Every NBA team's best draft pick since 2000
By BEN LEIBOWITZ
Since 2000, NBA franchises have needed to draft extremely well in order to compete for championships. (Well, except for the Los Angeles Lakers.) Sure, a variety of successful teams traded for or signed important complementary pieces, but building through the draft is the most productive way to set the foundation of an organization.
Because drafting well is such an integral part of NBA success, PointAfter set out to find each team's best draft choice since the turn of the century.
SEE ALSO: Looking back at the best and worst of the NBA in 2015
To qualify as a team's best draft pick, each player must have suited up for the franchise (ideally for multiple seasons, but we made some exceptions that will become apparent later on). Players who went on to become All-Stars, make All-NBA teams and win championship trophies were the primary targets. And, although a handful of No. 1 overall choices made the cut, we rewarded teams that found diamonds in the rough. Sometimes they uncovered impressive talents in the second round, others just happened to choose the right guy at No. 9 or 10 overall.
The list is structured in descending order by draft position.
#30. Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Redd
Draft Year: 2003
Draft Slot: First round, No. 1 overall
LeBron James single-handedly changed Cleveland's basketball reputation from doormat to championship contender. He ostracized the fans in his home state of Ohio by opting to join the Miami Heat via free agency (where he won two titles).
But "King James" has since returned to his home state in an attempt to win the franchise its first ever Larry O'Brien trophy. Even if his pursuit isn't successful, he'll retire as the best Cavaliers player of all time.