NBA: Best Draft Classes in the Last Decade

The NBA has had some tantalizing rookies come into the league the last two decades. Which draft class reigns supreme in just the last 10 years?

Take a look.

5) 2017 Draft

Notable Numbers: N/A

Prior to draft night, the 2017 class had loads of talent. But some of the highly touted top 10 picks have either been injured or are yet to show the promising play that had them selected so high. Pushing this draft into the top five are the players who were selected outside the top 10. They are playing strong roles for their teams.

Selected at third overall, Jayson Tatum needs no introduction and is a future All-Star. The fifth overall selection, De’Aaron Fox fits the mold of a star.

Donovan Mitchell is already playing at an All-Star level. Bam Adebayo is a strong role player for the Heat and has the third highest win shares in this class.

The Hawks took John Collins at 19 and he has been a revelation. Jarrett Allen, OG Anunoby, Kyle Kuzma, Derrick White, and Josh Hart were all selected between 22 and 30 and are all strong rotation players on their respective teams.

Though 2017 doesn’t have an especially strong second round, there are multiple players showing they can be rotation players in only their second season.

4) 2010 Draft

Notable Numbers: 16 All-Star appearances, 7 All-NBA performers, 6 All-NBA defenders

What this draft class lacked in depth it made up for in star power.

A lot of teams would have been happy with the players selected in the lottery in this draft. However, there would have been front office executives out of a job with some of the flops in the lottery also.

A pair of Wildcats led the way in the top five. John Wall went first while DeMarcus Cousins went fifth overall. Gordon Hayward and Paul George were wild cards coming out of college, but developed into All-Stars.

Following these stars are excellent role players Derrick Favors, Evan Turner, Eric Bledsoe, and Avery Bradley. The second round had some gems discovered in late bloomers Hassan Whiteside, Nemanja Bjelica, and Lance Stephenson.

3) 2012 Draft

Notable Numbers: 14 All-Star appearances, 8 All-NBA performers, 7 All-NBA defenders

This draft was also very strong up top, but had more role players all the way through it.

Superstar Anthony Davis went as the top dog in this draft. Many expected him to be the special talent that he is, but fellow top 10 mates Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, and Andre Drummond have morphed into All-Stars.

Other strong role players in the first round are double-digit scoring options in Harrison Barnes, Evan Fournier, and Jeremy Lamb.

One of the absolute steals in this class was in the second round. With the 35th pick, Draymond Green was selected by the Golden State Warriors. Green has been the heart and soul of a Dubs squad that has had the NBA in a choke hold the last five seasons.

Green has helped Golden State win three championships and has won Defensive Player of the Year.

To top it off, Khris Middleton is now an All-Star. Meanwhile, Will Barton, Jae Crowder, and Tomas Satoransky can play quality extended minutes or start.

2) 2009 Draft

Notable Numbers: 22 All-Star appearances, 16 All-NBA performers, 4 All-NBA defenders

The 2009 draft will go down as one of the strongest drafts in the modern era. A strong top 10 was headlined by Blake Griffin at number one while James Harden was selected at number three.

Tyreke Evans won Rookie of the Year while Ricky Rubio brought excitement to the league after dominating in the Spanish league.

The superstar of this draft would be a player many doubted in future two-time MVP Stephen Curry. He went seventh as two slots later perennial All-Star DeMar DeRozan emerged.

Rounding out a strong class from 16 to 28 were the likes of James Johnson, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, Taj Gibson, DeMarre Carroll, and Wayne Ellington. Not to be forgotten in round two are defensive aces Patrick Beverley and Danny Green.  

1) 2011 Draft

Notable Numbers: 19 All-Star appearances, 8 All-NBA performers, 8 All-NBA defenders

2011 is by far the best draft in the last decade. This draft had six All-Stars who have appeared in a combined 19 All-Star games.

It also had strong role players and fringe All-Stars littered through the first and second round.

Future NBA champion Kyrie Irving was selected firstby the Cavs. Rebounding connoisseurs Enes Kanter and Tristan Thompson went back-to-back at three and four. Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo, Brandon Knight, and All-Star Kemba Walker rounded out the top 10.

Future star were littered all the way from number 11 to number 60 in this draft.

All-time great shooter Klay Thompson was selected by the Warriors at number 11. The Morris twins were selected at 13 and 14, ironically. Future Finals MVP and superstar Kawhi Leonard was selected at 15. Nikola Vucevic was selected at 16 and Tobias Harris went at 19.

Selected in the 20’s were Kenneth Faried, Nikola Mirotic, and Reggie Jackson. Future All-Star and defensive ace Jimmy Butler was selected with the last pick of the first round. Strong second round inclusions were Bojan Bogdanovic at 31, Chandler Parsons at 38, three-point ace Davis Bertans. At number 60 recent All-Star Isaiah Thomas was selected.

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