Path to the Draft: Top 10 from the ACC

June, 20, 2013
6/20/13
11:15
AM ET
No college basketball conference in the country is currently as well-represented in the NBA as the ACC -- especially when it comes to elite talent. All 10 of the ACC's top NBA players in the modern draft era were on a pro roster in 2012-13.

Here’s a look at the ACC products who have enjoyed the most successful NBA careers since 1989, the year the draft was whittled down to two rounds.

[+] EnlargeTim Duncan
US PresswireNearing the end of his career, Wake Forest's Tim Duncan has been one of the ACC's top players in the NBA.
1. Tim Duncan, Wake Forest -- The 37-year-old legend, who is likely nearing retirement, will almost certainly be remembered as one of the top 10 players of all time -- and possibly the greatest power forward ever. Duncan has spent his entire 16-year career with San Antonio. He’s led the Spurs to four NBA titles (and it could be five by Thursday night) and was named to the All-NBA and All-Defensive team in each of his first 13 seasons. Duncan has averaged 20.2 points and 11.2 rebounds in the regular season and 21.9 points and 12 rebounds in the playoffs. He was named NBA MVP in 2002 and 2003.

2. Chris Paul, Wake Forest -- Paul is arguably the top point guard in the NBA. He’s a three-time first team all-NBA selection (2008, 2012, 2013) and a six-time All-Star. Paul is averaging 18.6 points and 9.8 assists for his career along with 2.4 steals. He’s been named to the All-Defensive first team each of the past two seasons and won gold medals with the United States Olympic team in 2008 and 2012. Paul led the once-lowly Los Angeles Clippers to the playoffs in 2012 and 2013.

3. Vince Carter, North Carolina -- Carter has averaged 20.8 points and five rebounds across 15 NBA seasons. He has spent time with five teams: Toronto, New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix and Dallas. His leaping and dunking ability has made him one of the most popular players in the NBA, as he's joined Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Julius Erving as the only players to lead the All-Star fan voting more than three times. Carter is an eight-time All-Star, with his best season coming in 2001, when he averaged a career-high 27.6 points.

4. Grant Hill, Duke -- Hill retired this month after 18 years of NBA service. He averaged 16.7 points, six rebounds and 4.1 assists in 1,026 career games. Hill was the 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year, a seven-time All-Star and a five-team all-league selection. Hill averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists in his first six seasons with the Detroit Pistons, but his next 12 years in the NBA were injury-plagued. Hill was a member of the 1996 Olympic team.

5. Chris Bosh, Georgia Tech -- As a member of the “Big Three” along with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Bosh has helped spark Miami to the NBA Finals in three straight seasons. The Heat won the title in 2012 and are one win away from a repeat in 2013. Before that, Bosh was a standout forward for the Toronto Raptors from 2003-2010. He averaged more than 22 points for five straight seasons with the Raptors. In 2009-10, he posted career-high averages in points (24.0) and rebounds (10.8).

6. Antawn Jamison, North Carolina -- The fourth overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft has averaged 18.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 15 NBA seasons. He was the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2004 and made the All-Star team in 2005 and 2008. He’s averaging 17.2 points in 46 playoff games. Jamison’s best season came in 2000-01, when he averaged a career-high 24.9 points and 8.7 rebounds for Golden State. He spent five seasons with the Warriors and has also played for Dallas, Washington, Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers.

7. Elton Brand, Duke -- Although he has tapered off in recent years, Brand was one of the NBA’s top post players in the early-to-mid-2000s. He averaged 20 or more points in five of his first eight seasons. His best performance came in 2005-06, when he averaged 24.7 points and 10 rebounds. Brand earned second-team All-NBA honors that season and was also selected to the All-Star Game. He has averaged less than 14 points in each of his past five seasons. He scored just 7.2 points per game for Dallas in 2012-13.

8. Carlos Boozer, Duke -- Boozer has averaged more than 15 points in each of the past 10 seasons and boasts career averages of 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds. A two-time All-Star, Boozer was named third-team All-NBA in 2008 after scoring a career-high 21.1 points per contest. Boozer has averaged 17.8 points and 11.3 rebounds in 76 playoff games with the Jazz and Bulls. He played for the Olympic team in 2004 and 2008. Not bad for a player who was selected in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft.

9. Jerry Stackhouse, North Carolina -- Stackhouse has averaged less than nine points per game in each of his past five seasons, but that shouldn’t diminish his overall accomplishments in a standout career. He averaged a career-high 29.8 points for the Pistons in 2000-01 and set a franchise record by scoring 57 points in one game. Knee problems began to hamper Stackhouse a few years later. He hasn’t averaged more than 29 minutes per game since 2003, but still boasts a career scoring average of 16.9 PPG.

10. Rasheed Wallace, North Carolina -- Wallace announced his retirement in April after 16 seasons. He averaged 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds during that span. His best season came in 2001-02, when he posted career-highs in both points (19.3) and rebounds (8.2). A four-time NBA All-Star, Wallace appeared in 177 playoff games and averaged 13.5 points and 6.3 boards -- helping the Pistons win the 2004 NBA title. He was the fourth overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft.

Ten more notables: All of these players have excelled in the NBA, including a few who almost cracked the top 10 (names in alphabetical order).

Kenny Anderson, Georgia Tech
Shane Battier, Duke
Sam Cassell, Florida State
Luol Deng, Duke
Raymond Felton, North Carolina
Steve Francis, Maryland
Tom Gugliotta, North Carolina State
Josh Howard, Wake Forest
Corey Maggette, Duke
Stephon Marbury, Georgia Tech

Too soon to tell: These guys haven’t been in the league long enough to make the top 10, but all appear to have bright futures (names in alphabetical order).

Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
Ed Davis, North Carolina
Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
John Henson, North Carolina
Kyrie Irving, Duke
Austin Rivers, Duke
Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech
Kyle Singler, Duke
Tyler Zeller, North Carolina

*Note: Of the 30 names on these lists, nine are from North Carolina, nine are from Duke, five are from Georgia Tech and four are from Wake Forest. Maryland, North Carolina State and Florida State have one representative each.

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