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11.1k voters

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

Updated October 29, 2019 109.2k votes 11.1k voters 84.2k 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
    4,506
    1,193

    Age73

    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

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    #391 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#1343 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • Magic Johnson2
    4,257
    1,138

    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

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    #30 of 105 The Most Influential Contemporary Americans#29 of 32 The Best NBA Shooting Guards of the 90s

  • Shaquille O'Neal3
    3,962
    1,055

    Age48

    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

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    #1012 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time#216 of 439 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

  • LeBron James4
    6,014
    1,657

    LeBron James

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age36

    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio

    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

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    The Best LeBron 15 Colorways, Ranked#247 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

  • Hakeem Olajuwon5
    3,224
    846

    Age56

    BirthplaceLagos, Nigeria

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

    1984 Houston Rockets (Houston)
    Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon (; Yoruba: [olaɟuwɔ̃]; born January 21, 1963), formerly spelled (& still...  more

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    #1 of 50 The Greatest African NBA Players of All Time#329 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • Tim Duncan6
    3,671
    997

    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

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    #1 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History#3 of 69 All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked

  • Oscar Robertson7
    2,575
    723

    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

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    #12 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History#3 of 25 The Best NBA Point Guards of the 1970s

  • David Robinson8
    2,261
    702

    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

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    #2 of 30 The Best NBA Centers of the '90s#12 of 96 The Best Rebounders in NBA History

  • Allen Iverson9
    3,100
    1,011

    Allen Iverson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age45

    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

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    #11 of 27 The Best '90s Point Guards#40 of 66 The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

  • Patrick Ewing10
    2,002
    795

    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

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    #107 of 124 The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time#58 of 68 The Best Current College Basketball Coaches

  • Anthony Davis11
    2,116
    1,105

    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

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    #1 of 141 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time#467 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • Elgin Baylor12
    1,596
    825

    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

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    #7 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time#498 of 1,427 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • James Worthy13
    1,362
    855

    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

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    #7 of 29 The Greatest Small Forwards of the 1980s#9 of 22 The Best Small Forwards of the 90s

  • Kyrie Irving14
    2,026
    1,300

    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

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    The Best Kyrie 4 Colorways, Ranked#11 of 76 The Greatest Duke Basketball Players of All Time

  • Derrick Rose15
    1,762
    1,004

    Derrick Rose

    Point guard

    Age32

    BirthplaceUSA, Chicago, Illinois

    Number1

    TeamsNew York Knicks

    2008 Chicago Bulls (Memphis)
    Derrick Martell Rose (born October 4, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for...  more

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    #4 of 73 The Greatest Chicago Bulls of All Time#2 of 46 The Greatest Memphis Basketball Players of All Time

  • Yao Ming16
    1,590
    1,047

    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

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    #25 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings#24 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

  • Chris Webber17
    1,246
    889

    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

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    #2 of 46 The Greatest Michigan Basketball Players of All Time#11 of 21 The Best NBA Players Who Rap, Ranked

  • Bill Walton18
    1,176
    845

    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

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    #57 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#15 of 232 The Best White Players in NBA History

  • Karl-Anthony Towns19
    1,376
    955

    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

    More 

    #11 of 25 NBA Stars You Should Definitely Follow On IG#93 of 199 The All-Around Best Athletes of 2018

  • Ben Simmons20
    1,023
    556

    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

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    #8 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time#71 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

  • Zion Williamson21
    373
    137

    Number1

    TeamsNew Orleans Pelicans

    2019 New Orleans Pelicans (Duke)

    Zion Lateef Williamson (born July 6, 2000) is an American professional basketball player for...  more

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    #8 of 49 The Best Athletes Signed To Jordan Brand#1 of 43 The Best Players In March Madness 2019, Ranked

  • Elvin Hayes22
    855
    667

    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
  • John Wall23
    1,261
    1,103

    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

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    #23 of 76 The Best Point Guards Currently in the NBA#3 of 55 Who Is The Fastest Player In The NBA Right Now?

  • Dwight Howard24
    1,154
    1,112

    Dwight Howard

    Power forward, Center

    Age35

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia

    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

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    #41 of 50 The Best NBA Centers Right Now#6 of 115 The Funniest Professional Athletes

  • Blake Griffin25
    1,140
    1,175

    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

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