Rebuilding through the draft often requires more luck than skill. A look
at the history of the No. 4 selection in the NBA draft suggests that. The Bulls finished the season with the fourth
poorest record in the NBA. If no places change in the May 14 lottery drawing, the Bulls would select fourth in the
draft. Selecting that high would suggest the chance to add a high level player, and it has happened, though not much
lately. In the last decade, no player selected No. 4 has played in an NBA All-Star game. Only Kristaps Porzingis has
been selected to an All-Star game as a reserve, and he was injured before the game, didn't play and was subsequently
traded. Recent No. 4 picks like Jarren Jackson Jr. and Josh Jackson are considered to have All-Star potential, but
perhaps years away. There have been many talented players selected with the No. 4 pick, but more who became just
good NBA starters rather than stars. Here's a look at the best No. 4 selections in the NBA draft since the merger of
the leagues in 1976.
Russell Westbrook, Seattle Supersonics, 2008. He has gone on to
become one of the most celebrated and polarizing players in the NBA, an eight-time All-Star and league MVP
who has broken historic NBA records while failing to have much impact in the playoffs. His versatility in
averaging a triple double the last three seasons is unmatched and he has led the league in scoring and
assists twice. He's been an unyielding force with his relentless play and seven times all-NBA.
Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets, 2005. He's been one of the elite
point guards in the game for more than a decade who also has failed to make substantial post season impact.
He's a nine-time All-Star and all-defensive team player who has led the league in assists four times and
steals six times playing for three teams.
Dikembe Mutombo, Denver Nuggets, 1991. The Hall of Famer played
for six teams, had his jersey retired by two and may be the greatest humanitarian ever to play in the NBA in
building a hospital in Africa. He was an eight-time All-Star and four-time Defensive Player of the Year
whose colorful finger wagging about blocks became an NBA favorite. He twice led the NBA in rebounding and
three times in blocks.
Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors, 2003. His career ended prematurely
after the discovery of a blood clot. But he was an 11-time All-Star who played for two Miami title teams
with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade primarily as a supporting player with excellent shooting range while being
on the leading edge of modernizing the big man game in the NBA.
Rasheed Wallace, Washington Bullets, 1995. There was talent and
controversy with some of the top No. 4 picks. Wallace long proved an ambivalent figure was his anger often
matched his talent. He is one of the most penalized players in NBA history with records for ejections and
technical fouls while also being a four-time All-Star and a champion with the Detroit Pistons given his
unique ability to score inside and outside.
The No. 4 selection has produced many high level NBA starters like Stephon
Marbury, Jamal Mashburn, Glen Rice, Xavier McDaniel, Micheal Ray Richardson, Sam Perkins, Mike Conley, Antawn
Jamison, Aaron Gordon and Lamar Odom. In early NBA history, some of the top No. 4 picks included Dave Cowens, Lou
Hudson, Dick Barnett, Kenny Sears and Jerry Sloan.