NBA Trivia: 8 Future All-Stars Drafted After Darko Milicic in 2003?
The Memphis Grizzlies had a 6.3-percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, the sixth-best odds after finishing 28-54. If they didn't land the No. 1 pick, their lottery pick was the property of the Detroit Pistons, who acquired the pick (with various protections) six years earlier in the Otis Thorpe deal.
If the Grizzlies missed on LeBron James, they missed on everything.
The Grizzlies missed on LeBron and landed the No. 2 pick, which meant the Carmelo Anthony was going to Detroit ... he thought.
"At that point I was pretty sure I was going to Detroit," Anthony told ESPN in 2013. "I thought I was going to definitely be that No. 2 pick if Cleveland was taking Bron as it looked like."
Anthony was never going to be the No. 2 pick.
"We were like, 'Can you believe this guy just fell into our lap?' " then-Pistons executive Tony Ronzone said of Darko Miličić, the 7-foot Serbian center who'd join a 50-win team playing in the Eastern Conference Finals the week of the lottery.
"Our guys were like, 'Oh my God, look at this guy,' Ronzone added. "One dribble from the foul line, dunk. Lefty hook. Quick feet. He had great lateral quickness for a big. He had spin moves. It was unbelievable. He was a freak athlete at 17. He runs like a deer. He jumps. You were saying, 'Wow.' You could check off everything on the list."
The Pistons didn't waver and selected Miličić with the second pick, allowing Anthony to begin a Hall of Fame career with the Denver Nuggets, where he appeared in four of 10 career NBA All-Star Games.
Anthony is one of eight All-Stars selected after Miličić. Can you name the other seven?
Anthony was the first of four consecutive future All-Stars selected in the 2003 draft. Two of the other three are also future Hall of Famers.
Including Anthony, all eight played college basketball.
One player was traded on draft night.
3. Carmelo Anthony
4. Chris Bosh
5. Dwyane Wade
6. Chris Kaman
18. David West
29. Josh Howard
47. Mo Williams
51. Kyle Korver