Next month, the 76ers have the number three overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. All of us here at Philadunkia are hoping and praying, just like all of you, that Sam Hinkie will select a player that has a huge impact on this franchise for years to come (cough…D’Angelo Russell..cough) and one would think that type of player would be very easy to find and draft at No. 3.
However, when we reviewed the list of No. 3 selections from the last twenty-four years of the NBA Draft, we found plenty of evidence that the Sixers (or any team for that matter) are just as likely to misfire badly with the No. 3 overall pick as they are to get it right.
To be honest, this Draft history crash course made our stomachs a little queasy, so of course we thought we’d share it with our readers.
First, a look back at the history of the 3rd overall pick n the NBA Draft since 1990…
YEAR No. 3 Selection
2014 Joel Embiid (76ers)
2013 Otto Porter (Wash.)
2012 Bradley Beal (Wash.)
2011 Enes Kanter (Utah)
2010 Derrick Favors (NJN)
2009 James Harden (OKC)
2008 OJ Mayo (Memphis)
2007 Al Horford (Atlanta)
2006 Adam Morrison (Charlotte)
2004 Ben Gordon (Chicago)
2003 Carmelo Anthony (Denver)
2002 Mike Dunleavy (GSW)
2001 Pau Gasol (Atlanta)
2000 Darius Miles (LAC)
1999 Baron Davis (Charlotte)
1998 Raef LaFrentz (Denver)
1997 Chauncey Billups (Boston)
1996 Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Vancouver)
1995 Jerry Stackhouse (76ers)
1994 Grant Hill (Pistons)
1993 Anfernee Hardaway (GSW)
1992 Christian Laettner (MIN)
1991 Billy Owens (Sacto)
1990 Chris Jackson (Denver)
So here’s how we break down the success of the No. 3 election in the NBA Draft since 1990…
Hall of Famers (0-3) — No definition necessary.
Pau Gasol; James Harden; Carmelo Anthony…
Note: To be honest I could see a scenario where none of the above listed prior No. 3 overall selections end up in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but if Gasol, Harden and Anthony continue on the current career paths, one or all of them could sneak into the HoF.
Consistent All-Star Level Players (6) — These guys have / had all the skills and accomplishments necessary to go down as a “great” and/or at times “dominant” player in NBA history, but not a HOF’er. For the players who remain active, their resume gets more impressive with each passing year. With some hard work and some luck on the injury front, they could be a long shot to jump into the first category.
Bradley Beal; Al Horford; Baron Davis; Chauncey Billups; Grant Hill; Penny Hardaway…
Impact Players (5) — These guys may have an All-Star appearance or two on their resume and at times can / could take over a game. At their peak or possibly still today you’d be happy to have each of them on the Sixers roster.
Derrick Favors; OJ Mayo; Ben Gordon; Shareef Abdur-Rahim; Jerry Stackhouse…
Solid Players (6) — These players know their role, do it well and could be a piece to an NBA Championship puzzle, but in hind sight going #3 in the NBA Draft was too high given their career performance.
Enes Kanter; Mike Dunleavy; Raef LaFrentz; Christian Laettner; Billy Owens; Chris Jackson…
Straight Flops (2) — What can you say? The warning signs were there for some of these guys. Others not so much. Either way, some NBA GM probably lost his job after these No. 3 overall picks could not hack it in the Association.
Adam Morrison; Darius Miles (yes, I know injury had a great deal to do with Miles washing out of the League)…
TBD (2) — The early returns have been average or less than, but there have been flashes of brilliance. Everyone is still talking about potential and upside with these players. Injury may be a factor in this group.
Otto Porter; Joel Embiid…
- Having the No. 3 overall pick doesn’t guarantee that the 76ers will draft a prospect that has a long range positive impact on the franchise. Out of the twenty-four players drafted at #3 since 1990, only three (Gasol; Anthony; HArden) have HoF potential and each of them still has work tod do to reach that lofty status. Overall 14 players were rated as “Impact Players” or higher on our scale. A 58% success rate is a nice number in a lot of areas of life, but not when you are talking about whether or not you got it right with the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft.
- Guards are a safe bet. Of the 20 players rated as “Solid” or higher on the above scale, 11 were guards (point; shooting or combo) and there was an intelligent argument made that Carmelo should be considered a shooting guard not a forward based on his style of game and skill set. If you put Anthony in with the guards, then that would bring their total to 12 out of 20.
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