Top 10 NBA Draft Lottery Picks of the Last Decade that Have Been Overlooked

Fact Checked by Washington Erick

The NBA season is currently in progress, with the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics scheduled to start the Finals on Thursday. As the other 28 teams are already planning for the 2024-25 season, one key event on the horizon is the NBA Draft later this month. The draft will have an impact on the odds at Arizona sportsbooks for the upcoming season.

There is little buzz surrounding the upcoming draft due to the lack of exciting talent. The main topic of discussion is which team will select LeBron James’ son. Oddsmakers at Betway Arizona have ranked the Phoenix Suns as the second most likely team to draft him, with odds of +750. The Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites with the shortest odds at +160.

BetArizona suggests that it is possible for some players selected at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to become some of the most overlooked lottery picks.

As we prepare for the upcoming NBA Draft, we delved into the realm of forgotten lottery picks. Utilizing Sporcle.com’s quiz “Can you name the players taken in the lottery during the last 20 NBA drafts?” as our guide, we narrowed our focus to the past ten years to uncover which players have faded from memory.

Also of interest: Who will be the players selected by the Phoenix Suns in the 2024 NBA Draft?

Forgotten Lottery Picks: 10 Players Overlooked Since 2014

Overall Rank

Player

Draft Year

Draft Pick

Team

Percentage of quiz takers who answered correctly.

1

Georgios Papagiannis

2016

13th 

Suns

22.9%

2

Dyson Daniels

2022

8th 

Pelicans

23.9%

3

Noah Vonleh

2014

9th 

Hornets

24.1%

4

Denzel Valentine

2016

14th 

Bulls

25.6%

5

Trey Lyles

2015

12th 

Jazz

27.2%

6

Nik Stauskas 

2014

8th 

Kings

27.6%

7

Thon Maker

2016

10th 

Bucks

27.7%

8

Doug McDermott

2014

11th 

Bulls

28.2%

9

T.J. Warren

2014

14th 

Suns

28.5%

10

Cameron Payne

2015

14th 

Thunder

29.3%

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Which players have the misfortune of being included on the list?

The first 14 picks in the NBA draft, known as “lottery picks,” are chosen through a lottery system to prevent tanking. While being a lottery pick does not guarantee success, some teams are fortunate enough to land a valuable player, while others end up with a player like Georgios Papagiannis.

Some Suns fans may not remember the 7-3 Greek center who was sent to the Sacramento Kings in a trade that also involved Bogdan Bogdanovic and Skal Labissiere, in return for Marquese Chriss, who was the Kings’ eighth pick in the draft.

Despite appearing in only 39 games over two seasons, Papagiannis has thrived in Europe. In 2022, he was named to the All-EuroLeague second team and has won three Greek League championships with Panathinaikos. His averages of 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game do not fully reflect his success overseas.

Phoenix had more success with another player they selected. T.J. Warren, who played his first five seasons with the Suns, was a consistent scorer despite missing games due to injuries. In the 2017-18 season, the 6-8 forward averaged 19.6 points per game, ranking second on the team.

Does Phoenix have a bright future ahead?

Even though the 2024-25 NBA season is not set to begin for another four months, Arizona sports betting operators have already started accepting futures bets for the upcoming season.

Can Phoenix pull off a championship win next season? Check out yengols.com for the most up-to-date Suns odds throughout the offseason.

The featured photo in USA Today was taken by Kim Klement.

Author

Young Orilla

Steve is a highly experienced and award-winning reporter with over 20 years in the field. He has covered a diverse range of topics including gaming, sports, politics, and business, with his work being published in prestigious outlets like the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, and The Center Square. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has focused extensively on the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming-related issues.

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