basketball The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time  

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

Having the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft could set your team up for success for more than a decade. However, not all #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 #1 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
2,706 828
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
LeBron James Small forward, Power forward, Point forward - 2003 Cleveland Cavaliers (St. Vincent-St. Mary HS)

2
2,091 496
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center - 1968 Milwaukee Bucks (UCLA)

3
2,136 559
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Magic Johnson Point guard, Power forward - 1979 Los Angeles Lakers (Michigan State)

4
1,873 512
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Tim Duncan Power forward, Center - 1997 San Antonio Spurs (Wake Forest)

5
1,942 477
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Shaquille O'Neal Center - 1992 Orlando Magic (LSU)

6
1,543 327
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Hakeem Olajuwon Center - 1984 Houston Rockets (Houston)

7
1,572 488
Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Allen Iverson Point guard, Shooting guard - 1996 Philadelphia 76ers (Georgetown)

8
1,241 332
Oscar Robertson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Oscar Robertson Point guard, Shooting guard - 1960 Cincinnati Royals (Cincinnati)

9
1,075 325
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
David Robinson Center - 1987 San Antonio Spurs (Navy)

10
920 396
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Patrick Ewing Center - 1985 New York Knicks (Georgetown)

11
944 514
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Anthony Davis Power forward, Center - 2012 New Orleans Hornets (Kentucky)

12
658 416
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Elgin Baylor Small forward - 1958 Minneapolis Lakers (Seattle)

13
994 545
Kyrie Irving is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Kyrie Irving Point guard - 2011 Cleveland Cavaliers (Duke)

14
609 441
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
James Worthy Small forward - 1982 Los Angeles Lakers (North Carolina)

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15
711 507
Yao Ming is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Yao Ming Center - 2002 Houston Rockets (China)

16
624 398
Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Chris Webber Power forward, Center - 1993 Golden State Warriors (Michigan)

17
754 395
John Wall is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
John Wall Point guard - 2010 Washington Wizards (Kentucky)

18
746 346
Karl-Anthony Towns is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Karl-Anthony Towns 2015 Minnesota Timberwolves (Kentucky)

19
479 411
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Bill Walton Center - 1974 Portland Trail Blazers (UCLA)

20
540 621
Blake Griffin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Blake Griffin Power forward - 2009 Los Angeles Clippers (Oklahoma)

21
684 566
Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Derrick Rose Point guard - 2008 Chicago Bulls (Memphis)

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22
484 574
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Dwight Howard Power forward, Center - 2004 Orlando Magic (Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy)

23
326 350
Elvin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Elvin Hayes Power forward, Center - 1968 San Diego Rockets (Houston)

24
532 464
Andrew Wiggins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Andrew Wiggins 2014 Cleveland Cavaliers (Kansas)

25
329 346
Larry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Larry Johnson Power forward - 1991 Charlotte Hornets (UNLV)

26
202 363
Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Ralph Sampson Center - 1983 Houston Rockets (Virginia)

27
202 296
David Thompson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
David Thompson 1975 Atlanta Hawks (North Carolina State)

28
172 332
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Bob Lanier Center - 1970 Detroit Pistons (St. Bonaventure)

The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts

29
195 350
Glenn Robinson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Glenn Robinson Small forward - 1994 Milwaukee Bucks (Purdue)

30
165 344
Elton Brand is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Elton Brand Power forward - 1999 Chicago Bulls (Duke)

31
133 322
Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Brad Daugherty Center - 1986 Cleveland Cavaliers (North Carolina)

32
147 304
Mark Aguirre is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Mark Aguirre Small forward - 1981 Dallas Mavericks (DePaul)

33
97 300
Walt Bellamy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Walt Bellamy Power forward, Center - 1961 Chicago Packers (Indiana)

34
116 364
Danny Manning is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Danny Manning Power forward - 1988 Los Angeles Clippers (Kansas)

35
179 497
Andrew Bogut is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Andrew Bogut Center - 2006 Milwaukee Bucks (Utah)

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36
125 298
Derrick Coleman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Derrick Coleman Small forward, Power forward, Center - 1990 New Jersey Nets (Syracuse)

37
155 337
Kenyon Martin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Kenyon Martin Power forward - 2000 New Jersey Nets (Cincinnati)

38
103 302
Doug Collins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Doug Collins Shooting guard, Small forward - 1973 Philadelphia 76ers (Illinois State)

39
100 284
Mychal Thompson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Mychal Thompson Power forward, Center - 1978 Portland Trail Blazers (Minnesota)

40
129 28
Ben Simmons is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Ben Simmons

41
63 297
Austin Carr is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Austin Carr 1971 Cleveland Cavaliers (Notre Dame)

42
68 316
Joe Smith is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Joe Smith Power forward, Center - 1995 Golden State Warriors (Maryland)

The Top Current NBA Players

43
88 263
John Lucas is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
John Lucas 1976 Houston Rockets (Maryland)

44
55 288
Cazzie Russell is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Cazzie Russell Small forward - 1966 New York Knicks (Michigan)

45
80 434
Andrea Bargnani is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Andrea Bargnani Small forward, Power forward, Center - 2006 Toronto Raptors (Italy)

46
126 563
Greg Oden is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Greg Oden Center - 2007 Portland Trail Blazers (Ohio State)

47
125 116
Markelle Fultz is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
MichaelChoi added Markelle Fultz

48
41 272
Jimmy Walker is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Jimmy Walker Shooting guard - 1967 Detroit Pistons (Providence)

49
49 262
Joe Barry Carroll is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Joe Barry Carroll Center - 1980 Golden State Warriors (Purdue)

50
50 282
Pervis Ellison is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time
Pervis Ellison Power forward, Center - 1989 Sacramento Kings (Louisville)