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The 2003 NBA draft was one of the deepest draft's ever littered with superstar and star level talent. This reference page contains a detailed breakdown of the 2003 NBA draft.
The 2003 NBA draft was held on June 26, 2003, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The NBA announced that 41 college and high school players and a record 31 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the 2003 NBA draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had a 22.50 percent probability of obtaining the first selection, won the NBA draft lottery on May 22, and Cleveland chairman Gordon Gund said afterward his team would select LeBron James. The Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets were second and third, respectively. This draft was the first draft to be aired on ESPN after they picked up the license from TNT.
The 2003 draft is known for having one of the most talented draft pools in draft history. The draft contained fifteen players who combined for twenty-six championships. Four of the top five picks are NBA All-Stars and "Redeem Team" Olympic Gold Medalists: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James. Many players have been in the starting line-ups of their respective teams; nine have participated in an All-Star Game, Dwyane Wade was named NBA Finals MVP in 2006 and won NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006 as well as the NBA All Star Game MVP in 2010. Boris Diaw won the Most Improved Player Award in 2006, Jason Kapono won the three point shootout back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008, James Jones won the three point shootout in 2011, Leandro Barbosa won the Sixth Man Award in 2007, Kyle Korver set the NBA record for three point shooting percentage in 2010 (53.6%), and in the 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 seasons, LeBron James won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, and the NBA Finals MVP in 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2020. Carmelo Anthony won the 2013 NBA Scoring Title and is the only player in NBA history to win at least three Olympic gold medals. Zaza Pachulia and David West won NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. Matt Bonner won NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 and 2014. Dahntay Jones and Mo Williams won the NBA championship in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Luke Walton won three NBA championships, two as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 and one as an assistant coach with the Warriors in 2015. Chris Bosh left Toronto in 2010 as its all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks, double doubles, free throws made and attempted, and minutes played. The 2003 draft class has drawn comparisons to the 1984 and 1996 NBA draft classes, but is also known for the Detroit Pistons having made the selection of Darko Miličić with the second pick, over other prospects who went on to have much more success in the league. Out of the entire draft, only Nick Collison has played his entire career for the team that drafted him and also retired his number. As of 2021, the only remaining active players from the 2003 draft class are LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
LeBron James was one of the most anticipated first overall draft picks in the history of the sport. He is the second high school draftee to be a first overall pick, the first being Kwame Brown in 2001, and was followed by Dwight Howard in 2004.
Carmelo Anthony was selected 3rd overall by the Denver Nuggets.
Chris Bosh was selected 4th overall by the Toronto Raptors.
Dwyane Wade was selected 5th overall by the Miami Heat.
Chris Kaman was selected 6th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers.
David West was selected 18th overall by the New Orleans Hornets.
Josh Howard was selected 29th overall by the Dallas Mavericks.
Mo Williams was selected 47th overall by the Utah Jazz.
Kyle Korver was selected 51st overall by the New Jersey Nets (traded to the Philadelphia 76ers).
PG Point guard
SG Shooting guard
SF Small forward
PF Power forward
*Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game and All-NBA Team
+Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game
~Denotes player who has been selected as Rookie of the Year
Round Pick Player Position Nationality Team School/Club Team
1 LeBron James*~SF/PF/PG United States Cleveland Cavaliers St. Vincent–St. Mary HS (Akron, Ohio)
2 Darko Miličić C Serbia and Montenegro Detroit Pistons (from Memphis)
3 Carmelo Anthony*SF/PF United States Denver Nuggets Syracuse (Fr.)
4 Chris Bosh*PF/C United States Toronto Raptors Georgia Tech (Fr.)
5 Dwyane Wade*SG United States Miami Heat Marquette (Jr.)
6 Chris Kaman+C Germany Los Angeles Clippers Central Michigan (Jr.)
7 Kirk Hinrich PG United States Chicago Bulls Kansas (Sr.)
8 T. J. Ford PG United States Milwaukee Bucks (from Atlanta) Texas (So.)
9 Michael SweetneyPF United States New York Knicks Georgetown (Jr.)
10 Jarvis Hayes F/G United States Washington Wizards Georgia (Jr.)
11 Mickaël Piétrus G/F France Golden State Warriors Pau-Orthez (France)
12 Nick Collison PF United States Seattle SuperSonics Kansas (Sr.)
13 Marcus Banks PG United StatesMemphis Grizzlies (from Houston, traded to Boston)UNLV
14Luke Ridnour PG United States Seattle SuperSonics (from Milwaukee)Oregon (Jr)
15Reece GainesF/G United States Orlando Magic Louisville (Sr)
16Troy Bell PG United States Boston Celtics (traded to Memphis Boston College (Sr)
17 Žarko Čabarkapa SF Serbia and Montenegro Phoenix Suns Budućnost Podgorica (Serbia and Montenegro and Adriatic League)
18 David West+PF United States New Orleans Hornets Xavier (Sr)
19 Sasha Pavlović F/G Serbia and Montenegro Utah Jazz Budućnost Podgorica (Serbia and Montenegro and Adriatic League)
20 Dahntay Jones SG United States Boston Celtics (from Philadelphia, traded to Memphis)Duke (Sr)
21 Boris Diaw PF France Atlanta Hawks (from Indiana) Pau-Orthez (France)
22 Zoran Planinić G/F Croatia New Jersey Nets Cibona Zagreb (Croatia and Adriatic League)
23 Travis Outlaw SF United States Portland Trail Blazers Starkville HS (Starkville, Mississippi)
24 Brian Cook PF United States Los Angeles Lakers Illinois (Sr)
25 Carlos Delfino SG Argentina Detroit Pistons Skipper Bologna (Italy)
26 Ndudi Ebi SF United Kingdom
Nigeria Minnesota Timberwolves Westbury Christian HS (Houston, Texas)
27 Kendrick Perkins C United States Memphis Grizzlies (from Sacramento via Orlando, traded to Boston) Ozen HS (Beaumont, Texas)
28 Leandro BarbosaSG Brazil San Antonio Spurs (traded to Phoenix) Bauru Tilibra (Brazil)
29 Josh Howard+F/G United States Dallas Mavericks Wake Forest (Sr)
30 Maciej Lampe PF Poland New York Knicks (from Denver) Complutense University of Madrid (Spain)
31 Jason KaponoF/G United States Cleveland Cavaliers UCLA (Sr)
32 Luke Walton SF United States Los Angeles Lakers (from Toronto)Arizona (Sr)
33 Jerome Beasley PF United States Miami Heat North Dakota (Sr)
34 Sofoklis Schortsanitis C Greece Los Angeles Clippers Iraklis BC (Greece)
35 Szymon Szewczyk#PF Poland Milwaukee Bucks (from Memphis) Braunschweig (Germany)
36 Mario Austin PF United States Chicago Bulls Mississippi State (Jr)
37 Travis Hansen SG United States Atlanta Hawks BYU (Sr)
38 Steve Blake PG United States Washington Wizards Maryland (Sr)
39 Slavko Vraneš C Serbia and Montenegro New York Knicks Budućnost Podgorica (Serbia and Montenegro and Adriatic League)
40 Derrick Zimmerman PG United States Golden State Warriors Mississippi State (Sr)
41 Willie Green SG United States Seattle SuperSonics (traded to Philadelphia) Detroit (Sr)
42 Zaza PachuliaPF Georgia Orlando Magic Ülkerspor (Turkey)
43 Keith Bogans SG United States Milwaukee Bucks (traded to Orlando)Kentucky (Sr)
44 Malick Badiane PF Senegal Houston Rockets Langen (Germany)
45 Matt BonnerF United States Chicago Bulls (from Phoenix, traded to Toronto) Florida (Sr)
46 Sani Bečirović SG Slovenia Denver Nuggets (from Boston)[Virtus Bologna (Italy)
47 Mo Williams PG United States Utah Jazz Alabama (So)
48 James Lang C United States New Orleans Hornets Central Park Christian HS (Birmingham, Alabama)
49 James Jones SF United States Indiana Pacers Miami (Florida) (Sr)
50 Paccelis Morlende PG France Philadelphia 76ers (traded to Seattle) (France)
51 Kyle Korver SG United States New Jersey Nets (traded to Philadelphia Creighton (Sr)
52 Remon van de Hare C Netherlands Toronto Raptors (from Los Angeles Lakers) FC Barcelona (Spain)
53 Tommy Smith PF United States Chicago Bulls (from Detroit via Miami) Arizona State (Sr)
54 Nedžad Sinanović C Bosnia and Herzegovina Portland Trail Blazers Brotnjo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
55 Rick Rickert PF United States Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota (So)
56 Brandon Hunter PF United States Boston Celtics (from Sacramento) Ohio (Sr)
57 Xue Yuyang C China Dallas Mavericks (traded to Denver) Hong Kong Flying Dragons (China)
58 Andreas Glyniadakis C Greece Detroit Pistons (from San Antonio)
Jose Calderon is the best known undrafted player from this year. He played over a decade in the NBA for multiple teams.
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