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

Updated October 29, 2019 112.3k votes 11.0k voters 83.9k views55 items

List RulesOnly 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. 

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  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar1
    4,651
    1,218

    Age72

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

    1968 Milwaukee Bucks (UCLA)
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born April 16, 1947) is an American retired professional basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • Magic Johnson2
    4,402
    1,153

    Magic Johnson

    Point guard, Power forward

    Age61

    BirthplaceLansing, Michigan, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1979 Los Angeles Lakers (Michigan State)
    Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American retired professional... more on Wikipedia
  • Shaquille O'Neal3
    4,094
    1,069

    Age47

    BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix 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... more on Wikipedia

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    #785 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time#305 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • LeBron James4
    6,177
    1,721

    LeBron James

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age36

    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio, United States of America

    Number23

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    2003 Cleveland Cavaliers (St. Vincent-St. Mary HS)
    LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball... more on Wikipedia

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  • Hakeem Olajuwon5
    3,320
    856

    Age56

    BirthplaceLagos, Nigeria

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

    1984 Houston Rockets (Houston)
    Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon (; Yoruba: [olaɟuwɔ̃]; born January 21, 1963), formerly spelled (& still... more on Wikipedia
  • Tim Duncan6
    3,791
    1,030

    Tim Duncan

    Power forward, Center

    Age44

    BirthplaceChristiansted, United States Virgin Islands

    Number21

    1997 San Antonio Spurs (Wake Forest)
    Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976) is an American professional basketball coach and... more on Wikipedia
  • Oscar Robertson7
    2,651
    746

    Oscar Robertson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age82

    BirthplaceCharlotte, Tennessee, United States of America

    TeamsCincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks

    1960 Cincinnati Royals (Cincinnati)
    Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1938), nicknamed "The Big O", is an American retired... more on Wikipedia
  • David Robinson8
    2,331
    724

    Age54

    BirthplaceKey West, Florida, United States of America

    1987 San Antonio Spurs (Navy)
    David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965) is an American former professional basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • Allen Iverson9
    3,201
    1,049

    Allen Iverson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceHampton, Virginia, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

    1996 Philadelphia 76ers (Georgetown)
    Allen Ezail Iverson (; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed "the Answer", is an American former... more on Wikipedia
  • Patrick Ewing10
    2,063
    823

    Age57

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    TeamsOrlando 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... more on Wikipedia
  • Anthony Davis11
    2,195
    1,127

    Anthony Davis

    Power forward, Center

    Age27

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois

    Number3

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    2012 New Orleans Hornets (Kentucky)
    Anthony Marshon Davis Jr. (born March 11, 1993) is an American professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia

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    #48 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today#81 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • Elgin Baylor12
    1,641
    852

    Elgin Baylor

    Small forward

    Age85

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1958 Minneapolis Lakers (Seattle)
    Elgin Gay Baylor (born September 16, 1934) is an American former basketball player, coach, and... more on Wikipedia
  • Kyrie Irving13
    2,109
    1,330

    Kyrie Irving

    Point guard

    Age28

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

    Number2

    TeamsBrooklyn Nets

    2011 Cleveland Cavaliers (Duke)
    Kyrie Andrew Irving (; born March 23, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia

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  • James Worthy14
    1,402
    882

    James Worthy

    Small forward

    Age58

    BirthplaceGastonia, North Carolina, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1982 Los Angeles Lakers (North Carolina)
    James Ager Worthy (born February 27, 1961) is an American former professional basketball... more on Wikipedia

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    #2 of 51 The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time#9 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

  • Derrick Rose15
    1,815
    1,033

    Derrick Rose

    Point guard

    Age32

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    Number1

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    2008 Chicago Bulls (Memphis)
    Derrick Martell Rose (born October 4, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Yao Ming16
    1,633
    1,081

    Yao Ming

    Center

    Age39

    BirthplaceShanghai, China

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    2002 Houston Rockets (China)
    Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980) is a Chinese basketball executive and retired professional... more on Wikipedia

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    #23 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings#8 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time

  • Chris Webber17
    1,286
    917

    Chris Webber

    Power forward, Center

    Age46

    BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan, United States of America

    TeamsWashington 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... more on Wikipedia

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    #1 of 46 The Greatest Michigan Basketball Players of All Time#28 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time

  • Bill Walton18
    1,205
    876

    Age68

    BirthplaceLa Mesa, California, United States of America

    TeamsPortland 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... more on Wikipedia

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    #56 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#12 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History

  • Karl-Anthony Towns19
    1,429
    981

    Karl-Anthony Towns

    Center

    BirthplaceEdison, NJ

    Number32

    TeamsMinnesota Timberwolves

    2015 Minnesota Timberwolves (Kentucky)
    Karl-Anthony Towns Jr. (born November 15, 1995) is a Dominican-American professional... more on Wikipedia
  • Ben Simmons20
    1,057
    559

    Ben Simmons

    Point guard/forward

    Number12

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers

    2016 Philadelphia 76ers (LSU)

    Benjamin David Simmons (born 20 July 1996) is an Australian professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Zion Williamson21
    367
    122

    Number1

    TeamsNew Orleans Pelicans

    2019 New Orleans Pelicans (Duke)

    Zion Lateef Williamson (born July 6, 2000) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Elvin Hayes22
    878
    686

    Elvin Hayes

    Power forward, Center

    Age74

    BirthplaceRayville, Louisiana

    TeamsWashington 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... more on Wikipedia
  • Dwight Howard23
    1,185
    1,149

    Dwight Howard

    Power forward, Center

    Age35

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    Number12

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    2004 Orlando Magic (Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy)
    Dwight David Howard (born December 8, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • John Wall24
    1,303
    1,143

    John Wall

    Point guard

    Age30

    BirthplaceRaleigh, North Carolina

    Number2

    TeamsWashington Wizards

    2010 Washington Wizards (Kentucky)
    Johnathan Hildred Wall Jr. (born September 6, 1990) is an American professional basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • Blake Griffin25
    1,179
    1,210

    Blake Griffin

    Power forward

    Age31

    BirthplaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Number32

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    2009 Los Angeles Clippers (Oklahoma)
    Blake Austin Griffin (born March 16, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia

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