With that NBA Draft slowly creeping up, I thought it was a good time to go over all of the number one overall picks from the 2010s. We had some good players come out of the NBA draft in the past decade, but we also had some stinkers come out as well. With that being said here is my rankings of the number one overall selections in the NBA from the 2010s.
10.) Anthony Bennett (2013)
The most iconic thing over Anthony Bennett’s career was the fact that he was the number one overall pick in 2013. Bennett lasted four seasons in the NBA and played for four different teams. He never averaged more than 5.2 PPG in his entire NBA career. One thing about Bennett’s NBA career is that he started in the fewest games ever as a former number one overall pick. He was drafted by the Cavaliers, and after his first season in the NBA he was part of the three team trade to bring Kevin Love to Cleveland.
It is actually a challenging thing to name all four teams that Bennett played for in his NBA career. His career never took off the way he planned when he declared for the NBA Draft. Anthony Bennett might be the biggest NBA Draft Bust ever, and he is definitely the worst number one overall pick in the 2010s.
9.) Markelle Fultz (2017)
Markelle Fultz was drafted number one overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. In the 2017 NBA Draft the Boston Celtics had the number one overall pick and traded back to get the number three overall selection from the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia used that draft pick on Markelle Fultz and boy was that a bad selection. Not because of the player, but for what the 76ers needed moving forward. They could have taken Jayson Tatum who has blossomed into a superstar with the Celtics. Instead they took Fultz and he never fit in with Philadelphia.
Philadelphia traded Fultz to Orlando and we started to see glimpses of the Fultz that we saw when he was at the University of Washington. His injury history has derailed his NBA career to this point and in my opinion he can only get better from here. He is a serviceable NBA player for sure and is much better overall than Anthony Bennett.
8.) DeAndre Ayton (2018)
DeAndre Ayton was the number one overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. Phoenix desperately needed a big man and Ayton was a good fit for them. Ayton has averaged a double double throughout his short NBA career so far. The only thing that holds me back from putting Ayton higher up on the list is the fact that he missed time in the 2019-2020 season from a Anti-Drug Policy suspension.
Ayton was suspended for 25 games and without him the Suns were a lot worse than they have been in the past decade. DeAndre is a good player for the Suns and is a good big man in this league. He hasn’t taken that step where he has become an all-star level player yet. If he becomes that then he will go up on my rankings. For now he is the 8th best number one overall pick in the 2010s.
7.) Andrew Wiggins (2014)
Andrew Wiggins was taken number one overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He never played a game for them as he was traded to Minnesota as a big part of the deal to get Kevin Love to Cleveland. Wiggins has spent the majority of his career on a bad Minnesota Timberwolves team and has put up some good numbers in his NBA career. He won the Rookie of the Year in the 2014-2015 season, and the athletic guard has been great in his NBA career.
Wiggins in his NBA career is averaging just under 20 points per game and has started in every single game that he has appeared in. With Wiggins playing in the Western Conference, there are times that he gets forgot about as being a solid player in my opinion. Wiggins is only 25 years old and we could see an improvement in his game in years to come. He is still a good player, but with the names that are above him you’ll see why I think he is the 7th best number one overall pick in the 2010s.
6th: Zion Williamson (2019)
Zion Williamson has made an immediate impact when he stepped foot in the league for the 2019-2020 season. Zion was the last number one selection of the 2010s, but he could absolutely be higher on this list when his career is all said and done. Williamson has played a combined 58 games in the NBA so far and he has one of the highest ceilings that I have seen in a long long time. Zion was an all-star this year and was on the All-NBA 1st Rookie Team last season.
If Zion was healthy the entire season, he would have easily won rookie of the year. He makes an impact on the game when he is on the floor and he averages just over 24 PPG to go along with 6.8 RPG in his short NBA career. Zion has a realistic chance of being a top three number one overall pick in the 2010s. We just need to see how his career progresses, but the sky is the limit for this man.
5.) John Wall (2010)
John Wall was the first number one selection in the 2010s and has been a solid NBA player throughout his career. Wall is a five time all-star with the Wizards, and was thought about as one of the top point guards in the game at one point in his career. He has been derailed by injuries, but before all of the injuries Wall was very explosive. He was one of the fastest guys in the league, and was hard to guard in certain situations.
Wall now is playing in his first season since the 2018-2019 season and is playing on the Houston Rockets. He was a Washington Wizard for his entire career up until this season. Wall could very well be up higher on this list, but the names on the rankings list that is higher you’ll see why he is the 5th best number one overall pick of the 2010s.
4.) Ben Simmons (2016)
Ben Simmons was the number one overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. Simmons missed the 2016-2017 season, and won the rookie of the year during the 2017-2018 NBA season. He is now a three time all-star and made the 3rd All-NBA team in the 2019-2020 season. Ben Simmons is the current point guard of the 76ers and his value has skyrocketed. Being an essential part of a championship caliber team is what Simmons is at this very moment.
Simmons is drawing comparisons to Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson because of his ability to pass the ball at his height. He also was on the All-NBA First Defensive Team last year as well. He is only 24 years old and can very well be the a top ten number one overall pick of all time if he keeps up his level of play.
3.) Karl-Anthony Towns (2015)
Karl-Anthony Towns was the number one overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. KAT is a two time all-star and was a third team All-NBA player in the 2017-2018 season. He also won rookie of the year as well. Towns is a talented center that is a franchise cornerstone player at this moment. He is one of the only positive things about the Minnesota Timberwolves right now.
Towns has been hurt over the last couple of seasons and he also had covid-19 this year. When Towns is on the floor though he makes a big time impact and is arguably a top five center in the league today. Towns in my opinion is the 3rd best number one pick from the 2010s.
2.) Kyrie Irving (2011)
Kyrie Irving is one of the top point guards in the league today. He is a 7 time all-star, former all-star game MVP, and has a NBA title under his belt. Kyrie also adds a Rookie of the Year, a all-nba second team, and a all-nba third team to his resume as well. Irving has played with names like Jayson Tatum, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and James Harden throughout his NBA career at the moment. Kyrie has a realistic chance at being a two time NBA champion after this season.
In his career Kyrie averages 22.7 PPG to go along with 3.8 RPG and 5.7 APG as well. Kyrie has had what I believe to be a hall of fame career so far and could very well be the best number one overall pick in the 2010s. On my list he is number two only behind one man.
1.) Anthony Davis (2012)
Anthony Davis was drafted number one overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. He is the number one player on my list. AD is a 8 time all-star, 4 time All-NBA first team, 4 time All-NBA Defensive Team (2 time first team, 2 time second team). He is also a NBA Champion and a three times block leader in the league.
Anthony Davis has played at an elite level since his freshman year in college at Kentucky. Davis won an Olympic gold medal before even playing a game in the NBA. He is a top five player in the league today, and is arguably one of the top 25 best players of all-time. In his NBA career he has averaged 23.9 PPG to go along with 10.3 RPG and 2.4 BPG as well. Davis has had a hall of fame NBA career already and with him being only 27 years old, we have a lot more of Anthony Davis left to see. He is my number one 1st overall pick in the 2010s.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
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