Stephen Curry, the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, has turned into a superstar. What about the six players drafted ahead of him?
Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry, who's won two NBA MVP awards and one NBA Finals trophy, has become a household name. But coming out of college, he wasn't the obvious choice as the No. 1 player in his class. In fact, he wasn't drafted until No. 7 overall.
Where are the six players drafted ahead of him? Let's take a look. Some are still thriving in the NBA. Some were total busts.
1. Blake Griffin - Griffin, who was taken by the Los Angeles Clippers, is a five-time NBA All-Star, and though he missed his first season due to injury, he won the Rookie of the Year award in 2011. Though Griffin hasn't won an NBA title yet, he's been a serviceable No. 1 overall selection. The biggest knock? He gets hurt a lot. The big question is whether he'll be with the Clippers next year.
2. Hasheem Thabeet - Thabeet, drafted No. 2 overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, was a 7-foot-3 monster from UConn, and most experts thought his raw athleticism and shot-blocking ability would at least be enough for him to be a defensive presence in the NBA. But by early 2010, Thabeet had already been sent down to the D-League. He bounced around the next five years, spending time with the Grizzlies, Rockets, Blazers, Thunder, 76ers and Pistons. He now plays in the Philippines. He's considered one of the biggest busts in recent NBA history.
3. James Harden - Harden is a superstar in his own right, and it's possible he'll be the winner of this year's NBA MVP award. Harden was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and in 2012, he signed with the Houston Rockets. He's been an All-Star five times. Harden is probably the only player you could make an argument for at No. 1 over Curry. He played at Arizona State for one year. He also has the best beard in the league.
4. Tyreke Evans - Evans, out of Memphis, was taken No. 4 overall by the Sacramento Kings, and for a bit, it looked like he was going to be the best player in the class. Evans won Rookie of the Year in 2010, averaging 20.1 points per game for the Kings at just 21 years old. But Evans' productivity declined over the years. He was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013 and he's since headed back to Sacramento. He's been injury-prone the past few years, so he's never really gotten back to where he was as a rookie.
5. Ricky Rubio - Rubio was taken No. 5 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and while he's been a decent NBA player, he hasn't turned into the superstar that fans had hoped. Rubio, a product of Spain, has struggled to become a good shooter. In fact, in his six years in the league, he's shot just 37.5% from the floor. Rubio likely won't be in Minnesota much longer.
6. Jonny Flynn - Flynn was a star at Syracuse, and when the Timberwolves drafted him No. 6 overall, most believed he'd use his speed and quickness to become a solid NBA guard. Flynn had a decent rookie season, averaging 13.5 points and 4.4 assists per game. But in the summer of 2010, he had hip surgery and seemingly never recovered to be the player he once was. He was traded to the Rockets in 2011 and later played for the Blazers. His last action appears to have been in Italy back in 2014.
Flynn, the player taken directly before Curry, turned out to be a bust. The Timberwolves passed on Curry twice.
Which player could be this year's Stephen Curry? The NBA Draft is just a few weeks away.