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Last 40 No. 2 Overall Picks In The NBA Draft: Kevin Durant Is Clearly The Best Player On This List

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Last 40 No. 2 Overall Picks In The NBA Draft: Kevin Durant Is Clearly The Best Player On This List

The NBA Draft is a time of hope and optimism for NBA franchises because they get a chance to draft the player or players that could prove to be the difference in their plans to win a title in the short or long term. Teams with the No. 1 overall pick are especially fortunate because they can normally choose the most impactful player coming out of college (or high school).

But it does not automatically mean that every No. 1 pick will automatically become superstar players, as we have seen multiple busts throughout NBA history. We have seen a mix of No. 1 picks that turned to superstar players and busts over the last 40 years, and that similar ideology can apply to No. 2 overall picks as well. While there is greater prestige in getting chosen No. 1 instead of No. 2, most often, both can be considered impact players when the teams choose correctly.

We have collected the last 40 rookies to get drafted No. 2 overall in their respective draft classes, to give an indication of which players ended up becoming stars while others faded into obscurity. We will get a wide range of these players among a broad spectrum, and without further ado, it is time to go through the last 40 No. 2 overall picks in NBA history.


1982 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Terry Cummings (San Diego Clippers)

Rookie Stats: 23.7 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Career Stats: 16.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.1 BPG, 0.5 SPG

Terry Cummings had a great start to his NBA career after getting drafted No. 2 overall in the 1982 NBA Draft, posting 23.7 PPG and 10.6 RPG while winning Rookie of the Year. The forward was exceptional at scoring inside, mainly using his ability around the rim to haul rebounds and get putbacks. 

By the end of his career, Cummings made a total of 2 All-Star Teams and 2 All-NBA Teams as a member of seven different franchises including the Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, and Milwaukee Bucks. No doubt about it, the Clippers made a solid decision to land Cummings although they might be kicking themselves that they didn’t take James Worthy (No. 1 overall) or Dominique Wilkins (No. 3 overall) instead.


1983 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Steve Stipanovich (Indiana Pacers)

Rookie Stats: 12.0 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Career Stats: 13.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.9 BPG

A 6’11” center with a solid offensive game, Steve Stipanovich was not a bad player by any means although he should not have been taken No. 2 overall. The center averaged 12.0 PPG and 6.9 RPG in his rookie season, good enough for the All-Rookie Team.

Stipanovich would go on to average at least 13 PPG for four straight seasons after his rookie campaign, ending his career with an average of 48.6% from the field as a member of the Indiana Pacers.


1984 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers)

Rookie Stats: 10.0 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, 2.7 BPG

Career Stats: 10.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.8 BPG

The Portland Trail Blazers franchise will continue to hear ridicule for choosing Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan for the rest of eternity. Choosing big men was the norm back then, but not when Jordan could have been taken No. 2 overall.

Bowie was a solid big man, but because he was taken ahead of the GOAT, many seem to label him a bust. Sam could score inside when he had position and was also a capable shot blocker at 7’1”. But Jordan’s name will forever be attached to him although no fault of his own.


1985 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Wayman Tisdale (Indiana Pacers)

Rookie Stats: 14.7 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Career Stats: 15.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Wayman Tisdale was never going to match up too well with No. 1 overall pick Patrick Ewing, but he held his own nonetheless with a solid rookie campaign that saw him drop 14.7 PPG and 7.2 RPG.

Tisdale was a solid paint presence at 6’9” and 240 lbs, and as a left-handed player, he was awkward to defend against at times. Finishing his career with averages of 15.3 PPG and 6.1 RPG, Tisdale was not a bust by any means.


1986 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Len Bias (Boston Celtics)

Rookie Stats: N/A

Career Stats: N/A

The late Len Bias did not get a chance to showcase his elite talent on the NBA floor, because an unfortunate tragedy cut short his professional career. Coming out of college, Bias was supposed to be the face of the league.

In fact, Bias was drawing comparisons to Michael Jordan for the way he could create plays and also dominate the game with athleticism. We never got to see what Bias could have been as a member of the Boston Celtics.


1987 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Armen Gilliam (Phoenix Suns)

Rookie Stats: 14.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Career Stats: 13.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG

The 6’9” power forward known as “The Hammer” was a good yet unspectacular selection as the No. 2 overall pick. The big man made the All-Rookie Team by putting up 14.8 PPG and 7.9 RPG and would finish his career with averages of 13.7 PPG and 6.9 RPG.

Gilliam was a solid scorer around the rim and shot a strong 48.9% from the field over his career that lasted 13 seasons. The big man was not a star, but he was certainly productive on the court.


1988 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Rik Smits (Indiana Pacers)

Rookie Stats: 11.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.8 BPG

Career Stats: 14.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG

A 1-time All-Star with the Indiana Pacers, 7’4” Rik Smits was a solid paint presence through the twelve seasons of his professional career. The center was adept at scoring the ball inside and defending the rim, holding career averages of 14.8 PPG and 6.1 RPG during his time with the Pacers.

These are solid numbers, although it was expected because the big man was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1988 Draft. Whether he deserved the No. 2 selection is to be discussed, because even if the big man was not a once-in-a-generation player, he was still an effective paint presence.


1989 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Danny Ferry (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Rookie Stats: 8.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Career Stats: 7.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Danny Ferry was a bust because he should have never been taken No. 2 overall in the 1989 Draft. The 6’10” forward brought size and toughness, but he lacked the skill to be an impactful player over his career even if he won the 2003 NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs at age 36.

Ferry averaged double-digits in scoring only twice in his career and finished with an average of 7.0 PPG and 2.8 RPG over 13 seasons. The Cavaliers have a mixed track record in selecting valuable picks in the draft, and Ferry is another one to add to the list.


1990 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Gary Payton (Seattle SuperSonics)

Rookie Stats: 7.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 6.4 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career Stats: 16.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Already an elite defensive player, Gary Payton was taken No. 2 overall in the 1990 Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. The guard was extremely raw on the offensive end, and he needed to put a ton of work in before he would be recognized as one of the best players in the league.

Payton would get there, making the All-Star Team in his fourth season when he posted 16.5 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 2.3 SPG. The Glove had a tendency to pick ball-handler’s pockets, but his improvement as a scorer inside and outside the paint was impressive to see.


1991 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Kenny Anderson (New Jersey Nets) 

Rookie Stats: 7.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG 

Career Stats: 12.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Taken No. 2 overall in the 1991 NBA Draft was Kenny Anderson, 6’0” guard with a seemingly natural ability to score and also create for others. Even if Anderson would make his only All-Star Team in his third season, the guard never really met expectations.

For one, he failed to make the All-Rookie Team and also held a career shooting average of 42.1%. Anderson had some strong seasons including his All-Star campaign when he dropped 18.8 PPG and 9.6 APG, but he probably should have fallen in the draft.


1992 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Alonzo Mourning (Charlotte Hornets)

Rookie Stats: 21.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.3 SPG, 3.5 BPG

Career Stats: 17.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.5 SPG, 2.8 BPG

While Shaquille O’Neal, another elite big man, was drafted ahead of him, Alonzo Mourning was a great pick at No. 2 overall. Mourning made the All-Rookie Team by posting 21.0 PPG and 10.3 RPG to go along with 3.5 BPG for the Charlotte Hornets.

Alonzo would go on to make the Hall of Fame thanks to his 7 All-Star selections and 2 Defensive Player of the Year awards. While Mourning was one of the best shot blockers in NBA history, he was a capable scorer who could get it done on the block.


1993 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Shawn Bradley (Philadelphia 76ers)

Rookie Stats: 10.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, 3.0 BPG

Career Stats: 8.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.6 SPG, 2.5 BPG

Despite not possessing go-to scoring skills, Shawn Bradley managed to have a long career spanning 12 seasons thanks to his natural size and shot-blocking ability. Bradley stood 7’6”, which meant he had the immediate advantage of defending the rim.

The Philadelphia 76ers went for size over skill in the 1993 NBA Draft, and Bradley managed 3.0 BPG in his rookie campaign while making the All-Rookie Team. The big man also led the league in blocks in 1997 with 3.4 BPG.


1994 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks)

Rookie Stats: 11.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Career Stats: 12.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

No doubt about it, Jason Kidd was a fantastic selection with the No. 2 overall pick. The powerhouse point guard was already exceptional at being a floor general, a major reason he won Rookie of the Year by posting 11.7 PPG and 7.7 APG to go along with 1.9 SPG.

Kidd would eventually end his career as a Hall of Famer with 10 All-Star selections and 9 All-Defensive Team selections, marks of an excellent all-around superstar. No. 1 overall pick Glenn Robinson had a nice career, but Kidd was easily the better player.


1995 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Antonio McDyess (Denver Nuggets)

Rookie Stats: 13.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.5 BPG

Career Stats: 12.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.1 BPG

Antonio McDyess would have a long NBA career that spanned 15 seasons, and his best moments came in 1999 when he made his only All-NBA Team selection and the 2001 season when he was named an All-Star by averaging 20.8 PPG and 12.1 RPG.

McDyess was a solid mid-range jump shooter and also had strong inside moves, making him a very dependable big man throughout his career. As the No. 2 overall pick, McDyess made the All-Rookie Team by posting 13.4 PPG and 7.5 RPG.


1996 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Marcus Camby (Toronto Raptors)

Rookie Stats: 14.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.1 BPG

Career Stats: 9.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.4 BPG

Thanks to his 6’11” and 220-lb frame, Marcus Camby was always going to get drafted as one of the top picks of the 1996 NBA Draft. The talented shot-blocker was taken behind Allen Iverson in the Draft and rewarded the Toronto Raptors by making the All-Rookie Team.

Averaging 14.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 2.1 BPG, Marcus Camby was clearly a strong starting-caliber center and he would go on to win a Defensive Player of the Year award and lead the league in blocks four times.


1997 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Keith Van Horn (Philadelphia 76ers)

Rookie Stats: 19.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career Stats: 16.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Keith Van Horn had a ton of success as a member of the New Jersey Nets, helping Jason Kidd lead the squad to the NBA Finals on two occasions. The forward was versatile on both ends of the floor because he could shoot from the perimeter and also play solid defense.

Van Horn averaged 19.7 PPG and 6.6 RPG in his rookie campaign, earning him a spot on the All-Rookie Team. Due to his very solid play on both ends of the floor, Van Horn was considered arguably a top-3 player on the Nets teams that were after the NBA title although they never quite got there.


1998 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Mike Bibby (Vancouver Grizzlies)

Rookie Stats: 13.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Career Stats: 14.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Making the All-Rookie Team, Mike Bibby was certainly a consistent scorer and playmaker as soon as he stepped foot on an NBA court. Armed with efficient handles and a long-range jumper, Bibby easily showed the makings of a starting-caliber point guard.

The point guard shot 43.0% from the field, 20.3% from three, and 75.1% from the free-throw line in his rookie season. Over his career, Mike shot 43.6% from the field and 37.9% from three, numbers indicative of an offensively-inclined guard.


1999 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Steve Francis (Vancouver Grizzlies)

Rookie Stats: 18.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career Stats: 18.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Steve Francis ended up winning Rookie of the Year with Elton Brand because the guard was exceptional on the offensive side of the floor. He put up 18.0 PPG and 6.6 APG on 44.5% from the field and 34.5% from three.

A 6’3” point guard with elite athleticism, Francis was not only impactful but exciting to watch because of his ability to create his own shots and make highlight reels. Of course, Francis would go on to make 3 All-Star Teams with the Houston Rockets.


2000 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Stromile Swift (Vancouver Grizzlies)

Rookie Stats: 4.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.0 BPG

Career Stats: 8.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 1.2 BPG

Stromile Swift looked like he would make a big splash in the NBA by his rookie season, but it never quite happened. Rather, Swift only averaged 4.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG and failed to make the All-Rookie Team.

Swift also failed to make any significant impact with any of the other teams he played for and should have never been drafted ahead of Mike Miller, Hedo Turkoglu, or Jamal Crawford. The 2000 Draft was not the greatest, but Swift should have still fallen in the rankings.


2001 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Tyson Chandler (Los Angeles Clippers)

Rookie Stats: 6.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Career Stats: 8.2 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.2 BPG

An athletic big man with defensive capabilities, Tyson Chandler was selected No. 2 overall with the hopes that he would become a star one day. Even if Chandler only made 1 All-Star Team in his career, he was an excellent defensive presence.

Tyson won Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 as a member of the New York Knicks, and would also win an NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. A shot-blocker and rim protector, Chandler has had a very nice career.


2002 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Jay Williams (Chicago Bulls)

Rookie Stats: 9.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career Stats: 9.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Obviously, Jay Williams never had a chance to show what he could really do on an NBA court. He appeared in 75 games for the Bulls in his rookie season, averaging 9.5 PPG on 39.9% from the field, and earned his place on the All-Rookie Team.

But he would miss the entire 2004 season due to a motorcycle accident, an incident that effectively ended his NBA career. The 6’2” point guard had the ability to score and create for others on offense, but we will never know if he could have become a star in the NBA.


2003 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Darko Milicic (Detroit Pistons)

Rookie Stats: 1.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career Stats: 6.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG

One of the biggest draft busts ever, Darko Milicic received criticism until this day for his inability to make an impact, even when he was not even taken No. 1 overall. The reason? The Pistons selected Darko ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

It is argued that Darko should not have even been drafted, and by getting selected No. 2 overall pick, the pressure was on him from the very start. The center lacked the skills to score inside and the athleticism to have any impact on the defensive end.


2004 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Emeka Okafor (Charlotte Hornets)

Rookie Stats: 15.1 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.7 BPG

Career Stats: 12.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.6 BPG

After Dwight Howard, another big man was taken in the 2004 NBA Draft with Okafor getting drafted No. 2 overall. The defensive big had size at 6’10” but also had an ability to recover on defense to contest and block shots.

In fact, it was Okafor who won Rookie of the Year by averaging almost 2.0 BPG and also showcasing his double-double capabilities. While it can be argued that Jameer Nelson, Andre Iguodala, and Luol Deng were better players, Okafor was a good option with the No. 2 pick.


2005 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Marvin Williams (Atlanta Hawks)

Rookie Stats: 8.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Career Stats: 10.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Marvin Williams retired with a career built as a solid role player, but he should not have gone No. 2 overall in the 2005 NBA Draft. The forward had strong athleticism and solid shooting intangibles, but he was not a better player than Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Andrew Bynum.

After making the All-Rookie Team in 2006, Williams would average in double-digits in scoring for 6 straight seasons. There is no doubt that the forward was a versatile player, and his consistency made him a solid role player.


2006 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - LaMarcus Aldridge (Chicago Bulls)

Rookie Stats: 9.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.3 SPG, 1.2 BPG

Career Stats: 19.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.1 BPG

LaMarcus Aldridge was one of the few big men who could actually space the floor, making him an attractive selection with the No. 2 overall pick. The Bulls wanted a player with size and skill, and their selection was well-founded, even if Aldridge never played a game for them.

LaMarcus spent the first 9 seasons of his career with the Trail Blazers, making the All-Star Team four times and forming one of the best “what-if” duos with Brandon Roy. The big man made the All-Rookie Team, and would later blossom into a go-to scorer for Portland.


2007 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Kevin Durant (Seattle SuperSonics)

Rookie Stats: 20.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Career Stats: 27.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG

Obviously, Kevin Durant proved to be a world-class selection with the No. 2 overall pick. Durant should have easily been taken No. 1 overall because even if Greg Oden managed to stay healthy, the Slim Reaper is a once-in-a-lifetime talent.

After winning Rookie of the Year, Durant has blossomed into a 12-time All-Star and one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. With 4 scoring titles to his name, Durant has built off his rookie campaign exceptionally well. Even if KD never won a title with the Thunder, he is their most talented player ever.


2008 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Michael Beasley (Miami Heat)

Rookie Stats: 13.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Career Stats: 12.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Michael Beasley had the makings of an All-Star talent because he was gifted athletically at 6’9” and 235 lbs, and had the versatility to play both forward positions at a high level. Unfortunately, Beasley never reached his potential mainly due to an assortment of injury issues and also behavioral setbacks.

After making the All-Rookie Team, Beasley never quite reached the heights expected of him other than his third NBA season when he posted 19.2 PPG and 5.6 RPG with the Minnesota Timberwolves.


2009 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Hasheem Thabeet (Memphis Grizzlies)

Rookie Stats: 3.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.2 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Career Stats: 2.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.1 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Obviously, Hasheem Thabeet was a bust as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. The center was simply not an NBA player, because he lacked the girth to bang down low and also the athleticism to be a dominant rebounder.

Thabeet was extremely tall at 7’3”, but choosing prospects on the basis of pure height proved to be a bad decision on the part of the Grizzlies. The center could not move well when defending, even if he blocked 1.3 shots per game in his rookie season.


2010 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers)

Rookie Stats: 7.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career Stats: 9.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG

An athletic swingman with natural playmaking ability, Evan Turner was considered a great pick by the rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers. The swingman had some nice moments in his career, but there is no way he should have been taken ahead of Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins.

Turner had his best season in 2014 when he posted 14.0 PPG and 5.0 RPG as a member of the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. The forward was great at handling the ball but lacked the impact expected from a No. 2 overall pick.


2011 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Rookie Stats: 8.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Career Stats: 8.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG

The greatest ball-handler in NBA history, Kyrie Irving began electrifying crowds as soon as his rookie season. So it was no wonder why he was taken No. 1 overall, but Derrick Williams should have never been drafted No. 2 overall ahead of Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Kemba Walker.

Williams was a terrific athlete, but he was unfortunately nothing more than that. The forward was not a shot-creator, versatile defender, or outside shooter. That is a reason why Williams has a career average of 20.7 MPG and averaged in double-digits in scoring once in his career.


2012 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Hornets)

Rookie Stats: 9.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Career Stats: 8.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG

No doubt, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should not have been taken ahead of the likes of Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Khris Middleton, and Draymond Green. Kidd-Gilchrist was supposed to be a two-way star, and while he is an excellent defender, he has not impressed.

The swingman battled injuries that cut short his playing time on the court, and his lack of jump shooting made him nothing more than a role player when he was healthy. His best season came in 2016 when he dropped 12.7 PPG and 6.4 RPG, but the decline would be seen shortly after.


2013 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic)

Rookie Stats: 13.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Career Stats: 17.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Without a doubt, Anthony Bennett is one of the biggest busts in NBA history when he was taken No. 1 overall in the 2013 Draft. That ultimately meant that Victor Oladipo was always going to be an excellent pick at No. 2, and he certainly was considering Giannis Antetokounmpo should have gone No. 1 overall.

Oladipo made the All-Rookie Team in his first season, and would soon become a 2-time All-Star with excellent play on both ends of the floor. The guard is battling injuries that could spell the end of his prime, but Oladipo has had a nice career nonetheless.


2014 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks)

Rookie Stats: 12.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career Stats: 14.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Jabari Parker looked like he had the potential of being an All-Star someday, but injuries and lack of consistency with playing time essentially ended the forward’s prime. Parker’s production has decreased ever since the 2020 season, and he has only appeared in at least 60 games twice in his career.

Injuries have cut short multiple players’ primes in the past, and unfortunately, Parker is another example of that. At 6’8” with a versatile skill set and excellent athleticism, Parker was supposed to be a player for the long run when taken by Milwaukee.


2015 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - D’Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers)

Rookie Stats: 13.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career Stats: 17.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG

The Los Angeles Lakers would be lucky enough to get a string of top-3 picks over a few-year span following the retirement tour of Kobe Bryant. With the No. 2 pick in the 2015 Draft, the Lakers selected talented offensive player D’Angelo Russell behind Karl-Anthony Towns.

While Towns is a better player than Russell, looking ahead, the guard was an easy choice because nobody would have expected Devin Booker to be as great of a scorer as he currently is. Russell made the All-Rookie Team, but he would not blossom until he was traded away by the Purple and Gold.


2016 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Brandon Ingram (Los Angeles Lakers)

Rookie Stats: 9.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Career Stats: 18.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Los Angeles Lakers fans were hoping that Ben Simmons dropped into their lap in 2016, but Brandon Ingram was easily the second-best option after the 76ers made their choice. Obviously, that stance can be argued right now, but the Lakers never got the best out of Ingram regardless.

The talented swingman had a relatively slow start to his career with the Lakers and blossomed into an All-Star with the New Orleans Pelicans. The swingman has averaged at least 22 PPG over the last three years, and other than Jaylen Brown, Ingram has arguably been the most consistent player in the 2016 Draft.


2017 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Lonzo Ball (Los Angeles Lakers)

Rookie Stats: 10.2 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Career Stats: 11.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Lonzo Ball was supposed to be an All-Star by now. The point guard was impressive in college due to his natural playmaking ability, and even if Ball has shown flashes of brilliance, there is no question that the talented playmaker has slightly underperformed when looking at the expectations.

Ball was always going to get drafted No. 2 overall by the Lakers, mainly because Magic Johnson was at the helm of the franchise at the time and LaVar Ball’s marketing tactics captivated fans. Lonzo did not have a “bust” rookie campaign as he was extremely solid on defense, but he was made immediately expendable just a few years later when Anthony Davis came knocking.


2018 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings)

Rookie Stats: 14.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.0 BPG

Career Stats: 13.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.7 BPG

At the time of the 2018 Draft, Marvin Bagley III was a solid choice with a top-3 pick. While he was never going to be more talented than Luka Doncic or Trae Young, nobody had much of an issue with the talented forward going No. 2 overall. But so far, he has not rewarded the Kings for their faith.

Bagley III has yet to appear in at least 65 games in one season, as the highest number of games he has played was 62 in his rookie campaign. Since then, the forward has appeared in less than 50 games per season. It is not his fault that Bagley III has struggled with injuries, but Kings fans are not happy the franchise passed on the chance to take Luka Doncic.


2019 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)

Rookie Stats: 17.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 7.3 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Career Stats: 21.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 7.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Make no mistake about it, Ja Morant can become one of the faces of the NBA if he can continue his improvement as a scorer and playmaker for the Grizzlies. The explosive point guard has made a massive splash this year, making his first All-NBA Team and first All-Star Team after posting 27.4 PPG this year.

As long as Morant can tone down his dangerous drives to the rim to avoid injury, Ja has a chance to compete as the best point guard in the game. Morant is drawing comparisons to a young Allen Iverson and Derrick Rose, and of course, both former stars were MVPs of the league at some point.


2020 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - James Wiseman (Golden State Warriors)

Rookie Stats: 11.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Career Stats: 11.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.9 BPG

James Wiseman has not been able to show what he can do on the floor, mainly because he missed the entire 2022 season and appeared in only 39 games in his rookie campaign. A talented offensive center who has the potential to be impactful on defense, Wiseman can still reach that level.

But it remains to be seen if the Golden State Warriors will hold onto the talented center or package him in a deal to bring on a star player to join the likes of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson next year.


2021 NBA Draft

No. 2 Overall Pick - Jalen Green (Houston Rockets)

Rookie Stats: 17.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Career Stats: 17.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Jalen Green was taken No. 2 overall ahead of some talented guys including Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley. A budding offensive star from the shooting guard position, Jalen is an offensive explosion waiting to happen and he blossomed towards the end of the year by making the All-Rookie Team.

So far, we could be seeing the No. 2 overall pick slowly coming into his own even if Scottie Barnes ended up winning ROY. Green is a great talent as a 6’4” shot-creator, and he has shown the ability to keep improving his offensive game as the weeks and months passed by.

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