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Top 15 Sleeper NBA Draft Picks Who Became Superstars

NBA teams can have a maximum of twelve players on their roster by the time the regular season starts. The NBA draft has 60 spots for players to get selected. Only the first 30 selections are given guaranteed contracts, while the other 30 players will have to compete with other players to earn a spot on the roster. In other words, it is incredibly difficult to make it in the NBA.

Not coincidentally, most of the successful players in the NBA were taken early on in the draft and were considered to be top prospects coming into the league. There could be a wide variety of factors going into players' draft stock. How elite of a basketball program their school had or how strong their competition was. How tall and NBA ready their body is or how raw their talent and basketball skills are. Sometimes teams may select a player who didn't prove a lot at the college level simply because of his raw athletic abilities and high ceiling, as opposed to the more polished basketball player who don't seem to have superstar potential. As an NBA scout, you have to go through all of these different factors and weigh the pros and cons.

Oftentimes, assumptions of players made by scouts result in great players falling through the cracks and all of the sudden they allowed an NBA All-Star to fall into the second round, or worse, left them completely undrafted. Going into the draft, some of the players on this list were labeled "too small" or "too slow" to compete at the NBA level. This is why a lot of the players on this list were also known to play with a chip on their shoulder. Being under-appreciated coming into the league, they had to fight to prove that they were even worthy of making an NBA roster. These players ended up proving all of their critics wrong, and they all have had successful NBA careers.

15 Michael Redd

via yardbarker.com

14 DeAndre Jordan

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

13 Paul Millsap

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

12 Rashard Lewis

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

11 John Starks

via complex.com

10 Mark Price

via foxsports.com

9 Marc Gasol

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

8 Gilbert Arenas

via bulletsforever.com

7 Draymond Green

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

6 Maurice Cheeks

via detroitbadboys.com

5 Ben Wallace

via foxsports.com

4 Manu Ginobili 

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

3 Alex English

via foxsports.com

2 Dennis Rodman 

via foxsports.com

1 Dennis Johnson 

via grantland.com

Dennis Johnson may very well be the most underrated player to ever play in the NBA. The Seattle SuperSonics selected him with the sixth to last pick in the 1976 NBA Draft. While playing for a young SuperSonics organization, Dennis Johnson led them to an NBA championship where he was named the Finals' MVP in just his third season. After playing for the Sonics, Johnson had a short stint with the Phoenix Suns and then joined Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics en route to two more NBA Championships. Dennis Johnson is one of the greatest two-way players the league has ever seen. He was one of the NBA's first premier perimeter defenders, having been named to the All-NBA Defensive First Team six times and the Second Team, three times. On offense, he consistently posted great numbers in points, assists, and rebounds per game. Even after a long and prestigious career in the NBA, it seems as thought Dennis Johnson is still one of the more under-appreciated NBA legends.

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Top 15 Sleeper NBA Draft Picks Who Became Superstars