New York Knicks: 10 best No. 3 picks in NBA Draft history

Bulls Michael Jordan (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bulls Michael Jordan (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

5. Dominque Wilkins, 1982

Slash Line: .461/.319/.811
Career Averages: 24.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.6 BPG, 0.7 3PM

The career averages between Carmelo Anthony, James Harden and Dominique Wilkins are staggeringly similar. Three top scorers of their respective generations, but the nod goes to the player already in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 1980s were a boon for the NBA, producing some of the game’s greatest players, teams and rivalries. Among them was Wilkins, who, for a time, sat closer to the top of the No. 3 picks in draft history. He went in the same class as James Worthy, Terry Cummings and Fat Lever.

By 1984-85, his third year, Wilkins elevated into one of the NBA’s best scorers. He had 27.4 points per game at age 25 and topped 30 the season after, playing for quality Atlanta teams — of course, led by him — that made the postseason, but never got over the hump.

Still, Wilkins’ numbers were elite and historic along the way. From 1984-94, he did not average fewer than 25.9 points per game. The Hawks knew what they had each year, leading them to winning seasons throughout the ’80s, until this eventually slowed down and led to a trade with the Clippers.

If not for rough runs with the ’90s Boston Celtics, that one bad Spurs team in 1996-97 and 27 games with Orlando, Wilkins’ career scoring line would be higher. He also spent two of those in-between years overseas.

Wilkins stands as one of the best scorers in NBA history. Modern-day players might push him off this pedestal down the road, but he will always remain one of the top No. 3 picks and a reason for the New York Knicks to find hope in their upcoming draft selection.