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Top Ten Steals in NBA Draft History

Posted on May 22, 2010 by Jacob Rogers

Can Hall of Famer George Gervin top our list of top ten steals in NBA Draft history?

The NBA Draft order was set on Thursday, and although the bottom half were set as planned, the top five were not. The Minnesota Timberwolves slid from having the second best chance to win, to getting the fourth pick. The New Jersey Nets, the team with the best chance to win the first pick, got the third pick in next month’s draft. This was the sixth year in a row where the team with the best chance to win has lost the first pick in the draft.

Top 10 Picks in the 2010 Draft

1. Washington 6. Golden State
2. Philadelphia 7. Detroit
3. New Jersey 8. LA Clippers
4. Minnesota 9. Utah (From New York via Phoenix)
5. Sacramento 10. Indiana

In honor of the 2010 NBA Draft, I thought I would take the time to talk about the top ten draft steals in NBA history.

10. Dennis Rodman – Dennis was picked 27th overall by the Detroit Pistons in 1986. He led the league in rebounds seven years straight (1992-98). Rodman was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times. Rodman was the defensive player of the year twice, and also a two time All-Star.

Some people taken before Rodman: Mark Alarie, Harold Pressley, Brad Sellers

9. Shawn Kemp – Kemp was the 17th overall pick by the Seattle Supersonics in 1989. He was a six time NBA All-Star. Kemp was also on the All-NBA second team three times.

Some people taken before Kemp: Stacey King, Randy White, Tom Hammonds

8. Steve Nash – Nash was drafted 15th overall by the Phoenix Suns. Nash has been named the NBA MVP twice (2005-2006), and he is a seven time NBA All-Star. Nash has also been on the All-NBA First Team three times.

Some people taken before Nash: Erick Dampier, Todd Fuller, Vitaly Potapenko

7. Rajon Rondo – Although Rondo is young and still has a lot to prove, he is emerging as a star on the Celtics. Rondo was the 21st overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Drafted by the Phoenix Suns, he was quickly traded to the Boston Celtics. Rajon Rondo helped the Celtics win their 17th franchise title in 2008 when the Celtics beat the Lakers in six games. In 2010 Rondo was an NBA All-Star and named to the All-NBA First Defensive Team.

Some people taken before Rondo: Mouhamed Sene, Patrick O’Bryant, Hilton Armstrong

6. Tony Parker – This three-time Champion (2003, 2005, 2007) was left on the board until the San Antonio Spurs took him with the 21st pick in the 2001 draft. As a rookie, Tony was named on the NBA All-Rookie First Team, and when the Spurs won the title in 2007, Tony was named NBA Finals MVP.

Some people taken before Parker: Steven Hunter, DeSagana Diop, Rodney White

5. Manu Ginobili – The second Spur on the list also won three NBA Championships (2003, 2005, 2007). Ginobili was drafted in the second round, 57th overall, by the Spurs in 1999. Although Ginobili doesn’t start most of the games that he plays in, he is a great scorer off the bench. In 2010, Ginobili only started in 21 games, but he still averaged 16 points per game. In 2007, Ginobili won the NBA 6th Man of the Year award.

Some people taken before Ginobili: Jonathan Bender, Trajan Langdon, Aleksandar Radojevi

4. Nate Archibald – Nate Archibald, one of the greatest point guards of all time, was drafted in the second round, 19th overall, to the Cincinnati Royals in 1970. Archibald is the only player ever to lead the league in points per game and assists per game in one season (34.0 ppg, 11.4 apg in 1972). Nate Archibald won his only Championship with the Boston Celtics in 1981.

Some people taken before Archibald: Jimmy Collins, George E. Johnson, Jim Ard

3. John Stockton – Stockton was selected 16th overall by the Utah Jazz. Some think of him as the best point guard ever. He handily holds the record for career assists and career steals. John was a 10-time All Star, 2-time NBA finalist, and a 2-time All-NBA First Team player.

Some people taken before Stockton: Melvin Turpin, Lancaster Gordon, Leon Wood

2. George Gervin – George Gervin was picked in the 3rd round, 40th overall, by the San Antonio Spurs. Gervin retired with four league scoring championships (only Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlin have more). He averaged 26.2 points per game in his combined ABA and NBA careers. Although he wasn’t known for his defensive game, he retired with the second-most blocks by an NBA guard. Not bad for a 3rd round pick.

Some people taken before Gervin: Len Elmore, John Shumate, Glenn McDonald

1. Michael Jordan – Jordan fell to the Chicago Bulls at the 3rd pick of the 1984 NBA Draft. Although he was the 3rd overall pick, I still consider him a steal because anything beyond the 1st overall pick is considered a steal for the best player to ever play the game…

Some people taken before Jordan: Sam Bowie

Maybe your team will get a big steal this year… The NBA Draft is set for June 24, 2010 at 7 PM EST.


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