No. 3 Can Be Tricky

sam-hinkieMay 20th was a night to remember for Philadunkia nation.  Of course we aren’t 100% happy that we didn’t land the first overall pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft, but we did pretty well for ourselves by landing two Top 10 selections.

In what some believe as the strongest draft class since 2003, we came away with both the 3rd and 10th picks.  In theory, Sam Hinkie should be able to select two high quality prospects at those lottery slots that will help turn this franchise around.  However, if you take a minute to examine the NBA Draft since 2000, you will find that there have been multiple booms and busts at the number three spot in the NBA draft.

Today, I will review and analyze for you the recent history of the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft.  Then on Saturday I will look closely at the recent history of the No. 10 pick in the NBA Draft.


Back in 2000, Darius Miles was selected 3rd overall (straight out of East St. Louis HS) by the Los Angeles Clippers.  In his rookie season, Miles averaged 9.4 PPG.  The 3rd overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft only lasted two seasons with the team in which drafted him.  Over his eight year career, Miles spent time with four different NBA teams.  Miles posted a big 2003-04 season for the Trail Blazers that led to a 6-year, $48 million deal with Portland.  He posted another solid season after his big payday — 63 games on 12 and 4 a night. A horrific knee injury 40 games into the 2005-06 season, with eventual microfracture surgery put him on the sideline for the next two years and eventually he was washed out of the League .

With the 3rd pick in the 2001 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Pau Gasol.  Pau Gasol’s rights were then traded to the Vancouver Grizzlies for Shareef Abdur-Rahim.  I think it’s safe to say that the Grizzlies won that trade.

In the 2002 NBA Draft, the Warriors selected Mike Dunleavy.  Dunleavy has been a successful role player (11 ppg. & 4 rpg. on 44% shooting from the field) in the Association for many years in the NBA.  However, he’s now on his 4th team and one could argue that his career has been a let down for a No. 3 overall draft pick.

In the 2003 draft, the Denver Nuggets selected Carmelo Anthony.  In a loaded draft class, the Nuggets were tremendously happy that Carmelo fell into their laps.  Melo was very successful with Denver, becoming one of the many superstars from the 2003 draft, but has proven to be one-dimensional player who isn’t a cornerstone-type talent.

The 2004 Draft saw Ben Gordon go to the Chicago Bulls with the 3rd overall pick.  Gordon did well for the Chicago Bulls in his rookie season, averaging 15 PPG.  Starting with his sophomore campaign, Gordon also had a great 4-year stretch with the Bulls during which he put up  16 ppg.; 21 ppg.; 18 ppg. and 20 ppg.  However, since he joined the Detroit Pistons in 2009-10 he hasn’t been able to duplicate that kind of scoring success (11 ppg. over 3 seasons) and last year he bottomed out in Charlotte (5.2 ppg.).

Another gem was selected 3rd overall in the 2005 NBA Draft.  The Utah Jazz selected Deron Williams.  After some growing pains in Utah, Deron was regarded as one of the top point guards in the League.  After pissing off everyone in Jazz organization, Williams since was traded to Brooklyn and things haven’t been the same for D-Will, mainly due to injury.

Remember Adam Morrison?  Well, he went 3rd overall to the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2006 NBA Draft.  Morrison was very successful in college, but his game never translated to the NBA.  Thanks to Kobe he collected a ring with the Lakers in 2010 and has since been exiled to Euro-ball.

The 2007 NBA Draft saw a solid NBA player selected at No. 3.  The Atlanta Hawks selected Al Horford with the 3rd overall pick.  Horford, when healthy, is considered by some a top 10 center in the NBA.

O.J. Mayo was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 3 in the 2008 NBA Draft but was quickly traded to Memphis for the rights to Kevin Love.  I’m sure Memphis would like a “do-over” on that trade.

The 2009 draft saw an All-Star guard selected in the 3rd spot as James Harden was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder that year.  The Westbrook, Harden, Durant trio was born and although that dynamic lineup only lasted a short time, Harden has become a prolific scoring guard and the face (or beard) of the franchise for the Houstone Rockets.

The 2010 NBA Draft saw Derrick Favors selected 3rd overall by the New Jersey Nets.  Even though he averaged a near double-double for the Jazz (13 & 8.7 averages last year), Favors will most likley be remembered for playing a big part in bringing Deron Williams to Brooklyn.

In the 2011 NBA draft, the Utah Jazz selected Enes Kanter at No. 3 and he has  yet to make a big impact in the NBA.  Kanter is a young big man who still has plenty of potential going forward, so there is still hope for him.

The Washington Wizards found the perfect complement to John Wall in the 2012 NBA draft.  With the 3rd overall selection, Washington chose elite shooting guard Bradley Beal.  Beal has been the salt to John Wall’s pepper.  The sharp shooting guard out of Florida has become one of the top shooters in the NBA.  With both John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards will have a top backcourt in the League for many years to come.

In last year’s NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards selected Otto Porter with the 3rd overall pick.  Otto didn’t really see much playing time this season (37 games — 8.6 mpg.) due to the emergence of Trevor Ariza.  Going forward, it will be interesting to see how Porter meshes with both Beal and Wall.

As you can see, previous drafts have seen both stars and busts come from the 3rd pick.  As 76ers fans, all we can hope for is players who can contribute into the future.  Hinkie has done his homework on this year’s draft class.  When it comes to draft night, I’m sure the team will make the right selections.  Who knows, maybe our two picks in this year’s draft will be main contributors to a championship run in the future.  One can only hope.


Rich Iacuzio is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twiiter @richiacuzio.

You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.


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