The Biggest NBA Draft Steals of the Past 10 Years

There’s always oodles of uncertainty heading into the NBA draft.

It’s difficult to gauge whether a player’s performance in college or overseas will transfer to the top league in the world, and it’s near impossible to know exactly how much room for improvement a given player has.

Draftees will ultimately fall into the following three categories: busts, players who met expectations and steals.

Today, we’ll be looking at draft steals from the past 10 years, particularly the 10 guys who have outperformed expectations of their draft position by the widest margin. These non-lottery picks drafted between 2005 and 2014 would certainly crack the top 14 selections in a re-draft of their year’s class.

We’ll be using a mixture of subjective player evaluation and numbers, win shares in particular, to guide our search for the biggest draft steal of the past 10 years. Potential will also be a factor, especially for more recent draftees.

Under each player’s name, his total career win shares will be listed, along with how he ranks in the statistic among players drafted in the same year. The player’s expected win shares will also be listed, which will indicate how many win shares that player would be expected to produce if he merely lived up to his draft position.

For example, if John Davis was drafted 20th but ranks first in his draft class in win shares, his expected win shares would be the win shares total of the player who ranked 20th in Davis’ class in that stat.

Without further ado, let’s get going!

All statistics are from Basketball-Reference.comNBA.com and ESPN.com (including ESPN’s Hollinger Stats) and updated through June 23 unless otherwise indicated.

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