The NBA draft is a crucial event for both the league and its teams as it has consistently produced some of the most talented and influential players in basketball history.
From Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to Michael Jordan and LeBron James, the draft has introduced the league to some of the most iconic players in the game. While every draft class has its own distinct set of players, some stand out as the best NBA draft classes of all time.
Here, we will rank the top ten best NBA draft classes of all time and provide a detailed breakdown of the marquee players in each class. We will take a look at the impact these players had on the league and basketball history, highlighting their unique skills, achievements, and legacies.
The Top 10 Greatest Draft Classes in NBA History
2011 NBA Draft Class
The 2011 NBA draft class may be underrated, but it deserves to be on this list. The class produced some fantastic players like Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, and Isaiah Thomas, who have all become household names in the NBA. They have made significant contributions to the league, and their impact continues to be felt today.
1980 NBA Draft Class
The 1980 NBA draft class featured some of the most legendary players in basketball history, including Kevin McHale and Kiki Vandewege. McHale, in particular, would go on to become one of the greatest post players of all time.
1987 NBA Draft Class
The 1987 NBA draft class is one of the most influential classes in NBA history. It featured some of the most dominant players of the 90s, including David Robinson, Reggie Miller, and Scottie Pippen. These players helped define the NBA during that era and were key contributors to their respective teams.
1960 NBA Draft Class
The 1960 NBA draft class was the first to be nationally televised and produced some of the most significant players of the 60s and 70s. The class included players like Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and Lenny Wilkens, who helped shape the NBA. They were instrumental in growing the league’s popularity.
2009 NBA Draft Class
The 2009 NBA draft class produced some incredibly talented players. The class featured players like Blake Griffin, James Harden, and Stephen Curry, who have all become some of the most dominant players in the NBA today. Their impact on the league cannot be overstated, and they continue to inspire new generations of basketball players.
1970 NBA Draft Class
The 1970 NBA draft class is one of the most important classes in NBA history, producing players like Bob Lanier, Rudy Tomjanovich, and Pete Maravich. These players helped shape the NBA during the 70s and were key contributors to their respective teams. They brought a unique style of play and helped elevate the league to new heights. They were also instrumental in expanding the popularity of basketball internationally.
1979 NBA Draft Class
The 1979 NBA draft class is on many lists for a reason: it brought Earvin Magic Johnson to the NBA. Johnson would go on to become one of the greatest and most popular players of all time. He is arguably the greatest player to ever play point guard in the NBA.
1996 NBA Draft Class
The 1996 NBA draft class is one of the most celebrated draft classes in NBA history, producing some of the league’s most iconic players, including Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, and Steve Nash. Their impact is still felt today. They brought a level of competitiveness that has become synonymous with the NBA.
2003 NBA Draft Class
The 2003 NBA draft class is one of the most famous draft classes in NBA history, producing players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony. These players have all had incredibly successful careers in the NBA, with LeBron James being considered one of the best players of all time.
1984 NBA Draft Class
The 1984 NBA draft class is one of the most iconic draft classes in NBA history. It produced some of the most dominant and influential players in basketball history, including Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. These players helped define the NBA during the 80s and 90s and set a new standard for excellence in the league.
The NBA draft has played a critical role in shaping the league and its history.
Each draft class has its unique set of players who have left a lasting impact on the league. From the dominant players of the 60s to the iconic players of the 90s, the NBA draft has consistently produced some of the greatest basketball players of all time.
While this ranking is subjective and debatable, there is no denying the incredible talent and impact of the players on this list.
We look forward to seeing what the future holds for the next generation of NBA draft picks and the continued growth of the league.