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The Top 20 HS to NBA Players

I've had a crazy obsession since Jr HS with high school players jumping from HS to the NBA. I even wrote a paper on Kendrick Perkins in 8th grade (Got an A) on why he benefits from going pro instead of playing college basketball. So I'm dropping my top 20 players who went from HS to the NBA.


Some Notes

  • Moses Malone was drafted from HS to ABA in 1974 Utah Stars (On list)

  • Shawn Kemp enrolled in college but didn't play (not on the list)

  • 1st two players drafted from HS to NBA were Darryl Dawkins #5 pick by the 76ers in 1975 and Bill Willoughby in 2nd Rd #19 by the Hawks in the same year.

  • HS players not in the draft after the 05 draft (Amir Johnson #56 in 05 last HS player picked)


  1. LeBron James #1 pick Cleveland Cavaliers 2003 St Vincents St Marys

Cleveland Cavaliers (2003-10, 2014-18) Miami Heat (2010-14) Los Angeles Lakers (2018-present)

  • 2007-08 Scoring Champ

  • 2019-20 AST Champ

  • 4x NBA Champ

  • 18x All-NBA

  • 2003-04 All-Rookie

  • 2003-04 ROY

  • 3x AS MVP

  • 6x All-Defensive

  • 4x MVP

  • 4x Finals MVP

  • NBA 75th Team

  • 18x All-Star


2. Kobe Bryant #13 pick Charlotte Hornets 1996 Lower Merion

Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2016)

  • Hall of Fame 2020

  • 18x All-Star

  • 2x Scoring Champ

  • 5x NBA Champ

  • 15x All-NBA

  • 1996-97 All-Rookie

  • 12x All-Defensive

  • 4x AS MVP

  • 2007-08 MVP

  • 2x Finals MVP

  • NBA 75th Team

  • 2018 Oscar Winner




3. Moses Malone RD3 #22 pick Utah Stars ABA 1974 Petersburg

Utah Stars (1974-75) Spirits of St. Louis (1975-76) Buffalo Braves (1976) Houston Rockets (1976-82) Philadelphia 76ers (1982-86, 1993-94) Washington Bullets (1986-88) Atlanta Hawks (1988-91) Milwaukee Bucks (1991-93) San Antonio Spurs (1994-95)

  • Hall of Fame 2001

  • 13x All-Star

  • 6x TRB Champ

  • 1983 NBA Champ

  • 8x All-NBA

  • 1974-75 All-Rookie

  • 2x All-Defensive

  • 3x MVP

  • 1982-83 Finals MVP

  • ABA All-Time Team

  • NBA 75th Team


4. Kevin Garnett #5 pick Minnesota Timberwolves 1995 Farragut Academy

Minnesota Timberwolves (1995-2007, 2015-16) Boston Celtics (2007-13) Brooklyn Nets (2013-15)

  • 15x All-Star

  • 4x TRB Champ

  • 2008 NBA Champ

  • 9x All-NBA

  • 1995-96 All-Rookie

  • 12x All-Defensive

  • 2002-03 AS MVP

  • 2003-04 MVP

  • 2007-08 Def. POY

  • NBA 75th Team

  • Hall of Fame 2020


5. Dwight Howard #1 pick Orlando Magic 2004 Southwest Christian Academy

Orlando Magic (2004-12) Los Angeles Lakers (2012-13, 2019-2020, 2021-2022) Houston Rockets (2013-16) Atlanta Hawks (2016-17) Charlotte Hornets (2017-18) Washington Wizards (2018) Philadelphia 76ers (2020-2021)

  • 8x All-Star

  • 5x TRB Champ

  • 2x BLK Champ

  • 2020 NBA Champ

  • 8x All-NBA

  • 2004-05 All-Rookie

  • 5x All-Defensive

  • 3x Def. POY



6. Tracy McGrady #9 pick Toronto Raptors 1997 Mt Zion Christian Academy

Toronto Raptors (1997-2000) Orlando Magic (2000-04) Houston Rockets (2004-10) New York Knicks (2010) Detroit Pistons (2010-11) Atlanta Hawks (2011-12) San Antonio Spurs (2013)

  • Hall of Fame 2017

  • 7x All-Star

  • 2x Scoring Champ

  • 7x All-NBA

  • 2000-01 Most Improved


































7. Jermaine O’Neal #17 pick Portland Trailblazers 1996 Eau Claire

Portland Trailblazers (1996-2000), Indiana Pacers (2000-08), Toronto Raptors (2008-09), Miami Heat (2009-10), Boston Celtics (2010-12), Phoenix Suns (2012-13), Golden State Warriors (2013-14)

  • 6x All-Star

  • 3x All-NBA

  • 2001-02 Most Improved


8. Amar'e Stoudemire #9 pick Pheonix Suns 2002 Cypress Creek

Phoenix Suns (2002-10) New York Knicks (2010-15) Dallas Mavericks (2015) Miami Heat (2015-16)

  • 6x All-Star

  • 5x All-NBA

  • 2002-03 All-Rookie

  • 2002-03 ROY


9. Tyson Chandler #2 pick LA Clippers 2001 Dominguez

Chicago Bulls (2001-06) New Orleans Hornets (2006-09) Charlotte Bobcats (2009-10) Dallas Mavericks (2010-11 2014-15), New York Knicks (2011-14) Phoenix Suns (2015-18) Los Angeles Lakers (2018-19) Houston Rockets (2019-2020)

  • 1x All-Star

  • 2011 NBA Champ

  • 2011-12 All-NBA

  • 3x All-Defensive

  • 2011-12 Def. POY




10. Lou Williams RD2 #45 pick 2005 Philadelphia 76ers South Gwinnett

Philadelphia 76ers (2005-12) Atlanta Hawks (2012-14, 2020-22) Toronto Raptors (2014-15), Los Angeles Lakers (2015-17) Houston Rockets (2017) Los Angeles Clippers (2017-21)

  • 3x Sixth Man


11. J.R Smith #18 pick Denver Nuggets 2004 St. Benedict’s Prep

New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2004-06) Denver Nuggets (2006-11) New York Knicks (2012-15) Cleveland Cavaliers (2015-19) LA Lakers (2019-20)

  • 2012-13 Sixth Man

  • 2x NBA Champ


12. Rashard Lewis Rd2 #32 pick Seattle Supersonics 1998 Alief Elsik

Seattle SuperSonics (1998-2007) Orlando Magic (2007-10) Washington Wizards (2010-12) Miami Heat (2012-14)

  • 2013 NBA Champ

  • 2x All-Star


13. Monta Ellis Rd2 #40 pick Golden St Warriors 2005 Lanier

Golden State Warriors (2005-12) Milwaukee Bucks (2012-13) Dallas Mavericks (2013-15) Indiana Pacers (2015-17)

  • 2006-07 Most Improved


14. AL Jefferson #15 pick Boston Celtics 2004 Prentiss

Boston Celtics (2004-07) Minnesota Timberwolves (2007-10) Utah Jazz (2010-13) Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (2013-16) Indiana Pacers (2016-18)

  • 2004-05 All-Rookie

  • 2013-14 All-NBA


15. Kendrick Perkins #27 pick Memphis Grizzlies 2003 Clifton J. Ozen

Boston Celtics (2003-11) Oklahoma City Thunder (2011-15) Cleveland Cavaliers (2015, 2018) New Orleans Pelicans (2015-16)

  • 2008 NBA Champ































16. Al Harrington #25 pick Indiana Pacers 1998 St Patricks

Indiana Pacers (1998-2004, 2006-07), Atlanta Hawks (2004-06), Golden State Warriors (2007-08) New York Knicks (2008-10) Denver Nuggets (2010-12) Orlando Magic (2012-13) Washington Wizards (2013-14)



17. Josh Smith #17 pick Atlanta Hawks 2004 Oak Hill Academy

Atlanta Hawks (2004-13) Detroit Pistons (2013-14) Houston Rockets (2014-15, 2016), Los Angeles Clippers (2015-16) New Orleans Pelicans (2017)

  • 2004-05 All-Rookie

  • 2009-10 All-Defensive


18. Darryl Dawkins #5 pick Philadelphia 76ers 1975 Maynard Evans

Philadelphia 76ers (1975-82) New Jersey Nets (1982-87) Utah Jazz (1987) Detroit Pistons (1987-89)



19. Shaun Livingston #4 pick LA Clippers 2004 Peoria Central

Los Angeles Clippers (2004-08) Miami Heat (2008-09) Oklahoma City Thunder (2009) Washington Wizards (2010, 2012) Charlotte Bobcats (2010-11) Milwaukee Bucks (2011-12) Cleveland Cavaliers (2012-13) Brooklyn Nets (2013-14) Golden State Warriors (2014-19)

  • 3x NBA Champ


20. Andrew Bynum #10 pick LA Lakers 2005 St. Joseph

Los Angeles Lakers (2005-12) Philadelphia 76ers (2012-13) Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-14) Indiana Pacers (2014)

  • 1x All-Star

  • 2x NBA Champ

  • 2011-12 All-NBA


5 who missed the top 20

  1. Darius Miles #3 pick 2000 (Por)

  2. Eddy Curry #4 2001 (Chi)

  3. DeShawn Stevenson #23 (Utah)

  4. Gerald Green #18 (Bos)

  5. Andray Blatche Rd2 #49 (Wash)


Greatest HS to NBA player ever?

  • 0%Kobe

  • 0%LeBron

  • 0%KG

  • 0%Other













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