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Top 5 Youngest Players to be Drafted in NBA

In this article, we look at the top 5 youngest players to be drafted in the NBA. There has been a situation where a chunk of NBA Players has been drafted straight out of high school when the rule was changed post-2005 season.

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Last updated: 26.06.2021
Top 5 Youngest Players to be Drafted in NBA

The NBA Draft Lottery is concluded and it is Detroit Pistons who gets an opportunity to get the No.1 pick in this year's Draft Pick. A well-stacked quality of players is in line from all around the world to make themselves noticed in the NBA.

This is the 1st time when players straight out of the G-League team, Team Ignite would be coming into the Draft Combine alongside players from NCAA and a few prospects from Europe and the African Nations.

There has been a situation where a chunk of NBA Players has been drafted straight out of high school when the rule was changed post-2005 season. A few went down to be the Greatest to Ever play the Game and few went down as Draft Busts who now find themselves out of the league or playing elsewhere but not in the NBA.


1. Andrew Bynum – 18 years 6 days – Los Angeles Lakers



Bynum was selected as the 10th Overall Pick in the 2005 draft where he was not even 18 when he was drafted into the league. The Draft of 2005 was not much stacked and the Lakers were looking for a dominant big man to join forces with Kobe Bryant to fill in the vacant position left by Shaquille O’Neil.

He won 2 championships with the LA Lakers and was an All-Star in 2012 before he left to join the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76’ers, and Indiana Pacers. His career was shortened due to knee injuries and his attitude towards the game.


Career Statistics:

Team

Points

Assists

Rebounds

Blocks

Steals

FG%

LA Lakers

11.7

1.2

7.7

1.6

0.3

55.6

Cleveland

8.4

1.1

5.3

1.2

0.3

41.9

Indiana

11.5

1

9.5

0.5

0

40.9

 

2. Jermaine O’Neal – 18 years 53 days – Portland Trailblazers




Jermaine O’Neal was drafted as the No.17 pick in the 1996 NBA Draft Class who were dominated by Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant to name a few. O’Neal was picked above Laker Legend Derrick Fisher who was 25th in the same draft.

O’Neal had an amazing 18-year-old career where he was 6x NBA All-Star, 1x All-NBA 2nd Team, 2x All-NBA 3rd Team, and 1x Most Improved Player. He played 8 seasons with the Indiana Pacers alongside players like Ron Artest, Brad Miller to name a few.


Career Statistics:

Team

Points

Assists

Rebounds

Blocks

Steals

FG%

Overall

13.2

1.4

7.2

1.8

0.5

46.7

 

O’Neil also played 1 season each for Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.


3. Kobe Bryant – 18 years 72 days – Los Angeles Lakers




One of the Greatest Shooting Guards to play in the NBA. Kobe entered the Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Bryant had a spectacular high-school career with Lower Merion High School where he averaged almost 32 points.

Kobe was the No.13 overall pick by the LA Lakers where he was not even 18 years during his Draft and his parents had to sign his contract to enter the NBA.

Kobe was a 5x NBA Champion, 18x NBA All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 11x All-NBA 1st Team, 9x All-Defensive 1st Team to name a few.


Career Statistics:

Team

Points

Assists

Rebounds

Blocks

Steals

FG%

Overall

25.0

4.7

5.2

0.5

1.2

44.7

 

4. Darko Milicic – 18 years 133 Days – Detroit Pistons




The Serbian Native, Milicic was the No.2 Pick taken up by the Detroit Pistons in the 2003 Draft Class. He was picked over Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

He also became the youngest player to appear in the NBA Finals where the Pistons won the NBA Championship in 2004 against Los Angeles Lakers. He never got enough playing time during his time with the Pistons. He then played for Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, Knicks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He retired from NBA to pursue a kickboxing career.


Career Statistics:

Team

Points

Assists

Rebounds

Blocks

Steals

FG%

Overall

6.0

0.9

4.2

1.3

0.4

46.0

 

 

5. Stan Brown – 18 Years 139 Days – Philadelphia Warriors


Stan Brown was drafted way back in 1946 where he was the youngest player to play in the NBA/BBA. The record was held for 48 years, before Kobe Bryant broke it in 1996.

Brown played just 2 seasons in the BBA/NBA where he averaged 3.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 34 games he played.


Notable Players :

6. Bill Willoughby - 18 years 156 days – Atlanta Hawks

7. Tracy McGrady – 18 years 160 days – Toronto Raptors



8. Yaroslav Korolev -18 years 181 days – Los Angeles Clippers

9. Andris Biedrins -18 years 217 days – Golden State Warriors

10. C J Miles – 18 years 241 days – Utah Jazz

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