Top 5 All Time Prospects

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Vote for 3-top 5 all time prospects coming into the league (LBJ/KAJ are locks)

1-Walton
9
14%
2-Ewing
3
5%
3-Hakeem
6
9%
4-Shaq
15
23%
5-Wilt
17
26%
6-Magic
6
9%
7-Duncan
6
9%
8-Russell
1
2%
9-Oscar
0
No votes
10-other (hard to leave off DRob, Bird, Webber and others)
3
5%
 
Total votes: 66

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Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#1 » by pipfan » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:12 pm

Who were the top 5 guys coming into the league, as far as their potential goes. This has nothing to do with where they ended up. Any top 5 MUST have LBJ and KAJ-the two best prospects ever. Please vote for the other 3
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#2 » by Narigo » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:45 pm

1.Kareem
2.LeBron
3.Wilt
4.Duncan
5.Magic/Bird

Not in order
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#3 » by KobesScarf » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:59 pm

Terrible choices in this poll.

My top 8 would be

1. Kareem
2. Sampson
3. Walton
4. Lebron
5. Thompson
6. Ewing
7. Russell
8. Iverson
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#4 » by Odinn21 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:12 pm

Abdul-Jabbar was getting labelled as the best basketball player even before playing a single pro minute. He's definitely the biggest prospect ever.
James is the only outlier came from HS level.

The following names would be Walton, Russell, Robertson and Chamberlain.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#5 » by Texas Chuck » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:21 pm

Kareem/Wilt/Lebron/Shaq/Walton? Feels disrespectful to Duncan and Robinson, but I do think they are behind the other 5.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#6 » by kendogg » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:31 pm

Yeah people were saying Wilt was gonna destroy the game, spent a year on the globetrotters between his year at kansas before the nba. And Kareem/Walton had legendary college careers. LeBron was the best HS prospect easily but is he more hyped than guys like Shaq, Robinson, Duncan, Russell or even Sampson? Kinda hard to compare a HS prospect with a college one, and big men always had the highest ceiling in terms of revolutionizing the game. Thompson was a great prospect but he can't compare to the big men, which is why I'm not sure LeBron even deserves top 5.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#7 » by DQuinn1575 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:33 pm

Odinn21 wrote:Abdul-Jabbar was getting labelled as the best basketball player even before playing a single pro minute. He's definitely the biggest prospect ever.
James is the only outlier came from HS level.

The following names would be Walton, Russell, Robertson and Chamberlain.



Based on how they were regarded, and what the thought was on how well they would do:

1. Jabbar
2. Walton - ranked #2 college player ever
3. Mikan
4. Wilt
5. Oscar - led nation in scoring 3 times,
6. Sampson -
7. Russell -
9. Robinson
10. Jerry Lucas - yes he was this highly regarded. I might have him too low
11. David Thompson
12. Jordan - he was best player on PanAm and Olympic teams with Ewing. Or just ask Billy Packer
13, Ewing
14. LeBron - remember everybody above is a 2-3 time All-American and proven themselves in college
15.Shaq
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#8 » by kendogg » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:44 pm

Oscar a top 5 prospect cuz he led the nation in scoring 3 times? Pete Maravich did as well and is the leading college scorer of all-time with only 3 seasons played. A guard coming into the league being the best scorer is not a level of prospect that will change the face of the NBA forever. Big men can literally force major rule changes because they break the game (Wilt, Shaq, etc). Rules changes have constantly made it EASIER for smaller guys to score, not harder, unlike the bigs.

Like I said before I'm not sure there's any guard/forward prospects that really have nearly the potential ceiling of an uber big man. Even in today's NBA, size means more than anything. If Giannis could shoot and dribble like Steph he'd be better than anyone in history
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#9 » by Im Your Father » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:54 pm

DQuinn1575 wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:Abdul-Jabbar was getting labelled as the best basketball player even before playing a single pro minute. He's definitely the biggest prospect ever.
James is the only outlier came from HS level.

The following names would be Walton, Russell, Robertson and Chamberlain.



Based on how they were regarded, and what the thought was on how well they would do:

1. Jabbar
2. Walton - ranked #2 college player ever
3. Mikan
4. Wilt
5. Oscar - led nation in scoring 3 times,
6. Sampson -
7. Russell -
9. Robinson
10. Jerry Lucas - yes he was this highly regarded. I might have him too low
11. David Thompson
12. Jordan - he was best player on PanAm and Olympic teams with Ewing. Or just ask Billy Packer
13, Ewing
14. LeBron - remember everybody above is a 2-3 time All-American and proven themselves in college
15.Shaq


I don't know how you can include people who weren't drafted #1 (unless I guess they were drafted behind someone else on the list).

Also confused as to how Shaq could be as low as #15, given that he was:

(a) a blue chip high school prospect and one of the biggest athletic freaks we've ever seen;

(b) a dominant player for three years in college, despite turning 17 his freshman year; and

(c) pretty much a consensus top 10 GOAT despite being widely regarded as not maxing out his potential.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#10 » by KobesScarf » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:04 am

Texas Chuck wrote:Kareem/Wilt/Lebron/Shaq/Walton? Feels disrespectful to Duncan and Robinson, but I do think they are behind the other 5.
Iverson was considered a better prospect than Duncan when both were in college
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#11 » by DQuinn1575 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:18 am

kendogg wrote:Oscar a top 5 prospect cuz he led the nation in scoring 3 times? Pete Maravich did as well and is the leading college scorer of all-time with only 3 seasons played. A guard coming into the league being the best scorer is not a level of prospect that will change the face of the NBA forever. Big men can literally force major rule changes because they break the game (Wilt, Shaq, etc). Rules changes have constantly made it EASIER for smaller guys to score, not harder, unlike the bigs.

Like I said before I'm not sure there's any guard/forward prospects that really have nearly the potential ceiling of an uber big man. Even in today's NBA, size means more than anything. If Giannis could shoot and dribble like Steph he'd be better than anyone in history


No Robertson #5 as he was College player of the year 3 times, 2nd in Ap voting as soon behind wilt and then leading vote getter on Ap All American other 2. Top scorer in 1960 Olympic team many consider the best amateur team ever. Considered greatest high school player ever from Indiana.
Easily the highest rated non center in NCAA history. Note my list has almost all big men.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#12 » by DQuinn1575 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:34 am

Im Your Father wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:Abdul-Jabbar was getting labelled as the best basketball player even before playing a single pro minute. He's definitely the biggest prospect ever.
James is the only outlier came from HS level.

The following names would be Walton, Russell, Robertson and Chamberlain.



Based on how they were regarded, and what the thought was on how well they would do:

1. Jabbar
2. Walton - ranked #2 college player ever
3. Mikan
4. Wilt
5. Oscar - led nation in scoring 3 times,
6. Sampson -
7. Russell -
9. Robinson
10. Jerry Lucas - yes he was this highly regarded. I might have him too low
11. David Thompson
12. Jordan - he was best player on PanAm and Olympic teams with Ewing. Or just ask Billy Packer
13, Ewing
14. LeBron - remember everybody above is a 2-3 time All-American and proven themselves in college
15.Shaq


I don't know how you can include people who weren't drafted #1 (unless I guess they were drafted behind someone else on the list).

Also confused as to how Shaq could be as low as #15, given that he was:

(a) a blue chip high school prospect and one of the biggest athletic freaks we've ever seen;

(b) a dominant player for three years in college, despite turning 17 his freshman year; and

(c) pretty much a consensus top 10 GOAT despite being widely regarded as not maxing out his potential.


I think I only took Russell and Jordan who weren’t the first pick, and i put Hakeem ahead of Jordan. I might have ranked Russell a little too high.i included the Olympics for Jordan’s consideration; if i did this without that i would put him lower. I also scanned the #1 picks to make sure i didn’t leave someone out.
Shaq as a frosh was out scored by Stanley Roberts, let alone Chris Jackson so as a frosh he was well below Ewing. Shaq was never consensus college player of the year, out of 6 major awards he won 1 once. Ewing was also a higher rated high schooler than Shaq. I mean Shaq, Robinson, Ewing, Hakeem were all rated real high; I’m going by what the thoughts were at the time.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#13 » by DQuinn1575 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:37 am

DQuinn1575 wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:Abdul-Jabbar was getting labelled as the best basketball player even before playing a single pro minute. He's definitely the biggest prospect ever.
James is the only outlier came from HS level.

The following names would be Walton, Russell, Robertson and Chamberlain.



Based on how they were regarded, and what the thought was on how well they would do:

1. Jabbar
2. Walton - ranked #2 college player ever
3. Mikan
4. Wilt
5. Oscar - led nation in scoring 3 times,
6. Sampson -
7. Russell -
8 Hakeem. -oops edit messed up and left out #8 first time
9. Robinson
10. Jerry Lucas - yes he was this highly regarded. I might have him too low
11. David Thompson
12. Jordan - he was best player on PanAm and Olympic teams with Ewing. Or just ask Billy Packer
13, Ewing
14. LeBron - remember everybody above is a 2-3 time All-American and proven themselves in college
15.Shaq
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#14 » by kendogg » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:31 am

DQuinn1575 wrote:No Robertson #5 as he was College player of the year 3 times, 2nd in Ap voting as soon behind wilt and then leading vote getter on Ap All American other 2. Top scorer in 1960 Olympic team many consider the best amateur team ever. Considered greatest high school player ever from Indiana.
Easily the highest rated non center in NCAA history. Note my list has almost all big men.


college performance only matters to an extent. shaq is a better prospect than pretty much anyone and the reason he went first despite him not being the best college player. the ceiling on uber athletic big men is just too high.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#15 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:32 am

uh..I think Lebron is the 2nd greatest player of all time, but I certainly did not think he was a top 5 prospect.

To put it frank, if you were drafting a franchise and you had senior year Tim Duncan and HS year Lebron James, I think you would be absolutely nuts to take Lebron James....Tim Duncan was already an all-star player before he even foot onto the NBA.

My top 5 picks would all be upper classmen college players. Bill Walton probably would not make the cut because he already had serious injury concerns coming out of college.

I'd say some combination of Abdul-Jabar, Chamberlain, Russell, O'Neal, Robertson

I think Tim Duncan is pretty damn high up there now that I think about that example I used. It was a no brainer he would be a superstar from what I remember.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#16 » by DQuinn1575 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:11 am

kendogg wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:No Robertson #5 as he was College player of the year 3 times, 2nd in Ap voting as soon behind wilt and then leading vote getter on Ap All American other 2. Top scorer in 1960 Olympic team many consider the best amateur team ever. Considered greatest high school player ever from Indiana.
Easily the highest rated non center in NCAA history. Note my list has almost all big men.


college performance only matters to an extent. shaq is a better prospect than pretty much anyone and the reason he went first despite him not being the best college player. the ceiling on uber athletic big men is just too high.



So the quotes at the time - Chicago Tribune-Franchise player?
Wire services (in Nashville Tennessean) - Best since David Robinson?

Shaq was definitely the #1 pick in the draft, but so was Robinson, Ewing, Olajuwon, Sampson - and all of them were touted real highly. But the accounts at the time didnt say Shaq was better than these guys- that he was probably the best guy since they played. And you can look back 29 years later and say Shaq was better than them all.
Things written about Oscar at the time would call him the best college player ever, or as sure a first pick as Wilt was.
And yes, I looked some more, and would need to move Russell lower than where I have him.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#17 » by pipfan » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:25 am

LBJ was a HUGE prospect, and in a great draft class as well. He is clearly a top 5 prospect of all time
Sampson might be an omission on my part-but no way Iverson is a top 10 NBA prospect
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#18 » by giberish » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:44 am

DQuinn1575 wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:Abdul-Jabbar was getting labelled as the best basketball player even before playing a single pro minute. He's definitely the biggest prospect ever.
James is the only outlier came from HS level.

The following names would be Walton, Russell, Robertson and Chamberlain.



Based on how they were regarded, and what the thought was on how well they would do:

1. Jabbar
2. Walton - ranked #2 college player ever
3. Mikan
4. Wilt
5. Oscar - led nation in scoring 3 times,
6. Sampson -
7. Russell -
8 Hakeem. -oops edit messed up and left out #8 first time
9. Robinson
10. Jerry Lucas - yes he was this highly regarded. I might have him too low
11. David Thompson
12. Jordan - he was best player on PanAm and Olympic teams with Ewing. Or just ask Billy Packer
13, Ewing
14. LeBron - remember everybody above is a 2-3 time All-American and proven themselves in college
15.Shaq


If Walton came out after his Jr season he would have been no lower then #2, but on an elite list like this his injury concerns after his Sr year would drop him several spots.

Russell should have been seen this high, but many didn't. Some combo of EC bias (not appreciating how good USF was), lack of truly gaudy PPG and racism probably accounts for it.

Robinson IMO was seen as below the Sampson/Ewing/Hakeem level as a center prospect. Not by much, but a bit.

Jordan was a bit lower as well. Seen as clearly below the David Thompson level coming out of the ACC.

Ewing's IMO low. He was seen as the stud. IMO above Hakeem as an incoming prospect.
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#19 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:45 am

pipfan wrote:LBJ was a HUGE prospect, and in a great draft class as well. He is clearly a top 5 prospect of all time
Sampson might be an omission on my part-but no way Iverson is a top 10 NBA prospect


Are you asking who is a top 5 prospect in our opinions or who is a top 5 most hyped prospect? Those are two totally different questions. If you're talking about media frenzy and what other people thought, than maybe. But by that token Andrew Wiggins was a great prospect even though I knew personally knew he wasn't.


Yes, I can absolutely argue that there are 5 guys who were better prospects than Lebron James. Lebron is a outlier prospect for an HS player, but if he was somehow in a draft with senior year David Robinson it would be a no brainer (for me) to take David Robinson. His floor is way higher, as simple as that. Can replace Robinson with Tim Duncan, junior year MJ (slightly underrated prospect by most fans), Patrick Ewing (not a sexy name now but a very big deal at the time) etc

Even though Lebron was called the next Jordan and all that....in the end it's actually a miracle that he kind of lived up to the hype. We've seen plenty of cases where guys with that much expectation fall short, Lebron was one of the very few times the media got it right. (he was so good for his age they couldn't mess that up I guess)
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Re: Top 5 All Time Prospects 

Post#20 » by oldschooled » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:16 am

LBJ as great as he is, is not a lock in this. Shaq was the better prospect between the two. Remember the hoopla in the early 90's around Shaq with his NBA cards back then, how a 7'0" agile big would overtake MJ as the GOAT, etc. He was trotted as one of the GOATs even before playing a single game. Heck he was part of the 50 Greatest Players on his 4th season.
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