The Zion Williamson hype is out of control, and Williamson may well be worth the hype like previous number one picks LeBron James and Tim Duncan. But not every NBA star is a former number one pick, and many unheralded stars were barely even a blip on the radar when they got drafted.
Never has that been clearer than in these 2019 NBA Finals, which feature five of the biggest recent NBA stars that were all unheralded coming out of college. Three other stars from the Conference Finals have far exceeded their college and draft expectations, and two others were a Game 7 away from taking their place.
Let’s count down 15 of the biggest surprise NBA stars who blew away expectations. Who went on to far greater professional heights than anyone ever saw coming in college, and 15 players who fell greatly short of their lofty draft status.