- The 2003 NBA Draft is regarded as one of the best of all time.
- The first fives picks alone produced NBA legends like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade – some of the most successful players in NBA history.
- Like all drafts, it also produced busts who didn’t accomplish much in the NBA and fell out of the league quickly.
- Today, many players are still involved in basketball while some have moved on entirely.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The 2003 NBA Draft remains one of the most legendary drafts in NBA history.
Though it may lack the depth of the classic 1996 Kobe Bryant draft, it was among the most top-heavy we’ve ever seen: LeBron James went first, and the top five picks were rounded out by Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
Of course, like all drafts, it also produced some famous busts, role players, and players who went into other fields after their playing days were over.
See what happened to the top 29 picks of the draft below:
Tony Manfred contributed to this report.
LeBron James was picked No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James is in his 167h season and is still regarded as the best player in the NBA and one of the best players of all time, with four MVPs and three titles. He’s now with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Darko Milicic was picked No. 2 overall by the Detroit Pistons.
Considered one of the biggest draft busts ever, Milicic played for six teams in ten years. He later played overseas, became a kickboxer, and then worked and lived on an apple farm in Serbia.
Carmelo Anthony was picked No. 3 overall by the Denver Nuggets.
A 10-time All-Star, Anthony bounced around after years with the Nuggets and Knicks. After falling out of the NBA, he had a solid comeback season with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Chris Bosh was picked No. 4 overall by the Toronto Raptors.
Bosh’s career took a turn when he was twice diagnosed with blood clots. Bosh attempted to make comebacks, but teams didn’t want to sign him. He gave up on his comeback, and the Heat retired his number in 2019.
Dwyane Wade was picked No. 5 overall by the Miami Heat.
Wade spent 14 of his 16 NBA seasons with the Miami Heat. He retired at the end of the 2018-19 season. He was a 13-time All-Star. He now is a basketball analyst and philanthropist.
Chris Kaman was picked No. 6 overall by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kaman retired from the NBA in 2015-16. He played 13 seasons, making one all-Star team, and made $US86 million. It’s unclear what he does now, but he was inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
Kirk Hinrich was picked No. 7 overall by the Chicago Bulls
Hinrich played 13 seasons in the NBA, 11 of them with the Bulls. He now works with Sanford Power basketball, a training a facility in the midwest.
Source: Argus Leader
TJ Ford was picked No. 8 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ford had to retire in 2012 because of a spinal injury. He now runs basketball camps for Texas high school players.
Michael Sweetney was picked No. 9 overall by the New York Knicks.
He fell out of the league in 2007 after struggling with weight issues. As of 2019 he was an assistant coach at Yeshiva University and an advocate for mental wellness after opening up about his own struggles with depression.
Jarvis Hayes was picked No. 10 overall by the Washington Wizards.
Hayes played seven seasons in the NBA. He is now an assistant coach at Georgia State University.
Source: Jarvis Hayes/Twitter
Mickael Pietrus was picked No. 11 overall by the Golden State Warriors
He was a solid role player around the league for years, last playing in 2013. As of 2015, he was playing internationally. It’s unclear what he does today.
Nick Collison was picked No. 12 overall by the Seattle Sonics.
Collison played for the Sonics/Thunder for his entire career. He announced his retirement in May 2018 and the team retired his jersey in 2019. He now works with the Thunder’s front office.
Marcus Banks was picked No. 13 overall and traded to the Boston Celtics.
Banks played internationally after ten years in the NBA. He has worked as an analyst on NBA TV and played in the Big3. He now runs a basketball academy.
Luke Ridnour was picked No. 14 overall by the Seattle Sonics.
Ridnour retired in 2016 after 12 years in the NBA. He occasionally trains basketball players and works with his son’s basketball team.
Source: Yakima Herald
Reece Gaines was picked No. 15 overall by the Orlando Magic.
Gaines played seven years in the NBA, and is now a coach on the Austin Spurs, the Spurs’ G League affiliate.
Troy Bell was picked No. 16 overall and traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bell only played one season in the NBA. He has since played overseas, most recently in Argentina. He is also an R&B artist.
Source: BC Interruption
Zarko Cabarkapa was picked No. 17 overall by the Phoenix Suns.
He only played three years in the NBA. In 2015, he became the sports director of the Adriatic Basketball Association League.
David West was picked No. 18 overall by the New Orleans Hornets.
West was a two-time All-Star, playing for four teams in 15 years. He retired in 2018.
Sasha Pavlovic was picked No. 19 overall by the Utah Jazz.
After 10 years as a role player in the NBA, he returned to play in Europe. He was cut from the Greek club Panathinaikos in early 2016. As of 2018, he said he was retired and weighing his future.
Dahntay Jones was picked No. 20 overall and traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Jones vounced around the NBA, last playing in 2017. He has since played in the Big 3 and appeared on several networks as an analyst.
Source: Bleacher Report
Boris Diaw was picked No. 21 overall by the Atlanta Hawks.
Diaw played 14 seasons in the NBA, playing a key role in the Spurs’ 2014 championship. He played professionally in France in 2017 and now appears to travel the world.
Zoran Planinic was picked No. 22 overall by the New Jersey Nets.
Planinic went back to Europe in 2006 and was the MVP of the 2012 Eurocup while playing for Russian team BC Khimki Moscow. He most recently played for the Turkish club Efes in 2014. His cousin is Clippers centre Ivica Zubac.
Travis Outlaw was picked No. 23 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.
After seven seasons with the Blazers, Outlaw bounced around the league and eventually fell out in 2014 after being waived by the 76ers. He now hosts basketball camps in Mississippi.
Brian Cook was picked No. 24 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Cook last played in the NBA in 2014. After playing in Japan, Cook played in the Big 3 in 2018.
Carlos Delfino was picked No. 25 overall by the Detroit Pistons.
Delfino last played in the NBA in 2013. He has since played internationally, most recently in Italy, but was cut by the team in 2018 for “almost violent behaviour” with the coach.
Ndudi Ebi was picked No. 26 by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He played two years in the NBA and has played overseas, most recently in France.
Kendrick Perkins was picked No. 27 overall and traded to the Boston Celtics.
Perkins was a successful role player for several teams. He last played on the Cavaliers in 2018. He is now an ESPN analyst.
Leandro Barbosa was picked No. 28 overall and traded to the Phoenix Suns.
Barbosa played 14 years in the NBA, winning Sixth Man of the Year and two championships with the Warriors. He last played with the Suns in 2017, then in Brazil. He officially retired this year.
Josh Howard was picked No. 29 overall by the Dallas Mavericks.
Howard left the NBA in 2013 after an injury-plagued career. He became as head coach of the Piedmont International University basketball team in 2016 and in 2020 was hired as head coach of University of North Texas at Dallas.
Source: Hoop Dirt