Biggest Draft Bust for every NBA Team

Eduardo Monk, Jr.

 

Hold on everybody, we have nearly entered that absolute nothing stage of the year for sports. With the NBA and NHL playoffs reaching conference finals state and only giving us a single game or two a day for the next 3 weeks and then disappearing completely and the forsaken MLB season have already worn out it’s welcome, fans and journalists alike are being given little to do in our beloved world of professional athletics.

 

So what do us as fans get to do besides snore through another uncompetitive NBA conference finals or gawk at small hockey markets duke it out on the massive conference finals stage?

 

How bout we talk draft busts?

 


This isn’t your usual top 10 worst draft busts of all time WatchMojo type list, no, no, no, no my friend. Today, we look at the worst draft bust per team. Yes, today fellow reader, we both get to laugh at 30 separate busts from every team in the league. Until we get to your team obviously. Then I laugh more.

 

OKAY enough cringey jokes, let’s hop to it.

 

Oh yeah, and I will be excluding anyone who was a bust due to injury. I accept no excuses for suckiness.

 

Atlanta Hawks

Bust:Jon Koncak (C Southern Methodist)

Pick: R1, P5, 1985

Career stats: 4.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists

The best busts are always the players taken before great players and still suck. This was the for case for Mr.Jon Koncak. His greatest career highlight was being drafted before Karl Malone and Chris Mullin. Oh yeah, also getting paid 13 million over 6 years in 1989. Which at the time was more than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. He averaged 4.7 points a game at the time. Oh well. At least this man gave us Shaquille O’Neal.

 

Boston Celtics

Bust:Kedrick Brown (SF Northwest Florida State)

Pick: R1, P11, 2001

Career Stats: 3.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, .7 assists

The most impressive part of this mans career is not getting fired before he reached triple digits games played with Boston. This pick was mere months before the Celtics blasted off and became heavy contenders in the East. Just think how good that 2008 squad would be if they took Zach Randolph or Tony Parker. At least they drafted future all-star Joe Johnson that same year. OH WAIT…

 

Brooklyn Nets

Bust:Ed O’Bannon (PF UCLA)

Pick:R1, P9, 1995

Career Stats: 5 points, 2.5 rebounds, .8 assists

Ohhhhh the Nets gave me a lot of choices here. Their drafting has just been laughable at best since like 1993. But in the end, it had to be this poor soul. After leading the 1995 UCLA team to a National Championship win and earning Most Outstanding Player in that tournament, he seemed to be a lock for at least a solid NBA career. HA HA HA nope, he flunked out of the already-pathetic Nets in less than 2 seasons. Some blame the knees, but in all actuality he was homesick. I am not even kidding you, this man was a top 10 pick in a draft with Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace and was an absolute bust because he missed home. I don’t think anything gets more Nets than that.

 

Charlotte Hornets

Bust:Adam Morrison (SF Gonzaga)

Pick: R1, P3, 2006

Career Stats: 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists

Ohhhh Michael Jordan, you can lead a team to six Finals wins but you can’t draft for your life. Cough cough Kwame Brown cough cough. And now Charlotte feels your harsh and unforgiving stupidity in the form of this pick. Every fan knew Adam Morrison wasn’t a top 3 pick. The Hornets’ scouts knew Adam Morrison wasn’t a top 3 picks. Michael Jordan knew Adam Morrison wasn’t a top 3 pick. He looked at his draft board and made a conscious decision to not take Rudy Gay or Brandon Roy who were all clearly better picks. But nope, he just had to follow his heart and take Adam Morrison. I’m sure that won’t turn out that bad. Oh wait, he turned into one of the worst busts of all time. Whoops.

 

Chicago Bulls

Bust:Marcus Fizer (PF Iowa State)

Pick:R1, P4, 2000

Career Stats: 9.6 points 4.6 rebounds 1.2 assists

Oh my beloved Bulls. Let me ask you a thing. If you have a rising star a certain position and you’re also a rebuilding team, what do you do? How bout not draft a player with the 4th overall pick at the same position? Apparently no one told the 2000 Chicago Bulls that. Yeah Marcus Fizer was high on everybody’s draft board. But for the “next Charles Barkley”, not even averaging 10 points is not worth not taking future contributors like, uhhhh, Jamaal Magloire or…or… Ok this was a terrible draft but it doesn’t justify taking Fizer who played the same position as a rising Elton Brand.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Bust:Anthony Bennett (PF UNLV)

Pick:R1, P1, 2013

Career Stats: 4.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, .5 assists

Oh no, you knew this was coming. The amount of bustiness this pick literally can not be understated. There has never been such a terrible first overall pick. Never. No one knew why Cleveland made this pick. Cleveland doesn’t know why they made this pick. Anthony Bennett still doesn’t know why they made this pick. In a draft with tens of future contributors like CJ McCollum or Dennis Schroeder, they completely whiff on a player who has started less games than I have fingers. Well at least Cleveland made up for this the next year…OH WAIT

 

Dallas Mavericks

Bust:Bill Garnett (PF Wyoming)

Pick:R1, P4, 1982

Career Stats:5.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Woooaaaah nelly, did the Mavericks screw up here. The best part of this is Dallas was lit back in the 80s. And they spent a high pick on this stiff white dude early in the decade. But boy oh boy, did he have character. He obviously flunked out of Dallas in 2 years and was out of the league in 4. Highlights include being drafted before Fat Lever and having a last name that is tied to basketball greatness because of not him.

 

Denver Nuggets

Bust:Nikoloz Tskitishvili (SF Georgia {The country])

Pick:R1, P5, 2002

Career Stats:2.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, .7 assists

This man almost has as many constants in his name as games he started. He is the literal definition of a blockhead. He is easily one of the worst picks of all time and probably the worst player to ever have a silent T in his last name.  He was selected before Caron Butler and Amar’e Stoudemire. Oh yeah and his name in his native language of Georgian is ნიკოლოზ ცქიტიშვილი. That is all.

 

Detroit Pistons

Bust:Darko Miličić (PF Serbia)

Pick:R1, P2, 2003

Career Stats:6.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, .9 assists

Do I really need to discuss this one? Am I getting paid? No? Ok then. This one speaks for itself.

 

Golden State Warriors

Bust:Chris Washburn (C NC State)

Pick:R1, P3, 1986

Career Stats:3.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, .3 assists,

This is a man who was one of the poster children of the 1986 Cocaine draft. He played in 72 career games and racked up 3 failed drug tests. He received a lifetime ban from the NBA in 1989. Highlights include stealing a stereo at college, riding off of the bench for his prison team, and “enjoying the party life more than the practice life.” He said that himself. Eh, at least he got his life together and been clean for 14 years. Don’t do drugs kids.

 

Houston Rockets

Bust:Bryce Drew

Pick:R1, P16, 1998

Career Stats: 4.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists

Houston, can you make a legitimately bad pick for me? The worst I could find was Bryce Drew, who is now the highly successful head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores. You can barely call him a bust because he wasn’t even a lottery pick, but whatever this is my article he still sucked. He was out of Houston in 106 games and the most exciting part of his career was he scored exactly 420 points in his second season. Sums this up pretty well.

 

Indiana Pacers

Bust:Rick Robey (C Kentucky)

Pick:R1,P3, 1978

Career Stats: 7.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists

The best part of Rick Robey’s career was the story behind him being drafted. The Pacers originally going to select Hoosiers superstar Larry Bird, don’t know if you’ve heard of him or not. However, he decided to stay in college for another year because he wanted to. So he wasn’t to be drafted. Until the Boston Celtics bent(?) the rules and took him 3 spots later. Apparently if you select someone who was still going to play in college and they had already graduated (like Bird had), you’re allowed to draft and sign him. No one knew this was thing. The Pacers for sure didn’t know this was a thing. And they were stuck with Robey. The second best part of his career was when he was traded to Boston and won the 1981 NBA Finals.

 

Los Angeles Clippers

Bust:Michael Olowokandi (C Pacific)

Pick:R1, P1, 1998

Career Stats: 8.3 points,6.8 rebounds, .7 assists

Can we call the Clippers are cursed now? This man just represents the Clippers too well to not call them cursed. He was selected before Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce and Vince Carter. Sounds like the Clippers. He basically got to play basketball at Pacific because he was tall. Sounds like the Clippers. He’s hated by Kareem Abdul-Jabaar for existing to this day. Sounds like the Clippers. His highlight reels consist mostly of his appearance in Van Wilder:Party Liaison. Does anything get more LA Clippers than this? I don’t think so.

 

Los Angeles Lakers

Bust:Javaris Crittenton (PG Georgia Tech)

Pick:R1, P19, 2007

Career Stats:5.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists

The Lakers’ name at this point is synonymous with greatness. High draft picks come few and far between, and they are generally spot on with them. But the 19th is a high pick right? No? Whatever, he was a first round pick and his suckiness justifies his placement here. He lasted only 22 games in a Lakers jersey as Kobe’s “future” sidekick. Yeah that didn’t turn out as planned. Highlights include holding Gilbert Arenas at gunpoint later in his career as a Wizard and currently spending a 23 year sentence for manslaughter. What a steal.

 

Memphis Grizzlies

Bust:Hasheem Thabeet (C Uconn)

Pick:R1, P2, 2009

Career Stats:2.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, .1 assists

Memphis hasn’t had many high picks in their short existence and they are usually pretty solid at talent evaluation. But when they fail, ohhh boy do they fail spectacularly. Memphis looked at this man’s 7 foot 3 body, saw none of his skill and decided to take him over Steph Curry and James Harden. I can only imagine how this decision was made. “Sir, we’re on the clock”, “who’s still available?” “Well we can take sharpshooters Curry and Harden which give our offense the three point shooting it needs or the Spaniard Ricky Rubio that can totally lead our offense” *gm looks at draft board* “TAKE THE 7 FOOT 3 GUY”.

Miami Heat

Bust:Khalid Reeves (PG Arizona)

Pick:R1, P12, 1994

Career Stats:7.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists

Yeah yeah, I know, I can hear the comments section already. Michael Beasley was worse, Beasley sucked more, Beasly was picked higher, blah, blah, blah. But at least he still became a halfway decent player in his career. He actually averaged double digit points in a season. The original DJ Khalid over here can’t say the same. The most exciting part of his basketball career was he went to University of Arizona only because he wanted to play in warm weather. Guess that was kinda pointless because he was a total bust.

 

Milwaukee Bucks

Bust:Kent Benson

Pick:R1, P1, 1977

Career Stats:9.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists

This man is an absolute legend for being the second worst first overall pick and punching Kareem Abdul-Jabaar in his first career game. He was then promptly punched in the face back. He was never the same after. What this man could have become still being debated to this day. Stay in school kids and don’t punch Kareem.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

Bust:Derrick Williams

Pick:R1, P2, 2011

Career Stats:8.9 points, 4.0 assists, .7 assists

Wow for a team so generally regarded as terrible, their drafting ability hasn’t been absolutely awful. Well except for Mr.Derrick Williams here. He was out of the already-sad early 2010s Timberwolves in 3 seasons, and he only played in 11 games of that third season. He’s obviously a big-time bust but hey, at least LeBron James likes him. Williams is probably the worst player of all time that is actually respected by LeBron. At that point, is he even a bust anymore? Or is he an even bigger bust? Meh. Still doesn’t change the fact he sucks.

 

New Orleans Pelicans

Bust:Julian Wright (SF Kansas)

Pick:R1,P13, 2007

Career Stats:3.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, .8 assists

Since the Pelicans have only existed for like a few years (the history behind these guys is wacky and I don’t get paid enough to explain it all) so they haven’t had many draft picks. And though a smaller sample size, they still screwed up this pick in 2007. But with 69 career blocks as basically the most interesting part of this sorry excuse for a pro basketball player, he wisely left the NBA d-league for greener pastures in 2012. And by greener pasture I mean to the Scrubleague, oh sorry I mean Euroleague, to some random team in Italy. He has a season high of 20 points with them.

 

New York Knicks

Bust:Jordan Hill (C Arizona)

Pick:R1, P8, 2009

Career Stats:7.9 points, 5.8 points, .8 assists

Ohhhh the Knicks. The glorious Knickerbockers of New York. One pick after Curry, one pick before DeMar DeRozan and you get stuck with the lame child of the lit 2009 draft. He lasted 24 games in a Knicks jersey until he was just traded. Why? Because Donnie Walsh needed his Tracy McGrady. He lasted just as long as Hill did in New York. So does that mean that Hill was as valuable to New York as TMac was? I think so. Either way they both sucked.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle Supersonics

Bust: Cole Aldrich (C Kansas)

Pick:R1, P10, 2010

Career Stats:3.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, .6 assists

The Thunder gave up Eric Bledsoe (THE Eric Bledsoe), Quincy Pondexter, and Craig Brackens for a man who averaged 8 minutes per game and 18 total points in his rookie season. That’s how to handle a front office. Just think. This was a Thunder team that could have been Eric Bledsoe, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka all on the same team. If we forget cap space, this is literally a dynasty if they keep 3 of those players (excluding Serge Ibaka) for 5ish years. And the Thunder thought Cole Aldrich would be more valuable. Who let Sam Presti run trades again?

 

Orlando Magic

Bust:Steven Hunter (C DePaul)

Pick:R1,P15, 2001

Career Stats:4.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, .2 assists

I have just spent like 30 minutes deciding between Hunter and Michael Doleac. They both sucked but when I finally realized Hunter averaged 3.5 points in his 3 pathetic seasons for the Magic and got bored enough to just throw him on here. No one knows where this pick came from. Hunter averaged less than 10 points a game in college. Especially coming from a smaller school like DePaul, this pick came so far from left field it was basically right field. And it was obvious at the end of his career, Hunter was not the RIGHT pick for the Magic..ha ha ha ha…why am I doing this to myself.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

Bust:Leon Wood (PG Arizona)

Pick:R1, P10, 1984

Career Stats:6.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists

This man crowning achievement in life is becoming a referee for the NBA. Woodman has been a ref for 22 years now, so I guess props to him? He was also a Gold medalist in the Olympics for USA in 1984 so you really can’t call him a total failure. But Jon Koncak and Vern Fleming also made this team so I guess we just thank Michael Jordan for this one. I vote we call the ‘84 team the #bustsquad1K84 now who’s with me.

 

Phoenix Suns

Bust:William Bedford (C Memphis)

Pick:R1, P6, 1986
Career Stats: 4.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, .5 assists

Poor ol’ Willy here lasted 50 games in a Suns uniform and he was selected in the top 10. He was traded for a future first round pick, which is the ultimate sign that even your own team thinks you’re a bust. His story revolves around drugs and he flunked after 238 total games. Bedford went to rehab in the middle of his career, but when came back, he still sucked. He was originally projected as a potential star but now his greatest accomplishment is transporting 25 pounds of Marijuana in Michigan and only being accused of it.

 

Portland Trail Blazers

Bust:LaRue Martin (C Loyola)

Pick:R1, P1, 1972

Career Stats:5.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, .7 assists

YEAH I GET IT GREG ODEN SHOULD BE HERE BUT IF YOU DIDN’T GET THE MEMO I’M NOT DOING INJURY BUSTS. That is all. Can we just put out there that if a man’s first name starts with La and followed by another name with a capital letter, you shouldn’t take him over Julius Erving. Good that you understand because the 1972 Trail Blazers sure didn’t. At least he spent the 4 pathetic years he had in the league with Portland. That’s like 10% of what a franchise player should be. So LaRue Martin was 10% of a franchise player. But you know you suck when Wikipedia says, and I quote, “Over his 4-year stint, Martin totaled just over 1,400 points; number 2 overall pick McAdoo totaled over 1,400 points in his rookie year alone.” Ouch.

 

Sacramento Kings

Bust:Jimmer Fredette (SG BYU)

Pick:R1, P10, 2011

Career Stats:6.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists

Ohhhhh, Sacramento, did you fall the Jimmermania hype train hard. Yeah he could shoot and score in college but his clear lack of anything raises so many red flags a color blind person could see it. He was out of Sacramento in 3 seasons for obvious reasons. Jimmer has always been a weird case as he has been wildly successful in the D-League as the MVP last year and he’s an absolute Chinese basketball legend, winning MVP there this year while averaging 37.6 points a game, 8.2 rebounds, and shot 52% from the field. He can score 73 points in a game in the CBA but put in anywhere near an NBA team he looks like expired Lo-Mein. But hey,  Chinese success is still success i guess

 

San Antonio Spurs

Bust:Alfredrick Hughes (SF Loyola)

Pick:R1, P14, 1985

Career Stats:5.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, .9 assists

So the Spurs never have early picks (they haven’t selected in the top 10 since Tim Duncan in 1997) and when they do they select David Robinsons and Tim Duncans. So 14th is high enough. This was no average bust, so I don’t care how low he went, when a player plays 68 career games with you and then retires, that’s busty enough to be on this list. He has more names in his first name than he had seasons in the NBA. I don’t know if he should be proud of that but he’s now a car salesman at the Homewood Chevrolet in the suburbs of his hometown of Chicago, so I don’t know how proud he can really be anymore.

 

Toronto Raptors

Bust:Rafael Araujo (C Brigham Young)

Pick:R1, P8, 2004

Career Stats:2.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, .3 assists

Even Canadians aren’t free from the wrath of busts. They might even be more prone to bad timing busts with this one. That’s what happens when you’re too nice. With rising star Chris Bosh and already-superstar Vince Carter, the Raptors were just a piece or two away from serious contention. But nope, they selected Rafael Araujo over Andre Iguodala and Al Jefferson. What was young GM Rob Babcock thinking? No one knows to this day. He lasted 3 seasons and was banished to the never ending abyss of out of country play.

 

Utah Jazz

Bust:Kris Humphries (PF Minnesota)

Pick:R1, P14, 2004

Career Stats:6.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, .7 assists

Humphries was one of the few busts to actually scrape together an NBA career. He averaged 3.6 points with Utah but he’s still playing a minor role with the Atlanta Hawks. But no, he was a terrible bust with Utah. The greatest part of this mans career was he was “married” (I used that term VERY LOOSELY) to Kim Kardashian for 72 days. I feel like that’s something to be proud of more than his pathetic tenure in the NBA.

 

Washington Wizards

Bust:Kwame Brown (C Glynn Academy (HS))

Pick:R1, P1, 2001

Career Stats:6.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, .9 assists

Oh you knew this was how it going to end. And yeah, so Kwame did throw together a 13 year career, being relied on as mostly a bench player. But for a first overall pick, that just isn’t going to fly. But is this really all that surprising. He was the original first overall pick to be selected out of high school and ohhh did it show. Very few home players can just show up and get booed. And Kwame did that on multiple occasions. I really don’t think this pick needs much explanation. He was a terrible bust for being Kwame Brown. Shoutout to Michael Jordan who personally selected not one, but two names that showed up on this list.

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