Each year, the NBA draft gives a team hope that a special player will come to their franchise and change the landscape of the team’s future for good. Some players stand out from the crowd, while others become major flops. What history has shown is that when it comes to dominant scorers, the player doesn’t always have to be taken with the top pick. There are times when a later second-rounder will surprise you. All in all, there can only be one to lead the pack.
The NBA stretches back to 1947, which was the first draft class. Reaching 10,000 career points seems to be the standard for a potential leader or someone ranking in the top 5 of their class. Reaching 20,000 points or more could mean that you are the likely leader of your class unless a Hall of Famer was paired with him. As we look back, the total career points range from low to high with some very familiar names.
These are the highest scoring players from each draft class.
1947 NBA Draft Class
Andy Phillip - 6,384 Points
Phillip was the longest-tenured player from this draft class. He also played the most games with 701 appearances. That helped Phillip average 9.1 points per game. Had he been a tad more accurate, he could have had more. He shot 36.8% from the field and 69.5% from the free throw line.
1948 NBA Draft Class
Dolph Schayes - 18,438 Points
The only player to score over 10,000 points came from Shayes. Schayes didn’t just score the most points among his draft class members, but he did so by scoring more than 10,000 points than the next person. Schayes would eventually finish his career as the all-time leading scorer. Since then, he ranks third on the franchise list.
1949 NBA Draft Class
Ed Macauley - 11,234 Points
Vern Mikkelsen nearly scored the most points, but the former Laker star was just about 1,200 points behind. Instead, Macaulay enjoyed a successful career with the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks. Macaulay finished his career averaging 17.5 points per game. The most impressive stat is that Macauley scored more than 1,200 points than Mikkelsen but played in about 400 fewer minutes.
1950 NBA Draft Class
Bob Cousy - 16,960 Points
Four players scored more than 10,000 points in this class. That included Larry Foust, Bill Sharman, Paul Arizin, and Cousy. Arizin scored 16,266 points in 10 seasons but came up just short. Cousy used 14 seasons and 30,165 total minutes to outlast Arizin. That extra playing time came in handy in the end.
1951 NBA Draft Class
Mel Hutchins - 4,851 Points
The 1951 class was lackluster as there were only five players that scored over 1,000 points in their career. Hutchins was the No. 2 overall pick from the class and scored more than 2,000 points more than the runner-up Whitey Skoog. Hutchins was the only player in his draft class to play over 10,000 minutes of playing time in the NBA.
1952 NBA Draft Class
Clyde Lovellette - 11,947 Points
After starting his career averaging 8.2 points per game, Lovellette’s career took off with a successful eight-year run. That included six seasons of averaging at least 20.0 points per game with the Lakers and Hawks. Lovellette was also the most efficient shooter among players in his draft class. His 44.3% shooting in 704 games was the highest among players that played in at least one full season.
1953 NBA Draft Class
Cliff Hagan - 13,447 Points
The Atlanta Hawks would eventually go toe to toe with the Celtics during this era. To surpass Boston’s greatness, the team would need Hagan. For Hagan, he was a diamond in the rough. He was a third-round selection that ultimately finished his career as the only player to score more than 10,000 career points.
1954 NBA Draft Class
Bob Pettit - 20,880 Points
The other start of the Hawks championship team came right here. Pettit and Hagan would help the Hawks win the 1957 NBA Finals. Pettit was a dominating player for 11 seasons in the league, finishing with the most points and rebounds among players in his class. Pettit remains the all-time leading scorer with the Hawks, where he played his entire career.
1955 NBA Draft Class
Jack Twyman - 15,840 Points
Twyman went from playing at the University of Cincinnati to spending his entire NBA career with the Cincinnati Royals. Twyman finished his career with the most points, second-most rebounds, and third-most assists. In his 11 years, he played in 823 games, which is why he doubled the amount of runner-up Tom Gola’s points total for his career.
1956 NBA Draft Class
Bill Russell - 14,522 Points
Since Elgin Baylor and Sam Jones returned to college after being drafted in this class, this honor goes to Bill Russell. Not only did Russell finish his career with an incredible 21,620 rebounds, but he added a large number of points with it. Russell helped the Boston Celtics win 11 championships during his time as a player, which included a run of eight consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966.
1957 NBA Draft Class
Sam Jones - 15,411 Points
Jones became the No. 8 overall pick in the 1957 NBA Draft after returning. Jones won 10 championships with the Celtics as a teammate of Russell. Jones also stood out amongst the rest. His 15,411 points were triple the amount of the runner-up Woody Sauldsberry’s 4,930 career points. In the end, Jones had the most points, rebounds, and assists among players in this draft class.
1958 NBA Draft Class
Elgin Baylor - 23,149 Points
Two players stood out from this class. Hal Greer spent 15 seasons in the league and scored 21,586 points. He remains the all-time leading scorer with the 76ers. The only way one player could best him is as if they were special too. Baylor became an icon for the Los Angeles Lakers despite never winning an NBA championship. Baylor also led the team with 11,463 rebounds, which had him come out to averaging 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds for his career.
1959 NBA Draft Class
Wilt Chamberlain - 31,419 Points
Chamberlain’s 100-point game is more points than three players from the entire draft have for their career. Baile Howell and Dirk Barnett each scored over 15,000 career points, but the problem was they shared the draft with the great Chamberlain. There was nobody that could stop Chamberlain inside back in the day. That is why he also accumulated nearly 24,000 career rebounds as well.
1960 NBA Draft
Oscar Robertson - 26,710 Points
Talk about one of the closest battles between two legends. Oscar Robertson and Jerry West both scored over 25,000 career points. West finished his career with 25,192 career points. With that said, both players played 14 seasons in the league, but Robertson played more than 100 more games than West. Both players scoring so much overshadowed the fact that Lenny Wilkens scored 17,772 points in his career.
1961 NBA Draft
Walt Bellamy - 20,941 Points
Bellamy had one of the great rookie seasons ever when he began his career with the Washington Bullets. Bellamy averaged 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds, which were both career-highs. Bellamy followed that with four more seasons of averaging at least 20.0 points per game. Bellamy truly lived up to the hype of being the No. 1 pick in the draft.
1962 NBA Draft
John Havlicek - 26,395 Points
Chet Walker and Jerry Lucas both were solid players that came out of this draft, while Dave Debusschere had his moments as well. The player that stole the show was John Havlicek. With the Celtics, Havlicek remains the all-time leading scorer with the franchise, where he spent his entire career. In 16 years, Havlicek was a champion eight times.
1963 NBA Draft
Nate Thurmond - 14,437 Points
Thurmond had a rare feat where he recorded over 14,000 career points and rebounds in his career. Despite this draft not featuring many scorers, Thurmond still would have stood out. He was the longest-tenured player in the league at 14 years and one of two players to play at least 10 seasons. Thurmond led the draft in games, minutes, points, rebounds, and assists.
1964 NBA Draft
Jeff Mullins - 13,017 Points
Five players scored at least 10,000 career points, including the former coaching legend Jerry Sloan. Former Finals MVP Willis Reed finished with the second-most points, but the highest total came from Jeff Mullins. After two seasons with the Hawks, Mullins enjoyed a successful career with the Warriors, where he averaged at least 20.0 points per game for four consecutive seasons.
1965 NBA Draft
Gail Goodrich - 19,181 Points
Had Rick Barry stayed in the NBA and not left for the ABA, he would have been well into the mid-20,000s. Instead, Barry’s 18,395 career points in 10 seasons come in second. The leader is the former Laker great, who is the only player in the draft to surpass 1,000 games played. Goodrich enjoyed two stints with the Lakers, which included winning an NBA championship in 1972.
1966 NBA Draft
Dave Bing - 18,327 Points
There was a good stretch where Dave Bing was always associated with the Detroit Pistons. Bing averaged at least 20.0 points per game during the first seven years of his career. That included 27.1 points in 1968 and 27.0 points in 1971. The draft overall was successful as four of the top-5 picks all scored over 12,000 career points.
1967 NBA Draft
Earl Monroe - 17,454 Points
Four of the top-5 picks hold the top-4 scoring spots as Jimmy Walker, Walt Frazier, and Earl Monroe scored over 10,000 points. Monroe started his career with the Bullets, where he averaged over 20.0 points per game every season. Then, he helped the Knicks, along with Frazier, win a championship in 1973. Monroe averaged over 20.0 points per game two times during his Knicks career.
1968 NBA Draft
Elvin Hayes - 27,313 Points
The top-2 picks of this draft played together with the Bullets and helped the team win the 1978 NBA championship. Both players were also the only players from the draft to score over 10,000 points in their careers. Wes Unseld won a Finals MVP with Washington and secured over 10,000 career points as the No. 2 overall pick. The No. 1 overall pick scored in, Elvin Hayes, became the eventual all-time leading scorer for Washington.
1969 NBA Draft
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 38,387 Points
We have to give a shoutout to Bob Dandridge. The former 45th player selection from this draft was the second-leading scorer with over 15,000 career points. For some drafts, that would put him at the top. Instead, he finished second to the player that ended his career as the all-time leading scorer. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won six championships during his NBA career, including five titles with the Lakers. The “Showtime Lakers” were a sight during their heyday and part of that success came from Abdul-Jabbar always finding the basket.
1970 NBA Draft
Bob Lanier - 19,248 Points
The No. 1 overall pick from the 1970 draft came through. In back-to-back draft classes, the No. 1 overall pick led the class in points. The 1970 draft class was very successful as 11 players finished with over 10,000 career points. Calvin Murphy, Tiny Archibald, Randy Smith, Pete Maravich, Dan Issel, and Dave Cowens were all All-Star-worthy players. Being the top scorer in this class goes a long way for the former Detroit Piston.
1971 NBA Draft
Randy Smith - 16,262 Points
Back in the day, the draft went a lot deeper. Smith was the No. 104 overall pick from the draft, and he shined in the league for 12 years. With the Buffalo Braves (Clippers), Smith averaged over 20 points per game in the final three seasons of an eight-year run with the team. Smith narrowly beat out the 15,579 career points from Artis Gilmore, the 117th pick of the draft, while also beating out some former SuperSonic legends in Spencer Haywood and Fred Brown.
1972 NBA Draft
Bob McAdoo - 18,787 Points
It was a close battle for the top scorer for the 1972 draft. Julius Erving finished his 11-year career in the NBA with 18,364 points. Had Erving not spent time with the ABA, who was a superstar, he would have surpassed over 20,000 career points. With that said, put some respect on the name of Bob McAdoo, who was a league MVP and scoring champion in his own right with the Buffalo Braves.
1973 NBA Draft
George McGinnis - 9,090 Points
It was a low-scoring class, but McGinnis used four successful seasons to break away. McGinnis averaged over 20.0 points per game for three years with the 76ers and then one season with the Nuggets. McGinnis spent seven short years in the league, but the rest of the class was in a similar boat in terms of short career span.
1974 NBA Draft
George Gervin - 20,708 Points
In 10 seasons, Gervin managed to score more than 20,000 points. He was a special player that eventually became the all-time leading scorer with the Spurs. Five players in this draft all scored more than 10,000 career points, but they played 12 seasons or more. Compared to Gervin, he averaged close to 2,000 points per season.
1975 NBA Draft
World B. Free - 17,955 Points
Free finished his career averaging 20.3 points per game. He had stints with the 76ers, Clippers, Warriors, and Cavaliers but the most successful part of his career was with the Clippers. He averaged 28.8 points and 30.2 points per game in back-to-back seasons. After that, he enjoyed six straight seasons of averaging at least 20.0 points per game.
1976 NBA Draft
Alex English - 25,613 Points
Scoring over 20,000 career points would be a good total to lead a draft class. This class had three players with more than 23,000 career points. That includes former scoring champion Adrian Dantley with 23,177 points. Right above him is Robert Parish, with 23,334 points in 21 seasons. In the end, the eventual all-time leading scorer with the Nuggets scored over 25K.
1977 NBA Draft
Bernard King - 19,655 Points
It was a matter of 134 points that separated King and runner-up Walter Davis. King made a name for himself as a dominant scorer with the Knicks. That also included scoring the most points on Christmas Day. King enjoyed four straight seasons in New York with over 20.0 points per game, including 32.9 points during the 1984-85 season. As for Davis, he finished his career with 19,521 points in 15 seasons.
1978 NBA Draft
Larry Bird - 21,791 Points
Reggie Theus nearly scored over 20,000 career points, while No. 1 overall pick Mychal Thompson enjoyed some later success with the Lakers and more than 12K points. The best of the best was Bird, the three-time MVP from 1984 to 1986. Bird turned out to be the true best player in the draft after getting selected with the No. 6 overall pick.
1979 NBA Draft
Magic Johnson - 17,707 Points
The maestro of the “Showtime Lakers'' wasn't just the man that surpassed 10,000 career assists. He could also put the basket in the hoop too. In 13 seasons with the Lakers, Johnson finished with over 17,000 points, 6,500 rebounds, and an overall assist total of 10,141. That included shooting 52.0% from the field. Sidney Moncrief, Bill Laimbeer, and Bill Cartwright were solid players from this draft, too, but Johnson lived up to his MVP status.
1980 NBA Draft
Kevin McHale - 17,335 Points
With the Celtics, McHale was the longtime running mate with Larry Bird that helped the Celtics win three championships. The top-3 picks of this draft, Joe Barry Carroll and Darrell Griffith, each scored over 12,000 points, but it was the third pick of the draft in McHale that reigned supreme. Despite coming off of the bench, McHale took advantage of the opportunity, once even winning Sixth Man of the Year.
1981 NBA Draft
Tom Chambers - 20,049 Points
Four players scored over 18,000 career points. That doesn’t even include the former all-time leading scorer for the Nets, Buck Williams. Former Piston's champions Isiah Thomas and Mark Aguire both topped 18,000 points, while the 29th pick of the draft, Eddie Johnson, scored over 19,000 career points in 17 seasons. Chambers enjoyed a successful run with the SuperSonics and Suns, where he averaged over 20.0 points per game five times.
1982 NBA Draft
Dominique Wilkins - 26,668 Points
The top-3 picks of the draft were the top-3 scorers. James Worthy won a Finals MVP with the Lakers and scored over 16,000 points in his career. Terry Cummings nearly scored 20K in 18 seasons. Wilkins, the No. 3 pick, enjoyed a successful career with the Hawks that featured nine All-Star appearances and a scoring title.
1983 NBA Draft
Clyde Drexler - 22,195 Points
With the No. 14 overall pick, the Portland Trail Blazers struck gold with Drexler. In his career, Drexler helped Portland make the 1992 NBA Finals and a few Conference Finals appearances. Drexler became the all-time leading scorer with the franchise. After leaving the team, he eventually won a championship with the Houston Rockets.
1984 NBA Draft
Michael Jordan - 32,292 Points
The 1984 draft remains historic with the talent that came out. No. 1 overall pick Hakeem Olajuwon scored nearly 27,000 points and was in second place. Charles Barkley scored over 23K points and was in third place. That doesn’t include John Stockton, Otis Thorpe, Kevin Willis, and Alvin Robertson. At the top, Jordan led the Bulls to a 6-0 record in the NBA Finals while winning 10 regular season scoring titles.
1985 NBA Draft
Karl Malone - 36,928 Points
Like the 1984 draft, the 1985 draft was overshadowed by one of the greatest players of all time. Malone finished his career as the second-leading scorer ever. Malone’s career overshadowed the great career of Patrick Ewing’s 24,815 points, while Chris Mullin, Joe Dumars, Detlef Schrempf, and Terry Porter all scored over 15,000 points. Malone led the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998 and scored over 2,000 points in a season 12 times.
1986 NBA Draft
Jeff Hornacek - 15,659 Points
As the No. 46 overall pick, Hornacek showed the 45 players in front of him that he was the best offensive player. Hornacek spent his successful career with the Suns as a three-point specialist. Hornacek finished his career as a 40.3% shooter from three-point range. That included Hornacek scoring nearly 3,000 more points than another sharpshooter in Dell Curry.
1987 NBA Draft
Reggie Miller - 25,279 Points
Speaking of sharpshooters, Reggie Miller remains the all-time leading scorer with the Indiana Pacers. Miller used the three-point line to record over 25K points in his career. When Miller retired, he was the all-time leading three-point shooter. Miller’s outside shooting is why he was able to score more points than David Robinson, Scottie Pippen, and Kevin Johnson. Robinson was one of two players in the draft that scored over 20K points in their career.
1988 NBA Draft
Mitch Richmond - 20,497 Points
Richmond was unbelievably reliable for his entire career. Once Richmond broke into the league, he averaged at least 20.0 points per game in 10 straight seasons with the Warriors and Kings. Richmond nearly averaged at least 20 points per game with the Wizards but finished the lockout season with 19.7 per game.
1989 NBA Draft
Clifford Robinson - 19,591 Points
Glen Rice made a name for himself as a durable scorer and finished his career with 18,336 points. Rice’s “downfall” was that he played 15 seasons in the league. As for Robinson, he played 18 seasons and played 380 more games than Rice. That extra time helped Robinson score enough points to lead this class. It’s a special accomplishment for the No. 36 overall pick of the draft.
1990 NBA Draft
Gary Payton - 21,813 Points
Payton is known as one of the greatest defenders ever. Payton recorded nine All-Defensive First-Team selections but what many forget is that Payton was a 20-point scorer on most nights too. Payton scored almost 9,000 more points than the runner-up in, Kendall Gill. From the 1994-95 season to 2002-03, Payton averaged at least 20.0 points per game seven times.
1991 NBA Draft
Steve Smith - 13,430 Points
Compared to drafts of the past, this draft didn’t stand out as much. Steve Smith once led the league in three-point field goal percentage as a member of the Spurs in 2001-02. In 14 seasons, Smith was able to hold off the 18-year career of Dikembe Mutombo. Then again, Mutombo was a defensive specialist that won Defensive Player of the Year four times. With that said, he was able to surpass the 10K mark with Larry Johnson and Kenny Anderson as well.
1992 NBA Draft
Shaquille O’Neal - 28,596 Points
The choice was obvious for the Orlando Magic. Selecting O’Neal was the right thing to do despite his short four-year tenure with the team. O’Neal helped the Magic make the NBA Finals in 1995. After that, he became an MVP winner with the Lakers, where he won three straight Finals MVP Awards from 2000 to 2002. O’Neal won the scoring title during his MVP season in 2000 and scored over 11,000 more points than the runner-up Latrell Sprewell.
1993 NBA Draft
Chris Webber - 17,182 Points
For the second draft in a row, the No. 1 overall pick lived up to expectations. Webber, the No. 1 pick by the Magic, who was flipped for Penny Hardaway, scored the most points and rebounds in his draft class. Webber beat out the likes of Sam Cassell, who scored over 15K points in 15 seasons. Webber enjoyed his most success with the Sacramento Kings and nearly led the team to the NBA Finals in 2002.
1994 NBA Draft
Jason Kidd - 17,529 Points
The 12,091 assists that Kidd racked up became the second-most assists ever in the NBA. In 19 seasons, Kidd became a Hall of Fame point guard for his playmaking and ability to finish at the rim. With that said, Kidd barely beat out Grant Hill’s 17,137 points to lead the draft class. Hill might have owned the most had he not been injured when he joined the Magic.
1995 NBA Draft
Kevin Garnett - 26,071 Points
Michael Finley and Jerry Stackhouse were former streaky shooters that surpassed the 16K mark. That still was about 10,000 fewer points than the leader of the draft. The Timberwolves lucked out with Garnett falling to the No. 5 overall pick. Garnett led the Timberwolves to their best stretch of success from 1999 to 2004, which included Garnett winning the MVP Award in 2004. Garnett led the draft in points, rebounds, and assists.
1996 NBA Draft
Kobe Bryant - 33,643 Points
For the second year in a row, a draft pick straight out of high school led their draft class in scoring. Bryant beat out some top-notch talent from this draft. Three players scored over 20K in their career, which included Ray Allen and Allen Iverson. Down the list, you have Steve Nash, Stephon Marbury, and Antoine Walker. In the end, the best was Bryant, the all-time leading scorer for the Lakers, who won five championships with the team and one scoring title. As of 2022, his 81 points in a game remains the second-most in a professional basketball game.
1997 NBA Draft
Tim Duncan - 26,496 Points
Tracy McGrady was as lights out as it could be during his prime. That is why he won back-to-back scoring titles in the early 2000s. The highest scoring player was not McGrady, though. That person came out of San Antonio, where Tim Duncan played 19 seasons. The No. 1 overall pick never won a scoring title, but he was consistent. That consistency helped the Spurs win five championships during his tenure.
1998 NBA Draft
Dirk Nowitzki - 31,560 Points
Four players scored over 20,000 career points with the team. Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, and Paul Pierce amassed a massive scoring title. The best came from Nowitzki, who spent 21 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki never won a scoring title but won the 2007 MVP Award. That was a part of a stretch where Nowitzki averaged at least 25.0 points per game four times in six seasons.
1999 NBA Draft
Jason Terry - 18,881 Points
Nowitzki and Terry eventually became teammates with the Mavericks. With both of these players, the Mavericks won the 2011 championship. While many remember Terry as a streaky shooter that shot 38.0% from three-point range for his career, what they don’t know is that Terry scored the most points in his draft class. Terry beat out Shawn Marion, Elton Brand, Andre Miller, and Richard Hamilton, who all scored over 15K.
2000 NBA Draft
Jamal Crawford - 19,419 Points
A shoutout has to be given to Michael Redd, who scored 11,972 points after being drafted with the No. 43 overall pick by the Bucks. While that was impressive, what Crawford did in a 20-year career was also great. Crawford scored nearly 20K points, which included winning Sixth Man of the Year three times. Crawford stayed durable, which is why he was able to pull away. Crawford played more than 10,000 more minutes and nearly more than 300 games than the next player.
2001 NBA Draft
Pau Gasol - 20,894 Points
Two players scored over 20,000 points in their careers from this class. The difference was just over 400 points. Joe Johnson was a legendary isolation scorer and finished with 20,407 points. Johnson played 18 seasons, just like Gasol and Tony Parker, who finished with 19,473 points. In the end, Gasol pulled away and likely benefited from playing with Kobe Bryant for several seasons. With that said, Gasol was a solid scorer with the Grizzlies and Bulls as well.
2002 NBA Draft
Amar’e Stoudemire - 15,994 Points
Stoudemire was efficient inside, where he finished his career as a 53.7% shooter. Stoudemire had the luxury of playing with two-time MVP Steve Nash, who orchestrated the league’s best offense for several years. With that said, you have to put the ball in the hoop, which Stoudemire did more than Carlos Boozer, Caron Butler, and Tayshaun Prince.
2003 NBA Draft
LeBron James - 37,062 Points
Four of the top-5 picks will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. It starts with Chris Bosh scoring over 17K points. Next up, Dwyane Wade scored 23,165 points for his career and is the all-time leading scorer for the Miami Heat. Carmelo Anthony controls his destiny and stands with 28,289 points. Despite all of this greatness in one draft class, LeBron James stands among the top. After this season, James will surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer. By the end of his career, James could be the first player to ever score 40,000 points.
2004 NBA Draft
Dwight Howard - 19,485 Points
Howard is still working on padding his lead for his record. Howard remains an active player in the league despite his decreased playing time. In 18 seasons, Howard has nearly surpassed 20K points and owns over 14K rebounds. Howard was a monster in the paint during his prime years. He owns a career 58.7% shooting clip from the field. Assuming Howard gets a few more opportunities in the next few years, he could reach 20,000 points.
2005 NBA Draft
Chris Paul - 20,936 Points
A couple of shoutouts need to be said about Lou Williams and Monta Ellis. Williams was the No. 45 overall pick, while Ellis was the No. 40 overall pick. Both scored over 14,800 career points for their career. The only member of the 20K club is Chris Paul, who is still working on increasing that total. Now a member of the Suns, Paul likely isn’t worried about his scoring totals these days. The man with 20K points and 10K assists is still searching for his first NBA championship.
2006 NBA Draft
LaMarcus Aldridge - 20,558 Points
The No. 2 overall pick scored over 20K points and didn’t play a single game for the team that drafted him. Aldridge was shipped out in a trade that included Tyrus Thomas. It’s a move that should continue to haunt Bulls fans. Aldridge became an All-Star with the Trail Blazers and Spurs. After 16 seasons, Aldridge owns a career-scoring average of 19.1 points per game.
2007 NBA Draft
Kevin Durant - 25,526 Points
Mike Conley Jr. owns the second-most points with 14,221 points. He also owns the record for most points scored with the Grizzlies. However, despite owning a scoring record with an NBA franchise, he sits in second place behind one of the greatest scorers we have ever seen. Durant has won four scoring titles on his way to surpassing 25K points. Durant will eventually join the 30K club by the time his career ends.
2008 NBA Draft
Russell Westbrook - 23,298 Points
Remember when the Thunder had both Durant and Westbrook on their team? Two players with over 20K points were the former faces of the franchise. Durant and Westbrook led the team to the NBA Finals in 2012, as well as Conference Finals appearances in 2014 and 2016. The two players are special. Westbrook once led the league in scoring on his way to averaging a triple-double during his MVP season in 2017. Westbrook’s massive total overshadows the 14K points scored by Kevin Love and Brook Lopez, who is currently the all-time leading scorer for the Nets.
2009 NBA Draft
James Harden - 23,477 Points
Two players have scored over 20K points, and both of those players are on their way to scoring 25K points. At the top is James Harden, the former three-time scoring champion. Harden’s 36.1 points per game average a few years ago was one of the highest totals we have seen since Wilt Chamberlain’s days. Right behind Harden is Stephen Curry with 20,064 points. Curry is currently the all-time leading three-point shooter and is continuing to pad that lead. With 19,869 points, DeMar DeRozan will look to join the 20K club this season.
2010 NBA Draft
Paul George - 15,029 Points
When George first entered the league, he made a name for himself as an All-Defensive caliber player. Then, he started scoring more and became one of the best two-way players in the league. George will likely be the top scorer for this draft class when it’s all said and done. It does make you wonder what would have happened if DeMarcus Cousins (12,802) and John Wall (11,702) didn’t miss so much time with injuries.
2011 NBA Draft
Kemba Walker - 14,414 Points
The leader of this class is going to come down to playing time. Kyrie Irving owns 14,089 points but seems to miss more games than he should. Walker owns the slim lead but has been losing playing time the last few seasons. Walker is the all-time leading scorer with the Charlotte Hornets, where he was an All-Star. If both players can stay active, 20K seems possible. Klay Thompson (12,647) is in a similar position.
2012 NBA Draft
Damian Lillard - 17,510 Points
Lillard trails Clyde Drexler by about 500 points to become the all-time leading scorer. Assuming that Lillard stays healthy, he should pass Drexler for that record this season. Coming out of Weber State, Lillard has shown the world that you don’t have to come out of a power-five conference to play well. In 10 seasons, Lillard owns the most points and assists from this class while shooting 43.7% from the field and 89.3% at the free throw line.
2013 NBA Draft
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 14,321 Points
Two players from this class have surpassed the 10K mark. Right behind Giannis is Lillard’s former longtime teammate C.J. McCollum. The combination of Lillard and McCollum used to be a lethal scoring tandem in Portland. As for Antetokounmpo, the former two-time MVP is the most dominant player to finish around the paint. Shooting 53.5% from the field, the 2021 Finals MVP is looking to lead the Bucks back to the top of the Eastern Conference this season.
2014 NBA Draft
Andrew Wiggins - 11,519 Points
The 10K club should get a few more members this season. Zach LaVine, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle are on the cusp. If Joel Embiid scores more than 1,500 points, he will be in the same boat. Embiid has been playing like a league MVP, so that is very possible. The leader of the class includes Wiggins with 11.5K points but keep an eye out for the two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. The former No. 41 overall pick owns 10,364 points and is coming off a 2,000-point season.
2015 NBA Draft
Devin Booker - 11,217 Points
The former Kentucky teammates are going to make this a fun battle for years to come. Booker owns the lead for the draft class by 47 points. The No. 1 overall pick, Karl-Anthony Towns, owns 11,170 points for his career. Both players have played for the same teams their entire careers. Booker has become an All-Star with the Suns, while Towns is looking to lead the Timberwolves to the top of the standings.
2016 NBA Draft
Buddy Hield - 7,463 Points
Hield is quietly making a name for himself as a professional scorer. The reason many may not know about Hield is that he has played for the Pelicans, Kings, and Pacers throughout his career. Hield has never played in the playoffs, which doesn’t help with exposure. Hield is a 43.0% career shooter from the three-point range. Keep an eye out for Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown, though, who could overtake the lead eventually.
2017 NBA Draft
Donovan Mitchell - 8,234 Points
This will be another fun battle to see as the years go on. Donovan Mitchell is going to have 20K points one day, but Jayson Tatum is going to be up that way as well. Tatum owns 7,640 points and seems to be ready to contend for some top awards in the future. Both players are young and in their primes. We should see one of them score over 30.0 points per game at least once.
2018 NBA Draft
Trae Young - 7,076 Points
This is going to be a straight toss-up. Young has scored left and right with the Atlanta Hawks in four seasons. Right behind Young is Luka Doncic with 6,962 points. Young has proven he can be a 20-point, 10-assist player most nights. Doncic is the next contender to average a triple-double for a season. Both have played in the Conference Finals the last two seasons. What is the next step for these young superstars?
2019 NBA Draft
Ja Morant - 3,961 Points
The top-5 picks from this draft were special. De’Andre Hunter is not necessarily a scorer but a productive player. Zion Williamson is special but can’t stay healthy. R.J. Barrett and Darius Garland both own more than 3,000 points for their career. The player that has the world captivated is Ja Morant. From slashing inside to electric dunks, Morant has everyone wanting to see what the Grizzlies can do next.
2020 NBA Draft
Anthony Edwards - 2,925 Points
Shoutout to Saddiq Bey and Desmond Bane, scoring over 2,000 points in two seasons as the 19th and 30th overall picks respectively. However, Edwards scoring nearly 3,000 points is not a surprise. Edwards was doing exactly this when he played at Georgia. This is a true scoring professional that will be a key part of the Timberwolves contending for a top spot in the conference next season.
2021 NBA Draft
Franz Wagner - 1,197 Points
After one season, the top-four picks in the draft all scored more than 1,000 points for the season. None of those players led all rookies in scoring, though. Franz Wagner scored 40 more points than Jalen Green to lead the class last season. Wagner was the No. 8 overall pick in 2021. Wagner averaged 15.8 points and shot 46.8% from the field.