Every year, 60 players make their dream and get drafted to the NBA. Some of them become future MVPs and champions, while others have short-lived careers. Kirk Goldsberry, the NBA’s best cartographer, ranked the classes according to All-Star appearances and provided a lot of interesting insight.
The best draft class is the 1996 batch led by Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, and Steve Nash. This group had future Hall of Famers, champions, MVPs, and over 60 All-Star appearances.
Meanwhile. the second-best class would have to be the 2003 batch bannered by LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Like the 1996 class, this group had it all: NBA rings, Olympics gold medals, MVPs, All-Star MVPs, and possible first-ballot Hall of Famers.
The third best is the 1984 draft class led by Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. The group collectively has lesser All-Star appearances than the 2003 and 1996 batches, so even with MJ is in the’ 84 class, the group is only suitable for third-best all time according to this metric.
The Worst draft class ever – 2000
The 2000 draft class is considered the worst ever based on the All-Star appearances of its players. All-Star games are a good measure of how good a player performs or played in his career. Plus, it also factors in likeability status from fans who are voting. The 2000 draft class featured Kenyon Martin as the 1st overall pick and also had Mike Miller, Jamal Crawford, Michael Redd, Stromile Swift, Hedo Turkoglu, and Darius Miles.
Kenyon Martin, the face of the 2000 draft class, had memorable moments as a member of the New Jersey Nets. He made the finals with Jason Kidd, Keith Van Horn, Kerry Kittles, and Dikembe Mutombo but didn’t make it all the way.
The first overall pick was not even the group’s representative to the All-Star team. Michael Redd made the All-Star team in 2004. The former Bucks player was not even selected in the 1st round – Redd was picked 43rd overall.
Some players turned out to be high-flyers while some became proven scorers, but no one elevated his game to superstar status. Injuries may have a hand in how their careers turned out, but sometimes, players don’t have the “it” factors that James, Wade, Kobe, or MJ had. The 2000 draft class did what they had to do, and it simply did not match the other great draft classes in the history of the NBA.