The Minnesota Timberwolves had the 20th and 58th picks in the NBA Draft tonight and chose 6'4 guard Josh Okogie of Georgia Tech with their first selection.  Their other pick was 6'9 (although I read two other accounts where he is listed at 6'7 and 6'8) forward Keta Bates-Diop of Ohio State.  Okogie's collegiate work is pretty pedestrian but he raised some eyebrows at the combine with the top athletic composite score.  He could be a steal.

Okogie averaged 18 points per game during the conference season and 16 points per game overall the past season and 5.4 rebounds.  Minnesota received this draft pick in the Ricky Rubio trade last year.  Bates-Diopo averaged 19.8 points and 9 rebounds last year and improved his numbers all four years at Ohio State.  He shot 36 percent from three point range last season and 48 percent overall from the field.

Watching a bit of the draft I couldn't help but wonder about some of the picks in NBA history and where they landed so I did a little research.

Who was the best top pick in the NBA all time?  I don't believe there is necessarily a right answer.  There are a lot of reasons why you pick someone the best.  How many rings did they get?  Career statistics, etc...

My vote for best number one pick of all time is Earvin "Magic" Johnson of the Lakers.  Sorry Lebron James and Laker teammate Kareen Abdul-Jabbar.  The 7'2 Jabbar is the all-time points man in the NBA and got rings with Milwaukee when he was Lew Alcindor and Los Angeles. Johnson was a 6'9 point guard.  He changed the position.

Magic collected 5 NBA championships in his 13 year career (cut short by HIV), was the Finals MVP and League MVP 3 times each.  He was a 12 time all-star and a first team NBA selection nine times.  He won a gold medal with the original Dream Team during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Kareem's numbers are also impressive.  20 year career, all-time leading scorer, six time MVP, two time Finals MVP, 6 NBA titles, nineteen time all-star, fifteen time all-NBA selection, 11 time all-NBA defensive choice.  Eighteen of his twenty years his teams made the playoffs and fourteen times they got past the first round.  He played in ten NBA finals.

Ultimately I went with Magic because he changed the point guard position and remember replaced Kareen in the NBA Finals in 1980 when the big man couldn't play due to a severely sprained ankle.  It was game six in Philadelphia with the Lakers in a position to clinch the series.  Johnson scored 42 points, had 15 rebounds and 7 assists and became the first rookie ever to win the Finals MVP.

That's why Earvin "Magic" Johnson is my pick for the best number one pick in NBA history.

Rack of Basketballs - Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Rack of Basketballs - Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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