Seventh Pick Not So Bad...
Tracy McGrady, this season's scoring champ, wasn't selected until the 9th pick in the 1997 NBA Draft.
Tracy McGrady. Kobe Bryant. Dirk Nowitzki.
Paul Pierce. Shawn Marion. Eddie Jones.
Even the Bulls' own Jalen Rose.
All of the above are NBA stars, and all were drafted beyond the seventh pick. We bring this up, of course, because the Bulls drew the 7th pick in this year's NBA Draft. While some may see it as a disappointment to not get the first, second or third pick, the Bulls still have the opportunity to draft some one who could be the next great NBA player.
Who will the Bulls take at seven? That is the question John Paxson and his staff has to answer. Will it be Mickaël Pietrus, the 6-6, 215, 21 year old shooting guard with off the charts athleticism and the ability to defend? What about Georgia's Jarvis Hayes, a 6-7 SG/SF who has a strong frame and can put points on the board in a hurry? Or will it be 6-4 guard Dwayne Wade, who put Marquette on his back and took them all the way to the Final Four? It could be any of these players or a host of others and only time will tell. Tune in to the NBA Draft on June 26 to find out.
In the meantime, take a look at this list of top NBA players, all selected with the seventh pick or later:
7th Pick Overall
Averaged 19.7 ppg for Detroit, the East's top seed in this year's playoffs.
Averaged 12.1 and a career-high 8.3 apg in Memphis this season.
1995 NBA Rookie of the Year; career averages of 14.6 ppg and 6.8 apg.
Played 12 seasons in Phoenix, averaging 17.9 ppg and 9.1 apg.
Averaged 25 points or more 5 times in his career.
One of top defensive players in league; named 1986 Defensive POY.
8th Pick Overall
Now a Clipper, averaged a double-double in 01-02 as a Cav (16.5 ppg and 10.9 apg).
Averaged a double-double in 02-03 (10.3 ppg and 10.2 rpg) for the Heat.
Averaged 20 or more 3 times, won 4 titles with Bulls and L.A. Lakers.
Averaged 18.1 ppg and 6.1 rpg in 16 NBA years.
Kobe Bryant, a three-time world champion, was on the board until the 13th selection in 1996.
Named the 2002-03 Rookie of the Year after averaging 13.5 ppg and 8.8 rpg.
Averaged 21.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 2.28 spg in 4th season with the Suns.
Helped Mavs improve from 20-62 in 97-98 to 60-22 in 02-03; averaged 25.1 ppg and 9.9 rpg this season.
Led NBA in scoring (32.1 ppg) in 2002-03 while averaging 6.5 rpg and 5.5 apg.
10th Pick Overall
Averaged 17.2 ppg, 7.4 apg for Atlanta this season.
One of top scorers in league, averaged 25.9 ppg and 7.3 rpg in 02-03.
NBA All-Star averaged 18.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 3.7 apg for Miami this season.
Won 3 titles with Bulls, defensive stopper at power forward position.
11th Pick Overall
Averaged 15.2 ppg and 5.3 rpg for Portland in 02-03.
Arguably the top shooter in the league, averaged a career-high 22.5 ppg in 02-03.
Two-time NBA All-Star before missing all of 02-03 due to injury.
The best three-point shooter in the history of the NBA.
Averaged more than 20 points 7 times, including 29.4 in 83-84.
13th Pick Overall
Possibly the best player in the league; won three NBA titles as Laker.
Had his best year in 02-03, averaging a career-high 22.1 ppg with 4.8 apg and 4.2 rpg
One of NBA's 50 Greatest Players -- arguably the best power forward ever.