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Continued: Picking the best and worst all-time draft choices for all 30 NBA franchises

  • Article by: NOAH TRISTER , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: June 26, 2013 - 3:10 AM

Worst Value: Michael Olowokandi, No. 1, 1998. Olowokandi was picked ahead of Mike Bibby, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce. Ouch.

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LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Best Value: Kobe Bryant, No. 13, 1996. Charlotte drafted Bryant but immediately announced that his rights would be traded. He ended up in Los Angeles in exchange for Vlade Divac. Details have always been sketchy, but years later, Bill Branch — a scout for the Hornets in '96 — told the Winston-Salem Journal that the deal was already in place, and the Lakers had told Charlotte whom to pick. If you don't want to count Bryant as a Los Angeles pick, Magic Johnson at No. 1 in 1979 worked out OK, too.

Worst Value: Kenny Carr, No. 6, 1977. The Lakers haven't had too many significant whiffs. Carr averaged 11.6 points per game in his NBA career but spent just over two seasons with the Lakers. He was taken one spot ahead of Bernard King.

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MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Best Value: Pau Gasol, No. 3, 2001. Atlanta took the 7-footer from Spain, but the Hawks were picking for the Grizzlies as part of a trade. Gasol's impact was immediate, and he may have been the best player taken in that draft.

Worst Value: Steve Francis, No. 2, 1999. Francis made little attempt to hide his displeasure when picked by the Grizzlies, who played in Vancouver back then. He was traded to Houston before his rookie season, and the team would spend only two more seasons in Canada before moving to Memphis. In 2009, the Grizzlies took Hasheem Thabeet at No. 2. He struggled so much he was assigned to the D-League during his rookie season.

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MIAMI HEAT

Best Value: Dwyane Wade, No. 5, 2003. The Heat, of course, now have three of the top five picks from 2003 in their starting lineup, but before teaming up with LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade led Miami to its first NBA title in 2006.

Worst Value: Harold Miner, No. 12, 1992. A college star at Southern California, Miner was one of a handful of young, athletic players who at one point or another drew comparisons to Michael Jordan. He did follow Jordan's footsteps in one respect — by winning multiple titles in the dunk contest.

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MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Best Value: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, No. 1, 1969. This was back when the league would determine the top pick with a coin flip. The Bucks got to draft Abdul-Jabbar despite winning 11 more games than the Phoenix Suns in 1968-69.

Worst Value: Joe Alexander, No. 8, 2008. Alexander never started a game for the Bucks, and Milwaukee eventually traded him and his expiring contract to Chicago in 2010.

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