Just an excerpt from on NBA.com article I found somewhat interesting. Pretty basic stuff, but sometimes its fun just to take a look back at things and forget the troubles that were facing at the moment.
2000, Kenyon Martin, Nets: He broke his leg late in his final year at Cincinnati but the Nets couldn't resist and took him anyway. And it was a good thing, too, because that Draft was thin on talent, one of the weakest ever. Stromile Swift went after K-Mart. And then Darius Miles. And Marcus Fizer. Say no more. The contest is over. Even though he made only one All-Star team, and developed a reputation for being chronically angry, Martin is the winner here ... in terms of players taken in the first round. Overall, though, Michael Redd, the 43rd pick, has had the better career, even with two knee surgeries.
2001, Kwame Brown, Wizards: Michael Jordan's airball as an executive, Brown quickly became the definition of a bust in Washington and soon settled into being a career drifter. Had he spent a year or two in college, his flaws likely would've been exposed and any thoughts of being taken first overall destroyed. Four big men were taken in the first four picks (Brown, Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol and Eddy Curry) and Gasol was the best of the bunch. He's maybe the best player in this class, although Tony Parker (No. 28 overall), Gilbert Arenas (No. 30) and Joe Johnson (No. 10) might disagree.
2002, Yao Ming, Rockets: This is an easy call, despite his surgery and sitting out an entire season. Yao made the Rockets interesting and became an instant box office draw. It was a weak upper class (Drew Gooden, Dajuan Wagner) that had plenty of solid rotation players (Caron Butler, John Salmons) further down, but only Amar'e Stoudemire (No. 9 overall) and Carlos Boozer (No. 34) might have arguments with Yao.
2003, LeBron James, Cavs: Imagine drafting Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or Carmelo Anthony and wishing you could've taken someone else.
2004, Dwight Howard, Magic: Orlando actually sweated a bit over this decision, keeping suspense almost until Draft day, weighing the merits of a high school kid versus a Final Four hero from UConn. Eventually, Emeka Okafor fell to the Bobcats, who were thrilled to have someone else decide for them ... until Howard proved Orlando right, and then some.
2005, Andrew Bogut, Bucks: The Big Fella has come on strong over the last season and a half to distance himself from any talk of being the next Kwame. But the class of 2005 comes down to point guards, Chris Paul and Deron Williams, inch-for-inch the best players taken, with Monta Ellis (No. 40) in the argument.
2006, Andrea Bargnani, Raptors: He may never be the best player on his team; therefore, how could he be the best to emerge from this class? Especially with Brandon Roy (6)?
2007, Greg Oden, Blazers: We'll put this debate on hold until Oden's body figures out a way to remain intact. Even then, it'll be hard to imagine anyone in the class superior to Kevin Durant (No. 2 overall).
2008, Derrick Rose, Bulls: Two years isn't enough time to completely judge a class. And yet, two conclusions about 2008 are beginning to crystallize: Rose is superior to the rest, and the competition isn't exactly stellar.
2009, Blake Griffin, Clippers: See 2007. It's Griffin vs. the great point guard collection, led by Tyreke Evans (4), Stephen Curry (7) and Brandon Jennings (10). Little guys win, at least until next season.