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 Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images) /

3. Kevin McHale, 1980

Slash Line: .554/.261/.798
Career Averages: 17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.7 BPG

Kevin McHale‘s numbers do not match the scoring acumen of others higher on this list of No. 3 picks, but he played with Larry Bird, Robert Parrish and a deep team otherwise for most of his career with the Boston Celtics in the ’80s.

Those teams were elite and difficult to contend with for most of that decade, aside from Magic Johnson‘s Los Angeles Lakers. Bird was the man, but McHale was the ultimate second player, and he was only a starter for four full seasons, remarkably.

McHale’s peak, when he started games, was 26.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 1986-87. It contributed to an NBA Finals loss to the Lakers, but the Minnesota product showed what he could truly do on the basketball court and solidified himself as an all-time big man.

If not for Bird and Parrish, who knows how much better McHale, a terrific defender, would look from his stat line. 25 points and 10 rebounds per game could have been in the cards for years with a bigger role, similar to Manu Ginobili‘s situation with the San Antonio Spurs years later.

McHale still holds up today, someone who played around the same time as New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing. Few No. 3 picks exceed this player, but who does?