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2012 NBA Draft: Ranking The Number One Overall Picks Since 1992

The 2012 NBA Draft is just over a week away and the New Orleans Hornets look set on taking Kentucky star Anthony Davis with the first pick.  There have been a lot of great first picks over the last 20 years, but who was the best one of them?  Will Davis join that list in the future?  We shall see, but let’s get on to the list.

20.  Michael Olowokandi – Los Angeles Clippers

No one liked the Olowokandi pick when it happened and it certainly hasn’t held up over time.  Only the Clippers could think he would be a good pro.

19.  Greg Oden – Portland Trail Blazers

I had high hopes for Oden.  Alas, injuries have ruined his career.  We will never know what a healthy Oden could have done.

18.  Kwame Brown – Washington Wizards

Michael Jordan was a great player, but his player personnel decisions are bad.  Enter a high schooler that has no offense and wilted under the glare of His Airness.

17.  Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers

16.  John Wall – Washington Wizards

These two kids have not had much of a chance to prove themselves, but it is safe to say they will have better careers than the bottom three.  Should have a chance to move up as their careers progress.

15.  Andrew Bogut – Milwaukee Bucks

Bogut has had some good moments in his career, but injuries are starting to mount.  He was traded this past year and it looks like his best days may be behind him.

14.  Joe Smith – Golden State Warriors

Bland name for one of the blandest guys on this less.  Productive in his career, but not even close to being a number one draft pick.  Gets points for longevity.

13.  Andrea Bargnani – Toronto Raptors

Has a shot at maybe cracking the top 10 of this list if he keeps putting up good numbers.  Playing in Toronto masks how good he can be.

12.  Glenn Robinson – Milwaukee Bucks

Great college player, but not a great NBA player.  Made an All-Star team and won a title, but the title came as a bench guy.

11.  Kenyon Martin – New Jersey Nets

A broken leg in his final college game may be dampened his career before it started.  Was productive when healthy, but without all of his athleticism, his game was merely so-so.

10.  Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers

Another guy on this list with a chance to move higher up.  Already made an All-Star game and figures to get better as he learns to shoot and play defense.

9.  Elton Brand – Chicago Bulls

Very underrated career for Brand, although he made a name for himself out in LA instead of Chicago.  Still chugging along in Philly.

8.  Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls

Rose can certainly jump on this list, but there is a lot of great players ahead of him.  A torn ACL may rob him of an extremely special career.

7.  Dwight Howard – Orlando Magic

Great player, but I am not sure if he can ever win a title.  Seems to be too nice of a guy with too many holes in his game.  Physical freak, but his personality is grating.

6.  Yao Ming – Houston Rockets

Injuries ended Yao’s career in his prime.  When he was on, he was a fantastic basketball player.  I wish we could have seen him get a shot at winning a title.

5.  Chris Webber – Orlando Magic

Not many remember that Webber was a pick of the Magic.  Made his bones with the Sacramento Kings and could have won a title if it wasn’t for those pesky Los Angeles Lakers.  Should be a top 35 player of all time.

4.  Allen Iverson – Philadelphia 76ers

Pound for pound, the toughest guy to ever step on a basketball court.  Pushed the league into a hip-hop era and was revered by his peers.  If his supporting cast was better, he would have at least one ring.

3.  LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers

It will not be long before King James wins his first ring.  He could eventually become number one on this list with multiple titles.  An absolute freak of nature.

2.  Shaquille O’Neal – Orlando Magic

The Diesel was one of the best centers of all time.  Easily could have been number one this list if his career did not end so poorly.   Top 15 player of all time on most lists, including mine.

1.  Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs

The Big Fundamental is one of the most underrated players of all time.  He is a great player and won multiple titles in eras of different play.

There you have it.  That is my ranking of the last 20 number one overall picks.  Will Anthony Davis of the 2012 NBA Draft join this list with high marks or will he fail?  I can not wait to watch his journey.

Riley Schmitt is a writer for Rant Sports.