There have been 20 NBA Drafts since Kobe Bryant was selected by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 draft with the 13th overall selection. In that time Kobe has won five NBA championships, one MVP award, has been named to 18 All-Star games, and of course dropped 60 points in the final game of his 20 year career. Meanwhile 15 other teams have had a 13th overall pick in the draft and none of them have found a player that has come at all close to matching the career of Bryant. There have been a few very good NBA players taken with the 13th pick, as well as a lot of perfectly average players, numerous journeymen types, and a handful of short-lived choices who failed to make a mark during their time in the league. Here is the definitive ranking of each 13th overall selection since Kobe Bryant.
20 Georgios Papagiannis (2016): Phoenix Suns
The latest 13th overall draft pick in the NBA is Georgios Papagiannis who has barely had any time in the league with which to judge where he should reside on these rankings. Although he may end up earning some playing time and blossom into a star some day, based on his four games, Papagiannis is the lowest ranked 13th pick on our list. Papagiannis began his career in the Greek League where he played from 2012 through 2016. He was then selected in 2016 by the Phoenix Suns who traded him to the Sacramento Kings on draft night. Papagiannis played four NBA games so far averaging 15 points and 1.3 rebounds. He has been shuffled to the NBA D-League multiple times this season to play for the Reno Bighorns.
19 Marcus Haislip (2002): Milwaukee Bucks
The 13th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft was Marcus Haislip who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks. He played in almost half the games during his rookie season and actually ended up in the starting lineup a few times near the end of the year. He played slightly less the following, year, sticking to the bench, and was waived in 2004. He was signed for a short term stint with the Pacers and then did not play again in the NBA until 2009 when he played 10 games for the Spurs. The majority of his career he spent internationally, with spells in Greece, Spain, China, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Turkey. In his four year NBA career he averaged 3.5 points per game in 89 games.
18 Julian Wright (2007): Charlotte Hornets
After an impressive career at the University of Kansas, where he earned third team All-American honors in 2007, Julian Wright was selected with the 13th pick of the 2007 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets. Wright lasted three years with the Hornets where he averaged four points and 2.3 rebounds per game. He mostly came off the bench but did get 34 starts during his time in New Orleans. He was traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2010 and played for one season there, scoring 3.6 points and grabbing 2.3 rebounds per game. He has continued his career internationally in Greece, Israel, Turkey, and Italy, as well as with the NBA D-League where he won the NBA D-League championship in 2012 with the Austin Toros.
17 Kendall Marshall (2012): Phoenix Suns
Kendall Marshall played two years for the University of North Carolina. He took over the starting point guard job about halfway through his freshman season and held it until an injury in the 2012 NCAA Tournament ended his college career. He earned third team All-American honors in 2012 as well as second-team All-ACC honors. Marshall was the 13th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Over his four years in the NBA, Marshall has played for four teams as well as two NBA D-League teams. His best season was his second year when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers and scored eight points and dished out almost nine assists per game. Over his full NBA career Marshall has averaged five points and just under five assists per game.
16 Sean May (2005): Charlotte Bobcats
Despite the fact that his father won a national championship with the Indiana Hoosiers, Sean May decided against heading to Bloomington for his college career, and instead accepted a spot at the University of North Carolina. May played three years for the Tar Heels, and in his junior year he lead them to the NCAA Tournament where he was named Most Outstanding Player as UNC won the national championship. After declaring for the draft, May was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2005 NBA Draft. May played three years for Charlotte, but injuries derailed his career there and he was let go in 2009. He played one more year for the Sacramento Kings. Since 2010 May has played internationally. His best season in the NBA was his second with the Bobcats when he averaged just under 12 points and almost seven rebounds per game.
15 Marcus Banks (2003): Memphis Grizzlies
Marcus Banks started his college basketball career at Dixie Junior College in Utah before heading to UNLV for his final two seasons. After being named Mountain West co-Defensive Player of the Year he was drafted in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies who then traded him to the Boston Celtics. In 2006 the Celtics traded him to Minnesota where he played the remainder of the season before signing with the Suns as a free agent in 2006. He was then traded three more times to the Heat, the Raptors, and the Hornets although he never played a game for New Orleans. Over his eight year career in the NBA, Banks averaged just under six points along with 2.1 assists per game.
14 Sebastian Telfair (2004): Portland Trailblazers
Although he originally committed to play for the University of Louisville, Sebastian Telfair ended up going the same route as Kobe and declared for the NBA Draft directly out of high school. Like Kobe, he was also selected with the 13th overall pick when the Portland Trailblazers grabbed him in 2004. Telair spent two seasons in Portland before he was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2006. From there he continued to makes his way around the NBA with two separate stops in Minnesota, as well as stops in Los Angeles with the Clippers, Cleveland, Phoenix, Toronto, and Oklahoma City. He never truly broke through, mostly coming off the bench for teams but he did manage to average 7.4 points and 3.5 assists during his time in the NBA. His high point was his first stop in Minnesota when he averaged over nine points, over four assists, and one steal per game in two seasons.
13 Brandon Rush (2008): Portland Trailblazers
After originally planning to enter the NBA Draft in 2005, Brandon Rush made the opposite decision of a lot of players and decided to attend college instead. Rush ended up at the University of Kansas. He again planned to enter the 2007 NBA Draft but a knee injury dissuaded him and after his rehabilitation, he played one more year for the Jayhawks. He was finally selected in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers who then traded him to the Indiana Pacers. Rush played three seasons with the Pacers, averaging around nine points and three rebounds per game. In 2011 Rush was traded the the Golden State Warriors where he spent two years before heading to the Utah Jazz for a year, and then returning to Golden State for two more seasons. He was a part of the Warriors team that won the NBA championship in 2015 (and also part of the Warriors team that blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals the next year). Rush currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
12 Tyler Hansbrough (2009): Indiana Pacers
For all of the legendary players who have worn Carolina Blue over the years, Tyler Hansbrough is the most decorated Tar Heel of them all. He is the only player to be named All-ACC and first team All-American in all four of his years. He averaged over 20 points and over eight rebounds per game throughout his time at North Carolina. He helped the team to the NCAA tournament all four years including trips to the Elite Eight, and the Final Four while winning the National Championship in 2009. When the 2009 NBA Draft came around the Indiana Pacers selected Hansbrough with the 13h pick. Hansbrough spent four years with the Pacers averaging just under nine points and just under five rebounds per game. He also played two years with the Toronto Raptors and signed with the Charlotte Hornets in 2015.
11 Ed Davis (2010): Toronto Raptors
Ed Davis played along with fellow 13th overall draft pick Tyler Hansbrough in the North Carolina Tar Heels victory in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Davis then decided to stick around for his sophomore year instead of entering the draft but he broke his wrist 23 games into the year so he was unable to finish the season. He was selected in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. He played for the Raptors for three years with a short stint in the D-League for the Erie BayHawks in 2010. He moved on to the Grizzlies for two seasons before spending one year with the Lakers. He is now with the Portland Trailblazers. Through seven years in the league, Davis has averaged over six points and over six rebounds per game.
10 Keon Clark (1998): Orlando Magic
A college career that wound through Irvine Valley Community College and Dixie State, before arriving at UNLV, eventually lead Keon Clark to becoming the 13th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. After averaging 14.8 points and just under 10 boards per game for the Runnin’ Rebels, the Orlando Magic made him their first round selection and traded him to the Denver Nuggets. Clark spent parts of three seasons in Denver before he was traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2001. He spent just over a year in Toronto but did manage to set a Raptors record with 12 blocked shots in a single game. He also played for the Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz before off the court problems drove him out of the NBA. In his six season he averaged 13 points and just under 10 rebounds per game.
9 Thabo Sefolosha (2006): Philadelphia 76ers
Thabo Sefolosha is most well known for his run in with the New York Police Department who assaulted him outside a club in 2015, breaking his leg and dealing a big blow to the Atlanta Hawks season. Sefolosha began his career in his home country of Switzerland before he played a few years in France and Italy. He made his way to the NBA when he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2006 NBA Draft who promptly dealt him to the Chicago Bulls. He was with the Bulls for three seasons before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009 and was with them when they went to the NBA Finals in 2012. In 2014 Sefolosha joined the Atlanta Hawks where he has played for the past three seasons. Over his career he has been known as a top defender and has averaged just under six points and almost four rebounds per game.
8 Courtney Alexander (2000): Orlando Magic
After spending his first few years at the University of Virginia, Courtney Alexander transferred to Fresno State for the final years of his college career. As a senior in 2000 he led the NCAA in scoring with 24.8 points per game for the Bulldogs and was named a second-team All-American. He ended up as the 13th pick in the 2000 NBA Draft when he was selected by the Orlando Magic who then traded him to the Dallas Mavericks. He lasted about half of his rookie season with Dallas, averaging less than five points per game before he was traded to the Wizards. Once in Washington he excelled, averaging 17 points and three rebounds per game to end the season. He stayed in Washington the following season but cooled off, scoring less than 10 points per game. The last team he played for in the NBA was in 2003 with the New Orleans Hornets.
7 Kelly Olynyk (2013): Boston Celtics
So far, the Celtics big man is most well known for yanking Kevin Love’s arm out of its socket in the 2015 playoffs, providing a pretty substantial assist to the Golden State Warriors championship efforts. Kelly Olynyk is also one of the few Canadian players in the NBA. Coming out of British Columbia, Canada, Olynyk attended Gonzaga University and lead the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament all three years that he played. After being named consensus first-team All-American in 2013 he jumped to the 2013 NBA Draft and was selected by the Dallas Mavericks, who traded him to the Boston Celtics. Olynyk has been a solid contributor off the bench for the Celtics averaging almost 10 points and almost five rebounds per game through his first three years in Boston.
6 Devin Booker (2015): Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker is just one in a long line of University of Kentucky one-and-dones who have made it to the NBA. Booker was a key part of the (almost) undefeated Kentucky Wildcats team who went 38-0 before losing to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four in 2016. Booker was then the fourth Wildcat to be drafted out of seven in the 2016 NBA Draft when he was chosen by the Phoenix Suns. Booker had a very good rookie season with the Suns, averaging just under 14 points per game. In his second year however he is scoring over 20 per game more than halfway through the season. Despite playing less than two seasons so far, Booker is already one of the best 13th overall picks and will probably climb up the list in the years to come, considering he is only 20 years old.
5 Markieff Morris (2011): Phoenix Suns
The Morris twins were stars at the University of Kansas for three seasons and both entered the 2011 NBA Draft. Markieff went one spot sooner than his brother Marcus when he was drafted with the 13th overall pick by the Phoenix Suns, although Marcus did eventually join his twin brother with the Suns for two seasons in 2013. Markeiff Morris has managed to carve out a solid NBA career so far, having spent five years in Phoenix where he averaged over 11 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Suns. He was traded to the Washington Wizards in 2016. So far in 2017 he is an important part of the Wizards’ success, throwing in almost 15 points and corralling almost seven rebounds per game as the starting power forward.
4 Zach LaVine (2014): Minnesota Timberwolves
The most exciting dunker to be selected with the 13th overall pick is probably Zach LaVine who was the youngest player to win the NBA Slam Dunk contest since Kobe Bryant in 1997, and has won the past two dunk contests. Unfortunately, an injury will prevent him from defending his title again this year. LaVine played his college hoops at UCLA for one season before entering the draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected LaVine in the 2014 NBA Draft. Through his three seasons with the Timberwolves, LaVine has steadily improved, averaging around 10 points, then 14, and now almost 20 points per game in ensuing seasons. Until his knee injury, he looked to be a key element of the very young and very talented Timberwolves squad, and hopefully will return as such next year.
3 Derek Anderson (1997): Cleveland Cavaliers
After playing his first two years of college hoops at Ohio State, Derek Anderson transferred to the University of Kentucky in 1995. During his two years with Kentucky he played in the national championship game twice, winning with the Wildcats in 1996. He was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1997 NBA Draft and played there for two seasons. He played with six more teams over 11 seasons in the NBA, including the Clippers, Spurs, Trailblazers, Rockets, Heat, and Hornets. When he managed to stay on the court, Anderson was productive, but injuries plagued him throughout his career. His best stretch was the four seasons he spent with the Portland Trailblazers where he averaged 12 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, which was just about equal to his final career numbers.
2 Richard Jefferson (2001): Houston Rockets
After three seasons with the University of Arizona, Richard Jefferson helped the Wildcats to the 2001 national championship game. In the 2001 NBA Draft, Jefferson was selected with the 13th overall pick by the Houston Rockets who then traded him to the New Jersey Nets. Jefferson was a key part of the Nets for seven seasons, helping them make back to back NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. He was traded to the Bucks in 2008 and spent a year there before being traded to the Spurs. He then bounced to the Golden State Warriors, then the Utah Jazz, and Dallas Mavericks, and for the past two seasons he has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers where he finally won his first NBA championship. Over his career he has averaged just under 13 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
1 Corey Maggette (1999): Seattle SuperSonics
After becoming one of the few players to ever leave Duke University early for the NBA, Corey Maggette was selected in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics who then sent him in a trade to the Orlando Magic. Maggette played for one season in Orlando before he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000. Maggette spent the bulk of his career with the Clippers leading them to the Western Conference semifinals in 2006. After eight seasons in Los Angeles he signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2008. He played two years for the Warriors followed by one year with the Bucks, Hornets, and Pistons before retiring in 2013. Over his 14 year career Maggette scored 16 points, and grabbed just under five rebounds per game.
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