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The Best Picks at Each Draft Spot since 1985

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With the NBA draft finally upon us, we can begin to see the draft board take its final shape. The first round of the draft is always good for some drama, whether it’s taking a bust at 1 or a stud at 30, the draft always gives us something shocking that we can look forward to next year. We have seen the best top 1-10 picks in the draft, but what about the Barry’s and the Parker’s that weren’t picked in the top 10 and still went on to have phenomenal careers? These are the best players to be picked at their respective draft spots since the lottery began in 1985.

30th Overall Pick

Jimmy Butler (2011)

By: Chicago

Jimmy Buckets may have been slept on in the draft, but now everyone knows his potential and want him on their team. A three time All-Star and 2015’s Most Improved Player, Jimmy Butler is on everyone’s radar.

Honorable Mention:David Lee

By: New York Knicks


While not an individual standout, Lee was a huge role player in the Warrior’s championship run in 2015. David Lee is a two time All Star and NCAA Champion after knocking off the Kentucky Wildcats in 2005.

29th Overall Pick

Toney Douglas (2009)

By: Los Angeles Lakers 


Known more for his defense than his offense, Douglas has shut down his fair share of names. Douglas put up incredible steal numbers all throughout his career, including setting school and conference records for steals while at FSU.

Honorable Mention: Nazr Mohammed (1998)

By: Utah Jazz

Shoving LeBron to the floor is a quick way to get noticed in this league, and that’s exactly what Nazr did in a meeting between Chicago and Miami a few years back. A two time NCAA champion and one time NBA Champion, Nazr has played big roles for every team he has played for.

28th Overall Pick

Tony Parker (2001)

By: San Antonio Spurs

Perhaps the most successful sleeper in the NBA, Parker is a four time NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP and a six time 6× NBA All-Star. He will go down as one of the most legendary point guards and go-to man of one of the greatest, if not, the greatest NBA coach of all time, Gregg Popovich.

Honorable Mention: Greg Ostertag (1995)

By: Utah Jazz

The unsung hero of the greatest pick and roll duo of all time, John Stockton and Karl Malone, Greg Ostertag did his fair share for the Utah Jazz. Ostertag retired from the game having more rebounds than points. In 2002, he donated his kidney to save his sister and returned to the NBA, he is the only player ever to play after undergoing a organ donation.

27th Overall Pick

Elden Campbell (1990)

By: Los Angeles Lakers

Elden Campbell, an NBA champion in 2004, hopped around a good amount during his stint in the pros, but always contributed to the teams he was a part of. He is currently sitting 31st all time in blocks.

Honorable Mention: Aaron Afflalo (2007)

By: Detroit Pistons

Voted Pac-12 Player of the Year, Afflalo chose not to go back for his senior year and was picked up in the 27th round of the NBA Draft. After bouncing around to six different teams in his NBA career, Afflalo has played big in pressure situations all through out his career.

26th Overall Pick

Vlade Divak (1989)

By: Los Angeles Lakers

Although his decisions now as a GM have not been the greatest, Vlade Divac was known for his great passing as a seven foot center while he was in the NBA. Divac is one of only seven players in NBA history to record 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocked shots and was voted one of FIBA’s 50 best basketball players in 1991.

Honorable Mention: Taj Gibson

By: Chicago Bulls

A part of the NBA’s All Rookie Team in 2010, Taj Gibson was a major part of the successes of the Bulls during the Rose era. Gibson kept players on lockdown in college and was voted as the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

25th Overall Pick

Shannon Brown (2006)

By: Cleveland Cavaliers

A two time NBA Champion, Shannon Brown is most notably known for his block on Mario West of Atlanta in his first game as a Laker. Brown would finish his career with two NBA Championships with the Lakers.

Honorable Mention: Gerald Wallace (2001)

By: Sacramento Kings

Gerald Wallace would win the Naismith Player of the Year in 2000 before entering the 2001 draft where he was taken by the Sacramento Kings. Wallace would have a solid career in the NBA, being the league leader in steals in 2006, he would go on to be an All-Star and make the All-Defensive First Team in 2010.

24th Overall Pick

Latrell Sprewell (1992)

By: Golden State Warriors

Sprewell was a major part of the Knicks team that reached the finals in the 1999 season. Sprewell preluded this season with four NBA All-Star games appearance and an All-NBA First Team nod in 1994.

Honorable Mention: Arvydas Sabonis (1986)

By: Portland Trail Blazers

Although his time in the NBA was short lived, Sabonis cleaned up in Europe, winning six Euroscar Player of the Year awards, two Mr. Europa Player of the Year awards, three USSR League championships, a Club World Cup championship, as well as being voted the Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year four different times!