With the 2021 NBA Draft approaching, the Orlando Magic will have two draft picks in the top eight. It is the first time in team history that the Magic will have this opportunity. One of those picks will be No. 5 overall. With a rebuild ahead of the franchise, the team will need to capitalize on these lottery picks to get back into contention.
Who says you can’t get value at No. 5? When looking at the last 20 drafts, each player had a career that spanned at least six years in the NBA. While some players produced more than others, the No. 5 pick has found its way to playing regularly at some point. Some players have produced superstar caliber talent.
Let’s take a look at the best No. 5 overall picks from the last 20 years.
20. Nikoloz Tskitishvili - 2002
2.9 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG
In 143 games, he shot 30% from the field and averaged 3.8 points and 1.9 rebounds for the Denver Nuggets. Eventually, it cost the Warriors a future first-round pick, but he did not produce anything worth it. He played just 12 games for the Warriors and signed as a free agent with the Timberwolves.
With career averages of 2.9 points and 1.8 rebounds, Tskitishvili is considered a major draft bust. Some columnists have considered this pick the worst-case scenario for a foreign player as a draft pick.
19. Thomas Robinson - 2012
5.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Robinson was seen as a high-quality draft pick after recording First-Team All-American status at the University of Kansas. The Kings drafted Robinson No. 5 overall, but he lasted just 51 games before being shipped to the Houston Rockets. Robinson was then involved in a trade to the Portland Trail Blazers, where he played one and a half seasons.
Robinson’s best stretch came in 22 games with the Philadelphia 76ers where he averaged 8.8 points. After one year with the Brooklyn Nets in 2016-2017, he bowed out of the league. He has since spent time in the G-League and EuroLeague.
18. Isaac Okoro - 2020
9.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Okoro had a successful rookie season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Okoro scored 11 points and five assists in his first NBA game and hasn’t looked back. The 6-foot-5, 222-pound is just 20 years old and has plenty of years to develop.
No offense to Okoro, but still needs a few years to prove what he can show on the court. Regardless, Okoro has shown more promise than either of the two previous players.
17. Dante Exum - 2014
5.7 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Exum bypassed college to play professionally in Australia before being drafted by the Utah Jazz. In his first season, Exum appeared in all 82 games, starting 41 of them. He became the 10th rookie in Jazz history to lay in all 82 games. He was selected to compete in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend.
In his second season, Exum tore his ACL while playing for Australia. He missed the entire season. Exum suffered multiple injuries later in his career, including a shoulder injury in 2017 and a partially torn patella tendon in his right knee in 2019.
16. Shelden Williams - 2006
4.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Known for his physicality, Williams was given the nickname “The Landlord” in his younger days. At Duke, he earned the 2005 and 2006 NABC Defensive Player of the Year Award. He also became the third player in ACC history to have 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 350 blocks. The only other players to do that were Tim Duncan and Ralph Sampson.
The production didn’t translate in the NBA ranks. His best season was his rookie year in 2006-2007, averaging 5.5 points with the Atlanta Hawks. Williams was out of the league by 2012.
15. Mario Hezonja - 2015
6.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG
After winning two Spanish League championships, Hezonja joined the NBA in 2015 as a member of the Orlando Magic. He played three seasons, averaging a career-high 9.6 points in 2017-2018. He played in at least 65 games in every three seasons.
Hezonja then played one season with the New York Knicks. Then, he played one year for the Portland Trail Blazers. In November 2020, he was moved to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade that netted Portland Enes Kanter. The Grizzlies waived him, and he was picked up by Panathinaikos, where he played for the rest of 2020-2021. It’s unknown if he will make a return to the NBA.
14. Kris Dunn - 2016
8.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Dunn was an All-American out of Providence, which led to the Minnesota Timberwolves drafting him as high as they did. Dunn played in 78 games his rookie season. Paired with Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine, Dunn was traded to the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler.
In Chicago, Dunn averaged 13.4 points and 6.0 assists his first season. However, Dunn never played more than 52 games in three seasons with Chicago. After signing with the Atlanta Hawks in November 2020, he played in just four games. Kris Dunn is a member of the Memphis Grizzlies this season.
13. Darius Garland - 2019
14.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Garland made history by becoming the first player born in the 2000s to make his NBA debut. When the Cavaliers drafted Garland, it was considered a stretch because he played just five games at Vanderbilt due to a meniscus injury.
In his first season, Garland averaged 12.3 points in 59 games. In his second season, Garland averaged 17.4 points and nearly shot 40% from the three-point range. In both seasons, Garland shot over 80% from the free-throw line. Garland’s production last year was so great that there are rumors that the Cavaliers could trade Collin Sexton this offseason.
12. Alex Len - 2013
7.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Even though Len has never produced any All-Star appearances, he has proven to be a serviceable player in the league. Len enjoyed five successful seasons with the Phoenix Suns, where he was used as a rotational starter. After his rookie season, Len played in at least 69 games in the following four seasons.
In 2018-2019, Len averaged a career-high 11.1 points in 77 games played. Since then, Len has bounced around the Kings, Raptors, and Wizards. He remains in the league and signed with the Sacramento Kings this offseason.
11. Raymond Felton - 2005
11.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Felton played in the NBA from 2005 to 2019. He enjoyed stints with the Bobcats (Hornets), Knicks, Nuggets, Trail Blazers, Mavericks, Clippers, and Thunder. Felton made an All-Rookie Team and then proceeded to average double figures for his first nine seasons.
Outside of playing a long career, Felton was a durable player too. Felton played in at least 80 games or more six times. He played in at least 60 games 11 times. One has to respect the long career and a healthy one for that matter.
10. Devin Harris - 2004
10.8 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Harris scored at least double figures eight times in his career. His career spanned from 2004-2019. Like Felton, he was a durable player that played in at least 60 games nine times in his career. The only difference between the two is that Harris recorded an All-Star appearance in 2009.
That season, Harris averaged a career-high 21.3 points per game to go with 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals. Harris is a Dallas Mavericks fan favorite, where he spent 10 years of his career playing.
9. Jeff Green - 2007
12.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Teams want Jeff Green on their team. While he was a successful starter at the beginning of his career, he has proven to be one of the best overall bench assets for teams. Green has averaged double figures 12 times in his career with stints with the Thunder, Celtics, Grizzlies, Clippers, Magic, Cavaliers, Wizards, Jazz, Rockets, and Nets.
Wherever Green goes, another team wants to acquire him. He has played in the NBA Finals with the Cavaliers. He was the Nets’ best bench player last year. At 34 years old, Green has shown no signs of slowing down either. Last month he signed with the Denver Nuggets.
8. Jonas Valanciunas - 2011
12.9 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Drafted by the Raptors, Valanciunas had nearly seven strong seasons with the franchise that saw him put up close to his career averages. In 2019, the Raptors made a tough decision to trade Valanciunas to the Grizzlies in exchange for Marc Gasol, among other players. The trade helped the Raptors win their first-ever NBA championship.
As for his time in Memphis, he has enjoyed two and a half seasons of averaging a double-double. Last year, he averaged 17.1 points and a career-high 12.5 rebounds. Some would say that he is a top-8 center in the league. He was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason.
7. Jason Richardson - 2001
17.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG
If you want to talk about explosive players, let’s talk about the 2002 and 2003 Slam Dunk Contest champions. From 2001 to 2015, Richardson was a true scorer. He would have thrived in today’s modern era where the offense takes more of a precedent.
Richardson once averaged back-to-back 20-point seasons for the Golden State Warriors in the mid-2000s. He averaged at least 16.0 points per game eight times in his career. Somehow, despite even averaging 23.2 points in 2005-2006, he never made an All-Star team.
6. Ricky Rubio - 2009
11.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 7.6 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG
It feels like Ricky Rubio has been around forever, but Rubio is only 30 years old. Despite being drafted in 2009, Rubio didn’t join the Timberwolves until two years later. He made the All-Rookie First Team and has been a consistent starting point guard in the league. Out of 631 games played, Rubio has started 593.
Rubio averaged at least 8.0 assists for four straight seasons with the Timberwolves. He had a successful two-year stop in Utah, one year stop in Phoenix, and returned to Minnesota last year. In August, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
5. De’Aaron Fox - 2017
18.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Even though Fox has never made an All-Star team, he has put up some impressive numbers. At just 23 years old, there are still some great years ahead of him. Fox showed that last season by averaging a career-high 25.2 points in his fourth season with the Kings.
Last year, Fox scored a career-high 44 points. On route to being named Player of the Week for a second time, he averaged 37.0 points and 5.0 assists, while shooting 64% from the field in four straight victories. All Fox still needs is that All-Star appearance.
4. Trae Young - 2018
24.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 8.9 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG
What Trae Young is doing at the age of 22 years old is something we have never seen before. There are times that Young has the playmaking of Russell Westbrook and the scoring of Steph Curry. Either way, the face of the Atlanta Hawks has the city excited about basketball, especially after leading the team to the Eastern Conference Finals this year.
Had Young not been hurt in the series, we might be talking about a Hawks-Suns NBA Finals. From a stat standpoint, Young averaged 29.6 points and 9.3 assists in just his second season. This year, Young averaged 25.3 points and 9.4 assists. We are witnessing potential greatness on the horizon.
3. DeMarcus Cousins - 2010
20.4 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.2 BPG
It’s hard to believe that the Kings have been selected at No. 5 three times in the last 20 years. Then again, it explains why the franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006. Many believed that DeMarcus Cousins would have helped break that streak. In the end, Cousins might have made three All-Star appearances, but the wins never piled up during his tenure.
With that said, Cousins was a daily double-double during his tenure. There was also a good chance Cousins was going to get a technical foul too for his aggressive behavior. Still, Cousins is a two-time All-NBA selection, both of which he earned with the Kings.
2. Kevin Love - 2008
18.0 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Love made the Timberwolves relevant during some horrid years. That included winning the Most Improved Player Award in 2011 when he led the league in rebounding. During that season, Love averaged 20.2 points and 15.2 rebounds. Love averaged at least 26.0 points in two years with Minnesota.
When he was traded to Cleveland, his points and rebounding stats took a hit, but that was because he had a new role. With that role, Love still made two All-Star teams and helped the Cavaliers win the 2016 NBA championship.
1. Dwyane Wade - 2003
22.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Nobody can overtake D-Wade at this position. The three-time NBA champion and 2006 NBA Finals MVP is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. His resume includes 13 All-Star appearances, the 2010 All-Star Game MVP, All-NBA First Team two times, Second-Team three times, and Third-Team three times.
Wade was also a three-time All-Defensive Second-Team selection and led the league in scoring in 2009. Wade’s friendship with LeBron James was a huge factor in LeBron leaving Cleveland and signing with the Heat in 2006. Wade’s No. 3 was recently retired by the Heat. We will likely be talking about his Hall of Fame speech soon.