With the 2016 NBA draft now exactly one month away, we took a look at the most impressive No. 1 overall picks since 1992.
1. LeBron James (2003)
This speaks for itself. He has earned the nickname “King James” for countless reasons. He has won championships for two different teams and has been arguably the best athlete in any sport multiple times.
James trails just Michael Jordan for most points scored in the postseason but has approximately 700 more rebounds and 400 more assists.
According to Basketball-Reference, he leads all active players in Win Shares. He is ahead of Dirk Nowitzki even though the Mavericks star has played 300 more games.
2. Tim Duncan (1997)
During his 19-year professional career, Duncan won five NBA titles. His championships spanned from 1999 until 2014, which shows his longevity.
He won two Most Valuable Player awards and was also a 10-time All-NBA first team selection and 15-time NBA All-Star. Duncan was the Rookie of the Year in 1998 and one of the league’s best defenders for two decades.
San Antonio also had the No. 1 overall pick in 1987 and selected David Robinson, who went on to win more than one championship as well as an MVP award.
3. Shaquille O’Neal (1992)
O’Neal had the highest field goal percentage in basketball 10 times during his career. He also led the NBA in points per game with two different teams.
He averaged a double-double during the course of his professional career with 23.7 ppg and 10.9 rpg. He is a 4-time NBA champion and 3-time NBA Finals MVP.
Shaq played only a few seasons for the Magic, but he has his jersey retired by the Lakers and the Heat.
4. Karl-Anthony Towns (2015)
While it’s still a bit early to have the jury make their final decision on Towns, he is one of the most dynamic players to enter the league in recent memory.
He is also a special talent because of his immediate impact on his team. His 8.5 VORP (value over replacement player) is dominant, especially considering Myles Turner’s 2.7 is the second-highest of the 2015 draft class.
5. Anthony Davis (2012)
Since entering the league, Davis has been one of the league’s most impressive defenders. He led all players in blocks per game in 2014 and 2015.
Davis provides tons of value as a scorer and rebounder, averaging 22.4 ppg and 10.2 rpg. He was the MVP of the 2017 NBA All-Star game and finished in the top 10 in scoring the last two seasons.
Honorable mentions: Blake Griffin (2009), Kyrie Irving (2011), Elton Brand (1999) and John Wall (2010)