Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ranking the best No. 5 picks in the history of the NBA Draft (30 items)

By , For the Deseret News

May 21, 2014

The collective heart of Utah Jazz fans broke on Tuesday night when they saw the Jazz logo pulled out and placed in the fifth spot in the NBA Draft Lottery. Gone are the hopes of drafting franchise changing players Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker and even Dante Exum.

All is not lost though. There will be plenty of extremely talented young players on the board when the Jazz make their selection. As in years past, there is sure to be a gem or two there for the taking if the Utah brass make the right choice.

If fans don't believe that, all they have to do is look at the players drafted with the fifth pick over the last few decades. The list is so deep that an all-star didn't even make the top 25.

1 of 30. Honorable mention: Isaiah Rider (UNLV)

Rider was the fifth overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1993 draft. He played nine seasons in the NBA for the Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks and the Denver Nuggets. His most productive season came with Minnesota in 1994-95 when he averaged a career-high 20.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 75 games.

For his career, he averaged 16.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 562 games.

2 of 30. Honorable mention: Ricky Rubio (Barcelona)

Rubio was the fifth overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2009 draft. It took two seasons before he joined the Wolves, but he has done a good job running the show ever since. His best season came in 2013-14 when he started all 82 games for the first time in his three years and averaged 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 2.3 steals.

For his career, he has averaged 10.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 8.1 assists and 2.3 steals in 180 games.

3 of 30. Honorable mention: Kendall Gill (Illinois)

Gill was the fifth overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1990 draft. He played 15 seasons for the Hornets, Seattle SuperSonics, New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks. His best season came with the Nets in 1996-97 when he averaged a career-high 21.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, four assists and 1.9 steals.

For his career, he averaged 13.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, three assists and 1.6 steals in 966 games.

4 of 30. Honorable mention: Mike Miller (Florida)

Miller was taken with the fifth overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the 2000 draft. He has played 14 seasons for the Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards and the Miami Heat. His best statistical season came with the Grizzlies in 2006-07 when he averaged a career-high 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 70 games.

To this point in his career, he has averaged 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 913 games.

5 of 30. Honorable mention: Devin Harris (Wisconsin)

Harris was taken with the fifth overall pick by the Washington Wizards in the 2004 draft. He has played 10 seasons for the Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks. His best season came with the Nets in 2008-09 when he made his lone all-star game after averaging 21.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.7 steals in 69 games.

To this point in his career, he has averaged 12.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 641 games.