The NBA Draft isn't until Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN), but for much of the year, we've known this class is one of the deepest in recent memory.
Markelle Fultz is the most likely No. 1 pick, but Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk and a host of others could all potentially grow into superstars.
Can this class be the best?
The worst time to answer that question is now, before any of these teenagers have checked into an NBA game.
But we can still know where the bar is set. What would this year's draft class have to do to ascend up the list of the best ever? Let's take a closer look at the best classes ever.
(Note: We only counted NBA titles if the player was a starter/key contributor on a champion and didn't heavily consider Hall of Famers for classes whose members are still too young to qualify. We're largely grading the drafts on first rounds alone and factoring in overlooked talents who bolstered the class in later years.)
By the numbers: Four MVPs, nine titles, 68 All-Star appearances, 30 All-NBA seasons, one Hall of Famer (so far)
This draft narrowly edges out 1984 because of its depth alone. Allen Iverson went first overall from Georgetown and became one of the greatest pure scorers (and volume shooters) the NBA has ever seen, leading the league in scoring four times despite being under six feet tall in an NBA game that was still based around the block and above the rim. Ray Allen went fifth overall and developed into one of the greatest shooters ever. Some high school kid from Philly named Kobe Bryant lasted all the way until the 13th pick and became an all-time great. The first round alone also included two-time MVP Steve Nash at No. 15, Stephon Marbury (No. 4), Antoine Walker, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Marcus Camby, Peja Stojakavic, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jermaine O'Neal.
Late steals: Derek Fisher (No. 24), Ben Wallace (undrafted), Malik Rose (No. 44), Jeff McInnis (No. 37), Chucky Atkins (undrafted)
By the numbers: Seven MVPS, nine titles, 53 All-Star appearances, 39 All-NBA seasons, five Hall of Famers
Yeah, this was the one with MJ. And yes, Sam Bowie and Michael Turpin went in the top five. What this class lacked in depth, it provided in all-time talents. Michael Jordan is still fighting off LeBron James as the greatest player in league history, but No. 1 pick Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley (No. 5) and John Stockton (No. 16) all belong on the list of the NBA's 25 best players ever. Alvin Robertson doesn't have the same name recognition, but he was a four-time All-Star and the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 1986. Otis Thorpe (No. 9) and Kevin Willis (No. 11) had lengthy careers and were All-Stars at least once. The class was a minefield of legends and legendary flameouts, but squeezing that much talent into one draft is rare. You'll see as we continue.
Late steals: Jerome Kersey (No. 46), Ron Anderson (No. 27),
By the numbers: Four MVPs, nine titles, 52 All-Star appearances, 21 All-NBA seasons, no Hall of Famers (yet)
It's already an all-time great class and 14 years later, it's not done. The top five is arguably the greatest ever, despite including Darko Milicic, one of the biggest busts of all-time. LeBron James is gunning for Michael Jordan's spot as the best player in NBA history and teamed up with Nos. 4 and 5--Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh--to win consecutive titles in 2012 and 2013. The No. 3 pick, Carmelo Anthony, is a perennial All-Star who won the scoring title in 2013. The rest of the first round is littered with above average, lasting talents like David West (No. 18), Chris Kaman (No. 6), Kendrick Perkins (No. 27), Kirk Hinrich (No. 7), Leandro Barbosa (No. 28), Nick Collison (No. 12), Dahntay Jones (No. 20) and Josh Howard (No. 29).
Late steals: Mo Williams (No. 47), Kyle Korver (No. 51), Jose Calderon (undrafted), Steve Blake (No. 38), ZaZa Pachulia (No. 42), Matt Bonner (No. 45), Marquis Daniels (undrafted)
By the numbers: Two MVPs, 12 titles, 45 All-Star appearances, 28 All-NBA seasons, five Hall of Famers
The 1985 class lacks the elite greats of the classes above it, but it overwhelmed with players who dominated in their era. Patrick Ewing was the top pick, and like Ewing, Karl Malone (No. 13) is one of the best to ever play his position. Joe Dumars and Chris Mullin are fellow Hall of Famers. Charles Oakley, Detlef Schrempf, Terry Porter and A.C. Green became All-Stars who spent much of their career as far above average players in the league. Bill Wennington (No. 16) was also a contributor in Chicago for the Bulls' second three-peat.
Late steals: Arvydas Sabonis (No. 77), Michael Adams (No. 66), Manute Bol (No. 31), John Williams (No. 45), Mario Elie (No. 160) Gerald Wilkins (No. 47), Spud Webb (No. 87)
By the numbers: One MVP, ten titles, 45 All-Star appearances, 28 All-Star appearances, four Hall of Famers
It was only the league's fourth-ever draft, but it turned out to be a good one. Three Hall of Famers went in the first seven picks, including Celtics great Bob Cousy. Larry Foust was also an eight-time All-Star and went fifth overall. The league was more consolidated in the early era, but the draft stands as an early standout.
Late steals: Bill Sharman (No. 17), Earl Lloyd (No. 108), George King (No. 87)
By the numbers: One MVP, ten titles, 28 All-Star apperances, 15 All-NBA seasons, three Hall of Famers
This year has a case as the deepest draft ever. Busts were few and far between. Twelve of the first 13 players drafted spent at least 10 years in the league, and all but four of the 23 first-rounders scored at least 1,000 points over their career. All-time greats like David Robinson (No. 1), Reggie Miller (No. 11) and Scottie Pippen (No. 5) we all in the top 15. Stars like Kevin Johnson, Horace Grant, and Mark Jackson were also first rounders. So was Reggie Lewis, who was an All-Star in 1992 and a big piece of the future of an aging Celtics franchise before his tragic death in July 1993.
Late steals: Sarunas Marciulionis (No. 127), Kevin Gamble, (No. 63), Winston Garland (No. 40), Vincent Askew (No. 39), Brad Lohaus (No. 45), Donald Royal (No. 52), Chris Dudley (No. 75)
By the numbers: Six MVPs, 11 titles, 35 All-Star appearances, 20 All-NBA seasons, two Hall of Famers
The 1969 class was thin, but it boasted the NBA's all-time leading scorer--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar--at the top and stars like JoJo White, Bingo Smith and Lucius Allen were all in the first 10 picks. All four scored at least 9,000 career points and White became a Hall of Famer. Abdul-Jabbar hogged all six MVPs and six of the titles on this list, but the top-heavy class is still one of the best ever.
Late steals: Bob Dandridge (No. 45), Steve Mix (No. 61), Norm Van Lier (No. 34), Fred Carter (No. 43), Dick Garrett (No. 27)
By the numbers: One MVP, ten titles, 37 All-Star appearances, 23 All-NBA seasons, three Hall of Famers
Three all-time greats in the top six picks give this class its teeth. Triple-double artist Oscar Robertson was the No. 1 pick and The Logo, Jerry West, was the second pick. Lenny Wilkens checked in at No. 6. Satch Sanders bolsters the title count with eight by himself. He spent most of his career as a double-digit scorer during the Celtics' dynasty.
Late steals: Al Attles (No. 39),
By the numbers: Three MVPS, 10 titles, 27 All-Star appearances, 17 All-NBA seasons, one Hall of Famer
Magic Johnson is the only MVP and Hall of Famer in the class, but it was full of perennial All-Stars and above averages talents teams could build around. Sidney Moncrief and Cliff Robinson became stars who were annually among the league's best scorers. Bill Cartwright was a big piece of Chicago's three titles from 1991-93. Seven of the top 12 picks in the draft scored at least 10,000 career points.
Late steals: Bill Laimbeer (No. 65), James Donaldson (No. 73), Mark Eaton (No. 107), Allen Leavell (No. 104), Johnny Moore (No. 43), Geoff Huston (No. 50)
By the numbers: One MVP, ten titles 34 All-Star appearances, 12 All-NBA seasons, three Hall of Famers
The first draft only lasted 18 picks, but if you extend to the first 29 picks, 11 players were eventually All-Stars. No. 1 pick Bill Walton spent his career validating that his selection. He won MVP honors in 1978 but even in 1986, at 34 years old, he was the league's Sixth Man of the Year. The rest of the first round was loaded with stars: Bobby Jones, Keith Wilkes, Scott Wedman, Brian Winters and Maurice Lucas were all in the first 18 picks.
Late steals: George Gervin (No. 40), Mickey Johnson (No. 56) Truck Robinson (No. 22), John Drew (No. 25), Phil Smith (No. 29)