NBA Draft 2011: The 7 Best Players Ever Drafted at No. 5
Every year there are those players that everyone knows will go in the top three. That's a given.
Then there are players that land within the top 10 and in hindsight should have been taken higher (Larry Bird drafted sixth, Dirk Nowitzki drafted ninth and the Raps could have had him, and Clyde Drexler drafted 14th).
The fifth pick rounds out the category of guys who are "definitely in the top five," so it should produce great players. Um, not always.
But, there are some amazing players that have been taken with this pick.
Many times, sports take historical factors into account in statistics, predictions and rankings of all time. At this year's NBA Draft, Toronto landed the fifth overall pick and hopes to make the best of it.
If history has shown us anything about this lottery slot it's that it can either produce Hall of Famers or no-name players—and it's very tough to tell which way it the choice will turn out.
The Raptors could really use a solid pick this year, and let's hope that player turns out to be on this list in another 20 years. So without further ado, let's take a look at some of the greatest players drafted fifth overall.
P.S. Two guys on this list have the middle name Maurice, what are the odds of that?
P.P.S. While doing research I found the best named fifth overall draft pick was Kermit Washington drafted in 1973.
Jonathan Bender: Drafted by Toronto Raptors in 1999
This is what happened the last time the Raptors had the fifth pick.
Even if we traded him right away for Antonio Davis, it still doesn't make up for this awful choice in a draft that included: Jason Terry (champ), Shawn Marion (champ), Ron Artest (multiple champ) and Manu Ginobili (champ).
Let's not make the same mistake twice.
Scottie Pippen: Drafted by Seattle Supersonics in 1987
One of the greatest players of all time, Pippen was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. He has six rings, seven All-Star games, three NBA First Team selections and eight Defensive First Team selections.
Scottie was named one of the 50 greatest players of all time by the NBA after the 1997 season. If the Raptors' pick is half as good as Pippen, I'll be a happy fan.
Walt Frazier: Drafted by New York Knicks in 1967
Moving from a guy who was drafted in '87 to the guy who made the Hall of Fame in '87.
Frazier was one of the best things to ever happen to the Knicks as he led them to their only two NBA Championships in 1970 and 1973.
He made seven All-Star appearances and was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 1968. Frazier was also elected to the NBA's 50 greatest players of all time in 1996.
Kevin Love: Drafted by Memphis Grizzlies in 2008
This one may seem a bit premature, but I believe that Love could be an incredible NBA player in the near future. I mean, Kevin Garnett played in Minnesota forever and managed to still be awesome, so why not Love?
Love was drafted fifth by the Memphis Grizzlies then traded to Minnesota for OJ Mayo on draft night.
As this year's Most Improved Player, Love set the NBA-era record for consecutive double-double games with 53. He was this year's rebounding champion and part of last year's USA gold medal-winning team. I see good times in his future.
Charles Barkley: Drafted by Philadelphia 76ers in 1984
Sir Charles is definitely one of the best players to never win a championship and is part of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all time.
An MVP in '93 and 11 All-Star appearances and holds multiple records. Barkley won two gold medals with Team USA in the '92 and '96 Olympics.
Kevin Garnett: Drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995
KG is one of the most dominant forwards in the NBA and is a future Hall of Famer. He stuck it out in Minnesota for a long time winning an MVP in 2004, until he finally moved to Boston and received his first ring in 2008.
Garnett has been in 14 All-Star games (!!) and was named to the NBA Defensive First Team nine times. When he finally calls it a career, Garnett will go down as one of the greatest ever.
Ray Allen: Drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Anyone else notice how the Timberwolves are excellent at drafting? Except when they trade away a guy like Allen right after he's chosen.
Anyway, Allen: NBA champ, 10 All-Star games, three-point champ of all time. 'Nuff said.
Dwyane Wade: Drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
As we all know, 2003 was arguably the best draft class of all time (hate toward LeBron James aside).
It's tough to to say that the Raptors really missed out by taking Chris Bosh at No. 4 because he is a solid player, but, come on, it's Wade!
"Flash" led the Heat to the championship in 2006 and almost did it again this year. He is a dynamic player and will most certainly be a future Hall of Famer and one of the best of all time after a long career filled with more trophies and rings.