Top 5 NBA prospects of all time

Yusuf Ali, Staff Writer

Every year before the upcoming season, the National Basketball Association (NBA) holds the annual NBA Draft. Hundreds of college and professional prospects show up and compete to be the first overall pick. However, not all prospects live up to their expectations. Here are my top five NBA prospects of all time based on the hype they received. 

#5: Hakeem Olajuwon (1984)

Hakeem Olajuwon entered the league with a lot of expectations. Standing at 7 feet tall, his combination of size, athleticism and skill made him an excellent prospect. He attended the University of Houston where he improved his skills, demonstrating his great work ethic. As his college career progressed, Olajuwon’s dominance on the court made him one of the greatest prospects. He was taken with the number-one overall pick in a draft that included legendary basketball player Michael Jordan. 

#4: Zion Williamson (2019)

Zion Williamson was one of the most hyped-up prospects of all time. At 6 feet 6 inches tall and 280 pounds, Williamson’s impressive athleticism and explosive strength were unparalleled. During the one year Williamson spent at Duke University, he attacked the rim of the hoop at a high level and showed off his flashy dunks. Williamson’s freakish athleticism and size caused so much excitement among NBA fans.

#3: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was an absolute star in high school. Sixty colleges were recruiting Abdul-Jabbar before he ultimately committed to the University of Los Angeles (UCLA). At UCLA, he led the Bruins to three consecutive National Championships. Abdul-Jabbar dominated both at the high school level and college level. Abdul-Jabbar lived up to the expectations by finishing his NBA career as one of the greatest of all time. 

#2: Victor Wembanyama (2023)

Victor Wembanyama from France has taken over the basketball world. Standing at an impressive 7 feet 5 inches, he is one of the most intriguing prospects. He has the potential to be one of the greatest players of all time. Along with his height, Wembanyama can handle and shoot the ball at an extremely high level; he is also very athletic, allowing him to make impressive plays. After dominating the French league, he is the consensus number-one pick in this year’s NBA draft to the Spurs and has a bright future.

#1: LeBron James (2003)

LeBron James was known as the “Chosen One” from a young age. His athleticism, skill and basketball IQ were impressive since he was a teen, making him the greatest prospect of all time. He dominated high school level basketball where his scoring, rebounding and playmaking skills were unprecedented. Skipping college, he entered the NBA and was selected first overall in a great draft class. Despite all of the expectations put on LeBron, he easily surpassed them.