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

Updated October 29, 2019 109.4k votes 10.8k voters 83.1k 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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  • 1
    Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    4,299
    1,110

    Magic Johnson

    Point guard, Power forward

    Age60

    BirthplaceLansing, Michigan, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1979 Los Angeles Lakers (Michigan State)
  • 2
    Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    3,262
    777

    Age56

    BirthplaceLagos, Nigeria

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

    1984 Houston Rockets (Houston)
  • 3
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    4,539
    1,178

    Age72

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

    1968 Milwaukee Bucks (UCLA)
  • 4
    Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    4,004
    1,032

    Age47

    BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat

    1992 Orlando Magic (LSU)

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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
    3,718
    990

    Tim Duncan

    Power forward, Center

    Age43

    BirthplaceChristiansted, United States Virgin Islands

    Number21

    1997 San Antonio Spurs (Wake Forest)
  • 6
    LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    5,984
    1,691

    LeBron James

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age35

    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio, United States of America

    Number23

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    2003 Cleveland Cavaliers (St. Vincent-St. Mary HS)

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  • 7
    Oscar Robertson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    2,584
    727

    Oscar Robertson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age81

    BirthplaceCharlotte, Tennessee, United States of America

    TeamsCincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks

    1960 Cincinnati Royals (Cincinnati)

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  • 8
    David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    2,276
    703

    Age54

    BirthplaceKey West, Florida

    1987 San Antonio Spurs (Navy)

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  • 9
    Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    3,137
    1,029

    Allen Iverson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceHampton, Virginia, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

    1996 Philadelphia 76ers (Georgetown)
  • 10
    Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    2,006
    803

    Age57

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    TeamsOrlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

    1985 New York Knicks (Georgetown)
  • 11
    Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    2,147
    1,102

    Anthony Davis

    Power forward, Center

    Age26

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois

    Number3

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    2012 New Orleans Hornets (Kentucky)
  • 12
    Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,585
    843

    Elgin Baylor

    Small forward

    Age85

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1958 Minneapolis Lakers (Seattle)
  • 13
    Kyrie Irving is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    2,080
    1,288

    Kyrie Irving

    Point guard

    Age27

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

    Number2

    TeamsBrooklyn Nets

    2011 Cleveland Cavaliers (Duke)

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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
    1,365
    863

    James Worthy

    Small forward

    Age58

    BirthplaceGastonia, North Carolina, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1982 Los Angeles Lakers (North Carolina)
  • 15
    Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,774
    1,011

    Derrick Rose

    Point guard

    Age31

    BirthplaceUSA, Chicago, Illinois

    Number1

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    2008 Chicago Bulls (Memphis)
  • 16
    Yao Ming is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,585
    1,058

    Yao Ming

    Center

    Age39

    BirthplaceShanghai, China

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    2002 Houston Rockets (China)

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  • 17
    Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,259
    890

    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)

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    #28 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time#2 of 46 The Greatest Michigan Basketball Players of All Time

  • 18
    Ben Simmons is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,038
    513

    Ben Simmons

    Point guard/forward

    Number12

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers

    2016 Philadelphia 76ers (LSU)

    More Ben Simmons 

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  • 19
    Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,167
    861

    Age67

    BirthplaceLa Mesa, California, United States of America

    TeamsPortland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers, Los Angeles Clippers

    1974 Portland Trail Blazers (UCLA)

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    #20 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History#58 of 765 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

  • 20
    Karl-Anthony Towns is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,412
    941

    Karl-Anthony Towns

    Center

    BirthplaceEdison, NJ

    Number32

    TeamsMinnesota Timberwolves

    2015 Minnesota Timberwolves (Kentucky)
  • 21
    Elvin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    847
    675

    Elvin Hayes

    Power forward, Center

    Age74

    BirthplaceRayville, Louisiana

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

    1968 San Diego Rockets (Houston)
  • 22
    Zion Williamson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    332
    91

    Number1

    TeamsNew Orleans Pelicans

    2019 New Orleans Pelicans (Duke)

  • 23
    Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,143
    1,126

    Dwight Howard

    Power forward, Center

    Age34

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    Number12

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    2004 Orlando Magic (Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy)
  • 24
    John Wall is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,283
    1,129

    John Wall

    Point guard

    Age29

    BirthplaceRaleigh, North Carolina

    Number2

    TeamsWashington Wizards

    2010 Washington Wizards (Kentucky)
  • 25
    Blake Griffin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked
    1,159
    1,194

    Blake Griffin

    Power forward

    Age30

    BirthplaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Number32

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    2009 Los Angeles Clippers (Oklahoma)

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