Best 12th overall picks in NBA history: #1 - Julius Erving
In case you weren't aware before, yes, Julius Erving--otherwise known as Dr. J--was the 12th overall draft pick in the 1972 NBA Draft. Much shouldn't have to be said about Dr. J and his ridiculous list of accolades and accomplishments, but just for fun, I'll go over some of them just to serve as reminders.
Erving's career spanned 16 seasons both in the ABA in the early '70s as well as the NBA. During that time, he was named as an All-Star in every season of his career. He's a two-time ABA champion, one-time NBA champion with the Philadelphia 76ers, and four-time league MVP. He scored at least 20 points per game in every season of his career except his final two seasons with the 76ers, when he scored 18.1 and 16.8 points per game. He also averaged a double-double in every season he played in the ABA.
Simply put, Erving is an NBA legend and one of the best basketball players to ever see the light of day. He is the easy and most obvious choice to top this list, as selecting such a player 12th overall is such a steal that I struggle to put it into words.
So, do the Spurs have a chance of drafting a player that can live up to some of the names on this list? While I think it's pretty reasonable to suggest that the Spurs won't be selecting the next Dr. J with their draft pick later this month, it's more than possible that they'll end up with a player that can quickly become a key piece of the team's future. We can only hope that one day, they'll be in consideration to make a list like this one.