Glee for Knicks at 3? A history of the No. 3 overall picks

Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins are just two of the many great players taken No. 3 in the NBA Draft.

The New York Knicks struggled mightily through the 2018-19 season, finishing with an NBA-worst 17-65 record.

Their “reward” for all their struggles was dropping to No. 3 in the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night in Chicago.

Not all is lost, however, if history is any indication as several great players have been taken with the No. 3 overall pick, including the man many regard as the best player to ever lace ’em up, Michael Jordan, taken third by the Chicago Bulls out of North Carolina in 1984.

Other stars selected at that spot include Bob Cousy (1950, Boston Celtics), Nate Thurmond (1963, San Francisco Warriors), Pete Maravich (1970, Atlanta Hawks), Kevin McHale (1980, Boston Celtics), Dominique Wilkins (1982, Utah Jazz), Grant Hill (1994, Detroit Pistons), Carmelo Anthony (2003, Denver Nuggets), James Harden (2009, Oklahoma City Thunder), Joel Embiid (2014, Philadelphia 76ers), Jayson Tatum (2017, Boston Celtics) and Luka Doncic (2018, Atlanta Hawks).

As for the Knicks have selected third in the NBA Draft several times, using that pick to take:

  • 1979 — Bill Cartwright, San Francisco
  • 1967 — Bill Hosket, Ohio State
  • 1965 — Dave Stallworth, Wichita State
  • 1960 — Darrall Imhoff, California
  • 1958 — Mike Farmer, San Francisco

Here’s a historical look at the players selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA Draft:

Year Player School/Country – Team

2018 — Luka Doncic, Slovenia – Atlanta Hawks
2017 — Jayson Tatum, Duke – Boston Celtics
2016 — Jaylen Brown, California – Boston Celtics
2015 — Jahlil Okafor, Duke – Philadelphia 76ers
2014 — Joel Embiid, Kansas – Philadelphia 76ers
2013 — Otto Porter, Georgetown – Washington Wizards
2012 — Bradley Beal, Florida – Washington Wizards
2011 — Enes Kanter, Kentucky – Utah Jazz
2010 — Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech – New Jersey Nets

2000s
2009 — James Harden, Arizona State – Oklahoma City Thunder
2008 –– O.J. Mayo, USC – Minnesota Timberwolves
2007 — Al Horford, Florida – Atlanta Hawks
2006 — Adam Morrison, Gonzaga – Charlotte Bobcats
2005 — Deron Williams, Illinois – Utah Jazz
2004 — Ben Gordon, Connecticut – Chicago Bulls
2003 — Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse – Denver Nuggets
2002 — Mike Dunleavy, Duke – Golden State Warriors
2001 — Pau Gasol, Spain – Atlanta Hawks
2000 — Darius Miles, East St. Louis HS (Mo.) – LA Clippers

1990s
1999 — Baron Davis, UCLA – Charlotte Hornets
1998 — Raef LaFrentz, Kansas – Denver Nuggets
1997 — Chauncey Billups, Colorado – Boston Celtics
1996 — Shareef Abdur-Rahim, California – Vancouver Grizzlies
1995 — Jerry Stackhouse, North Carolina – Philadelphia 76ers
1994 — Grant Hill, Duke – Detroit Pistons
1993 — Anfernee Hardaway, Memphis – Golden State Warriors
1992 — Christian Laettner, Duke – Minnesota Timberwolves
1991 — Billy Owens, Syracuse – Sacramento Kings
1990 — Chris Jackson, Louisiana State – Denver Nuggets

1980s
1989 — Sean Elliott, Arizona – San Antonio Spurs
1988 — Charles Smith, Pittsburgh – Philadelphia 76ers
1987 — Dennis Hopson, Ohio State – New Jersey Nets
1986 — Chris Washburn, North Carolina State – Golden State Warriors
1985 — Benoit Benjamin, Creighton – LA Clippers
1984 — Michael Jordan, North Carolina – Chicago Bulls
1983 — Rodney McCray, Louisville – Houston Rockets
1982 — Dominique Wilkins, Georgia – Utah Jazz
1981 — Buck Williams, Maryland – New Jersey Nets
1980 — Kevin McHale, Minnesota – Boston Celtics

1970s
1979 — Bill Cartwright, San Francisco – New York Knicks
1978 — Rick Robey, Kentucky – Indiana Pacers
1977 — Marques Johnson, UCLA – Milwaukee Bucks
1976 — Richard Washington, UCLA – Kansas City Kings
1975 — Marvin Webster, Morgan State – Atlanta Hawks
1974 — Tom Burleson, North Carolina State – Seattle Supersonics
1973 — Ernie DiGregorio, Providence – Buffalo Braves
1972 — Dwight Davis, Houston – Cleveland Cavaliers
1971 — Elmore Smith, Kentucky State – Buffalo Braves
1970 — Pete Maravich, Louisiana State – Atlanta Hawks

1960s
1969 — Lucius Allen, UCLA – Seattle Supersonics
1968 — Bob Kauffman, Guilford – Seattle Supersonics
1967 — Bill Hosket, Ohio State – New York Knicks
1966 — Clyde Lee, Vanderbilt – San Francisco Warriors
1965 — Dave Stallworth, Wichita State – New York Knicks
1964 — Gary Bradds, Ohio State – Baltimore Bullets
1963 — Nate Thurmond, Bowling Green – San Francisco Warriors
1962 — Zelmo Beaty, Prairie View – St. Louis Hawks
1961 — Larry Siegfried, Ohio State – Cincinnati Royals
1960 — Darrall Imhoff, California – New York Knicks

1950s
1959 — Tom Hawkins, Notre Dame – Minneapolis Lakers
1958 — Mike Farmer, San Francisco – New York Knicks
1957 — Jim Krebs, Southern Methodist – Minneapolis Lakers
1956 — Jim Paxson, University of Dayton – Minneapolis Lakers
1955 — Jim Loscutoff, University of Oregon – Boston Celtics
1954 — Gene Shue, University of Maryland – Philadelphia Warriors
1953 — Jack Molinas, Columbia University – Fort Wayne Pistons
1952 — Dick Groat, Duke University – Fort Wayne Pistons
1951 — Marcus Freiberger, University of Oklahoma – Indianapolis Olympians
1950 — Bob Cousy, College of the Holy Cross – Tri-Cities Hawks