The 2018 NBA Draft is just over 24 hours away, and with no clear consensus as to who the No. 1 overall pick will be, we take a look back at the last ten number one overall draft picks.
Here is a list of the last 10 number one picks ranked from worst to best.
10: Anthony Bennett (2013)
The Cavaliers shocked us all when they took the University of Nevada, Las Vegas forward with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. A draft that featured the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Victor Oladipo, CJ McCollum, and Steven Adams, it is fair to say that the Cavs took a pretty big swing and a miss with this pick. Bennett played only four seasons in the NBA, all with different teams. His lack-luster 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game are far below what you would hope to see as a career average for a number one overall pick.
9: Markelle Fultz (2017)
The curious case of Markelle Fultz is one we have followed all season long. Regarded as the consensus number one prospect in a stacked 2017 class, a shoulder injury in preseason derailed the majority of Fultz’s rookie campaign. He completely lost his shooting form and had to rebuild from the ground up.
Despite the bizarre injury and the even more bizarre toll it took on Fultz mentally, he was still able to produce in limited time for the Sixers averaging 7.1 points 3.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. Fultz also managed to notch his first career triple-double on the year. While Fultz has shown great potential, there is a lot left to be seen in terms of his growth going forward.
8: Andrew Wiggins (2014)
Dubbed “The Next LeBron” coming out of high school, Andrew Wiggins has been a consistent scorer in the NBA after being taken by the Cavaliers with the number one pick in 2014. Traded to the Timberwolves before the start of his rookie year, Wiggins has career averages of 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game.
While he hasn’t quite lived up to the next LeBron expectations, he has played a key role in helping to turn Minnesota into a playoff team again, with the help of fellow number one pick Karl-Anthony Towns and all-star guard Jimmy Butler.
7: John Wall (2010)
The first pick in the 2010 draft, John Wall has been able to step in and immediately become the franchise point guard for the Washington Wizards. While his future with the team remains uncertain after some controversy throughout this past season, for now, nothing has changed. Wall has career averages of 18.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game.
Wall immediately turned the Wizards around, and the team has been a constant presence in the Eastern Conference Playoffs in recent years. Despite this, however, they have never been good enough to get over the hump and get past the first two rounds.
6: Derrick Rose (2008)
The youngest MVP in league history, Derrick Rose was primed to be the next Bulls star to help Chicago become championship contenders once again. Rose was phenomenal in his first four seasons with the Bulls and averaged 25.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game during his MVP season.
Sadly, multiple knee injuries have derailed his career, and he hasn’t been quite the same since. Despite this, Rose has career averages of 18.9 points, 3.6 rebounds per game and 5.7 assists.
5: Blake Griffin (2009)
Taken by the Clippers with the first pick in the ’09 draft, Blake Griffin was an immediate force, averaging 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game in his first season. The five-time all-star has career averages of 21.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. Griffin along with center DeAndre Jordan, and point-guard Chris Paul led the Clippers to the playoffs multiple times, but the trio was never able to win the big games, failing to make it further than the conference semi-finals.
Griffin is now on the Pistons where he will once again try to turn his team into playoff contenders.
4: Ben Simmons (2016)
After missing the entire 2017-17 season, Ben Simmons proved to be worth the wait when he burst onto the scene this past year. Simmons had 12 triple doubles during the regular season, averaging 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game along the way. Simmons seemed to be the missing piece of “The Process” for Philadelphia as they not only reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season, but they managed to enter as the 3 seed.
Simmons still has some work to do, especially in terms of his shooting ability, but the rookie is already gaining the attention of other players and GM’s around the league, as he has drawn numerous comparisons to LeBron James. Whether or not he lives up to that, Philadelphia’s point-forward is sure to be a force in the league for years to come.
3: Karl-Anthony Towns (2015)
The Timberwolves 2015 draft pick has been dominant for the T-Wolves since day one. Towns came into the league averaging 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game and has continued to improve every year since. With career averages of 21.6 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, Towns was selected to his first all-star game this past season.
KAT alongside fellow number one pick Andrew Wiggins has been the centerpiece to a huge rebuild for the Timberwolves, one that now includes all-star Jimmy Butler and has the team being viewed by the rest of the league as serious playoff contenders.
2: Kyrie Irving (2011)
Viewed by many as one of if not the best point guard in the league, the five-time all-star was Cleveland’s best draft pick since none other than LeBron himself. Irving was crucial to helping the Cavaliers come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals against the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, with scoring outbursts of 30, 34, and 41 in the series as well as a 26 point effort that included a series-clinching three-pointer in the closing seconds of game 7. Irving requested a trade after the 2017 season and got sent to Boston where after losing Gordon Hayward in the first game of the season, led the Celtics to the number one seed in the East before his season was cut short due to injury.
Irving has career averages of 22.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game and seems to only be getting better. The 26-year old has some of the best handles in the league and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Only time will tell how far Irving will be able to take the Celtics, but as far as accomplished number one picks in recent years, he is right at the top.
1: Anthony Davis (2012)
Perhaps one of the top five most dominant players in the game today, Anthony Davis has been everything the Hornets (now Pelicans) could have dreamed of and more when they drafted him with the first pick in 2012. Davis has been selected to five consecutive all-star games and even won the all-star game MVP in 2016-17. Davis has career averages of 23.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game.
After bringing in superstar center Demarcus Cousins to pair alongside Davis, the Pelicans turned into a serious playoff threat. Despite an injury to Cousins, Davis turned in an MVP-like season and led the Pelicans to the second round of the 2018 playoffs where they fell to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.
This past season, Davis’ averages were incredible, averaging 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.6 blocks per game. Davis has improved every year he has been in the league, and at just 25-years of age, the sky is the limit for how good he will become.