Everybody’s talking about how great this year’s crop is going to be, led by Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. The 2007 draft, let experts tell it, is full of can’t miss stars. But can these guys collectively stack up to some of the greatest drafts of all time?
I scoured through NBAdraft.net to look at some of the great drafts in history. Here are the top ones. So, which year was the greatest draft ever?
1970: Bob Lanier (No. 1), Rudy Tomjanovich (No. 2), Pete Maravich (No. 3), Dave Cowens (No. 4)
Second-round jewels: Calvin Murphy (No. 18), Nate Archibald (No. 19)
1976: John Lucas (No. 1), Adrian Dantley (No. 6), Quinn Buckner (No. 7), Robert Parrish (No. 8), Sonny Parker (No. 17)
Second-round jewels: Alex English (No. 23), Dennis Johnson (No. 29)
1984: Hakeem Olajuwon (No. 1), Michael Jordan (No. 3), Sam Perkins (No. 4), Charles Barkley (No. 5), Otis Thorpe (No. 9), Kevin Willis (No. 11), John Stockton (No. 16).
Second round jewels: Jerome Kersey (No. 46)
1985: Patrick Ewing (No. 1), Xavier McDaniel (No. 4), Chris Mullin (No. 7), Detlef Schrempf (No. 8), Charles Oakley (No. 9), Karl Malone (No. 13), Joe Dumars (No. 18), A.C. Green (No. 23), Terry Porter (No. 24).
Second-round jewels: Manute Bol (No. 31), Gerald Wilkins (No. 47)
1996: Allen Iverson (No. 1), Marcus Camby (No. 2), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (No. 3), Stephon Marbury (No. 4), Ray Allen (No. 5), Kobe Bryant (No. 13), Peja Stojakovic (No. 14), Steve Nash (No. 15), Jermaine O’Neal (No. 17), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (No. 20)
Second-round jewels: Malik Rose (No. 44), Shannon Anderson (No. 54)
1999: Elton Brand (No. 1), Steve Francis (No. 2), Baron Davis (No. 3), Lamar Odom (No. 4), Richard Hamilton (No. 7), Andre Miller (No. 8), Shawn Marion (No. 9), Jason Terry (No. 10), Corey Maggette (No. 13), Ron Artest (No. 16), Andrei Kirilenko (No. 24).
Second-round jewels: Manu Ginobili (No. 59)
2003: LeBron James (No. 1), Carmelo Anthony (No. 3), Chris Bosh (No. 4), Dwyane Wade (No. 5), Kirk Hinrich (No. 7), T.J. Ford (No. 8), David West (No. 18), Boris Diaw (No. 21), Leandro Barbosa (No. 28), Josh Howard (No. 29). Second-round jewels: Mo Williams (No. 47), Kyle Korver (No. 51)
I’m going to have to go with 1984. The 1996 draft was super deep, a plethora of great players. But the 1984 first round featured four of the greatest players of all-time (Olajuwon, Jordan, Barkley, Stockton). I can’t go against that crew.
However, I say 20 years from now, the 2003 draft will be the greatest ever. Not only was that draft deep, but it also has four or five potential Hall of Famers.
So, which draft do you say is the best ever?