NBA: Top 10 Draft Classes in History
The NBA Draft is an annual event in which the 30 NBA teams can draft players eligible to join the league from college (and before the 2006 Draft, high school).
It is one of the most anticipated events of the year. It is where stars are born, coming from all over the country, and even the world.
Each year had its own array of stars and future legends. This list will rank the 10 draft classes with the best players in it.
10. 2001 NBA Draft
The 2001 NBA Draft is known because it was filled with great international superstars from all over the world.
Pau Gasol from Spain is now one of the premier big men in the NBA, Mehmet Okur was an NBA All-Star, and Tony Parker, one of the quickest players of all time, is a three-time NBA champion and finals MVP, and all were apart of this draft.
Other great players include Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Gilbert Arenas.
9. 1960 NBA Draft
The 1960 NBA Draft kicked off with two of the best players of all time. At pick No. 1, Oscar Robertson, the best triple-double player of all time, was chosen. And at pick No. 2 was the legendary Jerry West, one of the best Lakers of all time.
Other players include Lenny Wilkens and Lee Schafer.
8. 1999 NBA Draft
The 1999 draft featured Elton Brand at the first pick. Also included was Steve Francis and Baron Davis, two excellent two-guard players. Shawn Marion also was chosen, along with defensive ace Ron Artest, and one of the best draft steals and sixth men of all time, Manu Ginobili.
7. 1970 NBA Draft
The 24th annual draft had plenty of great picks. "Pistol" Pete Maravich was one of them. Bob Lanier was chosen first, and Rudy Tomjanovich second.
Other picks include Dave Cowens, Calvin Murphy, Dan Issel and Nate Archibald.
6. 1979 NBA Draft
Earvin "Magic" Johnson was the star of the 1979 NBA Draft, and we all know how his career turned out. He went on to become perhaps the greatest point guard of all time, and a player that will never be duplicated.
Not only was Magic in the draft, Pistons' bad boy Bill Laimbeer, All-Star Bill Cartwright, and record-setting shot blocker Mark Eaton were all apart of this great draft.
5. 1985 NBA Draft
The '85 draft was the first draft of the "Lottery" era. Patrick Ewing was taken at No. 1 by the Knicks. Detlef Schrempf came to Dallas out of West Germany. Chris Mullin was also chosen, with NBA champion and finals MVP Joe Dumars, and two-time MVP Karl Malone.
Other stars and legends include Anthony "Spud' Webb, Manute Bol and Charles Oakley.
4. 1981 NBA Draft
The 35th annual draft was led by Mark Aguirre, chosen by Dallas at the No. 1 pick out of DePaul. However, it looks to have been a mistake, as Isiah Thomas would be chosen right after him and would go on to win two NBA championships and become a 12-time All-Star.
The Rookie of the Year would come at the third pick, Buck Williams came to New Jersey.
Also in this huge draft was high-flyer Tom Chambers, two-time NBA champion Danny Ainge, the first ever Dunk Contest winner Larry Nance, and Mavs legend Rolando Blackman.
3. 2003 NBA Draft
The three biggest names associated with this draft are more commonly known as "The Big Three." LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, now on the same team in Miami, are part of one of the best teams ever assembled. LeBron and Wade have potential to become two of the all-time elites.
Chris Kaman, David West, and Mo Williams are three All-Stars who were also lucky to be a part of this legendary draft.
2. 1984 NBA Draft
Four HUGE names are associated with the 1984 NBA Draft.
Hakeem Olajuwon was chosen first. He would go on to become arguably the greatest post player in NBA history. He would win two NBA championships and would take the Finals MVP both times. He was also the 1994 MVP and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Another big name was Charles Barkley. "The Round Mound of Rebound" is an MVP, 11-time All-Star, five-time All NBA first team, and a legendary figure in NBA history.
John Stockton was chosen by the Utah Jazz. Stockton is the all-time NBA leader in assists and steals. He's been in two consecutive NBA Finals. He is also a 10-time All-Star.
And chosen at the third pick, was Michael Jordan. Simply the greatest of all time. A six-time champion, six-time Finals MVP, five-time league MVP, Defensive POY, 14-time All-Star, 10-time All NBA first team, 10-time scoring champion, nine-time All Defensive First Team, Rookie of the Year, and more.
Need I say more?
1. 1996 NBA Draft
It was a hard choice to make. The 1984 draft had four players who are in the top 20 of all time. But it had nothing more than that.
The 1996 draft was filled with legends, record breakers, All-Stars, and more.
Allen Iverson was the first pick. One of the best little men to ever play the game, an 11-time All Star, 2001 MVP and four-time scoring champion. His legendary crossover has embarrassed so many players. People don't give this guy as much credit as they should.
At the 13th pick was Kobe Bryant, straight out of high school. Here we go... five-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP, one-time league MVP, 13-time All-Star, two-time scoring champ, nine-time All NBA first team, nine-time All Defensive first team, four-time All-Star game MVP, one of the most clutch players of all time. And, oh yeah, there was that 81-point game.
With these two greats came Steve Nash, a two-time MVP, seven-time All-Star, simply one of the best pint guards ever.
Also included was Ray Allen and Peja Stojakovic, two of the best three-point shooters ever. Defensive killer Marcus Camby, dominant big man Jermain O'Neal, Antoine Walker, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Stephon Marbury, and Shareef Abdure Rahim all help make the greatest NBA Draft class of all time.