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There are myriad of reasons why a certain college, high school or foreign player may slip down in the NBA draft and often they do. In the end, they get picked up by teams who never dreamed they would be getting such a fantastic player so late in the draft.
We have a selection of 21 incredible steals – players who were selected way, way too low in the draft and who have had careers that most players picked in front of them hadn’t had. There’s no particular order to this list, so don’t get all riled up if we didn’t rank your favorite player ahead of one you may not like so much.
1. Michael Jordan
Some might argue that putting a guy who was picked at #3 in the draft does not really count as a steal, but considering we are talking about the arguably best player of all time, His Airness Michael Jordan, we simply had to call it a steal.
The first pick in the draft that year was Hakeem Olajuwon who gave the Houston Rockets years of fantastic play, two championships and who also turned out to be one of the best centers ever to play the game. With the second pick of the draft, the Portland Trail Blazers made a mistake by taking Sam Bowie, a big man from the University of Kentucky. They passed on Michael because they already had a fantastic shooting guard in Clyde Drexler.
The Chicago Bulls were set to pick third and they went straight for the University of North Carolina star, Michael Jordan. He gave them 6 championships, innumerable awards and unprecedented popularity. Who knows what the league would have looked like if Trail Blazers hadn’t screwed up that year?