Ranking the best first round NBA picks from Utah schools

The NBA draft is just around the corner and many are expecting University of Utah star guard Delon Wright to get taken in the first round. That gives us just enough time to rank the first round picks who played their college ball in the state of Utah. Since the NBA came about, 19 players from Utah schools have been selected in the first round, including 10 from Utah, seven from BYU and one each from Utah State and Weber State. Of the 19 players, some have had a great deal of success while others have struggled to earn their draft position.

Here is my ranking of the first round picks who played their college ball in Utah.

Note: Rankings are based solely on what each player has done in the NBA.

19. Rafael Araujo, BYU

Araujo was taken with the eighth pick in the 2004 draft by the Toronto Raptors. He lasted just three seasons in the league playing for the Raptors and the Utah Jazz. His best season came as a rookie in Toronto when he appeared in 59 games and averaged 3.3 points on 43.4 percent shooting from the floor with 3.1 rebounds in 12.5 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 2.8 points on 40.5 percent shooting as well as 2.8 rebounds in 139 games (75 starts).

18. Michael Smith, BYU

Smith was taken with the 13th pick in the 1989 draft by the Boston Celtics. He lasted three seasons in the league playing from the Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers. His best season came with Boston as a rookie when he appeared in 65 games and averaged 5.0 points on 47.6 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 9.5 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.0 points on 47.4 percent shooting with 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 141 games (10 starts).

17. Jimmer Fredette, BYU

Fredette was taken with the 10th pick in the 2011 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and traded on draft night to the Sacramento Kings. He has played four seasons in the league with the Kings, Chicago Bulls and the New Orleans Pelicans. His most productive season came with the Kings in 2013-14 when he played in 41 games and averaged 5.9 points on 47.5 percent shooting from the floor, including 49.3 percent from 3-point range. He added 1.5 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 11.3 minutes.

To this point in his career, he has averaged 6.1 points on 41.2 percent shooting from the field, including 38.1 percent from beyond the arc as well as 1.4 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 229 games (seven starts).

16. Greg Kite, BYU

Kite was taken with the 21st pick in the 1983 draft by the Boston Celtics. He played 11 seasons in the league for the Celtics, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers. His most productive season came with the Magic in 1991-91 when he started all 82 games and averaged 4.8 points on 49.1 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 7.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 27.1 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 2.5 points on 43.8 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds in 680 games (225 starts).

15. Shaler Halimon, Utah State

Halimon was selected with the 14th pick in the 1968 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He spent five seasons in the NBA and ABA and played for the 76ers, Chicago Bulls, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Chaparrals. His best season came with the Blazers 1970-71 when he played in 79 games and averaged 8.9 points on 38.7 percent shooting from the field to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 20.6 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 6.2 points on 40 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 254 games.

14. Vern Gardner, Utah

Gardner was the fifth pick in the 1949 BAA draft by the Philadelphia Warriors. He played all three of his seasons with the Warriors with his best year coming as a rookie. That season, he averaged a career-high 13.5 points on 34.2 percent shooting from the floor with 1.9 assists in 63 games.

For his career, he averaged 8.9 points on 34.4 percent shooting to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 151 games.

13. Mike Sojourner, Utah

Sojourner was the 10th pick in the 1974 draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He lasted three seasons with the Hawks and had his best season as a rookie. That season, he averaged 11.7 points on 48.8 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 8.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 73 games.

For his career, he averaged 8.7 points on 48 percent shooting with 6.5 rebounds in 191 games.

12. Michael Doleac, Utah

Doleac was the 12th pick in the 1998 draft by the Orlando Magic. He played 10 seasons in the NBA for the Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves. His most productive season came with the Magic in 1999-200 when he played in 81 games and averaged a career-high 7.0 points on 45.2 percent shooting to go along with 4.1 rebounds in 16.5 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 4.9 points on 43.9 percent shooting with 3.3 rebounds in 587 games (84 starts).

11. Danny Vranes, Utah

Vranes was the fifth pick in the 1981 draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He played seven seasons in the NBA for the SuperSonics and the Philadelphia 76ers. His best season came with Seattle in 1983-84 when he played in 80 games and averaged a career-high 8.4 points on 52.1 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 27.2 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 5.1 points on 49.6 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 510 games (246 starts).

10. Craig Raymond, BYU

Raymond was selected with the 12th pick in the 1967 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He lasted five seasons in the NBA and NBA and played for the 76ers, Pittsburgh Pipers, Los Angeles Stars, Memphis Pros, The Floridians, San Diego Conquistadors and the Indiana Pacers. His best season came with the Stars in 1969-70 when he appeared in 46 games and averaged 15.4 points on 49.1 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 34.1 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 6.9 points on 45.2 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 241 games.

9. Jerry Chambers, Utah

Chambers was the seventh pick in the 1966 draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played six seasons in the NBA and the ABA for the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Buffalo Braves, San Diego Conquistadors and the San Antonio Spurs. His best season came with San Diego in 1972-73 when he appeared in 43 games and averaged 11.9 points on 42.5 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.6 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 8.3 points on 44 percent shooting with 3.2 rebounds in 320 games.

8. Billy McGill, Utah

McGill was taken with the first pick in the 1962 draft by the Chicago Zephyrs. He lasted five seasons in the NBA and ABA while playing for the Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets, New York Knicks, St. Louis Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Stars, Pittsburgh Pipers and the Dallas Chaparrals. His best season came with the Knicks in 1963-64 when he appeared in 68 games and averaged 16 points on 48.7 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.5 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 10.5 points on 51.4 percent shooting with 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 295 games.

7. Shawn Bradley, BYU

Bradley was taken with the second pick in the 1993 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played 12 seasons in the NBA with the 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks. His best season came with the Nets and Mavericks in 1996-97 when he averaged 13.2 points on 44.9 percent shooting to go along with 8.4 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks in 31.3 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 8.1 points on 45.7 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 832 games (484) starts.

6. Andrew Bogut, Utah

Bogut was the first pick in the 2005 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. He has played 10 seasons in the NBA for the Bucks and the Golden State Warriors. His best season came with the Bucks in 2009-10 when he appeared in 69 games and averaged a career-high 15.9 points on 52 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 10.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.8 assists in 32.3 minutes to earn third-team All-NBA.

To this point in his career, he has averaged 10.9 points on 53 percent shooting with 9.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks in 574 games (564 starts).

5. Damian Lillard, Weber State

Lillard was the sixth pick in the 2012 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. He has spent all three seasons with the Trail Blazers and is one of the best young guards in the game today. In just three seasons, he has won rookie of the year, made two all-star games and earned third-team All-NBA in 2013-14. His most productive season came in 2014-15 when he averaged 21 points on 43.4 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 6.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 35.7 minutes.

To this point in his career, he has averaged 20.2 points on 42.9 percent shooting with 6.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 246 games.

4. Keith Van Horn, Utah

Van Horn was the second pick in the 1997 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played nine seasons in the NBA for the New Jersey Nets, 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks. His best season came with the Nets in 1998-99 when he appeared in 42 games and averaged 21.8 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 blocks ans 1.0 steals in 37.5 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 16 points on 44.3 percent shooting with 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 575 games (463 starts).

3. Andre Miller, Utah

Miller was the eighth pick in the 1999 draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has played 16 seasons in the NBA for the Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards and the Sacramento Kings. His best season came with the Cavaliers in 2001-02 when he appeared in 81 games and averaged 16.5 points on 45.4 percent shooting to go along with a career-high 10.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 37.3 minutes.

To this point in his career, he has averaged 12.8 points on 46 percent shooting with 6.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 1,265 games (935 starts).

2. Mel Hutchins, BYU

Hutchins was the second pick in the 1951 draft by the Tri-Cites Blackhawks. He played seven seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Hawks, Fort Wayne Pistons and the New York Knicks. He was a four-time all-star who finished in the top 10 of MVP voting in 1955-56 (fourth) and 1956-57 (eighth). One of his best statistical seasons came with the Hawks in 1952-53 when he averaged 11.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

For his career, he averaged 11.1 points on 38.9 percent shooting to go along with 9.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 437 games.

1. Tom Chambers, Utah

Chambers was the eighth pick in the 1981 draft by the San Diego Clippers. He played 16 seasons in the NBA for the Clippers, Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers. He made four all-star games appearances and earned second-team All-NBA two consecutive years. His best season came with the Suns in 1989-1990 when he played in 81 games and averaged 27.2 points on 50.1 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 37.6 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 18.1 points on 46.8 percent shooting with 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 1,107 games (743 starts).

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