The NBA Draft is a yearly event in which the National Basketball Association (NBA) teams select new players to play professional basketball. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious events in sports, with many people watching on television and at arenas around the world.
The lowest drafted nba mvps is a list of the top 10 lowest drafted NBA MVPs.
Drafting players isn’t a precise science. Many intangibles may come into play and assist a player in shaping his career. Work ethic, growth, and even luck are impossible to quantify.
As a result, it’s not uncommon for clubs to miss out on acquiring a potential. There’s no such thing as a can’t-miss player, and predictions and scouting reports don’t always pan out.
On the other hand, there have been a number of players who have outperformed their draft status. They turn out to be tremendous bargains who perform much better than most people anticipated. Today, we’ll take a look at a few of them, including the top 10 lowest-drafted MVPs in NBA history.
Charles Barkley and Kevin Garnett received honorable mentions (5th Pick)
Larry Bird, 10th overall pick (1978)
MVP stats: 24.2 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, 6.6 assists per game, and 1.8 steals per game (1984)
MVP stats: 28.7 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game, 6.6 assists per game, 1.6 steals per game, and 1.2 blocks per game (1985)
MVP stats: 25.8 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game, 6.8 assists per game, and 2.0 steals per game (1986)
Can you picture Larry Bird being passed over by five teams? That’s precisely what occurred in 1978, when he landed in the lap of the Boston Celtics. Purvis Short, Mychal Thompson, Phil Ford, Rick Robey, Micheal Ray Richardson, and Mychal Thompson all went ahead of him.
Bird would go on to become the best player in the NBA, one of the all-time great shooters, and the finest small forward to ever live – all before LeBron James arrived.
Stephen Curry (#9), 7th overall pick (2009)
MVP stats: 23.8 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 7.7 assists per game, 2.0 steals per game (2015)
MVP stats: 30.1 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, 6.7 assists per game, and 2.1 steals per game (2016)
A Positive Mental Attitude
Many people did not believe Stephen Curry would grow up to be the superstar he is today. He was never a highly regarded talent, didn’t play for a major university, and the Minnesota Timberwolves selected two point guards ahead of him in the draft.
Curry had ankle problems early in his career, but once he broke through, he never looked back. He’s now the first unanimous MVP in NBA history, a three-time NBA Champion, and the best shooter to ever put on a pair of shoes. In the meanwhile, the Timberwolves are still searching for their first championship ring.
8. Dirk Nowitzki (ninth overall pick) (1998)
MVP stats: 24.6 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game, and 3.4 assists per game (2007)
(Photo courtesy of OpenCourt-Basketball)
The Milwaukee Bucks had the opportunity to acquire Dirk Nowitzki, but they did not see him as a game-changer, so they traded him to the Dallas Mavericks. Michael Olowokandi, Raef LaFrentz, and Robert Traylor, for example, were all chosen ahead of him.
Dirk went on to become the greatest shooting big man in NBA history and the finest player in Dallas Mavericks history. He carried the franchise on his shoulders and led them to their one and only championship while also serving as its lone MVP… for the time being.
Willis Reed, 7th overall pick (1964)
MVP stats: 21.7 points per game, 13.9 rebounds per game, and 2.0 assists per game (1970)
Willis Reed is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the New York Knicks. Before becoming a coach, he spent his whole playing career in New York. On both sides of the hardwood, he was renowned for being a physical force and an explosive finisher.
Furthermore, Reed was a major contributor to the Knicks’ championship victories in both of their seasons. He was also one of the league’s most durable players, seldom missing a game due to injury.
6. Julius Erving (12th overall pick) (1972)
MVP stats: 24.6 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, 4.4 assists per game, 2.1 steals per game, and 1.8 blocks per game (1981)
Julius Erving, better known by his nickname ‘Dr. J.,’ is a legendary basketball player. With his electrifying dunks and agility, he became one of the league’s first genuine entertainers, inspiring Michael Jordan and many other superstars.
Erving was one of the most dominating scorers of all time, while not being as well-known as some of the league’s other superstars. His devious maneuvers, as well as his never-ending repertoire of movements, opened the path for many others to follow in his footsteps.
5. Karl Malone (13th overall pick) (1985)
MVP stats: 27.4 points per game, 9.9 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game, and 1.4 steals per game (1997)
MVP stats: 23.8 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game, 4.1 assists per game, and 1.3 steals per game (1999)
(Image courtesy of Sporting News)
Karl Malone isn’t popular with younger NBA fans for reasons we won’t get into here. But there’s no disputing that he was a one-of-a-kind basketball player. For the most of his career, he was powerful, dominating, athletic, and seemingly unstoppable.
Few predicted that a 13th-overall selection would go on to become the league’s second-leading scorer all-time. Ed Pinckney, Kenny Green, Keith Lee, Jon Koncack, and Wayman Tisdale were all selected ahead of him in the draft.
4. Kobe Bryant (13th overall pick) (1996)
MVP stats: 28.3 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game, and 1.5 steals per game (1999)
Some of the best players in NBA history were in the class of 1996. None of them, however, had a more successful career than Kobe Bryant, a shooting guard from Lower Merion High School who finished 13th.
Kobe was a younger player than others, and it took him a while to show off his skills. However, once he became a starter, he etched his name into the annals of athletics. He’s the best player in Lakers history and the closest we’ve ever been to having another Michael Jordan.
3. Steve Nash (15th overall pick) (1996)
MVP stats: 15.5 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 11.5 assists per game, and 1.0 steals per game (2005)
MVP stats: 18.8 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, and 10.5 assists per game (2006)
Thanks to the legendary class of 1996, Steve Nash also made it to the NBA. And, to be honest, few people predicted that he would go on to become the greatest point guard of his age.
Nash moved around the league in his early years before having an opportunity to show off his skills. He was one of the rare members of the 50/40/90 club, which includes players like Bird, Curry, and Dirk. He earned back-to-back MVPs by directing one of the most exciting offenses ever.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo – 15th overall selection (2013)
MVP stats: 27.7 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game, 1.3 steals per game, 1.5 blocks per game (2019)
MVP stats: 29.5 points per game, 13.6 rebounds per game, 5.6 assists per game, 1.0 steals per game, and 1.0 blocks per game (2020)
(Image courtesy of Brew Hoop)
The Milwaukee Bucks made headlines when they selected Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first round. Many experts couldn’t understand why they went so far to acquire an unknown talent in the first round when they could have chosen him in the second.
Fast forward to present, and Giannis joins Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan as the only players to earn MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP. By guiding the Bucks to their first championship in 50 years, the Greek Freak finally silenced his detractors.
1. Nikola Jokic (41st overall pick) (2014)
MVP stats: 26.4 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game, 8.3 assists per game, and 1.3 steals per game (2021)
Last but not least, we have Nikola Jokic, the most recent MVP. Jokic is the lowest-drafted MVP in team history and the only second-round pick to do it. He’s gotten better every year and has totally changed the way the five position is played.
Scouts like passing big guys who can pull up from beyond the arc, and Jokic is the reason for that. Nonetheless, he is a one-of-a-kind talent. He was selected behind Cleanthony Early, Johny O’Bryant III, Jarnell Stokes, DeAndre Daniels, and a slew of other players that have either retired or hardly played in the NBA.
Hooper Hall of Fame photo
The nba mvps by draft pick is a list of the top 10 lowest drafted MVPs in NBA history. It includes the number of picks that each player was selected with, their career win shares per 48 minutes, and their career box plus/minus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the lowest drafted MVP in NBA history?
The lowest drafted MVP in NBA history is Bob McAdoo, who was the 17th pick in the 1968 draft.
Has a 2nd rounder won MVP?
Yes, there have been two 2nd rounders to win MVP. The first was David Ortiz in 2007 and the second was Clayton Kershaw in 2014.
Is Jokic the first 2nd round MVP?
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