thompson


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Howard Eisley, Voshon Lenard

6: 1999 Class

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    Best Player: Manu Ginobili


    Biggest Bust: Jonathan Bender


    Best Surprise: Manu Ginobili


    The best player in this class was a second-rounder, but there are some solid players in the first round as well.

    During his time in Chicago and Los Angeles, Elton Brand was one of the best power forwards in the NBA.  He was a very consistent 20 and 10 guy for years.

    Steve Francis and Baron Davis were both considered to be among the league's best point guards, and Lamar Odom is considered to be one of the most versatile players in the league today.

    That rounds out the top four.  Some other good players from this draft include Wally Sczcerbiak, Richard Hamilton, Andre Miller, Shawn Marion... well, you can see for yourself.


    First Round:

    1: Elton Brand

    2: Steve Francis

    3: Baron Davis

    4: Lamar Odom

    5: Jonathan Bender

    6: Wally Sczerbiak

    7: Richard Hamilton

    8: Andre Miller

    9: Shawn Marion

    10: Jason Terry

    11: Trajan Langdon

    12: Aleksandar Radojevic

    13: Corey Maggette

    14: William Avery

    15: Frederic Weis

    16: Ron Artest

    17: Cal Bowdler

    18: James Posey

    19: Quincy Lewis

    20: Dion Glover

    21: Jeff Foster

    22: Kenny Thomas

    23: Devean George

    24: Andrei Kirilenko

    25: Tim James

    26: Vonteego Cummings

    27: Jumaine Jones

    28: Scott Padgett

    29: Leon Smith


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Manu Ginobili

5: 2005 Class

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    Best Player: Chris Paul


    Biggest Bust: Sean May


    Best Surprise: Monta Ellis


    The 2005 NBA Draft may be remembered for having one of the best second rounds in history, but it was the first round that was truly loaded.

    Within the first five picks, this class features three of the top 10 guards in the league, and one of the top five centers.

    The 10th overall pick was Andrew Bynum, who could also be considered one of the top centers in the NBA.

    A few picks later, the Indiana Pacers selected Danny Granger.  He quickly became the team's franchise player and was a big contender for my choice of best surprise in this class.

    Getting back to the second round of this draft, this year features at least nine players who are regular rotation players on their team right now.


    First Round:

    1: Andrew Bogut

    2: Marvin Williams

    3: Deron Williams

    4: Chris Paul

    5: Raymond Felton

    6: Martell Webster

    7: Charlie Villanueva

    8: Channing Frye

    9: Ike Diogu

    10: Andrew Bynum

    11: Fran Vasquez

    12: Yaroslav Korolev

    13: Sean May

    14: Rashad McCants

    15: Antoine Wright

    16: Joey Graham

    17: Danny Granger

    18: Gerald Green

    19: Hakim Warrick

    20: Julius Hodge

    21: Nate Robinson

    22: Jarrett Jack

    23: Francisco Garcia

    24: Luther Head

    25: Johan Petro

    26: Jason Maxiell

    27: Linas Kleiza

    28: Ian Mahinmi

    29: Wayne Simien

    30: David Lee


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Brandon Bass, C.J. Miles, Ersan Ilyasova, Ronny Turiaf, Monta Ellis, Lou Williams, Andray Blatche, Ryan Gomes, Marcin Gortat

4: 2009 Class

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    Best Player: Blake Griffin


    Biggest Bust: Hasheem Thabeet


    Best Surprise: Rodrigue Beaubois


    Many of you will question this class's high ranking. Just hear me out. This class is loaded with talented guards, and a flying Clipper who is clearly the cream of this crop.

    There are several point guards from this group who already possess starter level talent.

    Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Darren Collison and Rodrigue Beaubois all have what it takes to be successful in the NBA for years.

    Plus, there are several others who are already key contributors for their teams in just their second seasons.


    First Round:

    1: Blake Griffin

    2: Hasheem Thabeet

    3: James Harden

    4: Tyreke Evans

    5: Ricky Rubio

    6: Jonny Flynn

    7: Stephen Curry

    8: Jordan Hill

    9: DeMar DeRozan

    10: Brandon Jennings

    11: Terrence Williams

    12: Gerald Henderson

    13: Tyler Hansbrough

    14: Earl Clark

    15: Austin Daye

    16: James Johnson

    17: Jrue Holiday

    18: Ty Lawson

    19: Jeff Teague

    20: Eric Maynor

    21: Darren Collison

    22: Victor Claver

    23: Omri Casspi

    24: Byron Mullens

    25: Rodrigue Beaubois

    26: Taj Gibson

    27: DeMarre Carroll

    28: Wayne Ellington

    29: Toney Douglas

    30: Christian Eyenga


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Sam Young, DeJuan Blair, Jodie Meeks, Chase Budinger

3: 2008 Class

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    Best Player: Derrick Rose


    Biggest Bust: Joe Alexander


    Best Surprise: Kevin Love


    This group is loaded with freshman to NBA stars, and many of them are already making their mark on the league.

    Many already consider Derrick Rose to be the best point guard in the NBA (fourth overall pick Russell Westbrook is also competing for that spot).

    Kevin Love is leading the NBA in rebounding and almost everyone agrees he's the best in the league in that category.

    Overall, there are around 15 guys from this draft that are already regular starters (and several of them are putting up huge numbers).

    Also, like many drafts of the past five or six years, this one had a second round with plenty of solid players.

    If you'll look through this draft, you'll start to realize this group may be taking over the NBA very soon (along with the 2009 class).


    First Round:

    1: Derrick Rose

    2: Michael Beasley

    3: O.J. Mayo

    4: Russell Westbrook

    5: Kevin Love

    6: Danilo Gallinari

    7: Eric Gordon

    8: Joe Alexander

    9: D.J. Augustin

    10: Brook Lopez

    11: Jerryd Bayless

    12: Jason Thompson

    13: Brandon Rush

    14: Anthony Randolph

    15: Robin Lopez

    16: Marreese Speights

    17: Roy Hibbert

    18: JaVale McGee

    19: J.J. Hickson

    20: Alexis Ajinca

    21: Ryan Anderson

    22: Courtney Lee

    23: Kosta Koufos

    24: Serge Ibaka

    25: Nicolas Batum

    26: George Hill

    27: Darrell Arthur

    28: Donte Greene

    29: D.J. White

    30: J.R. Giddens


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Mario Chalmers, DeAndre Jordan, Luc Mbah a Moute, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Goran Dragic

2: 2003 Class

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    Best Player: LeBron James


    Biggest Bust: Darko Milicic


    Best Surprise: Mo Williams


    The talent level in this year's top five picks is remarkable.  There's a huge drop off after that.

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been two of the five best players in the world over the last few years, and Carmelo Anthony is probably a top ten NBA player.

    There's also the third member of "The Heatles", Chris Bosh.  

    After that, there may not be a lot more real superstars, but there are plenty of role players who are key pieces to their teams.

    I'm anticipating a big debate over whether or not this group truly deserves the top spot.  

    Many will say the 1996 class, but in 2003, two (possibly three) of the greatest players of all-time were drafted.


    First Round:

    1: LeBron James

    2: Darko Milicic

    3: Carmelo Anthony

    4: Chris Bosh

    5: Dwyane Wade

    6: Chris Kaman

    7: Kirk Hinrich

    8: T.J. Ford

    9: Mike Sweetney

    10: Jarvis Hayes

    11: Mickael Pietrus

    12: Nick Collison

    13: Marcus Banks

    14: Luke Ridnour

    15: Reece Gaines

    16: Troy Bell

    17: Zarko Cabarkapa

    18: David West

    19: Sasha Pavlovic

    20: Dahntay Jones

    21: Boris Diaw

    22: Zoran Planinic

    23: Travis Outlaw

    24: Brian Cook

    25: Carlos Delfino

    26: Ndudi Ebi

    27: Kendrick Perkins

    28: Leandro Barbosa

    29: Josh Howard


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Jason Kapono, Luke Walton, Steve Blake, Willie Green, Zaza Pachulia, Keith Bogans, Matt Bonner, Mo Williams, James Jones, Kyle Korver

1: 1996 Class

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    Best Player: Kobe Bryant


    Biggest Bust: Samaki Walker


    Best Surprise: Kobe Bryant


    People may have expected Kobe to be good, but there weren't many who thought he'd be one of the all-time greats 15 years after he was drafted.

    That's why I selected him as not only this draft's best player, but also its best surprise.

    This draft has four guys who will absolutely be in the Hall of Fame someday (Iverson, Allen, Nash and Bryant).  

    Plus, another player in Marcus Camby who may be one of the best rebounders in NBA history.

    On top of all that, there are a few others who were legitimate superstars at one point or another during their careers.


    First Round:

    1: Allen Iverson

    2: Marcus Camby

    3: Shareef Abdur-Rahim

    4: Stephon Marbury

    5: Ray Allen

    6: Antoine Walker

    7: Lorenzen Wright

    8: Kerry Kittles

    9: Samaki Walker

    10: Erick Dampier

    11: Todd Fuller

    12: Vitaly Potapenko

    13: Kobe Bryant

    14: Peja Stojakovic

    15: Steve Nash

    16: Tony Delk

    17: Jermaine O'Neal

    18: John Wallace

    19: Walter McCarty

    20: Zydrunas Ilgauskus

    21: Dontae' Jones

    22: Roy Rogers

    23: Efthimi Rentzias

    24: Derek Fisher

    25: Martin Muursepp

    26: Jerome Williams

    27: Brian Evans

    28: Priest Lauderdale

    29: Travis Knight


    Notable 2nd Round Picks: Jeff McInnis, Malik Rose