As of 2019, Kawhi Leonard is a two-time Finals MVP and NBA champion. When his career first began, no one projected him to become as dominant as he is today. Superstar Kevin Durant even publically tweeted a response to a fan saying Leonard was better than Paul George: “He doing work like this because of the system. Put Paul George on the Spurs what would happen?” That was in 2014, three years after the draft. Fast forward five years and Leonard took down an injury-riddled Golden State Warriors in the Finals. It’s hard to imagine that these 14 teams passed on the San Diego State prospect in 2011…
Kyrie Irving – #1 Cleveland Cavaliers
One could make the argument that Kyrie Irving maybe didn’t deserve the first selection in the 2011 draft. He missed the majority of his lone season at Duke after a freak injury to his right toe. Still, Cleveland took a chance on the point guard.
David F. Baer of Bleacher Report said: “Irving is a true point guard, an underrated gift in today’s game. He’s a pass-first facilitator who can score when called upon. He’s no D-Rose or Tyreke Evans, he’s not going to take over a game on offense, but the Cavs can build around him.”