SI Vault
 
THE FIRSTS DON'T ALWAYS LAST
Jackie MacMullan
June 23, 1997
Do you think that having the No. 1 choice in the NBA draft brings a cornerstone for long-term success? Think again. None of the six players selected first overall from 1988 through '93 remains with the club that drafted him, and the top pick in '95, Joe Smith of the Warriors, recently asked to be traded. Here's the history of the last 10 players to go No. 1.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 23, 1997

The Firsts Don't Always Last

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Do you think that having the No. 1 choice in the NBA draft brings a cornerstone for long-term success? Think again. None of the six players selected first overall from 1988 through '93 remains with the club that drafted him, and the top pick in '95, Joe Smith of the Warriors, recently asked to be traded. Here's the history of the last 10 players to go No. 1.

1987
David Robinson, Spurs
Still with San Antonio

1988
Danny Manning, Clippers
Traded to Hawks, 2/24/94; free agent signed by Suns, 9/3/94

1989
Pervis Ellison, Kings
Traded to Bullets, 6/25/90; free agent signed by Celtics, 8/1/94

1990
Derrick Coleman, Nets
Traded to 76ers, 11/30/95

1991
Larry Johnson, Hornets
Traded to Knicks, 7/14/96

1992
Shaquille O'Neal, Magic
Free agent signed by Lakers, 7/18/96

1993
Chris Webber, Magic
Traded to Warriors on draft day; traded to Bullets, 11/17/94

1994
Glenn Robinson, Bucks (left)
Still with Milwaukee

1995
Joe Smith, Warriors
Still with Golden State

Continue Story
1 2