Basketball The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked  

surag
Originally by
63.6k votes 6.7k voters 62.6k views 54 items

List Rules Only players drafted #1 overall in the NBA Draft

Having the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft could set your team up for success for more than a decade. However, not all no. 1 picks are created equal (as this list shows) and teams can regret passing up on superstars such as Michael Jordan or Kevin Durant. We've compiled a list of all the number one overall draft picks in NBA Draft history to see who is voted the best top overall first round pick of all time. 

list ordered by

1
3,333 1,017
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward, Power forward, Point forward 2003 Cleveland Cavaliers (St. Vincent-St. Mary HS) LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 8 in and weighing 250 lbs., he has started ...more

2
2,591 600
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1968 Milwaukee Bucks (UCLA) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. During his ...more

3
2,609 631
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard, Power forward 1979 Los Angeles Lakers (Michigan State) Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for 13 seasons. ...more

4
2,349 565
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1992 Orlando Magic (LSU) Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, nicknamed Shaq, is an American retired professional basketball player, former rapper, actor and current analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. Standing 7 ft ...more

5
2,230 634
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 1997 San Antonio Spurs (Wake Forest) Timothy Theodore "Tim" Duncan is an American professional basketball player who has played his entire career for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. The ...more

6
1,874 394
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1984 Houston Rockets (Houston) Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon, formerly known as Akeem Olajuwon, is a retired Nigerian-American professional basketball player. From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National ...more

7
1,499 408
Oscar Robertson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard, Shooting guard 1960 Cincinnati Royals (Cincinnati) Oscar Palmer Robertson, nicknamed "The Big O", is a retired American National Basketball Association player who played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. The 6 ft 5 in, 220 ...more

8
1,875 593
Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard, Shooting guard 1996 Philadelphia 76ers (Georgetown) Allen Ezail Iverson is an American retired professional basketball player who played for four different teams during 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He played both the point ...more

9
1,296 403
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1987 San Antonio Spurs (Navy) David Robinson is the father of American Football player Corey Robinson.

10
1,116 476
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1985 New York Knicks (Georgetown) Patrick Aloysius Ewing, Sr. is a Jamaican-American retired Hall of Fame basketball player. He played most of his career with the NBA's New York Knicks as their starting center and played briefly ...more

11
1,186 606
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 2012 New Orleans Hornets (Kentucky) Anthony Marshon Davis, Jr. is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association. He plays the power forward and ...more

12
821 498
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward 1958 Minneapolis Lakers (Seattle) Elgin Gay Baylor is a retired American basketball player, coach, and executive. He played 13 seasons as a forward in the National Basketball Association for the Minneapolis / Los Angeles Lakers, ...more

13
1,228 660
Kyrie Irving is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard 2011 Cleveland Cavaliers (Duke) Kyrie Andrew Irving is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association. Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia but grew up in West ...more

14
735 534
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward 1982 Los Angeles Lakers (North Carolina) James Ager Worthy is a retired American professional basketball player and current basketball commentator, television host, and analyst. Named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, ...more

15
865 625
Yao Ming is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 2002 Houston Rockets (China) Yao Ming is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. He was selected to start for the Western Conference in the ...more

16
899 488
John Wall is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard 2010 Washington Wizards (Kentucky) Johnathan Hildred Wall, Jr. is an American professional basketball point guard for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association. A Raleigh, North Carolina native, Wall was ...more

17
743 496
Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 1993 Golden State Warriors (Michigan) Mayce Edward Christopher "Chris" Webber III is a retired American professional basketball player. He is a five-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team member, a former NBA Rookie ...more

18
891 431
Karl-Anthony Towns is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
2015 Minnesota Timberwolves (Kentucky) Karl-Anthony Towns Jr. is a Dominican-American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the ...more

19
606 497
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1974 Portland Trail Blazers (UCLA) William Theodore "Bill" Walton III is an American retired basketball player and television sportscaster. Walton achieved superstardom playing for John Wooden's powerhouse UCLA Bruins ...more

20
851 676
Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard 2008 Chicago Bulls (Memphis) Derrick Martell Rose is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association. He played one year of college ...more

21
595 682
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 2004 Orlando Magic (Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy) Dwight David Howard is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association. Howard, who plays center, had an outstanding high ...more

22
641 754
Blake Griffin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward 2009 Los Angeles Clippers (Oklahoma) Blake Austin Griffin is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for the ...more

23
417 405
Elvin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 1968 San Diego Rockets (Houston) Elvin Ernest Hayes is an American retired professional basketball player and radio analyst for his alma-mater Houston Cougars. He is a member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, and an ...more

24
595 606
Andrew Wiggins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
2014 Cleveland Cavaliers (Kansas) Andrew Christian Wiggins is a Canadian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for ...more

25
396 416
Larry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward 1991 Charlotte Hornets (UNLV) Larry Demetric Johnson is a retired American basketball player who spent his professional career in the National Basketball Association with the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks. He was ...more

26
264 434
Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1983 Houston Rockets (Virginia) Ralph Lee Sampson, Jr. is a retired American basketball player. A 7-foot-4 phenom, three-time College Player of the Year, and No. 1 pick in the 1983 NBA draft, Sampson brought heavy expectations ...more

27
263 356
David Thompson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
1975 Atlanta Hawks (North Carolina State) David O'Neil Thompson is a former American professional basketball star with the Denver Nuggets of both the National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association, as well as the ...more

28
213 394
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1970 Detroit Pistons (St. Bonaventure) Robert Jerry "Bob" Lanier, Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played for the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Lanier was inducted into the ...more

29
235 427
Glenn Robinson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward 1994 Milwaukee Bucks (Purdue) Glenn Alann Robinson, Jr. is an American former professional basketball player. He played in the National Basketball Association from 1994 to 2005 for the Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, ...more

30
294 64
Ben Simmons is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

2016 Philadelphia 76ers (LSU)

Benjamin David Simmons is an Australian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for one season with ...more

31
197 432
Elton Brand is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward 1999 Chicago Bulls (Duke) Elton Tyron Brand is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association. He was selected with first overall pick in the ...more

32
172 391
Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 1986 Cleveland Cavaliers (North Carolina) Bradley Lee Daugherty is an ESPN NBA analyst, former NASCAR analyst, co-owner of Sprint Cup Series team JTG Daugherty Racing, and retired American basketball player. He played college basketball ...more

33
181 366
Mark Aguirre is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward 1981 Dallas Mavericks (DePaul) Mark Anthony Aguirre is a retired American basketball player in the National Basketball Association. Aguirre played from 1981–1994 and won two championships with the Detroit Pistons after being ...more

34
121 365
Walt Bellamy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 1961 Chicago Packers (Indiana) Walter Jones Bellamy was an American professional basketball player.

35
143 434
Danny Manning is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward 1988 Los Angeles Clippers (Kansas) Daniel Ricardo "Danny" Manning is an American college basketball coach and retired National Basketball Association player. He is the current men's head coach at Wake Forest. After ...more

36
193 405
Kenyon Martin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward 2000 New Jersey Nets (Cincinnati) Kenyon Lee Martin is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association. He previously played for the New Jersey Nets, ...more

37
159 353
Derrick Coleman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward, Power forward, Center 1990 New Jersey Nets (Syracuse) Derrick D. Coleman is a retired American basketball player in the NBA. Coleman was born in Mobile, Alabama but grew up and attended high school in Detroit, Michigan and attended college at ...more

38
215 586
Andrew Bogut is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 2006 Milwaukee Bucks (Utah) Andrew Michael Bogut is an Australian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. The 7'0" center was a star at ...more

39
128 356
Doug Collins is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Shooting guard, Small forward 1973 Philadelphia 76ers (Illinois State) Paul Douglas "Doug" Collins is an American retired basketball player. He was the first overall pick of the 1973 NBA draft and a four-time NBA All-Star. He has also been an NBA coach, ...more

40
122 339
Mychal Thompson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 1978 Portland Trail Blazers (Minnesota) Mychal George Thompson is a retired Bahamian professional basketball player. Thompson played both the power forward and center positions and played for the Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio ...more

41
77 356
Austin Carr is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
1971 Cleveland Cavaliers (Notre Dame) Austin George Carr is a retired American professional basketball player who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Bullets of the National Basketball Association. ...more

42
81 15
Deandre Ayton is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center

2018 Phoenix Suns (Arizona)

DeAndre Ayton is a Bahamian professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played for the Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-12 Conference in the ...more

43
97 529
Andrea Bargnani is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward, Power forward, Center 2006 Toronto Raptors (Italy) Andrea Bargnani is an Italian professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association. He was selected first overall in the 2006 NBA ...more

44
107 317
John Lucas III is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard 1976 Houston Rockets (Maryland) John Harding Lucas III is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association.

45
84 390
Joe Smith is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 1995 Golden State Warriors (Maryland) Joseph Leynard Smith is an American former professional basketball player who last played at power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, Smith was ...more

46
69 346
Cazzie Russell is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward 1966 New York Knicks (Michigan) Cazzie Lee Russell is an American former professional basketball player and coach. In 1962, while playing at Chicago Carver High School, Russell was named the Chicago Sun Times Boy's Player of ...more

47
154 696
Greg Oden is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center 2007 Portland Trail Blazers (Ohio State) Gregory Wayne Oden, Jr. is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. Oden, a 7 ft 0 in, 273-pound center, played ...more

48
201 209
Markelle Fultz is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
MichaelChoi added

2017 Philadelphia 76ers (Washington)

Markelle N'Gai Fultz (born May 29, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for ...more

49
60 335
Jimmy Walker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Shooting guard 1967 Detroit Pistons (Providence) James "Jimmy" Walker was an American professional basketball player. A 6'3" guard, he played nine seasons in the NBA as a member of the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and ...more

50
67 355
Pervis Ellison is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward, Center 1989 Sacramento Kings (Louisville) Pervis Ellison is an American former NBA basketball player. Ellison was nicknamed "Never Nervous Pervis" for his play with the University of Louisville. At 6 ft 9 in and 242 lb, he ...more