The draft picks of the 90’s can be argued as the best decade of players, and the 1996 draft in particular is considered one of, if not the greatest draft of all time. Kobe, Shaq, Duncan and more all led the NBA into the post Jordan era. We re-drafted every draft in the 1990’s based on how productive a player became over the course of their career. Team needs were taken into account but not a major factor.
Original draft position in parenthesis
- Nets-Gary Payton (2) Oregon State is not known for producing elite basketball talent, but their crown jewel is Payton. A Hall of Fame member, 9 time all star, and a NBA Defensive POY award is quite a run. He won a championship in a smaller role with the Heat late in his career, and he is considered one of the best defenders in NBA history.
- Sonics-Derrick Coleman (1)
- Nuggets-Toni Kukoc (29)
- Magic-Kendall Gill (5)
- Hornets-Cedric Ceballos (48)
- Hornets-Dikembe Mutombo (4) Mutombo is considered on the greatest defensive big men to ever play averaging 2.8 blocks per game over his career. He was an 8 time all star, and is a member of the Hall of Fame although he never did win a championship.
- Nets-Steve Smith (5)
- Kings-Larry Johnson (1)
- Nuggets-Terrell Brandon (11)
- Heat-Kenny Anderson (2)
- Magic-Shaquille O’Neal (1) When Shaq came out of LSU, everyone knew his should go #1 Overall in the draft, so you can’t give the Magic too much credit for the selection. Players his size just do not move the way he was able to, and he knew how to use his size to his advantage. O’Neal was selected to 15 all star games, has 4 championships, and led the lead in scoring twice in route to one NBA MVP award.
- Hornets-Alonzo Mourning (2)
- Timberwolves-Latrell Sprewell (24)
- Mavericks-Jim Jackson (4)
- Nuggets-Tom Gugliotta (6)
- Magic-Chris Webber (1) A member of the famed “Fab Five”, Webber came out of Michigan with a lot of hype, as well as fame from a terrible timeout call that led to Michigan losing to UNC in the championship game. He brushed that off to have a great pro career making 5 all star games while averaging 20.7 points, and 9.8 Rebounds. The championship alluded him in the NBA as well, mainly losing to the Lakers with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
- 76ers-Sam Cassell (24)
- Warriors-Jamal Mashburn (4)
- Mavericks-Allan Houston (11)
- Timberwolves-Penny Hardaway (3)
- Bucks-Jason Kidd (2) Currently number 4 on the all time triple double leaders in NBA history, Kidd put up great all around stats in his 19 seasons. He was a 10 time all star, won a championship with the Mavericks, and led the league in assists 5 times easily getting him into the Hall of Fame.
- Mavericks-Grant Hill (3)
- Pistons-Glenn Robinson (1)
- Timberwolves-Eddie Jones (10)
- Bullets-Juwan Howard (5)
- Warriors-Kevin Garnett (5) Garnett turning out to be the best player from this draft was not something you could have predicted with very much confidence considering he was coming straight out of high school. Learning on the job worked out well as he was selected to 15 all star teams, won an NBA MVP award and a championship with the Celtics.
- Clippers-Jerry Stackhouse (3)
- 76ers-Rasheed Wallace (4)
- Bullets-Michael Finley (21)
- Timberwolves-Antonio Mcdyess (2)
- 76ers-Kobe Bryant (13) Another straight out of high school prospect, Kobe was seen as a bit of an unknown when he declared for the draft. The son of a former NBA player with great skills and size, executives were still weary of taking a high school player. That decision led to teams missing out on a player that made 18 all star teams, won 2 NBA Finals MVP awards, an NBA MVP award, and 5 championships. An argument could be made he belongs in discussion for the number 2 position behind Michael Jordan in the games greatest players.
- Raptors-Allen Iverson (1)
- Grizzlies-Steve Nash (15)
- Bucks-Ray Allen (5)
- Timberwolves-Jermaine O’Neal (17)
- Spurs-Tim Duncan (1) Duncan was never a flashy player, so it was a perfect fit when he ended up in San Antonio. What he lacked in flash he made up for in efficiency, averaging 19 points and 10.8 rebounds over his 19 seasons. The Wake Forest product won back to back MVP awards, 5 championships, and made 15 all star teams. He is considered the greatest power forward in the history of the NBA.
- 76ers-Tracy Mcgrady (9)
- Celtics-Chauncey Billups (3)
- Grizzlies-Keith Van Horn (2)
- Nuggets-Bobby Jackson (23)
- Clippers-Dirk Nowitzki (9) Both Nowitzki, Carter and Pierce all had great careers but Nowitzki surpassed all of their accomplishments. He won a championship against Lebron and the Heat, is a 13 time all star, and won an MVP award in 2006-2007. Still playing at age 40, he was one of the main reasons the league began focusing more on oversees talent.
- Grizzlies-Vince Carter (5)
- Nuggets-Paul Pierce (10)
- Raptors-Antawn Jamison (4)
- Warriors-Rashard Lewis (32)
- Bulls-Shawn Marion (9) This draft was an odd one. All five players were solid in their careers, but all had question marks. Hamilton and Ginobili were apart of teams loaded with talent that had success, while Brand, Marion and Davis all had injury issues. Marion had a great run with the Suns in Pheonix, and made 4 all star teams in that time, as well as winning a championship with Dirk in Dallas.
- Grizzlies-Manu Ginobili (57)
- Hornets-Richard Hamilton (7)
- Clippers-Baron Davis (3)
- Raptors-Elton Brand (1)