Top three NBA draft picks in the last 30 years

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan watches on against the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 28, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan watches on against the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 28, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Posted: June 27, 2014

LIKE THE SIXERS do this year, the Bulls had the third selection in 1984. Chicago had missed the playoffs the previous two seasons (just like the Sixers) and really wanted a big man to build around.

Houston opened the draft by taking center Akeem Olajuwon. Portland, as expected, followed with center Sam Bowie.

When the Bulls picked Michael Jordan at No. 3, then-general manager Rod Thorn joked "I only wish he were 7-1."

Jordan was the national college player of the year, so it's not like the Bulls were settling for an 18-year-old Australian most casual fans had never heard of a month ago.

With history as our guide, here is a look at the top three picks in the last 30 years.

1984

Player PPG

1. Akeem Olajuwon, Hou.. . . 21.8

2. Sam Bowie, Port.. . . 10.9

3. Michael Jordan, Chi.. . . 30.1

This draft is to Portland what 1964 is to Phillies fans.

1985

1. Patrick Ewing, NYK. . . 21.0

2. Wayman Tisdale, Ind.. . . 15.3

3. Benoit Benjamin, LAC. . . 11.4

Best gaffe of this draft was Dallas taking Uwe Blab with the 17th pick. Joe Dumars went next.

1986

1. Brad Daugherty, Cle. . . 19.0

2. Len Bias, Bos.. . . -

3. Chris Washburn, GS. . . 3.1

Bias died of a cocaine overdose 2 days after the draft. Washburn was arguably the biggest bust ever at No. 3.

1987

1. David Robinson, SA. . . 21.1

2. Armen Gilliam, Pho.. . . 13.7

3. Dennis Hopson, NJ. . . 10.9

Scottie Pippen, Kenny Smith and Kevin Johnson went 5th-7th that year. Reggie Miller went 11th.

1988

1. Danny Manning, LAC. . . 14.0

2. Rik Smits, Ind.. . . 14.8

3. Charles Smith, Sixers. . . 14.4

Yawn, yawn and yawn.

1989

1. Pervis Ellison, Sac.. . . 9.5

2. Danny Ferry, LAC. . . 7.0

3. Sean Elliott, SA. . . 14.2

That's three mediocre picks in 5 years for the Clippers.

1990

1. D. Coleman, NJ. . . 16.5

2. Gary Payton, Sea.. . . 16.3

3. Chris Jackson, Den.. . . 14.6

Good to see Payton get into the Hall of Fame last year. That guy was tough.

1991

1. L. Johnson, Char.. . . 16.2

2. K. Anderson, NJ. . . 12.5

3. Billy Owens, Sac.. . . 11.7

The Kings probably didn't take Dikembe Mutombo (who went fourth) because they already had Pervis Ellison.

1992

1. Shaquille O'Neal, Orl.. . . 23.7

2. Alonzo Mourning, Char.. . . 17.1

3. Christian Laettner, Min.. . . 12.8

There were solid, but not spectacular players after the top two went: Tom Gugliotta, Latrell Sprewell, Clarence Weatherspoon.

1993

1. Chris Webber, Orl.. . . 20.7

2. Shawn Bradley, Sixers. . . 8.1

3. Penny Hardaway, GS. . . 15.2

Webber and Hardaway were traded for one another, otherwise Webber and O'Neal would have been teammates. The Magic would have had to play with two basketballs.

1994

1. Glenn Robinson, Mil.. . . 20.7

2. Jason Kidd, Dal.. . . 12.6

3. Grant Hill, Det.. . . 16.7

Hill's last All-Star season was 2005, and he's still making TV commercials.

1995

1. Joe Smith, GS. . . 10.9

2. Antonio McDyess. . . 12.0

3. Jerry Stackhouse, Sixers. . . 16.9

The Sixers got more than a 1,000 phone calls about season tickets the day after Stackhouse was drafted. He was traded 2 1/2 years later.

1996

1. Allen Iverson, Sixers. . . 26.7

2. Marcus Camby, Tor.. . . 9.5

3. S. Abdur-Rahim, Van. . . 18.1

The Sixers got it right with Iverson, but can you imagine how different the NBA would have been the last 18 years if they would have taken hometown product Kobe Bryant instead? Bryant went 13th.

1997

1. Tim Duncan, SA. . . 19.9

2. Keith Van Horn, Sixers. . . 16.0

3. Chauncey Billups. Bos.. . . 15.2

Tim Duncan or Keith Van Horn? Sometimes that's the way the pingpong ball bounces.

1998

1. M. Olawakandi, LAC. . . 8.3

2. Mike Bibby, Van.. . . 14.7

3. Raef LaFrentz, Den.. . . 10.1

C'mon. You didn't think LAC was going to get this right, did you?

1999

1. Elton Brand, Chi.. . . 16.6

2. Steve Francis, Van.. . . 18.1

3. Baron Davis, Char.. . . 16.1

With the next-to-last pick, 57th overall, the Spurs took Manu Ginobili.

2000

1. Kenyon Martin, NJ. . . 12.5

2. Stromile Swift, Van.. . . 8.4

3. Darius Miles, LAC. . . 10.1

Martin, Jamaal Magliore and Michael Redd were the only three All-Stars produced in this draft.

2001

1. Kwame Brown, Wash.. . . 6.6

2. Tyson Chandler, LAC. . . 8.7

3. Paul Gasol, Atl.. . . 18.3

And with the last pick of the first round, San Antonio took Tony Parker.

2002

1. Yao Ming, Hou.. . . 19.0

2. Jay Williams, Chi.. . . 9.5

3. Mike Dunleavy, GS. . . 11.9

Yao is one of many big men whose careers ended prematurely because of foot injuries.

2003

1. LeBron James, Cle.. . . 27.5

2. Darko Milicic, Det.. . . 6.0

3. Carmelo Anthony, Den.. . . 25.3

Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade went fourth and fifth respectively. Milicic is the Sam Bowie of this century.

2004

1. Dwight Howard, Orl.. . . 18.3

2. Emeka Okafor, Char.. . . 12.3

3. Ben Gordon, Chi.. . . 15.6

The Sixers took Andre Iguodala with the ninth pick. He's had the second-best NBA career after Howard.

2005

1. Andrew Bogut, Mil.. . . 11.6

2. Marvin Williams, Atl.. . . 10.8

3. Deron Williams, Utah. . . 17.4

Atlanta took the wrong Williams and Utah took the wrong point guard. Chris Paul went No. 4.

2006

1. Andrea Bargnani, Tor.. . . 15.0

2. LaMarcus Aldridge, Chi.. . . 18.9

3. Adam Morrison, Char.. . . 7.5

Morrison's cheesy mustache should have been enough to dissuade Charlotte.

2007

1. Greg Oden, Port.. . . 8.0

2. Kevin Durant, Sea.. . . 27.4

3. Al Horford, Atl.. . . 14.0

Guessing Portland wants to do this one over too, huh?

2008

1. Derrick Rose, Chi.. . . 20.8

2. Michael Beasley, Mia.. . . 13.2

3. O.J. Mayo, Min.. . . 14.8

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love went fourth and fifth respectively. A decent top-5, hold the Mayo.

2009

1. Blake Griffin, LAC. . . 21.4

2. Hasheem Thabeet, Mem. . . 2.2

3. James Harden, OkC. . . 18.0

Thabeet has played for four teams in 5 years and started just 20 of 224 career games. Finally, LAC got one right.

2010

1. John Wall, Wash.. . . 17.7

2. Evan Turner, Sixers. . . 11.1

3. Derrick Favors, N.J.. . . 9.6

What did the Sixers get for Evan Turner again? Oh, yeah. Danny Granger.

2011

1. Kyrie Irving, Cle.. . . 20.7

2. Derrick Williams, Min.. . . 9.6

3. Enes Kanter, Utah. . . 8.3

The Sixers snagged Nikola Vucevic at No. 16. He's got a bright future. Shame it's in Orlando.

2012

1. Anthony Davis, NO. . . 17.3

2. M. Kidd-Gilchrist, Char.. . . 8.2

3. Bradley Beal, Wash.. . . 15.7

Boy, this Davis kid looks like he'll be a star. Just hope he can stay healthy.

2013

1. Anthony Bennett, Cle.. . . 4.2

2. Victor Oladipo, Orl.. . . 13.8

3. Otto Porter, Wash.. . . 2.1

You know who the consensus No. 1 was in the mocks? Nerlens Noel. It definitely wasn't Anthony Bennett.


On Twitter: @EdBarkowitz

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