Ranking the best NBA draft picks of all time, by draft slot

Ranking the best NBA draft picks of all time, by draft slot

Draft

Ranking the best NBA draft picks of all time, by draft slot

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2. Isiah Thomas, 1981

Nathaniel S. Butler-NBAE via Getty Images

Maybe in a few years, Kevin Durant (second overall in 2007) will take this spot, but not yet. For now, it goes to Isiah Thomas, who is one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA. The 12-time All-Star led Detroit to a pair of titles.

1. LeBron James, 2003

Jesse D. Garrabrant-NBAE via Getty Images

Call it recency bias, but LeBron James deserves to be No. 1 over Magic Johnson (first overall in 1979) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (first overall in 1969). There are plenty of arguments to be made for Kareem or Magic, but LeBron is spectacular in a way that’s completely unique.

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