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10.9k voters

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

Updated October 29, 2019 110.7k votes 10.9k voters 83.5k 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
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    4,591
    1,191

    Age72

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

    1968 Milwaukee Bucks (UCLA)

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    #1345 of 1,357 The Greatest Minds of All Time#20 of 44 Tiny Movie Cameos By Super Famous People

  • 2
    Hakeem Olajuwon
    3,283
    817

    Age56

    BirthplaceLagos, Nigeria

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

    1984 Houston Rockets (Houston)
  • 3
    Shaquille O'Neal
    4,046
    1,042

    Age47

    BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, United States of America

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

    1992 Orlando Magic (LSU)

    More Shaquille O'Neal 

    #922 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time#782 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • 4
    Magic Johnson
    4,342
    1,124

    Magic Johnson

    Point guard, Power forward

    Age60

    BirthplaceLansing, Michigan, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1979 Los Angeles Lakers (Michigan State)
  • 5
    Tim Duncan
    3,745
    1,009

    Tim Duncan

    Power forward, Center

    Age43

    BirthplaceChristiansted, United States Virgin Islands

    Number21

    1997 San Antonio Spurs (Wake Forest)
  • 6
    LeBron James
    6,070
    1,703

    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
    2,611
    733

    Oscar Robertson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age81

    BirthplaceCharlotte, Tennessee, United States of America

    TeamsCincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks

    1960 Cincinnati Royals (Cincinnati)
  • 8
    David Robinson
    2,297
    710

    Age54

    BirthplaceKey West, Florida

    1987 San Antonio Spurs (Navy)
  • 9
    Allen Iverson
    3,164
    1,036

    Allen Iverson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceHampton, Virginia, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

    1996 Philadelphia 76ers (Georgetown)
  • 10
    Patrick Ewing
    2,030
    811

    Age57

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    TeamsOrlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

    1985 New York Knicks (Georgetown)
  • 11
    Anthony Davis
    2,167
    1,112

    Anthony Davis

    Power forward, Center

    Age26

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois

    Number3

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    2012 New Orleans Hornets (Kentucky)
  • 12
    Elgin Baylor
    1,608
    846

    Elgin Baylor

    Small forward

    Age85

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1958 Minneapolis Lakers (Seattle)
  • 13
    Kyrie Irving
    2,095
    1,307

    Kyrie Irving

    Point guard

    Age27

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

    Number2

    TeamsBrooklyn Nets

    2011 Cleveland Cavaliers (Duke)

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  • 14
    James Worthy
    1,385
    872

    James Worthy

    Small forward

    Age58

    BirthplaceGastonia, North Carolina, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1982 Los Angeles Lakers (North Carolina)

    More James Worthy 

    #2 of 51 The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time#8 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

  • 15
    Derrick Rose
    1,795
    1,018

    Derrick Rose

    Point guard

    Age31

    BirthplaceUSA, Chicago, Illinois

    Number1

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    2008 Chicago Bulls (Memphis)
  • 16
    Yao Ming
    1,606
    1,066

    Yao Ming

    Center

    Age39

    BirthplaceShanghai, China

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    2002 Houston Rockets (China)

    More Yao Ming 

    #10 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time#24 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

  • 17
    Chris Webber
    1,273
    901

    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)
  • 18
    Bill Walton
    1,187
    865

    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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    #55 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#2 of 42 The Greatest UCLA Basketball Players of All Time

  • 19
    Karl-Anthony Towns
    1,419
    960

    Karl-Anthony Towns

    Center

    BirthplaceEdison, NJ

    Number32

    TeamsMinnesota Timberwolves

    2015 Minnesota Timberwolves (Kentucky)
  • 20
    Ben Simmons
    1,048
    534

    Ben Simmons

    Point guard/forward

    Number12

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers

    2016 Philadelphia 76ers (LSU)

    More Ben Simmons 

    #72 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today#36 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • 21
    Elvin Hayes
    861
    679

    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
    352
    105

    Number1

    TeamsNew Orleans Pelicans

    2019 New Orleans Pelicans (Duke)

  • 23
    Dwight Howard
    1,163
    1,138

    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
    1,290
    1,138

    John Wall

    Point guard

    Age29

    BirthplaceRaleigh, North Carolina

    Number2

    TeamsWashington Wizards

    2010 Washington Wizards (Kentucky)

    More John Wall 

    #3 of 141 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time#17 of 54 The Most Hated Active NBA Players

  • 25
    Blake Griffin
    1,167
    1,201

    Blake Griffin

    Power forward

    Age30

    BirthplaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Number32

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    2009 Los Angeles Clippers (Oklahoma)