Ranking All 32 Third Overall NBA Draft Picks Since Michael Jordan In 1984

In 1984 a player was drafted with the very first pick of the NBA Draft that ended up winning multiple championships, multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards, was chosen for 12 All-Star games, won

In 1984 a player was drafted with the very first pick of the NBA Draft that ended up winning multiple championships, multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards, was chosen for 12 All-Star games, won an MVP award, and ended up in the NBA Hall of Fame. He was not nearly as good as the player who was selected with the third pick however. The number four pick in that draft also made it to the NBA Hall of Fame. Even the number 16 pick in that year’s draft ended up in the Hall of Fame. But Hakeem Olajuwan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton were not quite as good as the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. That selection made by the Chicago Bulls, was of course, Michael Jordan. With six NBA Championships, five MVP Awards, a Rookie of the Year Award, a Defensive Player of the Year award, 14 All-Star game selections, an Olympic gold medal, and countless other accolades and milestones, it is generally agreed that Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. In the years since, 32 other players have been selected with the third overall pick in the draft. A few have been great, fewer have been outright busts, while most have carved out decent careers in the NBA, but none, obviously, have come close to anything that His Airness achieved. Here is the definitive ranking of every third overall pick in the NBA Draft since Michael Jordan.

32 Chris Washburn, 1986, Golden State Warriors


After a somewhat impressive on-court career and somewhat controversial off-court career at North Carolina State, Chris Washburn was drafted number three in the 1986 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. Due to injuries, a drug problem, and general lack of development, Washburn never panned out, becoming one of the biggest busts in NBA history. Washburn’s problems started early in his NBA career with the medicine he used for a bad knee leading to a kidney problem, which was followed closely by Washburn checking into a drug rehab program for a cocaine addiction. His production went down with his minutes during his second season for the Warriors before he was traded to the Hawks. Overall Washburn played in just 72 games in the NBA, averaging just over three points in nine minutes per game before his drug problems lead to a lifetime ban from the league.

31 Dennis Hopson, 1987, New Jersey Nets


After four years playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Dennis Hopson led the nation in scoring his senior year while being named Big Ten Player of the Year. In the 1987 NBA Draft the New Jersey Nets selected him with their third overall pick in an effort to help them rebuild their backcourt. He averaged 13 points per game for the Nets over three seasons but never became the player they were hoping for. He played minimally for the Chicago Bulls during the 1991-1992 season scoring four points per game as the Bulls won the NBA Championship. He played two games with the Bulls the following season before heading to Sacramento where his NBA career came to an end. He continued to play professional basketball internationally for another eight years.

30 Jaylen Brown, 2016, Boston Celtics

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The very latest number three overall pick in the NBA Draft of 2016 was Jaylen Brown who went from being a high school All-American and Georgia’s Mr. Basketball to the Boston Celtics in just two years. In between, Brown played one season of college hoops at the University of California, Berkeley where he averaged 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists per game while earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors. As a rookie for the Celtics so far, Brown is averaging just under five points per game while playing about 12 minutes per game. Without much game experience to go on, it is hard to say where he falls on the rankings, so until further notice, Brown is ranked near the bottom of this list with expectations that he can make his way up it.

29 Jahlil Okafor, 2015, Philadelphia 76ers

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In one season with the Duke Blue Devils, Jahlil Okafor was named the ACC Player of the Year, an All-American, and led Duke to the 2015 Final Four and National Championship. He was drafted third by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2015 NBA Draft. Despite the team suffering a terrible season, Okafor played well, making the NBA All-Rookie team. He did suffer an injury late in the season which limited him to playing 53 games. With the addition of Joel Embiid in his second year, as well as a minutes restriction to help him recover from the 2016 injury, Okafor’s production has gone down a little bit, with him averaging 11 points and five rebounds in just under 23 minutes per game. Time will tell if Okafor makes his way up this list, but with little to go on so far, he waits here near the bottom.

28 Adam Morrison, 2006, Charlotte Bobcats

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After an impressive career with the Gonzaga Bulldogs where he lead them to the NCAA Tournament in three consecutive years including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2006, Adam Morrison was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2006 NBA Draft. He was the first player selected by Michael Jordan in his position as Manager of Basketball Operations for the Bobcats. Morrison had a solid rookie season, averaging 11.8 points and almost three rebounds per game. He missed his entire second season with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason. He was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers during his third season and although he only spent two seasons in LA with minimal playing time, he did win two NBA Championships while he was with the Lakers. Since being let go by the Lakers Morrison has played internationally while trying to break back into the NBA.

27 Raef LaFrentz, 1998, Denver Nuggets


Trivia time! Who was the only player other than Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan to be a consensus All-American twice during the '90s? That’s right, Raef LeFrentz! After four years at the University of Kansas where he also left as the second all time leader in points and rebounds for the Jayhawks, the Denver Nuggets selected LaFrentz with the third pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. Twelve games into his rookie season LaFrentz injured his ACL and was lost for the season. He returned to play three more seasons with the Nuggets, scoring 14.9 points per game during his final season until he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. After two years in Dallas he moved on to Boston for three years and finished his career with the Portland Trailblazers.

26 Darius Miles, 2000, Los Angeles Clippers


The Los Angeles Clippers drafted Darius Miles directly out of high school in the 2000 NBA Draft. He was one of the rare prep-to-pro draft picks to be named to the NBA All-Rookie team directly out of high school, after averaging just under 10 points and six rebounds per game his first year. He played one more season with the Clippers before being traded the the Cleveland Cavaliers where he lasted about a season until he was traded again to the Portland Trailblazers. After two controversial seasons with the Trailblazers his career almost ended with a knee injury which ended up keeping him out for two seasons. He had one more stint with the Memphis Grizzlies. He ultimately played seven seasons averaging 10 points and just under five rebounds per game.

25 Mike Dunleavy Jr., 2002, Golden State Warriors

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After a great career at Duke where he was an integral part of their 2001 National Championship squad Mike Dunleavy Jr. was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 2002 NBA Draft. He played five years with the Warriors as an important part of the rotation, averaging 10.6 points and just under five rebounds per game. He was traded in 2006 to the Indiana Pacers where he averaged a career high 19.1 points per game in his first year and eventually helped lead the team to the playoffs in 2011. Over the years his sharpshooting has become the most important part of his game for teams as he drifted through the NBA to the Milwaukee Bucks for two seasons in 2011, then the Chicago Bulls where he played for three seasons, until spending part of this year with the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded most recently to the Atlanta Hawks.

24 Billy Owens, 1991, Sacramento Kings


One of the best Syracuse players of all time, Billy Owens was named a consensus All-American and the Big East Player of the Year in 1991, while averaging 17. points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and two steals per game over his three year career. He was selected in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. When he held out to start the season, the Kings ended up trading him to the Golden State Warriors. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie team with the Warriors and over his three seasons with Golden State he averaged 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. His production remained the same when he headed to Miami in 1994 but in the ensuing seasons his numbers slowly deteriorated as he bounced through the league to the Kings, Supersonics, 76ers, back to Golden State, before finishing his career with the Detroit Pistons. Over his career he averaged 11.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

23 Derrick Favors, 2010, New Jersey Nets

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Having spent one year in college, playing for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Derrick Favors declared himself one and done after his freshman year. He ended up being drafted number three in the 2010 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, but Favors did not even last one season with the team. In February of 2011 Favors was traded to the Utah Jazz with a pair of first round picks and Devin Harris for another third overall pick, Deron Williams. Favors has been in Utah ever since and has steadily improved each year with the Jazz eventually averaging 16.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game during the 2015-2016 season. Favors is also known for his defense and has averaged about one and a half blocks per game during his time in Utah.

22 Otto Porter, 2013, Washington Wizards

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Despite early concerns that Otto Porter might be on his way to ending up a bust, the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft has continued to develop through his fourth season with the Washington Wizards. After two seasons with the Georgetown Hoyas where he was named Big East Player of the Year and a consensus All-American in 2013, while leading the team to the NCAA Tournament, Porter decided to go pro. He played in less than 40 games his rookie year averaging 2.1 points per game but in his second season he brought his average up to 6.0 points per game. He upped his numbers again in his third season and is currently averaging a career best 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in his fourth year in the league.

21 O.J. Mayo, 2008, Minnesota Timberwolves

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After one season with the USC Trojans, O.J. Mayo decided to jump to the NBA Draft. He was selected third by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2008 NBA Draft and immediately traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. In his first two seasons in Memphis he averaged over 17 points per game while starting every game each season. His playing time and production went down over the next two seasons amidst some off the court issues including a ten game suspension in 2011. He became a free agent in 2012 and signed with the Dallas Mavericks but only lasted one season before signing with the Milwaukee Bucks. After three seasons in Milwaukee he was banned from the NBA for two years for a drug violation in 2016.

20 Benoit Benjamin, 1985, Los Angeles Clippers


The first round of the 1985 NBA Draft produced four Hall of Famers but unlike the 1984 Draft, the number three overall pick was not one of them. After a four year career at Creighton University, the seven foot tall Benoit Benjamin was one of the most highly touted big men available. The Los Angeles Clippers selected Benjamin, starting a long tradition of terrible drafting that lasted throughout much of the team’s history. Benjamin was not really a bust, averaging over 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game during his six seasons with in Los Angeles but he was a bit disappointing. He was traded to the Supersonics in 1991 and after parts of three seasons he bounced around the league serving time with the Lakers, Nets, Grizzlies, Bucks, Sixers , until finishing his NBA career with the Cavaliers. Benjamin also saw some time in the CBA during his well-traveled career.

19 Ben Gordon, 2004, Chicago Bulls

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Twenty years after selecting Michael Jordan with the number three pick in the 1984 NBA Draft, the Bulls once again had the third overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. Bulls fans everywhere hoped that perhaps they could do with this third overall pick what had been done with their last third overall pick. Chicago did go with another shooting guard who had recently won a national championship in Ben Gordon. Things looked promising his first season as Gordon won the NBA Sixth Man Award and lead the Bulls to their first playoff appearance since Michael Jordan had departed. Gordon did well with the Bulls, averaging over 18 points per game while he was there, but after five years Gordon and the team were unable to come to terms over a new deal and he signed as a free agent with the Detroit Pistons in 2009. He spent three seasons in Detroit, averaging 12.4 points per game before being traded to Charlotte and then heading to the Orland Magic followed by the Golden State Warriors where he averages around 6.0 points per game.

18 Enes Kanter, 2011, Utah Jazz

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Enes Kanter passed on a chance to play professionally in his native Turkey so he could play high school and college basketball in the States. He played at a prep school in California and then wanted to go to Kentucky but the NCAA determined his time in the Turkish and Greek Leagues rendered him ineligible. Despite no college experience Kanter was selected with the third pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. During his fourth season with the Jazz, Kanter was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the final 26 games of the season with the Thunder he averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. The following year he became an important part of the Thunder’s second unit, providing scoring and rebounding off the bench.

17 Bradley Beal, 2012, Washington Wizards

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Bradley Beal played one year for the Florida Gators where he earned first team All-SEC honors while scoring 14.8 points and grabbing six rebounds per game his freshman year. The Washington Wizards selected Beal in the 2012 NBA Draft with the aim of teaming him up with point guard John Wall and creating one of the best young front-courts in the NBA. Beal was in the midst of a good rookie season, that ultimately earned him All-Rookie honors, when he injured his leg, forcing him to miss the final quarter of the season. Beal has continued to develop over the past few years with the Wizards, despite missing a few games to injury here and there. His hot shooting ability earned Beal a new deal with the Wizards in 2016.

16 Chris Jackson, 1990, Denver Nuggets


Now known as Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, the number three pick in the 1990 NBA Draft was known as Chris Jackson during his time at LSU when he was named consensus All-American in two straight seasons, and during his first few seasons with the Denver Nuggets. He was a key player for the Nuggets in his six seasons in Denver averaging 16 points and 4.0 assists per game. In 1996 he was traded to the Sacramento Kings and played for two years before playing for part of a season in the Turkish League. He had one more stint in the NBA with the Vancouver Grizzlies and then played almost another decade internationally. He finished his nine year NBA career averaging 14.6 points per game.

15 Joel Embiid, 2014, Philadelphia 76ers

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Although he does not yet have much experience to judge him by, the play he has shown so far makes it look like Joel Embiid might end up on the higher end of this list before all is said and done. Originally selected in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, Embiid, did not play for two entire seasons due to a foot injury. It was a long time for a top draft pick to be out of action and many feared he would simply be another big man bust. But now that Embiid has finally seen the court this season, he is showing that he could develop into a star. Despite a minutes restriction, Embiid is averaging almost 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and over two blocks per game in his first NBA playing time.

14 Charles Smith, 1988, Philadelphia 76ers


As the 1998 Big East Player of the Year, Charles Smith led the Pittsburgh Panthers to a number two national ranking and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. He then won a bronze medal as a member of the 1988 US Olympic basketball team before being drafted number three by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1988 NBA Draft. He was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on draft night where he played for four seasons and averaged 18.4 points and seven rebounds per game. Smith was traded to the New York Knicks in 1992. He played for four seasons in New York but his production declined and he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs. Injuries forced him into an early retirement in 1997.

13 Christian Laettner, 1992, Minnesota Timberwolves


The legendary NCAA great whose iconic shot against Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA Regional Final helped the Duke Blue Devils make it to the 1992 Final Four, and who lead Duke to two national championships during his career, Christian Laettner was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1992 NBA Draft. His NBA career was not as impressive as his college career but he did manage to play for over a decade in the NBA, bouncing between six different teams, making the All-Star game once and averaging over 12 points and 6.0 rebounds per game during his time in the NBA. He was also a member of the the legendary USA Dream Team of 1992. As the one college player on the roster he is the lone non-Hall of Famer from the team.

12 Baron Davis, 1999, Charlotte Hornets

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After a two year career with the UCLA Bruins which included an ACL injury that almost sidetracked his career, Baron Davis was selected with the third pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. Davis stayed with the Hornets for six seasons through their relocation to New Orleans, steadily improving. In 2005 Davis was traded to the Golden State Warriors where he averaged over 20 points and 8.0 assists per game for four seasons. In 2008 Davis signed with the Los Angeles Clippers where he played for parts of three seasons until he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played one more season with the New York Knicks but has been out of the NBA since. For his career, Davis has averaged 16.1 points, 7.2 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game through 13 seasons.

11 Shareef Abdur-Rahim, 1996, Vancouver Grizzlies


The best player in Vancouver Grizzlies history was probably Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Before being selected by Vancouver in the 1996 NBA Draft Abdur-Rahim played a year of college basketball at the University of California Berkeley where he was the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Once he hit the court for the Grizzlies, Abdur-Rahim immediately became their top player. He averaged over 20.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game over his five seasons in Vancouver. In 2001 Abdur-Rahim was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for another number three pick, Pau Gasol and other players and picks. After three more very good seasons in Atlanta, the Hawks shipped him to the Portland Trail Blazers in 2004. His production went down a little bit in Portland and after two seasons with the Blazers he ended up with the Sacramento Kings where he retired after three more seasons.

10 Deron Williams, 2005, Utah Jazz

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A three time NBA All-Star and two time gold medal winner with the United States Olympic Basketball team, Deron Williams was the third pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. He played his college hoops at the University of Illinois where he led the Illini to the 2005 Final Four where they lost in the championship game to the North Carolina Tar Heels. He was selected by the Utah Jazz in the draft and started his rookie year off great, registering five double-doubles in the first few weeks, and ultimately being named to the NBA All-Rookie team. After six great seasons with the Jazz he was traded to the New Jersey Nets in 2011. He spent five seasons with the Nets in New Jersey and then in Brooklyn before signing with the Dallas Mavericks for a year in 2015.

9 Al Horford, 2007, Atlanta Hawks

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Al Horford was a member of Billy Donovan’s great Florida Gators teams that won back to back National Championships in 2006 and 2007 along with future NBA-ers David Lee, Joakim Noah, and Corey Brewer. In his three seasons with the Gators, Horford averaged 10.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. The Atlanta Hawks drafted Horford number three in the 2007 NBA Draft and he proceeded to finish second in the Rookie of the Year voting after averaging 10.1 points and just under 10 rebounds per game that season. After nine years with the Hawks and four All-Star selection Horford signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics in 2016. Through ten seasons in the NBA Horford is averaging around 14 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.

8 Jerry Stackhouse, 1995, Philadelphia 76ers

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After his sophomore season for the University of North Carolina where he was named consensus All-American, averaged 19.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, and led the Tar Heels to the Final Four, Jerry Stackhouse (Pictured Left) was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1995 NBA Draft. Stackhouse had a good rookie year averaging almost 20 points per game but was traded to the Detroit Pistons during his second year. He continued to be traded throughout his career. After five seasons in Detroit he was traded to the Wizards where he played for two years before being traded to the Mavericks and then being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies before being waived and signing for the Bucks for the remainder of the 2010 season. His last three seasons were spent with the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, and Brooklyn Nets. After 18 seasons and two All Star games in the NBA, Stackhouse retired with a career averages of 16.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists.

7 Sean Elliott, 1989 San Antonio Spurs


As a leader of the great Lute Olsen Arizona Wildcats teams of the late 1980s, Sean Elliott was one of the best college basketball players of all time. A two time consensus All American, Wooden Award winner, and all time Pac-10 scoring leader, Elliot ended up being selected number three in the 1989 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs. Elliott played four years with the Spurs beside Hall of Famer David Robinson, helping them to the playoffs each year. After being traded to the Detroit Pistons in 1993, he was traded back to the Spurs the next season. The Spurs were able to get a little deeper into the playoffs the next two seasons and then injuries ruined the following season where the Spurs finished out of the playoffs. The Spurs and Elliott finally won the NBA title in 1999. Elliott finished his career averaging over 14.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.

6 Chauncey Billups 1997, Boston Celtics

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Chauncey Billups was probably the best basketball player to ever come from the state of Colorado and was certainly the best player to play for the University of Colorado. He led the Buffaloes to their first trip to the NCAA tournament in 28 years during his second year. Billups was then drafted in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics but did not last through the season and was traded to the Toronto Raptors at the trade deadline in 1998. Less than a year later he was sent back to his hometown as he was traded to the Denver Nuggets. After two seasons in Denver he went to Minnesota and it looked like he was going to turn out to be a bust. When the starting point guard for the Timberwolves went down with an injury however, Billups took over and finally had a breakout year. He signed with the Detroit Pistons in the offseason and became a star while he was there, leading the Pistons to the NBA Championship in 2004 as he earned the Finals MVP.

5 James Harden, 2009, Oklahoma City Thunder

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One of the few players that can still work his way up this list is “The Beard” James Harden. Through seven seasons in the NBA Harden is already a four time All-Star, winner of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award, has been to the NBA Finals, and is one of the best scorers in the NBA. Harden was selected in the 2009 NBA Draft after two years at Arizona State where he was a consensus All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year. When he was selected by the Thunder in 2009 he joined their young core of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. After the three budding superstars made it to the NBA Finals in 2012, where they lost to the Heat, it looked like the team was set up for long term success. Salary cap issues lead the Thunder to trading Harden to the Rockets in the offseason however. As the sole star in Houston, Harden has taken his game to another level and should remain one of the best players in the NBA for many years.

4 Pau Gasol, 2001, Atlanta Hawks

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As a two time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, among countless other career highlights and milestones, Pau Gasol is probably the best NBA player ever from Spain. Over 16 seasons in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies, LA Lakers, and Chicago Bulls the elder Gasol brother has averaged almost 20 points per game while barely missing out on a career double-double, wrangling just under 10 rebounds per game. Gasol started his career in Spain where he won two Spanish League championships with FC Barcelona among many other honors. He was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2001 NBA Draft and was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies where he was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2002. In 2008 Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for multiple players including the rights to his brother Marc Gasol. In LA he teamed up with Kobe Bryant to win back to back NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010. He is currently in his 16th season, now with the San Antonio Spurs, still averaging around 16 points and 10 rebounds per game.

3 Grant Hill, 1994, Detroit Pistons

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Another member of the Duke Blue Devil team that won two consecutive NCAA Championships in 1991 and 1992 that was selected with the third pick in the draft was Grant Hill. He finished his career at Duke as a consensus All-American and as ACC Player of the Year in 1994. Hill was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 1994 NBA Draft. His career took off right away as he averaged 19.9 points, 6..4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game, and tied for the Rookie of the Year award with Jason Kidd. He stayed with the Pistons for six seasons before heading to the Orlando Magic in a sign and trade in 2000. Injuries limited Hill to less than 50 games in his first four years with the Magic and kept him out of almost half of the games during his last three seasons. He was more successful avoiding the injury bug in his first four years with the Phoenix Suns. He played in over half the games for the Suns in 2012 and finished his career with the LA Clippers, retiring in 2013. Despite all of his injuries, Hill finished his NBA career with over 17,000 points, 6100 rebounds, and 4200 assists.

2 Carmelo Anthony, 2003, Denver Nuggets

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In any other world, Carmelo Anthony would have been the best player to come out of the 2003 NBA Draft. But in the world we live in with LeBron James, he was just another guy. After one outstanding season at Syracuse where he led the Orange to the Final Four and won the National Championship, Anthony decided to declare for the draft. He was selected by the Denver Nuggets. Among his many accolades, Anthony finished second in the 2003 Rookie of the Year voting behind LeBron, he led the league in scoring in 2013, and is a nine time All-Star. After eight seasons in Denver, Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks where he has played for the past seven seasons. He has averaged just under 25 points and over 6.0 rebounds per game for his career. He has also won four gold medals with the US Olympic basketball team.

1 Penny Hardaway, 1993, Orlando Magic

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Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway could have become one of the best all time players in the NBA if not for injuries that slowed him down and ultimately ended his career prematurely. Hardaway was a new version of Magic Johnson, a 6-foot-9 inch point guard, with great athleticism and great size. He played his college basketball at the University of Memphis before being drafted with the third pick of the 1993 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors who then traded him to the Orlando Magic. In Orlando he teamed up with second year superstar Shaquille O’Neal to launch the Magic into the playoffs for the first time ever. The following season Shaq and Penny’s Magic won 57 games and made it to the NBA Finals where they lost to the Houston Rockets. From the looks of it, the Magic were set up to be championship contenders for many years to come. The following year they returned to the playoffs only to lose in the Eastern Conference Finals to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Unfortunately, the following season Shaquille O'Neal left to play for the Lakers, Penny suffered through some injuries, and the Magic were bounced in the first round of the 1997 playoffs. Injuries continued to plague him through his final seasons with the Magic, then five seasons with the Suns, and his stints with the Knicks and the Heat. Hardaway finished his career as a four time All-Star while averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game during his career. Even though he did not have the best NBA career, he was definitely the best overall player since M.J. to be drafted with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft.

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Ranking All 32 Third Overall NBA Draft Picks Since Michael Jordan In 1984