Over the last ten years, there have been some memorable drafts in the NBA. Some produce multiple all-stars while others are packed with good starters. The ranking of the top draft classes takes into account the volume of talent, both in the first and second round, while also considering how good the best players in their respective drafts are. With the number of great drafts in the past few years, the future of the NBA looks bright.
Ranking the Top Draft Classes this Decade
1. 2018 Draft
It might be too soon to proclaim this draft as legendary, but it is close. The two biggest names of this draft are Luka Doncic (3rd) and Trae Young (5th) who have already become All-Stars. Then we have Deandre Ayton (1st), who is averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds per game. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11th) is having a breakout season with the Oklahoma City Thunder after being traded from the Clippers in the Paul George trade.
Then we have other players that have shown flashes of potential. These include Jaren Jackson Jr. (4th), Wendell Carter (7th), Collin Sexton (8th), Michael Porter (14th), Devonte Graham (34th), Mitchell Robinson (36th), and Shake Milton (54th). Not even including the role players drafted, this draft will go down as one of the best in NBA history.
2. 2011 Draft
The 2011 Draft was by far one of the most stacked drafts we’ve ever seen. The top 20 picks include All-Stars Kyrie Irving (1st), Kemba Walker (9th), Klay Thompson (11th), Kawhi Leonard (15th), and Nikola Vucevic (16th).
Other recognizable names in the first round include Jimmy Butler (30th), Tobias Harris (19th), Enes Kanter (3rd), Tristan Thompson (4th), Jonas Valanciunas (5th), Markieff Morris (13th), Marcus Morris (14th), Reggie Jackson (24th), and Alec Burks (12th). Second round recognizable names include Bojan Bogdanovic (31st), Davis Bertans (42nd), and Isaiah Thomas (60th). When ranking the top draft classes, this draft has to be near the top.
3. 2014 Draft
In the mid 1st round there are solid NBA players such as Zach LaVine (13th), T.J. Warren (14th), Jusuf Nurkic (16th), and Gary Harris (19th). Even at the end of the 1st round, there’s Rodney Hood (23rd), Clint Capela (25th), and Bogdan Bogdanovic (27th).
The second round is where this draft becomes great. There’s Joe Harris (33rd), Spencer Dinwiddie (38th), Dwight Powell (45th), and Jordan Clarkson (46th). One of the all-time steals was Nikola Jokic (41st), who was a second-round pick by the Denver Nuggets. Jokic was recently selected as a 1st team All-NBA selection in 2019.
4. 2017 Draft
Other big names in the lottery include Markelle Fultz (1st), Lonzo Ball (2nd), De’Aaron Fox (5th), Jonathan Isaac (6th), and Lauri Markkanen (7th). At the back end of the first round, we have John Collins (19th), OG Anunoby (23rd), Kyle Kuzma (27th), Derrick White (29th), and Josh Hart (30th).
5. 2016 Draft
Similar to 2017, the 2016 Draft is stocked with good players. The first three picks are Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, and Jaylen Brown, respectively. Then there is Buddy Hield (6th), Jamal Murray (7th), Domantas Sabonis (11th), Caris LeVert (20th), and Pascal Siakam (27th).
Other notables in the first round include Kris Dunn (5th), Marquese Chriss (8th), Taurean Prince (12th), Malik Beasley (19th), and Dejounte Murray (29th). The big steal of this draft is Malcolm Brogdon (36th), who the Milwaukee Bucks selected in the 2nd round and went on to win the rookie of the year award.
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