40 Best NBA Draft Picks of Lottery Era

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A week following the 1983-84 NBA All-Star game, the Houston Rockets were chasing after the Midwest Division title and were sitting pretty with a 20-26 record on February 3rd, 1984. At the time, they were in third place in their division and only 9.5 games out of first place which made them the 10th worst team in the NBA. But somehow, in the final 36 games of the season, the Rockets went 9-27, finishing the season with the worst record in the Western Conference.

Back then, the league took the worst teams from each conference and flipped a coin to decide who would get the top pick in the draft. Lucky for the Rockets, they won the coin toss and were awarded the top pick (Akeem Olajuwon) but it came at a price. That was the final year the NBA would allow a team to tank, as they did, just to get themselves into position for getting the top pick in the draft. The next season, 1984-85, the league introduced the NBA Draft Lottery.

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The Draft Lottery was designed to keep things fair and prevent any one team from tanking and has done a great job over the last 30+ seasons. The worst team in the league gets the best odds at the top overall draft pick, but there are no guarantees. Just ask the Orlando Magic, who, with only a 1.52% chance of getting the No.1 pick, wound up landing it in 1993, defying all the odds. They would select Chris Webber with the pick before trading him to Golden State for their No.3 selection and three more future first round picks.

As we head into the summer months and the NBA continues to wind down until next October, we are left with only a few things to get excited over and one of them is the NBA Draft which is going live tonight at 7:00 pm ET on ESPN. In honor of the NBA Draft, we wanted to share our list of the best NBA Lottery picks ever taken outside of the Top 3. We eliminated the Top 3 to make the list a bit more interesting than the no-brainer picks of the biggest stars. To be eligible for our list, a player must be a lottery pick (non-Playoff team) but outside of the Top 3. This list proves that there are plenty of stars just waiting to be drafted beyond the first three picks each year.

40) Andre Iguodala

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  • Year: 2004
  • Selection (Team): 9th (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Championships: 2
  • Games: 976
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 13.0
    • Rebounds: 5.3
    • Assists: 4.5
    • Steals: 1.6

39) Robert Horry

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  • Year: 1992
  • Selection (Team): 11th (Houston Rockets)
  • Championships: 7
  • Games: 1,107
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 7.0
    • Rebounds: 4.8
    • Assists: 2.1
    • Steals: 1.0
    • Blocks: 0.9

38) Jason Terry

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  • Year: 1999
  • Selection (Team): 10th (Atlanta Hawks)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 1,359
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 13.8
    • Rebounds: 2.4
    • Assists: 3.9
    • Steals: 1.1

37) Juwan Howard

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  • Year: 1994
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Washington Bullets)
  • Championships: 2
  • Games: 1,208
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 13.4
    • Rebounds: 6.1
    • Assists: 2.2
    • Steals: 0.7

36) Terrell Brandon

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  • Year: 1991
  • Selection (Team): 11th (Cleveland Cavs)
  • Games: 724
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 13.8
    • Rebounds: 3.0
    • Assists: 6.1
    • Steals: 1.6

35) Richard Jefferson

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  • Year: 2001
  • Selection (Team): 13th (Houston Rockets)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 1,161
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 12.8
    • Rebounds: 4.0
    • Assists: 2.1
    • Steals: 0.7

34) Hersey Hawkins

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  • Year: 1988
  • Selection (Team): 6th (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Games: 983
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 14.7
    • Rebounds: 3.6
    • Assists: 2.9
    • Steals: 1.7

33) Steve Smith

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  • Year: 1991
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Miami Heat)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 942
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 14.3
    • Rebounds: 3.2
    • Assists: 3.1
    • Steals: 0.8

32) Mike Conley

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  • Year: 2007
  • Selection (Team): 4th (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Games: 706
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 14.2
    • Rebounds: 2.9
    • Assists: 5.7
    • Steals: 1.5

31) Jamal Crawford

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  • Year: 2000
  • Selection (Team): 8th (Cleveland Cavs)
  • Games: 1,182
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 15.3
    • Rebounds: 2.3
    • Assists: 3.5
    • Steals: 0.9

30) Rasheed Wallace

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  • Year: 1995
  • Selection (Team): 4th (Washington Bullets)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 1,109
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 14.4
    • Rebounds: 6.7
    • Assists: 1.8
    • Steals: 1.0
    • Blocks: 1.3

29) Corey Maggette

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  • Year: 1999
  • Selection (Team): 13th (Seattle Sonics)
  • Games: 827
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 16.0
    • Rebounds: 4.9
    • Assists: 2.1
    • Steals: 0.7

28) Luol Deng

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  • Year: 2004
  • Selection (Team): 7th (Phoenix Suns)
  • Games: 879
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 15.0
    • Rebounds: 6.1
    • Assists: 2.3
    • Steals: 1.0
    • Blocks: 0.5

27) Eddie Jones

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  • Year: 1994
  • Selection (Team): 10th (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Games: 954
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 14.8
    • Rebounds: 4.0
    • Assists: 2.9
    • Steals: 1.7
    • Blocks: 0.6

26) Glen Rice

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  • Year: 1989
  • Selection (Team): 4th (Miami Heat)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 1,000
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 18.3
    • Rebounds: 4.4
    • Assists: 2.1
    • Steals: 1.0

25) Joe Johnson

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  • Year: 2001
  • Selection (Team): 10th (Boston Celtics)
  • Games: 1,221
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 16.4
    • Rebounds: 4.0
    • Assists: 4.0
    • Steals: 0.9

24) Kevin Love

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  • Year: 2008
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 576
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 18.4
    • Rebounds: 11.5
    • Assists: 2.4
    • Steals: 0.7
    • Blocks: 0.5

23) Antawn Jamison

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  • Year: 1998
  • Selection (Team): 4th (Toronto Raptors)
  • Games: 1,083
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 18.5
    • Rebounds: 7.5
    • Assists: 1.6
    • Steals: 1.0

22) Stephon Marbury

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  • Year: 1996
  • Selection (Team): 4th (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Games: 846
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 19.3
    • Rebounds: 3.0
    • Assists: 7.6
    • Steals: 1.2

21) Chris Bosh

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  • Year: 2003
  • Selection (Team): 4th (Toronto Raptors)
  • Championships: 2
  • Games: 893
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 19.2
    • Rebounds: 8.5
    • Assists: 2.0
    • Steals: 0.8
    • Blocks: 1.0

20) Jason Richardson

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  • Year: 2001
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Golden State Warriors)
  • Games: 857
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 17.1
    • Rebounds: 5.0
    • Assists: 2.7
    • Steals: 1.2

19) Kevin Johnson

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  • Year: 1987
  • Selection (Team): 7th (Cleveland Cavs)
  • Games: 735
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 17.9
    • Rebounds: 3.3
    • Assists: 9.1
    • Steals: 1.5

18) Richard Hamilton

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  • Year: 1999
  • Selection (Team): 7th (Washington Wizards)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 921
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 17.1
    • Rebounds: 3.1
    • Assists: 3.4
    • Steals: 0.8

17) Amar’e Stoudemire

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  • Year: 2002
  • Selection (Team): 9th (Phoenix Suns)
  • Games: 846
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 18.9
    • Rebounds: 7.8
    • Assists: 1.2
    • Steals: 0.8
    • Blocks: 1.2

16) Shawn Marion

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  • Year: 1999
  • Selection (Team): 9th (Phoenix Suns)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 1,163
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 15.2
    • Rebounds: 8.7
    • Assists: 1.9
    • Steals: 1.5
    • Blocks: 1.1

15) Vince Carter

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  • Year: 1998
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Golden State Warriors)
  • Games: 1,347
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 18.2
    • Rebounds: 4.6
    • Assists: 3.3
    • Steals: 1.1

14) Chris Mullin

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  • Year: 1985
  • Selection (Team): 7th (Golden State Warriors)
  • Games: 986
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 18.2
    • Rebounds: 4.1
    • Assists: 3.5
    • Steals: 1.6

13) Dikembe Mutombo

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  • Year: 1991
  • Selection (Team): 4th (Denver Nuggets)
  • Games: 1,196
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 9.8
    • Rebounds: 10.3
    • Assists: 1.0
    • Blocks: 2.8

12) Ray Allen

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  • Year: 1996
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Minnesota T’Wolves)
  • Championships: 2
  • Games: 1,300
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 18.9
    • Rebounds: 4.1
    • Assists: 3.4
    • Steals: 1.1

11) Mitch Richmond

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  • Year: 1988
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Golden State Warriors)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 976
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 21.0
    • Rebounds: 3.9
    • Assists: 3.5
    • Steals: 1.2

10) Tracy McGrady

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  • Year: 1997
  • Selection (Team): 9th (Toronto Raptors)
  • Games: 938
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 19.6
    • Rebounds: 5.6
    • Assists: 4.4
    • Steals: 1.2
    • Blocks: 0.9

9) Russell Westbrook

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  • Year: 2008
  • Selection (Team): 4th (Seattle Sonics)
  • Games: 668
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 22.7
    • Rebounds: 6.2
    • Assists: 7.9
    • Steals: 1.7

8) Dwyane Wade

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  • Year: 2003
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Miami Heat)
  • Championships: 3
  • Games: 915
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 23.3
    • Rebounds: 4.8
    • Assists: 5.7
    • Steals: 1.9
    • Blocks: 0.9

7) Paul Pierce

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  • Year: 1998
  • Selection (Team): 10th (Boston Celtics)
  • Championships: 1
  • Games: 1,343
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 19.7
    • Rebounds: 5.6
    • Assists: 3.5
    • Steals: 1.3
    • Blocks: 0.6

6) Scottie Pippen

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  • Year: 1987
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Seattle Sonics)
  • Championships: 6
  • Games: 1,178
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 16.1
    • Rebounds: 6.4
    • Assists: 5.2
    • Steals: 2.0
    • Blocks: 0.8

5) Chris Paul

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  • Year: 2005
  • Selection (Team): 4th (New Orleans Hornets)
  • Games: 834
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 18.7
    • Rebounds: 4.4
    • Assists: 9.9
    • Steals: 2.3

4) Stephen Curry

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  • Year: 2009
  • Selection (Team): 7th (Golden State Warriors)
  • Championships: 2
  • MVP Awards: 2
  • Games: 574
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 22.8
    • Rebounds: 4.4
    • Assists: 6.8
    • Steals: 1.8

3) Dirk Nowitzki

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  • Year: 1998
  • Selection (Team): 9th (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Championships: 1
  • MVP Awards: 1
  • Games: 1,394
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 21.7
    • Rebounds: 7.8
    • Assists: 2.5
    • Steals: 0.8
    • Blocks: 0.9

2) Kevin Garnett

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  • Year: 1995
  • Selection (Team): 5th (Minnesota T’Wolves)
  • Championships: 1
  • MVP Awards: 1
  • Games: 1,462
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 17.8
    • Rebounds: 10.0
    • Assists: 3.7
    • Steals: 1.3
    • Blocks: 1.4

1) Kobe Bryant

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  • Year: 1996
  • Selection (Team): 13th (Charlotte Hornets)
  • Championships: 5
  • MVP Awards: 1
  • Games: 1,346
  • Stats (Avg)
    • Points: 25.0
    • Rebounds: 5.2
    • Assists: 4.7
    • Steals: 1.4
    • Blocks: 0.5