It’s always kind of sad to take a look back at what could’ve been of some prospects and how they wind up rounding up in the NBA, entering the league with high expectations just to be a huge bummer.
On the other hand, some players actually wind up vastly outplaying their draft stock, proving the GMs that passed on them that they made a huge mistake and that they were worthy of being taken higher.
Nonetheless, even though scouts make projections and comparisons, nobody ever knows how a player is going to fare in the league, considering the thousand little factors that can take a toll on their development.
Today, we’re going to take a look back at some players that may or may not have been as good as expected, letting you know about the top 10 picks of the 2007 NBA Draft and where are they now.
10. Spencer Hawes – Sacramento Kings
Early on, it looked like Spencer Hawes was going to be a stud. He understood the game coming from a family of ballers and had a sweet scoring touch from long range that made him a perfect stretch big man.
Following failed stints with the Kings, Sixers, Cavaliers, Clippers, Hornets, and Bucks, the veteran is currently a free agent and unlikely to return to the league after posting career averages of 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds a game.
9. Joakim Noah – Chicago Bulls
When the Chicago Bulls got Joakim Noah out of Florida with the 9th overall pick, they got one of the most vocal leaders and hard-nosed defenders in the Association, even winning the Defensive Player of the Year and making it to a couple of All-Stars.
Noah was the ultimate point center and a huge reason why the Bulls were able to briefly resurge, but following several injuries and a trade to the Knicks, his career looks pretty much over at this point.
A few days ago, he became a member of the Memphis Grizzlies.
8. Brandan Wright – Golden State Warriors
Coming out of a huge basketball program like the University of North Carolina, expectations were quite high for Brandan Wright, a physical power forward that was supposed to become a dominant rebounder and presence down low.
Needless to say, that never happened, and even though he’s still in the league, he’s barely been a role player for most of his career, piling up averages of 7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1 block per contest.
7. Corey Brewer – Minnesota Timberwolves
Corey Brewer was yet another Florida player drafted in the top 10 after all the success the Gators had during his 3-year tenure there, where he was even named as the 2007 Final Four MVP.
Brewer was a physical and suffocating defender that wouldn’t give up on any loose ball and was willing to put his body on the line on every single possession, something that helped him become a solid role player in the NBA. Today, he’s still yet to be signed, and he’s unlikely to do it at this point of the season.
6. Yi Jianlian – Milwaukee Bucks
Being considered as the new Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian was supposed to take the league for assault as his compatriot once did, but he mightily struggled to find consistent playing time following some poor plays in both ends of the hardwood.
The Chinese power forward spent 1 season with the Bucks before being dealt to the Nets. He’d go on to try his luck with the Wizards and Mavs before eventually heading back to the Chinese league.
5. Jeff Green – Seattle Supersonics
Coming out of Georgetown, everybody in the world expected Jeff Green to become a dominant scorer due to his great athleticism and vast offensive skill set, something that, up to this day; is still yet to happen.
Green was drafted by the Celtics and then immediately traded to the Seattle Supersonics, where he’d stay for a couple of years before heading back to Boston and then playing for the Grizzlies, Clippers, Magic, and Cavs. Now, he’s playing as the Wizards’ 6th man.
4. Mike Conley – Memphis Grizzlies
Mike Conley was a complete stud during his Ohio State tenure and that granted him the right to be taken as high as 4th overall, even though he was quite a late bloomer that struggled to find consistency for years.
Following a couple of seasons with subpar averages, he finally found a way to put it together and has become one of the most underrated point guards in the league, leading the Grizzlies to the playoffs during the ‘grit and grind’ era.
3. Al Horford – Atlanta Hawks
Al Horford was the 1st player that was drafted straight out of Florida in 2007 thanks to his stellar play in back-to-back Championships with the Gators, showing his versatility in both sides of the glass as a big man that could create his own shot.
Following several seasons with the Hawks, the Boston Celtics signed Horford, who immediately became a cornerstone of their project. He can rebound, score, shoot from beyond the arc and even run some point, and he’s going to be in the league for a bit longer.
2. Kevin Durant – Seattle Supersonics
Coming out of college, there were a lot of doubts regarding Kevin Durant’s ability to adjust his game to the NBA, as he was a skinny tweener that was going to struggle to play against bigger and stronger defenders. Needless to say, he proved everybody wrong.
Durant was a stud out of the gate for the sluggish Sonics and then emerged as an All-Star when the franchise moved to Oklahoma. Sadly, he was never able to win a Championship there, so he had to leave to the Bay to win back-to-back rings with the Golden State Warriors.
1. Greg Oden – Portland Trail Blazers
Greg Oden is considered to be one of the biggest busts in NBA history, as the former Buckeye was supposed to be something of the likes of a young Shaquille O’Neal, but constant injuries took a major toll on his career and he was never able to prove his worth.
Oden worked really hard to get back to the league and make a comeback with the Miami Heat, but he was never able to stay healthy.
Later, he’d have a one year tenure at China with the Jiangsu Dragons before eventually retiring.