NBA Draft: Top 30 draft steals in league history

Adam Silver, 2019 NBA Draft. Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Adam Silver, 2019 NBA Draft. Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images /
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Tiny Archibald, Boston Celtics
Tiny Archibald, Boston Celtics. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Pick Analysis. Guard. 19th Pick: 1970. Tiny Archibald. 9. player. Scouting Report. 18

Best NBA Draft steals of all time: Tiny Archibald, Boston Celtics

Although his most famous years were spent with the Boston Celtics, Nathaniel “Tiny” Archibald was selected in the second round of the 1970 NBA Draft by the then-Cincinnati Royals.

Archibald was an offensive talent like the league had not seen up until that point. His shiftiness in the open court allowed him to drive to the basket with ease, scoring himself or creating opportunities for his teammates.

Archibald spent two seasons in Cincinnati before playing for the Kansas City/Omaha Kings where he earned his first of six NBA All-Star appearances.

In his first seasons with the Kings, Archibald became the 1972-73 NBA scoring champion (averaging 34.0 points per game) and assist champion (averaging 11.4 assists per game). He is the only player in NBA history to be the league leader in both categories in the same season.

Archibald would later play five seasons with the Celtics. He won his only NBA title with the Celtics in the 1980-81 NBA season alongside Larry Bird.

He ended his 13-year NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Along with the six NBA All-Star selections, Archibald also made the All-NBA team five times and is now part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

It is rare that a player can alter the way basketball is played. With Archibald’s speed, quickness, scoring ability and willingness to pass, he was certainly before his time starring back in the 1970s.