10 best NBA players drafted at No. 3

Published: Tuesday, June 21 2011 7:43 p.m. MDT

Chris Carlson, Associated Press
The NBA Draft is always a risky proposition. Over the years, the third pick in the draft has produced some big busts (like Adam Morrison in 2006). Then again, Michael Jordan was drafted third overall, too. Here's our take on the ten best players who began their careers in the No. 3 slot. (Read Randy Hollis' article for more.) Honorable mentions: Penny Hardaway, 1993; Baron Davis, 1999; Shareef Abdur-Rahim, 1996; Bill Cartwright, 1979; Nate Thurmond, 1963; Al Horford, 2007; Jerry Stackhouse, 1995; Christian Laettner, 1992; Sean Elliott, 1989; Buck Williams, 1981.
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Idaho Falls, ID

There ain't no Jordans in this years pick. What a year for the Jazz to get a 3 pick.

Murray, UT

Haven't the Jazz only had 2 draft picks at 3....? They have a 100% hit ratio...

Favors looks like he'll be up in that list in 2-10 years (depending on his growth this summer). That'll be 3/3. The Jazz are probably the best drafters in the NBA if they can hit 4/4.

If you go back to the D Will trade, they got two number 3 picks for one plus Harris and GS's pick. Stupid New Jersey.

Ogden, UT

Yes, but what you're not saying, Layton Shumway, is that only Billups has produced with his talent and that of his teammates an NBA championship.

The point being, whomever O'Connor chooses as #3 will most likely not make a significant difference with the Jazz.

O'Connor claims that the Jazz always pick the best athlete when their turn to choose comes up.

The "best athlete" is determined as objectively as possible by looking at the player's stats over the years, game tapes, and taking a short gander at them a few weeks before the draft. Supposedly this is a "scientific" process.

But such "science" indicated to most other NBA teams, when Stockton came along and Malone came along, that they were not the right players to pick.

It was the Jazz management at that time (O'Connor wasn't even here) who "felt" that Stockton and Malone were right and they would have picked them earlier than they did if they'd had a higher pick available.

In other words, instead of the "scientific" method, they mostly used their gut for the Jazz's best picks of all time.

Whomever O'Connor picks, I'd put money on saying, will not make a bit of difference!

President Joker
Washington, DC


"Whomever O'Connor picks, I'd put money on saying, will not make a bit of difference!

Unless that pick is Jimmer right? If that were the case, he would be going number 1

Texas Girl
Baytown, TX

Anyone else getting tired of these "lists" that you have to click through 10 times to see the complete thing??


Here's the thing, it doesn't matter who the Jazz draft, this is an extremely weak draft, not a lot of big name talent coming in because of the potential lockout.
Also, the former Jazz brass during the Karl Malone and John Stockton days picked some real winners (sense the sarcasm) with their picks. It's not just Kevin O'Connor picking some real winners (sense the sarcasm).
Jazz Brass Picked:
1987 Draft - 15th Pick Jose Ortiz. Noteable players drafterd after Jose: Mark Jackson (18) and Reggie Lewis (22).
1988 Draft - 17th Pick Erik Leckner, 42nd Pick Jeff Moe, 67th Pick Ricky Grace. Noteable players drafted and undrafted after Erik: Rod Strickland (19), Vinny Del Negro (29), Vernon Maxwell (47), Avery Johnson (undrafted)
1989 Draft - 21st Pick Theodore "Blue" Edwards. Noteable players drafted after Blue: Vlade Divac (26), Cliff Robinson (36).
1990 Draft - 33rd Pick Walter Palmer. Noteable players picked after Walter: Antonio Davis (45), Cedric Ceballow (48).
1993 Draft - 18th Pick Luther Wright. Noteable players picked after Luther: Ervin Johnson (23), Sam Cassell (24), Nick Van Exel (37).
1999 Draft - 28th Pick Scott Padgett. Noteable players picked after Scott: Manu Ginóbili (57).

Humble, TX

D Williams?? What about Wilt Chamberlain (1959)?

Salt Lake City, UT

There weren't any Jordans in Jordans year either. In fact nobody had any clue how good MJ would be.

Farmington, UT

Picking the "best player available" is not science as it's hard to measure heart and competitiveness, and there is nothing as hard to predict as the future behavior of the most unpredictable mammal on earth, homo sapiens. The No. 3 pick this year is supposedly about what a No. 6 pick would normally be. My choice would be to trade for an established center and start to rebuild around him -- Dwight Howard, Roy Hibbert, Chris Kaman. Trade away No. 3, then trade up No. 12 to get Jimmer at probably No. 5 or 6. Jimmer is far better than most of the people who do mock drafts realize. A lot of them think he is a shooting guard who can't pass, for crying out loud, and they think he is small, when he's actually only 1/2 inch shorter in shoes than Deron Williams and almost as heavy. Some of them question his quickness, even though Jimmer rated No. 1 among all 53 players rated at the draft combine when only the agility drills and strength drill are considered. He was five one hundredths of a second slower than Kemba in the sprint. And that guy can shoot!

Santaquin, UT

Yes. Clicking is exhausting work and I almost always just have to see the list.

Roy, UT

Who wants to excell in the NBA more than Jimmer? How much does desire count, and the effort to excell? Actually, I was always uncomfortable with the ball always going to Jimmer; Jackson Emery sacrificed much of his game to allow Jimmer to do his thing...so Jazz, go for the best big man available, a true center who can run the floor and defend in the paint.

san from the south
Washington, UT

what made you pick mchale over cousy? thats a no brainer to me. cousy easily wins that one.

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