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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Trevor Ariza
Trevor Ariza (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Trevor Ariza

Trevor Ariza knew his inconceivable jump to the pros was a daring one. However, as the lanky forward looked at his predecessors, he believed he too could follow in their footsteps.

The likes of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, and Tracy McGrady inspired Ariza’s move as a 19-year-old.

Despite his physical tools, there weren’t many teams that were clamoring for Ariza’s services. So, he ultimately waited to hear his name called with the 43rd overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks.

In a worst-case scenario, Ariza played awful during his first few seasons in the league. It wasn’t until he turned 23, that he would eventually find his rhythm and place. With a bit more seasoning, Ariza became known as a 3 and D player. Even now, although he’s used sparingly, he remains a valuable glue guy.