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The plight of the No. 1 overall pick

Yao has had trouble staying on the court for the Rockets. But he could be the difference in the West. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's a given that franchises often rest on the fate of No. 1 overall picks, but we've never seen anything quite like this before.

Former overall top choices Yao Ming, Andrew Bogut, Blake Griffin and Greg Oden each hobble into the preseason with injury-related question marks. That's four of the past nine No. 1 picks simultaneously recovering from serious injuries at the dawn of a new season. For some teams, their star's recovery could mean immediate title contention, but for others, a setback could delay their franchise's long-term rebuilding plans yet again.

Let's take a closer look at the shelved stars and how pivotal all the situations are for their respective franchises.