Commentary

The plight of the No. 1 overall pick

The Rockets', Blazers', Bucks' and Clippers' seasons rest largely on their ailing top picks

Updated: September 23, 2010, 7:50 AM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | Special to ESPN Insider
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesYao has had trouble staying on the court for the Rockets. But he could be the difference in the West.

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.


To read how Yao Ming, Greg Oden, Andrew Bogut and Blake Griffin are recovering from serious injuries and what kind of an impact they'll have on their respective teams' seasons, you must be an ESPN Insider.