How Important are top 5 picks?
Very Important! or thats what the facts say. every team who has one the NBA title since the start of the lottery has had at least 1 top 5 pick, most have had a top 3 pick.
The World Champion San Antonio Spurs had Tim Duncan(#1 in 97), David Robinson(#1 in 87) Danny Ferry(#2 in 89), Steve Smith(#5 in 90), Los Angeles Lakers have Shaquille Oneal(#1 in 92). the runner-up New Jersey Nets have a host of top 5 picks, including Jason Kidd(#2 in 94), Kenyon Martin(#1 in 2000), and Keith Van Horn(#2 in 97). even the legands like the Bulls who had Micheal Jordan(#3 in 84), and Scottie Pippen(#5 in 87). the Lakers of the 80s, had Magic Johnson(#1 in 79) Kareem Abdul Jabber(#1 in 69), and a lot more.
even as of late, just to advance to the second round you need to have top 5 picks. everyone who advanced last season had at least 1. the season before that the same thing. the last team to make the NBA finals and not have a top 5 pick on their roster was the Utah Jazz who made it in 1997, and 1998. but they lost.
Here is a list of players who have played in the conferance finals since 1999 who where drafted in the top 5