Two players from the same team going top 10 in the draft is also quite a feat – it has only been accomplished 26 times in history. Not surprisingly, the North Carolina Tar Heels have had it happen the most to them – five times Heels’ teammates have been snatched by a team in the top 10 in the same season. Ohio State teammates and best friends Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. are poised to add their names to that list this season, as both could very well be gone by the time pick #11 rolls around.
Since we’re dealing with 10s, here is the top 10 list of top 10 draft pick teammates of all time (or something like that).
10) 2004 – Connecticut – Emeka Okafor (pick #2) & Ben Gordon (#3)
It’s still pretty early in their careers to rate these two guys, but after winning the 2004 NCAA championship, Okafor and Gordon haven’t missed a beat and are both all-star caliber talents.
9) 1991 – UNLV – Larry Johnson (#1) & Stacey Augmon (#9)
These two brought more than just cool nicknames to the court (Grandmama and Plastic Man). Sadly a bad back cut LJ’s career short, but before he got hurt he was an All-NBA talent. Augmon brought 15 years worth of tough D and highlight reel dunks to the league. In their two seasons together at UNLV they played in two Final Fours, winning the 1990 title
8) 1998 – Kansas – Raef LaFrentz (#3) & Paul Pierce (#10)
LaFrentz has had a solid, yet injured plagued (missed an average of 24 games/year) career thus far. All Pierce brings is 25, 6 and 4 a night and perennial all-star game appearances.
7) 1995 – North Carolina – Jerry Stackhouse (#3) & Rasheed Wallace (#4)
Members of UNC’s 1995 Final Four squad, these two Tar Heels are aging gracefully. Both are key contributors on two of the League’s top squads and both have multiple all-star appearances on their resumes.
6) 1998 – North Carolina – Antawn Jamison (#4) & Vince Carter (#5)
After two straight Final Four appearances (1997 & 1998), Jamison and Carter took their show to the NBA where they have been all-star players. They are linked not just from being college teammates – the two were traded for each other on draft night and are brother-in-laws.
5) 1979 – Michigan State – Magic Johnson (#1) & Greg Kelser (#4)
You know this is a tough list to crack when Magic ends up only in the #5 spot. The duo left college as champions, beating Larry Bird’s Indiana State gang for the 1979 title. Magic just kept on winning in the NBA and became one of the all-time greats. Injuries cut into Kelser’s productivity but he did last six years in the League.
4) 1969 – UCLA – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#1) & Lucius Allen (#3)
Cap and Allen were teammates on the 1960s UCLA juggernaut (three titles, 88-2 record). Abdul-Jabbar revolutionized the game and is a true all-time great, while Allen had a very solid 10-year career, averaging about 13, 5 and 3 in 702 games.
3) 1984 – North Carolina – Michael Jordan (#3) & Sam Perkins (#4)
Speaking of all-time greats revolutionizing the game, Michael Jordan comes in at spot #3. We all know about Mike, his title-winning jumper as a UNC freshman and his “greatest of all-time” NBA career. On the other hand, Big Smooth Perkins had a very underrated 17-year NBA career after playing in two NCAA title games (1981 and the 1982 championship team).
2) 1962 – Ohio State – Jerry Lucas (#6) & John Havlicek (#9)
These teammates did Perkins one-up, playing in three NCAA title games and winning the 1960 championship. Both are also Hall of Famers, with Lucas making First or Second Team All-NBA five times. Hondo earned the honor 11 times to go along with eight selections to the All-Defensive First or Second Teams.
1) 1956 – San Francisco – Bill Russell (#2) & K.C. Jones (#9)
All these two guys did together was win titles. Two in college (1955 & 1956) while running up a 57-1 record, and eight NBA titles in the nine seasons they played together for the Boston Celtics. And not surprisingly, both are in the Hall of Fame.