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

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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
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
2003 Cleveland Cavaliers (St. Vincent-St. Mary HS) LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His accomplishments ...more

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2
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 (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.; April 16, 1947) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) ...more

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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. (born August 14, 1959) is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the ...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 "Shaq" O'Neal ( shə-KEEL; SHAK; born March 6, 1972) is a retired professional American basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program Inside the ...more

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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 Duncan (born April 25, 1976) is an American professional basketball coach and former player who is an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball ...more

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#31 of 158 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #1,325 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time

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 (; Yoruba: [olaɟuwɔ̃]; born January 21, 1963), formerly spelled (& still pronounced as) Akeem Olajuwon, is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player. ...more

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#6 of 158 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #1,172 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time

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 (born November 24, 1938), nicknamed "The Big O", is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. ...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 (; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed "the Answer", is an American former professional basketball player. He played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association ...more

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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 former professional basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for ...more

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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 (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-American retired Hall of Fame basketball player and current head coach of the Georgetown University men's basketball team. He played ...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

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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 (born September 16, 1934) is an American former basketball player, coach, and executive. He played 14 seasons as a small forward in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for ...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 for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was named NBA Rookie of the Year ...more

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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 (born February 27, 1961) is an American former professional basketball player who is currently a commentator, television host, and analyst. Named one of the 50 Greatest Players ...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 (born September 12, 1980) is a Chinese basketball executive and retired professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and ...more

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#94 of 158 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #10 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

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 Webber III (born March 1, 1973) is an American former professional basketball player. He is a five-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team member, a former NBA ...more
17
Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard
2008 Chicago Bulls (Memphis) Derrick Martell Rose (born October 4, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one year of college ...more
18
John Wall is listed (or ranked) 18 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. (born September 6, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A Raleigh, North ...more

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#17 of 61 The Most Hated Active NBA Players #2 of 155 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time

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 Walton III (born November 5, 1952) is an American retired basketball player and television sportscaster. Walton played for John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins in the early 1970s, ...more

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#1,961 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #15 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Timelisted on Left Handed Basketball Players

20
Karl-Anthony Towns is listed (or ranked) 20 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. (born November 15, 1995) is a Dominican-American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played ...more

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21
Blake Griffin is listed (or ranked) 21 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

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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 (born December 8, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is an eight-time All-Star, ...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 (born November 17, 1945) 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 ...more

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#93 of 158 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #1,557 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time

24
Ben Simmons is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard/forward

2016 Philadelphia 76ers (LSU)

Benjamin David Simmons (born 20 July 1996) is an Australian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball ...more
25
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) Lawrence Demetric Johnson (born March 14, 1969) is an American retired basketball player who spent his professional career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Charlotte Hornets ...more

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