The top 10 Draft Busts in NBA History - Fan Arch

The top 10 Draft Busts in NBA History

The top 10 Draft Busts in NBA History

When it comes to professional sports, the draft is a critical event where teams select players who they believe have the potential to become future stars. However, not every draft pick lives up to expectations. In the NBA, there have been several instances where highly touted prospects failed to meet the lofty expectations placed upon them. These players, known as draft busts, serve as cautionary tales for teams and fans alike. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 10 draft busts in NBA history.

1. Kwame Brown (2001 NBA Draft)

The first overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, Kwame Brown was expected to be a dominant force in the league. Unfortunately, Brown struggled to find his footing and failed to live up to the hype. Despite playing in the NBA for over a decade, his career was marred by inconsistency and underperformance.

2. Darko Milicic (2003 NBA Draft)

Selected as the second overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Darko Milicic was chosen ahead of future Hall of Famers like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Milicic's career never took off, and he quickly became known as one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history.

3. Greg Oden (2007 NBA Draft)

Greg Oden was expected to be the next dominant big man in the NBA. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career, and he was never able to reach his full potential. Drafted first overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden's career was plagued by knee injuries, and he only played in a handful of games before retiring.

4. Adam Morrison (2006 NBA Draft)

Adam Morrison was a college basketball superstar who was expected to make an immediate impact in the NBA. However, his lack of athleticism and defensive skills hindered his ability to succeed at the professional level. Morrison's career was short-lived, and he is often remembered as one of the biggest draft busts of his era.

5. Michael Olowokandi (1998 NBA Draft)

Selected as the first overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, Michael Olowokandi was expected to be a dominant center in the league. However, he failed to live up to expectations and struggled to make an impact on the court. Olowokandi's lackluster performance throughout his career solidified his status as a draft bust.

6. Hasheem Thabeet (2009 NBA Draft)

Hasheem Thabeet was drafted second overall in the 2009 NBA Draft with high hopes of becoming a dominant defensive force. However, his lack of offensive skills and inability to adapt to the NBA game resulted in a disappointing career. Thabeet spent most of his career in the G-League and failed to make a significant impact in the NBA.

7. Anthony Bennett (2013 NBA Draft)

Anthony Bennett became the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but his career quickly spiraled downward. Bennett struggled with injuries and inconsistency, and his lackluster performance led to him being traded multiple times throughout his short NBA career.

8. Jonny Flynn (2009 NBA Draft)

Selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Jonny Flynn was expected to be a promising point guard in the league. However, injuries and poor performance limited his playing time, and he quickly fell out of favor with NBA teams. Flynn's career was cut short, and he is often remembered as one of the biggest draft busts of his draft class.

9. Andrea Bargnani (2006 NBA Draft)

Andrea Bargnani was selected first overall in the 2006 NBA Draft with high expectations. However, his lack of defensive skills and inability to live up to his potential hindered his NBA career. Bargnani struggled to find success with multiple teams and is often regarded as one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history.

10. Joe Smith (1995 NBA Draft)

Joe Smith was the first overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft and was expected to be a dominant force in the league. However, Smith failed to live up to expectations and had a relatively average career. While he had a long NBA tenure, his lack of impact compared to other players selected later in the draft solidifies his place among the top draft busts in NBA history.

The NBA has seen its fair share of draft busts throughout its history. These players serve as a reminder that even the most highly touted prospects can fail to live up to expectations. Whether due to injuries, lack of skills, or simply not meeting expectations, these draft busts have left a lasting impact on the league. Teams continue to learn from these mistakes, ensuring that future draft picks are thoroughly evaluated before making their selections.


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