The Four Best Fourth Picks In NBA History

Jun 22, 2022, 7:30 AM
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Confe...
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

You know what they say: “Lucky number four.”

Wait…that can’t be right.

Well, in the Sacramento Kings’ case, fans and front office executives had better hope that four becomes the lucky number for this struggling franchise during Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

The Kings will select fourth in the draft following the Orlando Magic (first pick), Oklahoma City Thunder (second pick), and Houston Rockets (third pick) as general manager Monte McNair will hope to bring a star talent to Sacramento.

Historically, how many fourth-overall picks have been standout NBA players? Who are the best number-four picks of all time?

Let’s take a look at the four best fourth-overall picks in NBA Draft history:

4. Dave Cowens – C/PF

4th pick by the Boston Celtics in the 1970 NBA Draft

Teams: Boston Celtics (1970-80), Milwaukee Bucks (1982-83)

Career Averages: 17.6 PTS, 13.6 REB, 3.8 AST, 1.1 STL, 44% FG

Career Totals: 11 seasons, 766 games, 86.3 Win Shares


  • Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991
  • 1972-73 MVP
  • 8x All-Star
  • 3x All-NBA
  • 2x NBA Champion
  • 3x All-Defense
  • 1970-71 Rookie of the Year
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

3. Chris Bosh – C/PF

4th pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 2003 NBA Draft

Teams: Toronto Raptors (2003-10), Miami Heat (2010-16)

Career Averages: 19.2 PTS, 8.5 REB, 2.0 AST, 1.0 BLK, 49% FG, 34% 3PT

Career Totals: 13 seasons, 893 games, 106.0 Win Shares


  • 11x All-Star
  • 2006-07 All-NBA
  • 2x NBA Champion
  • 2003-04 All-Rookie
  • Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021

2. Russell Westbrook – PG

4th pick by the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2008 NBA Draft

Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder (2008-19), Houston Rockets (2019-20), Washington Wizards (2020-21), Los Angeles Lakers (2021-present)

Career Averages: 22.8 PTS, 7.4 REB, 8.4 AST, 1.7 STL, 43% FG

Career Totals: 14 seasons, 1,021 games, 106.5 Win Shares, 194 Triple-Doubles


  • 2016-17 MVP
  • 9x All-Star
  • 2x All-Star MVP
  • 9x All-NBA
  • 2x Scoring champion
  • 3x Assist champion
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

1. Chris Paul – PG

4th pick by the New Orleans Hornets in the 2005 NBA Draft

Teams: New Orleans Hornets (2005-11), Los Angeles Clippers (2011-17), Houston Rockets (2017-19), Oklahoma City Thunder (2019-20), Phoenix Suns (2020-present)

Career Averages: 18.1 PTS, 4.5 REB, 9.5 AST, 2.1 STL, 47% FG, 36% 3PT

Career Totals: 17 seasons, 1,155 games, 198.9 Win Shares, Third-most assists in NBA history


  • 12x All-Star
  • 2012-13 All-Star MVP
  • 11x All-NBA
  • 9x All-Defense
  • 6x Steals champion
  • 5x Assists champion
  • 2005-06 Rookie of the Year
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

Other notable players that were drafted at 4th:

  • Dikembe Mutumbo
  • Lamar Odom
  • Antawn Jamison
  • Shaun Livingston
  • Mike Conley
  • Aaron Gordon
  • Kristaps Porzingis
  • Jaren Jackson Jr.
  • De’Andre Hunter
  • Scottie Barnes


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The Four Best Fourth Picks In NBA History