What was the greatest NBA draft year?
The 1984 draft famously had Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and John Stockton. Was that the best class ever?
2003. After winning its second NBA Championship in a row, and third consecutive finals appearance, Miami Heat's big three were all drafted in 2003. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Other notables from the year include Carmelo Anthony, David West, John Howard, and Kirk Hinrich.
I'm not as versed on old players and old drafts, but here are some good ones...
2009 - Blake Griffin, James Harden, Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Taj Gibson, Danny Green
2008 - Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, Ryan Anderson, Serge Ibaka, George Hill
2005 - Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Raymond Felton, Danny Granger, David Lee, Monta Ellis, Marcin Gortat, Andrew Bogut
2001 - Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol, Jason Richardson, Shane Battier, Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson, Zach Randolph, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas
1998 - Antawn Jamison, Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, Paul Pierce, Al Harrington
1996 - Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Peja Stojakovic, Ben Wallace
1987 - David Robinson, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Johnson, Horace Grant, Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson
1985 - Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, Karl Malone, Joe Dumars, AC Green, Terry Porter
1984 - Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Kevin Willis, John Stockton
In a word, yes. These players were among the top 20 or so players of all time. Of course, there was the bad choice of Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan. While Jordan is the best ever, it's hard to argue over a team choosing Olajuwan.
The Bowie/Jordan issue has been beaten to death now, but the truth is that the Blazers had just drafted a shooting guard, Clyde Drexler, the past year. So drafting another one would've been, well, silly. Hindsight is 20/20.
Portland already had something of a two-guard controversy with Jim Paxson and Drexler. Funny that Jordan would end up playing with Paxson's brother. Too bad they didn't decide to take Jordan and let him run the offense, but they needed a center.
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