2010: Wizards- Actual pick John Wall PG Kentucky. Best player from draft class (Paul George 10th overall Pacers).
John Wall: Career stats: 19.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 9.1 apg. 5x All-Star, 2 seasons in top-20 in player efficiency rating (2012-2013 & 2016-2017). There are 6 players that have more career win shares in his draft class. Being riddled with injuries hurts and he hasn’t been able to showcase himself for a full season (only full season was 2013-2014). He is 20-17 in the playoffs and has not made it past the 2nd round in his career.
2011: Cavaliers- Actual pick Kyrie Irving PG Duke. Best player from draft class (Kawhi Leonard 15th overall Pacers).
Kyrie Irving: Career stats: 22.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.7 apg. 7x All-Star, 2011-2012 Rookie of the Year, 2016 Finals Champion
There are 2 players that have more career win shares in his draft class. He hasn’t been able to play a full 82 game season due to injuries but when he’s on the court his impact is unmatched. He has emerged as a premier ball handler and scorer in the league. He is 44-17 in the playoffs, but he proved he can’t be the number 1 guy he needs help to win a title.
2012: Hornets/Pelicans- Actual pick Anthony Davis PF/C Kentucky. Best player from draft class (Damian Lillard 6th overall Trail Blazers).
Anthony Davis: Career stats: 23.9 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.3 apg. 8x All-Star (in 8 career seasons), 3x Block Champion, 2020 NBA Champion
He only trails Damian Lillard in career win shares, but he is considered one of the best players in the game today. He failed to win rookie of the year (Damian Lillard won in 2013). Being only 28 years old he will be the face of the league very soon (once LeBron retires). He is 21-13 in the playoffs in his career.
2013: Cavaliers- Actual pick Anthony Bennett PF UNLV. Best player from draft class (Giannis Antetokounmpo 15th overall Bucks).
Anthony Bennett: Career Stats: 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.5 apg.
Anthony Bennett is 39th in his draft class in win shares. He only played 4 years in the NBA and doesn’t have any awards. Bennett might be the biggest draft bust in league history. The Cavaliers could’ve drafted Giannis at 1 or anyone else besides Bennett and they would’ve had a good draft.
2014: Cavaliers- Actual pick Andrew Wiggins SF/PF Kansas. Best player from draft class (Nikola Jokic 41st overall Nuggets).
Andrew Wiggins: Career stats: 19.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 apg. 2014-2015 Rookie of the Year.
Wiggins is 16th in career win shares in his draft class. He is 1-4 in his playoff career. He peaked in his early career, but once he was riddled with injuries (starting in 2018-2019) his game took a sharp decline.
2015: Timberwolves- Actual pick Karl-Anthony Towns C Kentucky. Best player from draft class (Karl-Anthony Towns).
Karl-Anthony Towns: Career stats: 22.7 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 2.9 apg. 2x All-Star, 2015-2016 Rookie of the Year.
Towns is number 1 in win shares for his draft class. Clearly the best player from 2015 and the Timberwolves made a great pick here. The past 2 seasons he has been dealing with injuries, but he continues to produce night in and night out whenever on the court. He is 1-4 in the playoffs, but only being 25 he has 10+ more years where he can make a playoff run with the right supporting cast.
2016: 76ers- Actual pick Ben Simmons PG LSU. Best player from draft class (Ben Simmons)
Ben Simmons: Career stats: 16.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 7.9 apg. 3x All-Star, 2019-2020 steals champion, 2017-2018 Rookie of the Year.
Simmons is number 1 in win shares for his draft class. He is in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year this season. He was criticized for not having a jump shot but he drastically improved over the offseason last year and now he is shooting 37.5% from 3P. He missed the entire first season of his career due to a foot injury and is currently dealing with an injury now. If he stays healthy he will be a dominant force in the NBA for the forceable future (he’s only 24 years old). He is 12-10 in his playoff career.
2017: 76ers- Actual pick Markelle Fultz PG/SG Washington. Best player from draft class (Jarrett Allen 22nd overall Nets).
Markelle Fultz: Career stats: 10.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.6 apg.
The 76ers traded up to draft Fultz first overall. It might be a little early to call him a draft bust (only 22 years old), but injuries have not helped his case. He is 25th in his draft class for career win shares. He is 3-5 in the playoffs but only played 13 and 4 minutes respectively in his first 2 playoff wins.
2018: Suns- Actual pick Deandre Ayton C Arizona. Best player from draft class (Luka Doncic 3rd overall Hawks).
Deandre Ayton: Career stats: 16.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.7 apg.
Ayton is 4th in his draft class in career win shares. He has never made the playoffs, but the Suns are currently 2nd in the West. In a draft class with only 2 all-stars it was a reach to get a player that hasn’t made an all star game. He is only 22 years old but he is trending downwards in his career (partially because of the talent on the Suns forcing him to take a non-scoring role).
2019: Pelicans- Actual pick Zion Williamson PF Duke. Best player from draft class (Zion Williamson).
Zion Williamson: Career stats:
Williamson is probably the best prospect the NBA has seen since LeBron James in 2003. He is number 2 in win shares in his draft class (trailing Brandon Clarke). Zion has not disappointed and the 20 year old is taking the league by storm. His weight was considered an issue, but he has been able to play and stay explosive regardless of his weight/height ratio. He has never made the playoffs but he is only in his 2nd season. Watch out Zion Williamson is the real deal!
2020: Timberwolves- Actual pick Anthony Edwards SG Georgia. Best player from draft class (LaMelo Ball 3rd overall Hornets).
Anthony Edwards: Career stats: 16.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.5 apg.
Edwards, Wiseman and Ball (the top 3 picks in 2020) were all outstanding prospects. The Timberwolves are not upset with Edwards, but he isn’t the best player so far (a lot can change considering Ball and Edwards have only played 41 career games). He is 52nd out of 53 eligible for career win shares in his draft. He is explosive and a great playmaker…only time will tell.