Basketball analysts have derived countless mathematical algorithms on top of dozens of theories to examine NBA team draft performance. For front office job security, the most important factor is how many wins a draft class generates. Winning is the bottom line in professional sports, including the NBA.
However, using the draft to select quality players, which eventually are moved to meet this ultimate win-or-lose objective, happens frequently. The NBA All Star game is a showcase for the league's current most talented players.
Having a number of premier players on your draft resume is one way to grade draft performance. Sometimes the winning and all-star formulas combine to create the ultimate result, a championship.
Since 2010, there have been 26 current players drafted who have appeared in at least one mid-season classic. Drafting players is just one part of the equation. Some teams seem more adept at developing all-star caliber talent, no matter where they pick.
There is also the stark reality that 2011 was the last season where the draft produced a player who made the All-star game his rookie season. Blake Griffin was only the third such player in the last 20 years.
We're going to look at specifically which teams have NBA Draft selections who have been all-star representatives over the last 10 seasons. One team earns the honor of having the most drafted players to make the all-star game, followed by five teams all tied with two players each. Here's our list.
Known for years as The Process, Philadelphia has regularly been at the top or near the top of the NBA lottery class. Even though they have drafted a number of high-profile college stars, only three have earned a trip to the NBA All Star game heading into 2020.
Out of the three all-stars Philadelphia has drafted since 2010, two still remain on the roster. Nikola Vučević was selected in 2011. The Montenegrin-native would be traded one year later to the Orlando Magic. Ironically, each of the three picks has a nationality outside the United States as well.
This is about the point when Philadelphia's front office began its pursuit of the ultimate young team. After a pair of less-than-stellar years at the draft board, the 76ers started to build their current team with future all-star Joel Embiid.
In 2016, Philadelphia took Australian-born talent Ben Simmons. Embiid took a couple years to hit the court full-time, but 2020 will be his third consecutive all-star selection. Simmons will be making his second of back-to-back appearances. Seems The Process is starting to work.
Golden State Warriors
If we looked back one more season to the 2009 NBA Draft selections, Golden State would tie the 76ers for top honors with three. Perennial all-star Stephen Curry was taken that year with the 7th overall pick. Golden State is also one of only two teams to still roster their all-star draftees.
The other half of the Splash Brothers tandem, Klay Thompson, was taken two years after Curry with the 11th overall pick. During the next draft in June 2012, the Warriors added another piece to their title run in Draymond Green.
Next on our list is another team that has snagged a pair of all-stars off the last 10-years worth of draft boards. Washington is also the only other team to still have these selections on their roster. The pair of guards is also the highest draft picks on any of our teams.
John Wall was taken with the number one pick in 2010. The former Kentucky Wildcat has been selected to five all-star games thus far. Two years after taking Wall with the first pick, the Wizards took another SEC star with the third overall selection.
Bradley Beal curled the nets in his single season in Gainesville for the Florida Gators. Beal might have earned a trip to his third consecutive all-star game, but like Wall, a handful of injuries and losses have plagued his 2020 campaign. Ironically, unless as an injury replacement, Beal will not be a member of the 2020 All Star game roster.
The final teams on our list have either parted ways with both their all-star draftees or appear to be soon to do so. Detroit took Khris Middleton in the middle of the second round. Middleton is one of only a handful of players to come out of the developmental league and earn an all-star call.
Earlier in the same 2012 NBA draft, the Pistons snagged another all-star player. Detroit selected University of Connecticut center Andre Drummond with the 9th overall pick. While Middleton was traded in July of his second season, Drummond remains on the Piston's team. However, he is rumored to be available if the price is right.
The Pacers have the distinction of having two all-star draft picks that are no longer in Indianapolis. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are actually with their third teams since being pulled off the draft board by the Pacers.
George was selected 10th overall in the 2010 draft, with Leonard picked the following year at number 15. Indiana does have a current all-star drafted since 2010 in guard Victor Oladipo. The Pacers aren't the only team to have none of their all star draft picks still in town.
There have been more than one eyebrow raised at how the Sacramento Kings front office has handled draft picks. Oddly enough, there may be cause to question what they did with the picks that turned out to be good ones. In back-to-back years, beginning in 2010, the Kings selected future all-star players in the draft.
Both Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins made multiple all-star appearances. Cousins played in the mid-season game as a King, but Thomas made each of his all-star appearances as a member of the Boston Celtics. Neither player is currently on the Sacramento roster.
These are the six teams who have the most NBA Draft selections during the last decade that have turned into all-star caliber players. One set built a championship dynasty, and another is working on The Process of building one. Certain teams no longer have any of their all-star draft picks on the roster.
Some have been used as trading chips in an effort to improve the team, while others have simply left for greener pastures. One thing that's certain, drafting an all-star caliber player isn't necessarily a prescription for a championship. But the Warriors have shown, it can help you get there though.