The 2008 Draft is probably the best since 2003. A lot can change in the next few seasons, but the superiority of 2008 is already evident. It is very strong up top, and has thus far yielded four All-Stars: Derrick Rose (picked #1), Russell Westbrook (#4), Kevin Love (#5) and Roy Hibbert (#17.)
What is particularly impressive about this draft, besides the three fantastic players in the top five, is its depth: Danilo Gallinari (#6), Eric Gordon (#7), D.J. Augustin (#9), Brook Lopez (#10), Jason Thompson (#12), Robin Lopez (#15), Marreese Speights (#16), Hibbert (#17), JaVale McGee (#18), Ryan Anderson (#21), Courtney Lee (#22), Serge Ibaka (#24), Nicolas Batum (#25) and George Hill (#26) all seem like good value picks for where they were selected in the first round. A number of these players will probably end up having only adequate pro careers, but a few of them could develop into borderline stars given the right situation.
So the first round is impressively deep, and it starts with how great Rose, Westbrook and Love already have been in their young careers. Like 2003, all the best players went in the top five. Michael Beasley (picked #2) was in contention with Rose to be the top pick, and his lack of success has been perplexing. O.J. Mayo, the third pick, just seems to be an overrated prospect when we look back on it.
The second round further amplifies the depth of 2008: Nikola Pekovic (#31), Mario Chalmers (#34), DeAndre Jordan (#35), Omer Asik (#36), Luc Mbah a Moute (#37) and Goran Dragic (#45) were all excellent choices. So we have tremendous depth in this draft to go along with the star power up top. It also is worth mentioning Anthony Morrow, Gary Forbes and Reggie Williams as undrafted players from this year, again proving that adequate players are almost always available even after the last pick.
So 2008 was loaded. A rough approximation of the top ten players from this draft, with their actual pick number in parenthesis:
1.Derrick Rose (1)
2. Kevin Love (5)
3. Russell Westbrook (4)
4. Roy Hibbert (17)
5. Serge Ibaka (24)
6. Ryan Anderson (21)
7. Brook Lopez (10)
8. Eric Gordon (7)
9. JaVale McGee (18)
10. Danilo Gallinari (6)