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

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Updated October 29, 2019 102.2k votes 10.5k voters 81.8k views 55 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
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center from New York City, New York, United States of America

Age: 72

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

1968 Milwaukee Bucks (UCLA) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born April 16, 1947) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the ...more

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#9 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #2 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #108 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

2
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard and Power forward from Lansing, Michigan, United States of America

Age: 60

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

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

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#13 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #5 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1 of 162 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

3
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center from Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

Age: 47

Teams: Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat

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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#143 of 256 Celebrities Who Should Run for President #719 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #3 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

4
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Small forward and Power forward from Akron, Ohio, United States of America

Age: 35

Number: 23

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

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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The Best LeBron 15 Colorways, Ranked #262 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #160 of 256 Celebrities Who Should Run for President

5
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center from Lagos, Nigeria

Age: 56

Teams: Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

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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#1,172 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #240 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

6
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward and Center from Christiansted, United States Virgin Islands

Age: 43

Number: 21

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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#1,634 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #9 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #7 of 870 The Top NBA Players 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 and Shooting guard from Charlotte, Tennessee, United States of America

Age: 81

Teams: Cincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks

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

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#560 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #5 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History #32 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

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 and Shooting guard from Hampton, Virginia, United States of America

Age: 44

Teams: Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

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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#1,526 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #3 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History #25 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

9
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center from Key West, Florida, United States of America

Age: 54

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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#1,027 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #7 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #20 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

10
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center from Kingston, Jamaica

Age: 57

Teams: Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

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

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#2,172 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #8 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #27 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

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 and Center from Chicago, Illinois

Age: 26

Number: 3

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

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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#21 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #110 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes #50 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

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 from Washington, D.C., United States of America

Age: 85

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

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

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#520 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #210 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #12 of 137 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

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 from Melbourne, Australia

Age: 27

Number: 2

Teams: Brooklyn Nets

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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The Best Kyrie 4 Colorways, Ranked #90 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes #52 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

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 from Gastonia, North Carolina, United States of America

Age: 58

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

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

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#2,071 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #36 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #13 of 137 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

15
Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard from Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Age: 31

Number: 1

Teams: Detroit Pistons

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

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#84 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #78 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #4 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

16
Yao Ming is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Center from Shanghai, China

Age: 39

Teams: Houston Rockets

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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#10 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #65 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #19 of 151 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

17
Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward and Center from Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

Age: 46

Teams: Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons

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

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#42 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #69 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #31 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time

18
Karl-Anthony Towns is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Karl-Anthony Towns

Number: 32

Teams: Minnesota Timberwolves

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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#51 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #146 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #3 of 148 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 from La Mesa, California, United States of America

Age: 67

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers, Los Angeles Clippers

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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#1,621 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #15 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #63 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

20
John Wall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Point guard from Raleigh, North Carolina

Age: 29

Number: 2

Teams: Washington Wizards

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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#90 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #2 of 148 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time #48 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

21
Ben Simmons is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

Number: 12

Teams: Philadelphia 76ers

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

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#158 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #125 of 243 The Best White Players in NBA History #28 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

22
Elvin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward and Center from Rayville, Louisiana

Age: 74

Teams: Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

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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#1,203 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #18 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #193 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

23
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward and Center from Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

Age: 34

Number: 12

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

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

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#1,890 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #26 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #24 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

24
Blake Griffin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
Power forward from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Age: 30

Number: 32

Teams: Detroit Pistons

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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The Best Blake Griffin Dunks #101 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #69 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

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 from Tyler, Texas, United States of America

Age: 50

Teams: Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks

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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#116 of 870 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #28 of 137 The Best Small Forwards of All Time #34 of 151 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings