The NBA draft: Where stars are born and busts are forever remembered.
While over 50 players get drafted yearly, only one can have the bragging rights as the best in each class.
This article covers some the stars that were drafted, some of whom are among the elite players in the NBA.
Let's start with the millennium year.
First pick: Kenyon Martin
This draft was terrible, but someone had to be chosen.
Michael Redd was somewhat of a surprise coming out of the second round from Ohio State. The 43rd pick of the draft is a former All-Star and was one of the better scorers in the league when he was healthy, but playing 61 games in the last three years really hampered his career.
A career 20.0 per game scoring average is good, but that's about all he could do. However, he was the best player out of this draft.
Honorable mentions: Jamal Crawford, Mike Miller, Kenyon Martin
First pick: Kwame Brown (Take a minute to laugh if needed).
This draft actually wasn't too bad. This draft produced seven All-Stars and plenty of good role players.
I go with the Spaniard Pau Gasol as the best though.
Gasol (seen here sporting a Nelly-like bandage) is a four time All-Star and two time NBA Champion. Although he is having his best years in Los Angeles, the 30-year-old Pau has been productive throughout his career, even earning Rookie of the Year honors.
Gasol still has some good years left in him and it will be interesting to see if he is a Laker much longer.
Honorable mentions: Kwame Brown (just kidding), Joe Johnson, Tony Parker, Zach Randolph, Gilbert Arenas
First pick: Yao Ming
This draft has players with a lot of potential who never lived up to it. While there are players who had productive careers, only a few stood out. Amar'e Stoudimire was the best.
After landing in New York, Stoudimire showed that he didn't need Steve Nash to be a great player. In fact, you can make a case that he had the best season of his career this year, as he averaged 25.3 points and 8.1 rebounds.
Stoudimire is a top five big man in the NBA, and one of the most athletic too. Although he has had a few years shortened by injury, he seems to have put that behind him and has bounced back in a big way.
Now paired with Melo, look for Amar'e to contend in the near future.
Honorable mentions: Yao Ming, Carlos Boozer
First pick: LeBron James
This is the deepest draft since the 1996 draft that produced Kobe and company. Highlighted by four potential Hall-of-Famers, the 2003 draft also produced some pretty good role players and a few other All-Stars.
King James headlines.
Since becoming a media sensation in high school, James has lived up to his hype as an athlete. James' great size, ability and strength have led him to becoming arguably the best player in the NBA.
Despite showing signs of brilliance, he was criticized in his latest trip to the NBA finals for not being aggressive enough. LeBron is one of the best passing players for his size to ever grace the game, along with one of the best rim finishers in history.
He is a triple-double threat every time he is on the floor, and with a little work he can go down as a top three player of all time.
Honorable mentions: Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh
First pick: Dwight Howard
This was an OK draft, but outside of Dwight Howard not much to talk about.
Is there a better big man in the NBA than Howard? If you answered no, you are correct.
At age 25, Howard just completed his best regular season in the NBA. Although the Magic failed to make it out of the first round, Dwight was a beast in the series.
The three time Defensive Player of the Year is one of the true great defenders in history, and produces at an All-Star level offensively.
He brings the personality that teams love, and has a competitive drive that only makes him better.
Many rumors hint that Howard might be shipped out of Orlando, but wherever he goes he is aiming for another shot at the NBA Finals.
Honarable mentions: Al Jefferson, Andre Iguodala
First pick: Andrew Bogut
Two of the game's best point guards came out of this draft in Chris Paul and Deron Williams. While it was hard choosing between the two, I chose Chris Paul.
When it comes to a complete point guard, you can't get much better than Paul.
He's the best facilitating point guard in the league and can be a scorer if needed. He is always a threat for 10 assists a night, but he is just as impressive on the defensive side.
Paul is a lockdown defender and creates turnovers. He also rebounds better than most point guards, with a career average of 4.6 per game.
Chris Paul might not be a Hornet for much longer, but he will be an asset on any team looking to contend.
Honorable mentions: Deron Williams, Andrew Bogut, Monta Ellis
First pick: Andrea Bargnani
The 2006 draft wasn't the best in history. Outside of about eight players, there aren't any notable names. Rajon Rondo gets the nod for best player in the draft.
Rondo has proven he has the caliber to play point guard on a championship team and be effective. With the Celtics' core aging, Rondo could be in prime position to have a team centered around him in the near future.
He is not the most gifted scorer, but as a ball handler and passer he is among the best.
Defensively, he is one of the best point guards in the league. Rondo has an elite ability to create turnovers and he makes the hustle plays that coaches love.
Look for Rondo to build on his two All-Star appearances.
Honorable mentions: Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay
First pick: Greg Oden or some guy that looks like a 40-year-old Lebron James.
This draft class is underrated. A lot of good role players were taken in the later part of the first round. It also included the best scorer in the NBA.
Durant tops this list, coming out of Texas after his freshman year.
A long, athletic swing man, Kevin Durant has won two straight scoring titles. At just 22-years-old, Durant shows signs of improvements every year.
The former College Player of the Year most recently lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Western Conference Finals. Surrounded by a young core of players, Durant could be the leader of a dynasty in the making.
Honorable mentions: Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol
First Pick: Derrick Rose
This is an interesting draft for the fact that it only had one true bust in the first 10 picks (some guy named Joe Alexander?). Some names in this draft have the ability to become elite players in the NBA. The draft also produced the league's reigning MVP in Derrick Rose.
Rose has simply became a star in this league.
Leading an underdog Bulls team to a number one overall seed, Rose showed the ability to not only be a great scorer but a great teammate.
Although he couldn't get Chicago past the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, Rose is a guy who can bring them back for years to come.
Rose is just 22, so the ceiling is still very high for the MVP.
Honorable mentions: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Eric Gordon
First pick: Blake Griffin
2009 was what you expect out of a typical draft. A few stars, a few key players, and a few busts. Expected right? When it comes to star power, look no further than Blake Griffin.
Griffin had his original rookie campaign delayed due to injury. When he came back the next year, he simply dominated on his way to capturing the Rookie of the Year Award.
Although his slam dunk contest finale was overrated, he did have some of the sickest throw downs in the 2011 season. Poor Timofey Mozgov.
Honored with a trip to the All-Star game, Griffin had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory. Expect him to be a fixture for the event in the future.
Griffin proved that he does not just have the potential to be a great power forward. Rather, he already is a great power forward.
Honorable mentions: Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings
The 2010 draft class didn't get off to the greatest start. While many of these players have potential, none had great rookie seasons. John Wall becomes the third straight number one pick to top the list.
Wall is one of the quickest, most athletic point guards in the NBA, but he has a lot of work to do.
The first thing he needs to do is take better care of the ball. Wall finished second in the NBA in turnovers last year.
Also, improving his jump shot is a must. If he wants to use elite speed, he first has to prove to defenders that he can score anywhere from the floor.
Once these two things are corrected, he can be an elite offensive player.
He is pretty sound defensively. He uses his quickness to stay in front of defenders and often causes turnovers.
While John Wall has a lot to prove, look for him to be one of the best point guards in the NBA soon.
Honorable mention: DeMarcus Cousins
Just a hunch.
This kid has raw ability, and if he stays healthy he will lead Cleveland back to relevance.
Feel free to leave me a comment to discuss. Thanks for reading!