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

surag
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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
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 1 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
2
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward, Power 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
3
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for ...more
10
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
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. (born March 11, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays the power forward ...more
12
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
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 (born March 23, 1992) is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Brooklyn Nets. He was named NBA Rookie of the Year after being selected by the Cleveland ...more
14
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
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
Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
John Wall is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 18 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 Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association. He played one year of college basketball ...more
19
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
Blake Griffin is listed (or ranked) 20 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 (born March 16, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for ...more
21
Karl-Anthony Towns is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Karl-Anthony Towns Center
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
22
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 22 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 Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Howard, who plays center, had an outstanding high ...more
23
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
Larry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Andrew Wiggins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small Forward
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