Which NBA Teams Draft the Best?

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Ahead of the NBA draft, we’ve analyzed which teams have drafted the best over the last decade.

From superstars being born to dramatic trades, the NBA Draft is one of the most entertaining events in the basketball calendar. After seeing the success that rookies such as Victor Wembanyama had in the league this season, this year’s batch of rookies will be eager to make their mark on the professional game.

With the draft upcoming, the team at Betway wanted to crunch the numbers to pick the NBA team which has drafted the best over the last decade. Using data from the last 10 drafts, we analyzed teams on the following factors:

·         Players drafted to make an All-Rookie team

·         Players drafted to make an All-NBA team

·         All-Stars drafted

·         End of season award winners/regular season stat leaders drafted

·         NBA champions drafted

Once the numbers were collected, each team was given a score out of five based on how well they performed in each metric. The best (and worst) teams to draft can be seen below.

The NBA teams which draft the best

Rank

Team

Final Score

1

Philadelphia 76ers

3.86

2

Los Angeles Lakers

3.47

3

Memphis Grizzlies

3.08

4

Minnesota Timberwolves

2.88

5

Sacramento Kings

2.74

6

Toronto Raptors

2.70

7

Denver Nuggets

2.69

8

Boston Celtics

2.60

9

Orlando Magic

2.54

10

San Antonio Spurs

2.37

11

Cleveland Cavaliers

2.16

12

Dallas Mavericks

2.10

13

Phoenix Suns

1.83

14

Chicago Bulls

1.58

15

Miami Heat

1.52

 

The Philadelphia 76ers were ranked as the best drafters of the last decade with an impressive score of 3.86 out of five. “Trust the process” has been a phrase Philly fans have become all too familiar with in recent years and despite not yielding a championship or finals appearance yet, the 76ers have had some wins in the draft.

Of course, the highlight of recent drafts for Philadelphia was when they picked Joel Embiid third overall in 2014. Embiid has gone on to become a superstar and even won the coveted MVP award at the end of the 2022/23 season.

One of the most iconic franchises in the world, the Los Angeles Lakers were ranked second on our list. While much is made of the Lakers’ big additions in recent years coming through trades or free agent signings in the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they’ve still had plenty of draft successes.

Stars such as Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell have made names for themselves in the league while playing for and against the Lakers. Meanwhile former Laker Kyle Kuzma was one of the steals of the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Memphis Grizzlies rounded out our top three when looking at the best drafters of the last decade. Players such as Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. helped boost the Grizzlies’ score meanwhile last year’s second round pick GG Jackson also earned points for making the NBA All-Rookie Second Team this year.

Methodology

We looked at every NBA team’s draft picks over the last 10 drafts and analyzed them based on the following metrics:

  • Players drafted to make an All-Rookie team

  • Players drafted to make an All-NBA team (including defensive)

  • All-Stars drafted

  • End of season award winners/regular season stat leaders drafted

  • NBA champions drafted

We then used the metrics above to give each team a total “Draft Score” out of five.

Draft pick data was sourced from DraftExpress.

*If a player was traded on the night they were drafted, the team that traded for them receives the credit for that player. For example, the Atlanta Hawks received points for Trae Young and the Dallas Mavericks received points for Luka Dončić.

All data is correct as of 10.6.2024

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