Top NBA Player by Draft Class

For each draft year, name the NBA player with the most career win shares.
According to basketball-reference.com
Through 2021–22
Recent years are likely to change frequently
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: April 12, 2022
First submittedJune 4, 2014
Times taken39,398
Average score47.7%
Rating3.79
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Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
Year
Pick #
College
Top Player
2021
4
Florida State
Scottie Barnes
2020
12
Iowa State
Tyrese Haliburton
2019
21
Gonzaga
Brandon Clarke
2018
3
(Slovenia)
Luka Dončić
2017
14
Kentucky
Bam Adebayo
2016
11
Gonzaga
Domantas Sabonis
2015
1
Kentucky
Karl-Anthony Towns
2014
41
(Serbia)
Nikola Jokić
2013
15
(Greece)
Giannis Antetokounmpo
2012
6
Weber State
Damian Lillard
2011
30
Marquette
Jimmy Butler
2010
10
Fresno State
Paul George
2009
3
Arizona State
James Harden
2008
4
UCLA
Russell Westbrook
2007
2
Texas
Kevin Durant
2006
2
Texas
LaMarcus Aldridge
2005
4
Wake Forest
Chris Paul
2004
1
(High School)
Dwight Howard
2003
1
(High School)
LeBron James
2002
9
(High School)
Amare Stoudemire
2001
3
(Spain)
Pau Gasol
2000
16
(Turkey)
Hedo Türkoğlu
Year
Pick #
College
Top Player
1999
9
UNLV
Shawn Marion
1998
9
(Germany)
Dirk Nowitzki
1997
1
Wake Forest
Tim Duncan
1996
13
(High School)
Kobe Bryant
1995
5
(High School)
Kevin Garnett
1994
2
Cal
Jason Kidd
1993
24
Florida State
Sam Cassell
1992
1
LSU
Shaquille O'Neal
1991
4
Georgetown
Dikembe Mutombo
1990
2
Oregon State
Gary Payton
1989
26
(Serbia)
Vlade Divac
1988
6
Bradley
Hersey Hawkins
1987
1
Navy
David Robinson
1986
46
Iowa State
Jeff Hornacek
1985
13
Louisiana Tech
Karl Malone
1984
3
North Carolina
Michael Jordan
1983
14
Houston
Clyde Drexler
1982
3
Georgia
Dominique Wilkins
1981
3
Maryland
Buck Williams
1980
3
Minnesota
Kevin McHale
1979
1
Michigan State
Magic Johnson
1978
6
Indiana State
Larry Bird
+2
Level ∞
Jun 4, 2014
The 2000 draft class was sad!
+1
Level 66
Oct 12, 2016
I know. I've only heard of Jamal Crawford. :(
+1
Level 80
Jun 26, 2014
I got 10, and another 10 I've *heard* of (but obviously didn't guess). I hate basketball, and it shows.
+4
Level 43
Jun 18, 2015
If you hate basketball why even bother taking the quiz???
+4
Level 88
Apr 20, 2016
Same reason I try taking soccer quizzes over and over again - it's all about the points.
+1
Level 43
Aug 18, 2015
What even is a win share?
+3
Level 78
Jan 6, 2016
Probably want to go ahead and change 2009 from ASU ~ Harden to Davidson ~ Curry. Not even that close anymore..
+1
Level 30
Jan 24, 2017
And also, Turkoglu over Crawford! C'mon man!
+1
Level ∞
Apr 13, 2017
Its practically a three-way tie between Turkoglu, Crawford, and Mike Miller. Crawford could still end up #1 if he plays a couple more seasons. In any case, neither Crawford or Turkoglu ever made a single all-star game.
+2
Level ∞
Aug 18, 2020
Crawford just keeps trucking. Unfortunately, in his old age he is not doing much to garner stats. Can't believe he's still in the league honestly.
+1
Level 80
Aug 20, 2020
or Michael Redd
+1
Level 15
Jul 21, 2017
I PUT IN JOKIC!!! Did i really have to put in the accent
+1
Level ∞
Apr 12, 2018
No. Accents never matter on JetPunk.
+3
Level 12
Aug 15, 2017
this only my opinion

i think the top player of the 2009 draft class is stephen curry not james harden...

curry had a better legacy than harden

+1
Level 34
Jan 9, 2019
Does he though? Curry will be remembered but not in a good way.
+2
Level 65
Mar 25, 2019
Curry is definitely a better player than Harden. But this about win shares, and not opinions. Harden has played ~90 more games than Curry, and has been on playoff teams (OKC and Houston) every year of his entire career.
+1
Level 63
Dec 5, 2017
When you know Hedo Turkoglu but not Shaq, Magic, or Bird...
+1
Level 72
Jun 22, 2018
got Hornacek, missed Kobe... smh
+2
Level 86
Jun 22, 2018
Cassell is shocking considering that class had Chris Webber, Allan Houston, Penny Hardaway and Nick Van Excel. I guess longevity is a pretty big factor.
+1
Level 86
Jun 22, 2018
Looked up the draft class on basketball reference and Webber is significantly ahead on the valuation metrics that account for value over a replacement player.
+1
Level ∞
Jun 22, 2018
Both WS and VORP are flawed. I like WS better. VORP rewards players who dominate the box score on mediocre or bad teams.
+2
Level ∞
Jun 22, 2018
In this case, though, the best player probably should be Webber. He barely loses to Cassell on WS and he dominates in VORP. Oh well.
+1
Level 75
Oct 20, 2018
I can't believe the 1981 one... I tried Isiah Thomas, Mark Aguirre and Tom Chambers but.. but.....
+1
Level 65
May 15, 2019
I suspected that Buck Williams having an edge on Isaiah Thomas was purely longevity, but nope. Buck grabbed a win share every 10.8 games played, and Isaiah only was every 12+. Some combination of rebounding and defense mattering more than ball-handling/playmaking/distributing, quality of teammates actually diluting win share even while increasing gross wins, and/or Buck Williams being underrated/Isaiah being overrated is at play here.
+2
Level 90
Jan 17, 2020
Was so proud of myself for spelling Antetokounmpo correctly on my first try... that I mangled the spelling of Butler three times.
+1
Level 43
Mar 26, 2020
Think that you can change Jimmy Butler to Kawhi Leonard
+1
Level ∞
Aug 18, 2020
It's really close. Obviously Kawhi's had the better career but he misses a lot of playtime due to injury. Can't earn Win Shares when you're sitting on the bench due to "load management".
+2
Level 21
Sep 16, 2020
JARRETT ALLEN OVER DONOVAN MITCHELL?!?!?!?!?
+1
Level 62
Nov 6, 2020
or Jayson Tatum, De'Aaron Fox, Lauri Markkanen, Bam Adebayo, John Collins & Kyle Kuzma..redunkulous
+1
Level 75
Sep 20, 2020
So excited that Hersey Hawkins was represented on a quiz. I grew up watching him play in my hometown. To see my alma mater on a quiz is pretty cool.
+1
Level 86
Oct 3, 2020
Interesting that for all their pedigree, there are no Duke players top of their draft class.
+2
Level 50
Oct 21, 2020
Dude I see so many people saying "sou put this player over that one", BLASPHEMY.

It's about win shares. That's an official stat, calculated by some professional nerd out there. It's very good but it's also not perfect.

+4
Level 18
Dec 1, 2020
how is brandon clarke the top player from 2019 draft class??
+1
Level 40
Jun 7, 2021
Campazzo
+2
Level 32
Oct 18, 2021
how the hell is Brandon Clarke the top player from the 2019 draft class when Ja and Zion exist
+1
Level 34
Feb 5, 2022
Clarke over Zion and Ja? I mean I get Zion has been injured and has missed more games then he played, but Ja is more meaningful to the Grizzlies then Clarke smh
+1
Level 43
Mar 16, 2022
I had the same reaction, but then i look at the win shares, and lo and behold, Clarke has the edge! weird but true.
+1
Level 66
Apr 12, 2022
Who is Brandon Clarke?
+1
Level 72
Apr 13, 2022
picking 3rd was better than picking 1st in the early 80s apparently
+1
Level 47
Apr 15, 2022
there are some really bad answers here lol, cassell over chris webber? Haliburton instead of edwards/ball?? Clark over morant? cmon man you gotta be kidding me