With all this hype about the upcoming draft and our team being in the mix for a top pick, I started doing some research. There hasn't been a draft this hyped since 2003 (aka Lebron, Melo, Bosh, Wade, etc.). Here are some rankings of some the past top drafts in NBA history.
I listed a few categories for each draft including Hall of Famers (HOF), players who made an All-NBA team and All Star game (All-NBA+AS), and players who made an All Star Game (AS). Lastly, I listed how many players had 100+ and 50+ Career Win Shares (100+, 50+). Some notable players in parentheses. The top value for each category is in bold.
1970: HOF: 6, All-NBA+AS: 7, AS: 12, 100+: 1, 50+: 8 (Pete Maravich, Rudy Tomjanovich, Bob Lanier, Dave Cowens)
1984: HOF: 4, All-NBA+AS: 6, AS: 7, 100+: 6, 50+: 11 (Michael Jordan, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon)
1985: HOF: 4, All-NBA+AS: 5, AS: 9, 100+: 4, 50+: 10 (Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Joe Dumars)
1987: HOF: 3, All-NBA+AS: 4, AS: 7, 100+: 4, 50+: 9 (David Robinson, Reggie Miller, Scottie Pippen)
These look to me to be the top 7 NBA drafts of all time. 1956 and 1960 do make some good cases but they just were not as deep as the 7 above drafts. I would say the consensus top 3 drafts tend to be 1984, 1996, and 2003 in some order. 4-7 would thus be 1970, 1985, 1987, 1999 in some order. I also think 2008 may have made the list one day if not for Derrick Rose and Kevin Love injuries.
With this taken into account where will 2014 stand? Will it crack into this top 7 or even top 3 of all time? Top 3, probably not, but top 7 is very possible.
It is downright exciting that there's an exceptional possibility of this draft being this successful, and our Jazz happen to be sitting on a likely top 5 pick (and another late first rounder unless we get even luckier and the Warriors plummet).
Out of the 1970, 1985, 1987, and 1999 drafts which ones does the 2014 draft have a chance of surpassing? I would say a draft class of Wiggins, Parker, Randle, Exum, and Smart along with all the other talent being discovered should be enough on its own to surpass the 1999 draft of a bunch of consistently solid but non-HOF level players. 1970 is probably out of reach just due to them having 6 Hall of Famers!
This leaves us with 1985 and 1987. 1985 often gets overshadowed by the MJ draft the year before, but Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, and Joe Dumars prove that this draft was not one to scoff at. Those big names along with depth may prove difficult to top. 1987 touts David Robinson, Reggie Miller, Pippen, Horace Grant, and Kevin Johnson among its class.
With this said, I say the 1987 draft along with the 1999 draft, are 2 drafts that the 2014 draft class should already beat out just based off the amount of sheer talent it possesses; The majority of GMs are already drooling at a chance to break into the lottery.
My prediction off of this analysis of past drafts is that the 2014 NBA draft class should finish no less than the 6th best all time, and if we're lucky, break into the top 3 trifecta of the '84 MJ,' 96 Kobe, and '03 Lebron drafts.
Getting a top 5 pick in the 3rd to 6th best draft all time is amazing news for this franchise. Let's do this!
I can see this draft having at least 3 HOFers as well as another handful of all stars on top of that.
Here's to Wiggins or Parker to the Jazz in 2014 on the way to a championship, Go JAZZ!!!