Ranking the 5 best NBA number-one overall draft picks in the last 20 years

Victor Wembanyama's monumental rookie season is over but his potential greatness prompts the question of who the best number one draft picks have been over the last 20 years.
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Drafting players is not an exact science. Sometimes, it doesn't matter what you saw in a prospect pre-NBA. Once you enter the big leagues, it is a whole different ball game and everyone is talented. The fast-paced nature of professional basketball, travel and expectations can overwhelm guys. Pair that with the pressure faced by being a lottery pick or being selected for a poorly run franchise and it is easy to see why young players can struggle.

The opposite side of that spectrum is when the pick pans out. Especially a number one overall draft pick because those guys are generally projected to do big things as eventual leaders of their new franchises.

Holding the number one pick is a gift and a curse because of the uncertainty of it all and what it usually takes to obtain that draft position. Sometimes, the players selected are so talented that it changes everything. But since LeBron James was drafted, there have only been a handful of guys who stand out as the best of the best of the number one overall picks.

Disclaimer: This list will not include Victor Wembanyama, since he hasn't been in the league long enough.

5. Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin was a force of nature coming out of Oklahoma in 2010. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers and made an immediate impact with his explosive athleticism. In his rookie season, Griffin averaged 22.5 points, 12 rebounds and almost four steals per game, enough to win him Rookie of the Year.

Many fans remember Blake's prime years because of the consistent SportsCenter-worthy highlight plays he made consistently but what sometimes got lost was how skilled of a player he was overall. The Boomer Sooner had strong ball-handling skills and developed a midrange that defenses had to respect. His defense was the weakest aspect of his game but that's the case for a lot of guys and it wasn't that bad.

On April 16, Blake Griffin announced his retirement, concluding his 14-year career. He ended up playing for three more organizations before riding off into the sunset. Those teams were the Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics.