While its true that the legendary 1984 draft held within it the greatest player ever,the best modern center, and an all time great forward and point guard, it also had a glaring number of busts in the top 10. The ’84 draft makes you ask the question, what makes a great draft? Is it top end talent? The number of Hall of Famers it produces? The number of All Stars?
The overall depth of good players? The number of championship role players? Do you penalize a draft for the number of busts it has in the top 10? The accepted criteria is the number of great players a draft produces, but that kind of thinking is flawed.
For instance is the 1998 draft that held Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, and Vince Carter better than the 1999 draft that may only have Manu Ginobili make the Hall of Fame? One year has three legends, a few very good players, but a large number of lottery busts. Michael Olowokandi at 1. Raef Lafrentz at 3. Robert Traylor at 6. Michael Doleac at 12. Keon Clark at 13.
The ’99 draft is hands down the better choice, even though it lacked transcendent stars. It had 9 players that made All Star games and numerous others that had successful, productive careers. Elton Brand, Steve Francis, Baron Davis, and Lamar Odom in the top 4. Wally Szczerbiak, Richard Hamilton, Andre Miller, Shawn Marion, and Jason Terry in the top 10. Corey Maggette at 13. Metta World Peace at 15. Andrei Kirilenko at 24, and Ginobili at 57.
The 1999 draft provided more value to the league than the ’98 draft overall. With this as the starting point, lets rank the 10 best drafts of all time.