NBA Draft: The historical success with the 13th pick

Amit Mann looks at previous 13th overall picks who carved out good NBA careers.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: If history means anything, the Raptors should get a good player at the 13th spot in the 2023 NBA draft. Now, the Raptors could move up. There's rumors around that Trail Blazers third pick. The Dallas Mavericks are shopping their 10th pick reportedly, and also, the Raptors have confirmed to interviewed Anthony Black of Arkansas, who is a projected top 10 pick.

But let's go with what we know, and we know that there's loads of potential and talent in this draft class. I always find it funny, year by year, there are the analysts who say, well, it's a bummer draft class. You know, it's a very top heavy one, and then all of a sudden, we get to the draft, and years later we're seeing all the potential in those players that were projected to be kind of bummers or duds.

Meanwhile, the eighth guy in your rotation is probably more talented, more skilled than the eighth guy 10 years ago in a different rotation. That's evolution. That's just how the game goes.

No, maybe there isn't four or five Scoot Henderson's in this draft, and that's OK. That's what makes him special. But tell me Walker Kessler, Tari Eason, David Roddy, Andrew Nembhard don't have potential, and they're all guys who were drafted 17th or later in the 2022 NBA draft.

Don't they have promising NBA careers? The skill pool is deep. That's how it is. Welcome.

Anyways, let's look at some of the guys that were drafted 13th in NBA history. You might think to yourself a few times, wow, that guy was drafted that late in the draft. Interesting.

But before we do that, I got to get you subscribe to our YouTube channel. We'll be here for all your Raptors news, Raptors Summer League, Raptors transactions, Raptors coaching news, Raptors draft news, Raptors whatever kind of news. We'll be here for it, so pull up.

Let's start in the 1990s, 1994. Former Raptor and current owner of the best hair line in the history of human civilization, Jalen Rose, was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. Duke's Corey Maggette was drafted 13th in 1999, and he went on to play over 800 games, averaging 16, 5, and 2 on his career, which includes four seasons of 20 plus points per game.

Well, I guess that's it for the 1990s. Oh, wait, yeah, there's Kobe Bryant, AKA the Black Mamba, 18 time all-star, five time champion, 11 time NBA all-defensive team accolades, finals MVP, scoring championships. Yeah, that guy was also drafted 13th in 1996.

The 2000s, admittedly, were a bit dry. You got three former Raptors. Marcus Banks was drafted by the Grizzlies next year. The Blazers brought in Sebastian Telfair, and in 2009, Tyler [INAUDIBLE], unless Meta World Peace is beefing with me, Hansbrough was drafted by the Pacers.

- I don't know if Meta World Peace is the guy to go at.

AMIT MANN: The most notable 13th pick of the decade, Richard Jefferson, whose career dipped after his age 28 year in Milwaukee due to essentially, well, ring chasing, which I mean, I don't blame you, and injuries. Now, he's a broadcaster and part time roaster of fans.

- Richard, can you tell my wife Hi.

- I'll text her [INAUDIBLE].

AMIT MANN: On to 2010, which was the last time the Raptors drafted 13th overall. Ed Davis, who had a low key successful NBA career. Fun note, Paul George recently revealed he was given a promise by the Raptors that they would draft him. Unfortunately, he was taken 10th by the Pacers in that draft class. Bummer.

2013 Canada's Kelly Olynyk was drafted by the Mavs, then traded to the Celtics. He just had a great year in Utah. Would love him on the Raptors, to be honest with you.

Then 2014, Zach "I got bounced" LaVine. Man, he killed the Raptors in the planned game. 2015, Devin Booker, his playoff performances were off the chain this year.

2017, Donovan Mitchell has 71 reasons why he's a problem. Bam Adebayo went 14th in that draft, by the way. In the following year, Michael Porter Jr was also drafted 14th in 2018.

But back to the 13 picks, 2019 now, Tyler Herro, he's got back to back seasons of 20 plus points per game. 2021, now, kind of Canadian Chris Duarte has shown a ton of promise. He had an injury plagued sophomore season. Heel up, sir.

And now, 2022, last year, Jaylen Duren, 19 years old, loads of potential. Could be an all-Star one day. Paul George says he's a baby Dwight Howard.

And that brings us to 2023. Will it be the explosive and tenacious Keyonte George? The high upside three level scorer in Nick Smith Jr? Kobe Bufkin who averaged 17, 6, and 3 on 52-45, 89 splits in his final 12 games?

Kentucky's Cason Wallace would be a seamless fit. Or maybe they go the movement shooting route with Grady Dick or Jordan Hawkins. And as I said earlier, it's possible the Raptors do move up in the draft.

But regardless of where they select, what the history is behind the pick, what program the player is from, please, please, just bring in someone who can shoot and handle the ball. Thank you. I'm Amit Mann. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, as I mentioned earlier, and you can follow me on Twitter at @amit_mann. We'll talk to you soon.