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.
Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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1. Dwight Howard

Somehow, it seems like many NBA fans have forgotten who Dwight Howard was in Orlando. When he reached his prime, he was the most dominant big man in the league. He led his team on deep postseason runs, including a trip to the NBA Finals, as the focal point in an offense that centered around him dominating the paint by himself with four shooters on the perimeter and the NBA has not seen that style work as well since.

Howard's defense was otherworldly, winning him three Defensive Player of the Year awards in a row and making five All-Defensive teams. His fun-loving personality has made it easier for people to make him the butt of their jokes but during his time, matching up against Dwight was no laughing matter. He had the strength of an MCU super soldier and he could elevate so high he felt it necessary to raise the height of the rim when he won the NBA Dunk Contest in 2008.

Howard was an instrumental part of the 2020 NBA Championship run for the Los Angeles Lakers. He only averaged 7.5 points that season but his defense in the playoffs, especially on Nikola Jokic, was imperative to the team's success. Dwight will be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer and his impact on the game should be remembered fondly.

Victor Wembanyama has only played one season, so it is unreasonable to place him on this list but if his rookie year is an indication of what's to come, he will top this list sooner rather than later.