The National Basketball Association’s first overall pick is that the player who is selected first among all qualified draftees by a group during the annual National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. The first pick is awarded to the team that wins the NBA draft lottery; in most circumstances, that team had a losing record in the previous season. The team with the first pick attracts significant media attention, as does the participant who is chosen with that selection.
First picks have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award: Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (record six-time winner), Bill Walton, Magic Johnson (three-time winner), Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan (two-time winner), LeBron James (four-time winner), and Derrick Rose (youngest winner).
Since the coming of the draft lottery in 1985, seven number one picks have won an NBA title. They are Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, Glenn Robinson, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Andrew Bogut, and Kyrie Irving.
China’s Yao Ming (2002) and Italy’s Andrea Bargnani (2006) would be the only two players without aggressive expertise in the United States to be drafted first overall. Eleven other foreign players with U.S. college experience happen to be hailed overall–Mychal Thompson (Bahamas) in 1978, Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) in 1984, Patrick Ewing (Jamaica) in 1985, Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands) in 1997, Michael Olowokandi (Nigeria) in 1998, Andrew Bogut (Australia) at 2005, Kyrie Irving (Australia) in 2011, Anthony Bennett (Canada) in 2013, Andrew Wiggins (Canada) at 2014, Ben Simmons (Australia) in 2016, and Deandre Ayton (Bahamas) in 2018. Duncan is an American citizen, but is regarded as an”international” player by the NBA because he was not born in one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. Ewing had double citizenship when he had been drafted and Irving and Simmons had double citizenship if they had been drafted.
Note that the drafts between 1947 and 1949 were held from the Basketball Association of America (BAA). After absorbing teams from the National Basketball League in the autumn of 1949 the Basketball Association of America became the National Basketball Association. Official NBA publications include the BAA Drafts as part of the draft history of the NBA.