FanPost

Finding the draft’s best players

From 1992-2006, the best player in each NBA draft as determined by career win shares (per Basketball Reference) has been available with the fourth pick of the draft roughly half the time, or in seven of the 15 drafts.

 

The No. 1 pick turned out to be the best player in the draft in six of the 15 years, and two other players were chosen with either the No. 2 or No. 3 pick. In 11 of the 15 years, the best player was chosen in the first six picks.

 

Naturally, depending on how good this draft turns out to be, the Kings should be able to land a quality player at No. 4. The real shame is missing the No. 1 pick, but once you get beyond that, it’s a crapshoot.

 

And this is just a look at the best players in each draft.

 

* 1992: Shaquille O’Neal #1

* 1993: Chris Webber #1

* 1994: Jason Kidd #2

* 1995: Kevin Garnett #5

* 1996: Kobe Bryant #13

* 1997: Tim Duncan #1

* 1998: Dirk Nowitzki #9

* 1999: Shawn Marion #9

* 2000: Hedo Turkoglu #16

* 2001: Pau Gasol #3

* 2002: Yao Ming #1

* 2003: LeBron James #1

* 2004: Dwight Howard #1

* 2005: Chris Paul #4

* 2006: Brandon Roy #6

 

By draft pick:

* No. 1: 6 players (O’Neal, Webber, Duncan, Ming, James, Howard).

* No. 2: 1 player (Kidd).

* No. 3: 1 player (Gasol).

* No. 4: 1 player (Paul).

* No. 5: 1 player (Garnett).

* No. 6: 1 player (Roy).

* No. 9: 2 players (Nowitzki, Marion).

* No. 13: 1 player (Bryant).

* No. 16: 1 player (Turkoglu).

 

Let’s look at this another way, because naturally multiple impact players can come out of the same draft. Here are the top 25 active players in win shares and where they were drafted:

 

1. Shaquille O’Neal: 1992 #1

2. Kevin Garnett: 1995 #5

3. Tim Duncan: 1997 #1

4. Kobe Bryant: 1996 #13

5. Dirk Nowitzki: 1998 #9

6. Dikembe Mutumbo: 1991 #4

7. Jason Kidd: 1994 #2

8. Ray Allen: 1996 #5

9. Paul Pierce: 1998 #10

10. Steve Nash: 1996 #15

11. Shawn Marion: 1999 #9

12. Allen Iverson: 1996 #1

13. Rasheed Wallace: 1995 #4

14. Chauncey Billups: 1997 #3

15. Tracy McGrady: 1997 #9

16. Vince Carter: 1998 #5

17. Grant Hill: 1994 #3

18. Michael Finley: 1995 #21

19. Ben Wallace: 1996 Undrafted

20. LeBron James: 2003 #1

21. Elton Brand: 1999 #1

22. Peja Stojakovic: 1996 #14

23. Stephon Marbury: 1996 #4

24. Rashard Lewis: 1998 #32

25. Andre Miller: 1999 #9.

 

Five No. 1s, one No. 2 and two No. 3s, so 17 of the 25 were still available when the No. 4 pick rolled around.

 

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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