Russell Westbrook has blossomed into one of the NBA’s top players. When he first entered the league, he showed the world that he had what it takes to succeed in the NBA.
Westbrook was the fourth pick in the 2008 NBA draft. Let’s take a look at the players selected before him.
Russell Westbrook has put up impressive numbers throughout his career
The Seattle SuperSonics drafted Westbrook in 2008, and then the franchise moved to Oklahoma and became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook put up some good numbers as a rookie. He played in all 82 regular season games, starting in 65 of them and averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.9 rebounds. Westbrook was named to the All-Rookie First Team.
After his rookie season, Westbrook became a full-time starter. He developed into a high-level point guard throughout his career that could do it all on the court. Westbrook is one of the quickest players in the league, and he uses that speed to his advantage. He can get to the rim and finish with contact. In transition, Westbrook is dangerous because he can beat you in so many options.
the past few seasons, Westbrook has put up remarkable numbers. In 2017 he won the MVP award after averaging a triple-double for the first time in his career. He averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. In the next two seasons, he averaged a triple-double, and he was playing some of the best basketball of his career. Westbrook has put up Hall of Fame numbers, and the nine-time NBA All-Star has a lot more left in the tank.
The players selected before Russell Westbrook in the 2008 draft
Three teams decided to pass up on Westbrook in the draft and went a different route selecting who they thought were top players. Here’s a look at the players that went No. 2 and No. 3 during that draft. O.J. Mayo was the third pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was later traded to the Memphis Grizzlies on draft night. Mayo was a highly rated recruit out of high school and college. During his first two seasons, Mayo put up some good numbers. He was selected to the All-Rookie First Team in 2009 after averaging 18.5 points and 3.8 rebounds. Mayo spent eight seasons in the league and is now playing overseas in China.
The No. 2 draft pick was Michael Beasley, who came out of Kansas State. Like Mayo, Beasley was a top recruit out of high school and college. The Miami Heat decided to take Beasley, and during his first year, he was named to the All-Rookie First Team. Beasley has bounced around the league and has even spent time playing overseas. In July of 2020, he signed with the Brooklyn Nets, but his contract was voided when he tested positive for the coronavirus.
The No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA draft
There was no question who the Chicago Bulls were taking with the top pick. They selected the hometown kid in Derrick Rose. Rose had an impressive rookie season, winning the Rookie of the Year award, and two seasons later, he became the youngest player to win the MVP award in 2011.
Rose got off to an impressive start early in his career, and there was no question that he was one of the best players in the game. During the 2012 playoffs, Rose tore his ACL, and he was plagued with injuries after that. Rose finished the 2019-20 season with the Detroit Pistons, where he averaged 18.1 points coming off the bench.
Looking at the 2008 draft class, there’s no question that Russell Westbrook has had the best career out of all the players. Westbrook will finish his career as one of the best point guards ever to play the game.