List of first overall NBA draft picks

Last updated

LeBron James, drafted out of high school, was one of the most anticipated first overall draft picks. LebronFT (cropped).jpg
LeBron James, drafted out of high school, was one of the most anticipated first overall draft picks.

The National Basketball Association's first overall pick is the player who is selected first among all eligible draftees by a team during the annual National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. The first pick is awarded to the team that wins the NBA draft lottery; in most cases, that team had a losing record in the previous season. The team with the first pick attracts significant media attention, [2] as does the player who is selected with that pick.

Contents

Eleven first picks have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award: Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (record six-time winner), Bill Walton, Magic Johnson (three-time winner), Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan (two-time winner), LeBron James (four-time winner), and Derrick Rose (youngest winner).

China's Yao Ming (2002) and Italy's Andrea Bargnani (2006) are the only two players without competitive experience in the United States to be drafted first overall. Eleven other international players with U.S. college experience have been drafted first overall—Mychal Thompson (Bahamas) in 1978, Olajuwon (Nigeria) in 1984, Patrick Ewing (Jamaica) in 1985, Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands) in 1997, Michael Olowokandi (Nigeria) in 1998, Andrew Bogut (Australia) in 2005, Kyrie Irving (Australia) in 2011, Anthony Bennett (Canada) in 2013, Andrew Wiggins (Canada) in 2014, Ben Simmons (Australia) in 2016, and Deandre Ayton (Bahamas) in 2018. Duncan is an American citizen, but is considered an "international" player by the NBA because he was not born in one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. [3] Ewing [4] had dual Jamaican-American citizenship when he was drafted and Irving [5] and Simmons [6] had dual Australian-American citizenship when they were drafted.

Note that the drafts between 1947 and 1949 were held by the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The Basketball Association of America became the National Basketball Association after absorbing teams from the National Basketball League in the fall of 1949. Official NBA publications include the BAA Drafts as part of the NBA's draft history.

Key

^Denotes players who have been selected to the All-Star Game or All-NBA Team
^*Denotes Hall of Famers
PPGPoints per game [lower-alpha 1]
APGAssists per game [lower-alpha 1]
RPGRebounds per game [lower-alpha 1]
Player
(in italic text)
Rookie of the Year

List of first overall picks

DraftSelected byPlayerNationalityPositionCollege/
high school/
former club
NBA rookie statisticsRef.
PPGRPGAPG
1947 Pittsburgh Ironmen Clifton McNeely [lower-alpha 2] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States Guard Texas Wesleyan [lower-alpha 2]
1948 Providence Steamrollers Andy Tonkovich Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Guard/Forward Marshall 2.60.6 [9]
1949 Providence Steamrollers Howie Shannon [lower-alpha 3] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Center Kansas State 13.42.3 [11]
1950 Boston Celtics Charlie Share [lower-alpha 4] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Center Bowling Green 3.95.31.0 [12]
1951 Baltimore Bullets Gene Melchiorre [lower-alpha 5] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Guard Bradley [lower-alpha 5]
1952 Milwaukee Hawks Mark Workman [lower-alpha 6] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Center West Virginia 5.13.00.6 [17]
1953 Baltimore Bullets Ray Felix ^ [lower-alpha 7] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Guard/Forward Long Island 17.613.31.1 [19]
1954 Baltimore Bullets Frank Selvy ^Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Forward/Center Furman 19.05.53.5 [20]
1955 Milwaukee Hawks Dick Ricketts [lower-alpha 8] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Guard/Forward Duquesne 8.97.23.0 [22]
1956 Rochester Royals Sihugo Green [lower-alpha 9] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Guard/Forward Duquesne 11.55.23.6 [24]
1957 Cincinnati Royals Rod Hundley ^Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Guard West Virginia 7.02.91.9 [25]
1958 Minneapolis Lakers Elgin Baylor ^* [lower-alpha 10] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Forward Seattle 24.915.04.1 [27]
1959 Cincinnati Royals Bob Boozer ^ [lower-alpha 11] Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States Forward Kansas State 8.46.21.4 [29]
1960 Cincinnati Royals Oscar Robertson ^* [lower-alpha 12] Flag of the United States (1959-1960).svg United States Guard/Forward Cincinnati 30.510.19.7 [32]
1961 Chicago Packers Walt Bellamy ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Indiana 31.619.02.7 [33]
1962 Chicago Zephyrs Bill McGill [lower-alpha 13] Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward/Center Utah 7.42.70.6 [35]
1963 New York Knicks Art Heyman [lower-alpha 14] Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward/Guard Duke 15.44.03.4 [37]
1964 New York Knicks Jim Barnes [lower-alpha 15] Flag of the United States.svg United States Center/Forward Texas Western 15.59.71.2 [39]
1965 San Francisco Warriors Fred Hetzel [lower-alpha 16] Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward/Center Davidson 6.85.20.5 [41]
1966 New York Knicks Cazzie Russell ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward/Guard Michigan 11.33.32.4 [42]
1967 Detroit Pistons Jimmy Walker ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard Providence 8.81.72.8 [43]
1968 San Diego Rockets Elvin Hayes ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Center/Forward Houston 28.417.11.4 [44]
1969 Milwaukee Bucks Lew Alcindor ^* [lower-alpha 17] Flag of the United States.svg United States Center UCLA 28.814.54.1 [46]
1970 Detroit Pistons Bob Lanier ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Center St. Bonaventure 15.68.11.8 [47]
1971 Cleveland Cavaliers Austin Carr ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard Notre Dame 21.23.53.4 [48]
1972 Portland Trail Blazers LaRue Martin Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Loyola (Illinois) 4.44.60.5 [49]
1973 Philadelphia 76ers Doug Collins ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard/Forward Illinois State 8.01.81.6 [50]
1974 Portland Trail Blazers Bill Walton ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Center UCLA 12.812.64.8 [51]
1975 Atlanta Hawks David Thompson ^* [lower-alpha 18] Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward/Guard NC State 26.06.33.7 [52]
1976 Houston Rockets John Lucas Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard Maryland 11.12.75.6 [53]
1977 Milwaukee Bucks Kent Benson Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Indiana 7.74.31.4 [54]
1978 Portland Trail Blazers Mychal Thompson Flag of the Bahamas.svg  Bahamas Forward/Center Minnesota 14.78.32.4 [55]
1979 Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard/Forward Michigan State 18.07.77.3 [56]
1980 Golden State Warriors Joe Barry Carroll ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Purdue 18.99.31.4 [57]
1981 Dallas Mavericks Mark Aguirre ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward DePaul 18.74.93.2 [58]
1982 Los Angeles Lakers James Worthy ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward North Carolina 13.45.21.7 [59]
1983 Houston Rockets Ralph Sampson ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Virginia 21.011.12.0 [60]
1984 Houston Rockets Akeem Olajuwon ^* [lower-alpha 19] Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria [lower-alpha 19] Center Houston 20.611.91.4 [63]
1985 New York Knicks Patrick Ewing ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States [lower-alpha 20] Center Georgetown 20.09.02.0 [66]
1986 Cleveland Cavaliers Brad Daugherty ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Center North Carolina 15.78.13.8 [67]
1987 San Antonio Spurs David Robinson ^* [lower-alpha 21] Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Navy 24.312.02.0 [69]
1988 Los Angeles Clippers Danny Manning ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward Kansas 16.76.63.1 [70]
1989 Sacramento Kings Pervis Ellison Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Louisville 8.05.81.9 [71]
1990 New Jersey Nets Derrick Coleman ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward/Center Syracuse 18.410.32.2 [72]
1991 Charlotte Hornets Larry Johnson ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward UNLV 19.211.03.6 [73]
1992 Orlando Magic Shaquille O'Neal ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Center LSU 23.413.91.9 [74]
1993 Orlando Magic Chris Webber ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward Michigan 17.59.13.6 [75]
1994 Milwaukee Bucks Glenn Robinson ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward Purdue 21.96.42.5 [76]
1995 Golden State Warriors Joe Smith Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward Maryland 15.38.71.0 [77]
1996 Philadelphia 76ers Allen Iverson ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard Georgetown 23.54.17.5 [78]
1997 San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan ^*Flag of the United States.svg United States [lower-alpha 22] Forward/Center Wake Forest 21.111.92.7 [80]
1998 Los Angeles Clippers Michael Olowokandi Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria Center Pacific 8.97.90.6 [81]
1999 Chicago Bulls Elton Brand ^ [lower-alpha 23] Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward Duke 20.110.01.9 [83]
2000 New Jersey Nets Kenyon Martin ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward Cincinnati 12.07.41.9 [84]
2001 Washington Wizards Kwame Brown Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Glynn Academy HS (Brunswick, Georgia)4.53.50.8 [85]
2002 Houston Rockets Yao Ming ^*Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Center Shanghai Sharks
(China)
13.58.21.7 [86]
2003 Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward St. Vincent–St. Mary HS
(Akron, Ohio)
20.95.55.9 [87]
2004 Orlando Magic Dwight Howard ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Center SACA (Atlanta)12.010.00.9 [88]
2005 Milwaukee Bucks Andrew Bogut ^Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Center Utah 9.47.02.3 [89]
2006 Toronto Raptors Andrea Bargnani Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Forward/Center Benetton Treviso
(Italy)
11.63.90.8 [90]
2007 Portland Trail Blazers Greg Oden [lower-alpha 24] Flag of the United States.svg United States Center Ohio State 8.97.00.5 [92]
2008 Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard Memphis 16.83.96.3 [93]
2009 Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin ^ [lower-alpha 25] Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward Oklahoma 22.512.13.8 [95]
2010 Washington Wizards John Wall ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard Kentucky 16.44.68.3 [96]
2011 Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving ^Flag of the United States.svg United States [lower-alpha 26] Guard Duke 18.53.75.4 [99]
2012 New Orleans Hornets Anthony Davis ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward/Center Kentucky 13.58.21.0 [100]
2013 Cleveland Cavaliers Anthony Bennett Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Forward UNLV 4.23.00.3 [101]
2014 Cleveland Cavaliers Andrew Wiggins Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada Forward/Guard Kansas 16.94.62.1 [102]
2015 Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns ^Flag of the United States.svg United States [lower-alpha 27] Center Kentucky 18.310.42.0 [103]
2016 Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons ^ [lower-alpha 28] Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia [lower-alpha 29] Forward/Guard LSU 15.88.18.2 [104]
2017 Philadelphia 76ers Markelle Fultz Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard Washington 7.13.13.8 [105]
2018 Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton Flag of the Bahamas.svg Bahamas Center Arizona 16.310.31.8 [106]
2019 New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson ^Flag of the United States.svg United States Forward Duke 22.56.32.1 [107]
2020 Minnesota Timberwolves Anthony Edwards Flag of the United States.svg United States Guard Georgia 19.34.72.9 [108]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 All statistics are taken from the players' respective rookie season unless otherwise noted.
  2. 1 2 Clifton McNeely never played professional basketball. Instead, he became a basketball coach for Pampa High School in Texas. [7] [8]
  3. Howie Shannon was the first overall pick, although Ed Macauley and Vern Mikkelsen had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks. [10]
  4. Charlie Share did not play in the 1950–51 season. His rookie statistics are from the 1951–52 season. [12] Share was the first overall pick, although Paul Arizin had been taken before the draft as the Philadelphia Warriors' territorial pick. [13]
  5. 1 2 Gene Melchiorre never played in the NBA. He was banned for life from the NBA due to his involvement in the CCNY Point Shaving Scandal. [14] Melchiorre was the first overall pick, although Myer Skoog had been taken before the draft as the Minneapolis Lakers' territorial pick. [15]
  6. Mark Workman was the first overall pick, although Bill Mlkvy had been taken before the draft as the Philadelphia Warriors' territorial pick. [16]
  7. Ray Felix was the first overall pick, although Ernie Beck and Walter Dukes had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks. [18]
  8. Dick Ricketts was the first overall pick, although Dick Garmaker and Tom Gola had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks. [21]
  9. Sihugo Green was the first overall pick, although Tom Heinsohn had been taken before the draft as the Boston Celtics' territorial pick. [23]
  10. Elgin Baylor was the first overall pick, although Guy Rodgers had been taken before the draft as the Philadelphia Warriors' territorial pick. [26]
  11. Bob Boozer was the first overall pick, although Wilt Chamberlain and Bob Ferry had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks. [28]
  12. Although Oscar Robertson was drafted as a territorial pick by the Cincinnati Royals, he was also recognized as the first pick in the first round of the draft as the Royals also held the first overall draft pick. [30] [31]
  13. Bill McGill was the first overall pick, although Dave DeBusschere and Jerry Lucas had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks. [34]
  14. Art Heyman was the first overall pick, although Tom Thacker had been taken before the draft as the Cincinnati Royals' territorial pick. [36]
  15. Jim Barnes was the first overall pick, although Walt Hazzard and George Wilson had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks. [38]
  16. Fred Hetzel was the first overall pick, although Bill Bradley, Bill Buntin and Gail Goodrich had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks. [40]
  17. Before the 1971–72 season, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. [45]
  18. David Thompson played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) in the 1975–76 season and did not play in the NBA until 1976. His rookie statistics are from the 1976–77 season. [52]
  19. 1 2 Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Nigeria, but became a naturalized United States citizen in 1993. When he arrived to the United States, the University of Houston incorrectly spelled his first name "Akeem". Olajuwon used that spelling until March 9, 1991, when he announced that he would add an H, saying, "I'm not changing the spelling of my name, I'm correcting it." [61] [62]
  20. Patrick Ewing was born in Jamaica, but had become a naturalized United States citizen while at Georgetown. [64] He represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics. [65]
  21. David Robinson did not play in the NBA until 1989 due to commitments to the United States Navy. [68] His rookie statistics are from the 1989–90 season. [69]
  22. Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Because of this citizenship arrangement, Duncan has played for the U.S. internationally. [79]
  23. Elton Brand shared Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis of the Houston Rockets. [82]
  24. Greg Oden underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee before the 2007–08 season, and missed the entire season. His rookie statistics are from the 2008–09 season. [91]
  25. Blake Griffin injured his left kneecap in a pre-season game before the 2009–10 season. He underwent a surgery in January 2010 and missed the entire season. His rookie statistics are from the 2010–11 season. [94]
  26. Kyrie Irving was born in Australia to American parents who returned to the U.S. when he was two years old. He has played for the U.S. internationally at both youth and senior level. [97] [98]
  27. Karl-Anthony Towns was born and raised in the United States, his mother is Dominican. He has chosen to represent the Dominican Republic at the international level
  28. Ben Simmons injured his right foot during training camp before the 2016–17 season. He missed the entire season. His rookie statistics are from the 2017–18 season. [104]
  29. Simmons was born in Melbourne, Australia to an American father and Australian mother. He chose to represent Australia at international level.

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