Sports Videos

Best, Worst NBA Draft Picks of All Time

1 of 11

NBA Draft: Best, Worst Picks of All Time

NBA Draft: Best, Worst Picks of All Time
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

In the history of every sport, there are some really good daft picks and there are some really bad ones. You've got the Ryan Leafs and Jerry Rices of the NFL and the David Clydes and Roger Clemenses of MLB. Then comes the NBA, which only has two rounds in each year's draft. A player taken outside the top 10 who goes on to have a tremendous career is considered a steal of a pick. In fact, any player selected outside of the lottery who has a solid career is considered an incredible story.

So who are the best picks of all time? And who are the worst picks of all time?

The folks here at Rant Sports have put our heads together to determine just that. We've compiled a list of the worst draft picks in NBA history as well as the best picks of all time. We hope you enjoy the video above as well as this slide show that explains each pick in a little more detail.

If you're trying to guess the picks before watching, here's a hint: the Portland Trail Blazers are on this list a lot. Be sure to comment below if we missed anyone and with your own rankings of the best and worst NBA draft picks of all time.

2 of 11

No. 5 Worst: LaRue Martin

LaRue Martin: No. 1 in 1972
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The 1972 NBA Draft was one of the weakest in history and its No. 1 overall pick sums it up: LaRue Martin averaged just 5.3 points in four seasons. But this is just the beginning of the Blazers' draft woes through the years.

3 of 11

No. 4 Worst: Darko Milicic: No. 2 in 2003

Darko Milicic: No. 2 in 2003
Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

How about LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh as the other four top picks in this draft? Darko isn't done yet, but he's done, if you know what I mean.

4 of 11

No. 3 Worst: Greg Oden

Greg Oden: No. 1 in 2007
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Blazers strike again! Greg Oden over Kevin Durant? C'mon, man! This guy looks like he's 93 years old, so no wonder he can't stay healthy!

5 of 11

No. 2 Worst: Robert Traylor

Robert Traylor: No. 6 in 1998

The Tractor Traylor should have picked a different profession. His career-high 20 points in "that one game against the Hawks" was a fluke.

6 of 11

No. 1 Worst: Sam Bowie

Sam Bowie: No. 2 in 1984

Being drafted in between Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan is tough, but Sam Bowie is the worst ever. He missed two full seasons in college due to injury, so had the Blazers been living under a rock? Apparently they didn't learn their lesson (see Oden, Greg: idiotic pick in 2007).

7 of 11

No. 5 Best: Clyde Drexler

Clyde Drexler
Wikimedia Commons

How does a Hall of Famer like Clyde the Glide fall all the way to No. 14? Well, Portland actually got one right in 1983 as Drexler appeared in eight All-Star games as a member of the Blazers.

8 of 11

No. 4 Best: Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It's rare that a European player is the best in a franchise's history, but that's the case with Nowitzki and the Mavericks, who struck gold with their tall sharpshooter at No. 9 overall in 1998.

9 of 11

No. 3 Best: Julius "Dr. J" Erving

Dr. J

Dr. J began his career in the ABA, but the fact he fell to No. 12 in the NBA Draft is ridiculous. He was the Michael Jordan before His Airness came into the league and put on a show night in and night out once he finally joined the 76ers of the NBA. The rest is history.

10 of 11

No. 2 Best: John Stockton

John Stockton

Had he not played college ball at Gonzaga, Stockton likely wouldn't have fallen to No. 16 in 1984. But the Hall of Famer set the records for career assists and steals, so it worked out well for him and the Jazz.

11 of 11

No. 1 Best: Kobe Bryant

kobe bryant
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

How one of the greatest players in history fell to No. 13 is still a mystery, regardless of the fact he entered the draft straight out of high school. Kobe has set records and won championships in a way that no one ever has, so the fact he was barely a lottery pick makes him the greatest draft pick of all time.