Power Forward, Round 1, Pick 30 in 2005
David Lee’s inclusion on this list is as much about the value received from the pick at which he was selected as it is his contributions on the court. Lee came off the board with the final selection in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft, which led many to the belief that he was a fringe player.
While the New York Knicks never managed to make the playoffs with Lee on the roster, he was a fan favorite and an All-Star during his tenure.
Lee was utilized sporadically as a rookie, but he quickly developed into a double-double machine. He averaged 10.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in his second NBA season, and upped the ante to 16.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per contest in year four.
It was in his fifth and final season in New York, however, that Lee made his first career All-Star Game appearance with a truly memorable showing.
Lee averaged 20.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.0 steal per game during the 2009-10 campaign. In turn, he became the sixth player in franchise history to average at least 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds during a single season.
More important than any numbers or accolades, however, was the manner in which Lee endeared himself to Knicks fans with his relentless work ethic.