The best players ever drafted at #24
History of the 24th Pick
The Trail Blazers have the 24th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and that might not be a bad place to be. Not all the talent in the NBA comes out of the lottery. In fact, some of the all-time greats have been late first-round or second-round picks. Here is a list of some of the best players ever to be picked at 24. Let's start way back in 1985 with none other than your Portland Trail Blazers...
Terry Porter – Drafted by the Trail Blazers in the 1985 NBA Draft
Career Stats – 12.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.6 apg
- 2X NBA All-Star (’91,’92)
Porter helped lead the Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992, where the Blazers lost to the Pistons and Bulls respectively. Porter recorded 7,160 assists in his career which is more than any other player in the 1985 draft, and is the 15th best mark in the history of the NBA. Porter is one of the greatest players to ever represent the pinwheel, and his number 30 hangs in the rafters of Moda Center.
Arvydas Sabonis – Drafted by the Trail Blazers in the 1986 NBA Draft
Career Stats – 12.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.1 apg
- All-Rookie First Team (1995-96)
Sabonis was widely regarded as one of the best centers in basketball in his prime. However, he spent most of his career playing in Europe. The Lithuania native was selected by the Blazers in 1986, but didn’t debut in the NBA until 1995. Even at 31-years-old, he averaged 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds his rookie season. In 2011 he was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Latrell Sprewell – Drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 1992 NBA Draft
Career Stats - 18.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.0 apg
- 4X NBA All-Star (’94, ’95, ’97, ’01)
- All-Rookie Second Team (1993-94)
- All-Defensive Second Team (1993-94)
- All-NBA First Team (1993-94)
Sprewell was a world-class scorer, and though he was taken 24th overall he ended up being one of the best players taken in the 1992 draft. The only player from the 1992 draft who scored more point in their career was the first overall pick, Shaquille O’Neal.
Sam Cassell – Drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 1993 NBA Draft
Career Stats - 15.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 6.0 apg
- 1x NBA All-Star (2004)
- All-NBA Second Team (2003-04)
- 3x NBA Champion (’94,’95, ’08)
Wherever Cassell went, winning followed. He won two NBA championships with the Houston Rockets, and one with the Boston Celtics. He was also a member of the 2003-2004 Timberwolves that won a franchise-record 58 games and made it to the Western Conference Finals. His 5,939 career assists and 87.5 win shares are the best of any player from the 1993 draft.
Andrei Kirilenko – Drafted by the Utah Jazz in the 1999 NBA Draft
Career Stats – 11.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.7 apg
- 1x NBA All-Star (2004)
- All-Rookie First Team (2001-02)
- All-Defensive First Team (2005-06)
- 2X All-Defensive Second Team (2003-04, 2004-05)
The man known as AK-47 made his money on the defensive end of the court. He was a multiple time All-NBA Defense selection, led the league in blocked shots in 2005-2006 (220), and is 38th all-time in career blocked shots (1,461). He is also just one of 10 players in NBA history to record a 5x5 - five or more points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks in a single game. He and Hakeen Olajuwon are the only players to ever pull off the feat multiple times.
Kyle Lowry – Drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2006 NBA Draft
Career Stats – 14.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.9 apg
- 4x NBA All-Star (’15,’16,’17,’18)
- All-NBA Third Team (2015-16)
Only two of the top 10 picks from the 2006 draft are still in the league - LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay. Needless to say, it was a thin draft. Somehow in a draft low on talent the Grizzlies were able to snag a future star at 24. Lowry has been a lock for the NBA All-Star game since 2015, and he and DeMar DeRozan make up one of the best backcourts in the NBA. He is the fourth leading scorer from the 2006 draft, and only Rajon Rondo (drafted 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns) has more career assists.
Serge Ibaka – Drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2008 NBA Draft
Career Stats – 12.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.7 apg
- 3X All-Defensive First Team (’12,’13,’14)
- League Leader in blocked shots (’11,’12,’13,’14)
Ibaka was the final first-round selection of the team known as the SuperSonics. The big man from the Republic of the Congo has made a living making life hard for opposing offenses. He led league in blocked shots from 2011 to 2014, and is fourth among active players in career blocked shots (1,523). Those numbers are also good for 35th all-time in NBA history, while his 2.24 blocks per game is the 16th best average in NBA history. To this day ball-handlers think twice when they see Ibaka in the paint.