5. Markelle Fultz (2017):
Don’t let hindsight fool you on this one. In the weeks and months leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft, you couldn’t find anyone who thought Markelle Fultz was not only both the best player in the draft, but a guaranteed star in the making. The idea of a team taking someone like Lonzo Ball (the #2 overall pick) or even Jayson Tatum (the #3 overall pick) was almost unfathomable at the time, even as he did little more than earn style points while his University of Washington team endured a miserable season during Fultz’ one year of college hoops.
While people will tell you that Boston Celtics’ General Manager Danny Ainge saw something about Fultz that made him trade out of the #1 overall pick, that’s probably true to a large extent, but Ainge probably also saw an opportunity to select another player whom the Celtics loved (Tatum) while further stocking his war chest of assets.