Who was the best #43 pick in NBA Draft history?

Michael Redd (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Michael Redd (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Paul George flashed a bright and effervescent smile as he held up his LA Clippers uniform during a press conference in 2019. George had successfully been plucked from the doldrums of Oklahoma and brought to the sunny skies of LA where the expectations were at an all-time high.

Although for the past three seasons, George has mostly held up his side of the bargain, the price of snagging the multiple-time All-Star will be paid tonight.

Officially, with George coming onboard, LA was forced to give up a treasure trove of draft picks, leaving them with only a second-round pick, 43rd overall, at their disposal. While the likelihood of finding a true contributor on a championship-contending team with such a low draft pick is unlikely, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

Throughout NBA history, the number 43 pick has brought several franchises otherworldly talents. As LA continues to scour over countless pre-draft game tapes, we’ve done some research of our own. With LA clutching their 43rd selection tightly, who were some of the most notable names selected with that pick? Keep reading to find out.

Marcus Thornton

During his college days, Marcus Thornton raced down the court, looked off his college teammates, and proceeded to light up the scoreboards. In three consecutive seasons, Thornton averaged no less than 18.7 points per game. In his final season at William & Mary, Thornton poured in 20 points a night.

Although destined to be a scorer, Thornton’s 6’4” frame made it unfathomable for NBA scouts to believe that he would be suited to play the shooting guard position.

On a whim, Thornton was taken with the 43rd overall pick in the 2009 draft. He was immediately thrown into the fire as a member of the Hornets, given roughly 25 minutes a night. Despite putting heavy expectations on his plate, Thornton responded well, averaging 14.5 points per game.

Throughout his time in the league, Thornton was very much a mercenary, offering his services to countless underachieving ball clubs. Although Thornton continued to score, he seldom played on a winning team. In fact, only once did Thornton participate in postseason play, proving that while he was terrific at putting the ball in the hole, he spent the majority of his career playing in basketball purgatory.