Which First-Round NBA Draft Slots Produce Best Players?

Which First-Round NBA Draft Slots Produce Best Players?
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Toronto Raptors will have the 13th selection when the 2023 NBA Draft takes place June 22 in Brooklyn.

While it may seem like an unlikely Ontario sportsbooks bet that Toronto will pick up a star talent in that spot, few pro sports leagues feature the balance of talent of the NBA Draft.

Between No. 1 picks like Anthony Davis (2012) and later first round picks like Jimmy Butler of Chicago and Miami (30th pick in 2011), there’s plenty of opportunity to land a franchise-changing player, regardless of where you stand in the first round.

Edit Your Bet Options, One Wallet For All Products & Easy Deposits - Registration Code: BETONONT
Visit BetMGM.com for T&Cs. Must be 19+. ON Only . New Customer Offer. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Please Play Responsibly. If you have questions or concerns about your gambling or someone close to you, please contact ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600 to speak to an advisor, free of charge .

Look at two-time regular season and 2023 NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, who has thrived in the league after going to the newly crowned NBA champion Denver Nuggets with the 41st pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.

That serves as a perfect illustration of how teams can land a franchise-altering player at any point. BetMGM Sportsbook Ontario has the Nuggets favored to repeat, while the Raptors are +8000 for the title.

With this year’s draft just a few days away, OntarioBets decided to look at which spot has produced the best talent since 2010. Using Basketball-Reference.com, we gathered the VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) of every NBA first-round draft pick between 2010 and 2022. The VORP was combined to find the best draft spot (over replacement players) instead of averaged due to players being in the NBA for different lengths of time.

Flexible On Parlays, Wide Array Of Futures, High Limits
Must be 21+ to participate. T&Cs apply. Play Responsibly

What Draft Slots Have Produced Best Players?

Rank, Draft Slot Team in Slot in 2023 Draft Combined VORP Top Player Since 2010
1. 1st overall pick San Antonio Spurs 172.9 Anthony Davis (NO, 2012)
2. 3rd overall pick Portland Trail Blazers 146.3 Joel Embiid (PHI, 2014)
3. 15th overall pick Atlanta Hawks 96.8 Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL, 2013)
4. 6th overall pick Orlando Magic 85.0 Damian Lillard (POR, 2012)
5. 9th overall pick Utah Jazz 77.1 Kemba Walker (CHA, 2011)
6. 30th overall pick Los Angeles Clippers 73.9 Jimmy Butler (CHI, 2011)
7. 27th overall pick Charlotte Hornets69.5 Rudy Gobert (UTA, 2013)
8. 11th overall pick Orlando Magic 66.7 Domantas Sabonis (OKC, 2016)
9. 10th overall pick Dallas Mavericks 64.4 Paul George (IND, 2010)
10. 13th overall pick Toronto Raptors 63.9 Donovan Mitchell (UTA, 2017)

Award-Winning Sportsbook with Competitive Betting Lines
Must be 19+ to participate. T&Cs apply. Play Responsibly

What Raptors Can Expect With 13th Pick

While no one is saying Toronto will land the next Donovan Mitchell at No. 13 in 2023, there’s no shortage of talent available to the 2019 NBA champions.

While French sensation Victor Wembanyama is the runaway favorite on Ontario betting apps to be the No. 1 pick, mock drafts have the Raptors landing a variety of college talent. SBNation’s Ricky O’Donnell projects the team to land former Michigan guard Kobe Bufkin, while Sam Vecenie of The Athletic expects Toronto to get Indiana wing Jalen Hood-Schifino.

Either would be a solid replacement option for departing Raptor Fred VanVleet, who is slated to become a free agent this summer, allowing new coach Darko Rajakovic to start fresh in the backcourt.

Regardless of who Toronto winds up taking with the 13th pick, there are plenty of talented players out there for the franchise to choose from as the Raptors look to return to their championship-winning ways.

Offers International Sports Markets, Low Wagering Requirements, Allows For Displaying Odds in Different Formats
19+. Ontario Only. Please play responsibly. If you have questions or concerns about your gambling or someone close to you, please contact ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600


Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan is a writer at OntarioBets.com. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as: