Drafting is as important as difficult for any franchise, and landing a diamond in the rough has to be one of the most impossible tasks you may ask out of a front office, considering how much empty gym workouts and agents can trick them into thinking they’re witnessing a legend in the making.
Projections simply fail. Sometimes because they don’t take into consideration how mentally weak some youngsters are, sometimes because players are always getting hurt, sometimes because they’re simply not good.
So, year in and year out, teams completely waste their top 5 lottery picks on some guys that wouldn’t even be worthy of a late 2nd rounder. I will not include Markelle Fultz because he is only 1 year in the league.
Today, we’ll let you know about the biggest bust in each Draft from 2007 to 2016.
2007: Greg Oden, 1st overall pick
Greg Oden’s story is just sad, man. It just is. He was a stud, he was a beast, he was dominant, he had what it takes to rule both sides of the glass and take this league by the horns as a young Shaquille O’Neal once did.
Sadly, an injury-riddled career stopped him from becoming what everybody expected out of him, but what makes him an even worse pick, is the fact that some dude called Kevin Durant was picked right after him.
2008: O.J Mayo, 3rd overall pick
We actually get why any team would be willing to take a shot on O.J Mayo. He had the gifts to be something of the likes of the next Allen Iverson and was arguably the most offensively talented player of his class.
Nevertheless, Mayo’s lack of discipline and poor work ethic sent his promising career down the drain, up to the point where he’s been issued a suspension by the league that is still to be disclosed at this time, but rumors point towards him being unable to come back for good.
2009: Hasheem Thabeet, 2nd overall pick
Hasheem Thabeet has to be one of the worst players to ever set foot on an NBA hardwood. Being the second coming of Manute Bol, at least physically, he was supposed to at least be good at, you know, rebounding.
Thabeet looked unaware, was constantly being bullied around below the rim, was heavy footed and simply didn’t have any kind of upside. Being passed around the NBA in salary dump trades, he hasn’t been able to get a call-up from the development league in years.
2010: Evan Turner, 2nd overall pick
Up to this date, the harsh Philadelphia 76ers fans still boo Evan Turner every time he sets foot on their home-court, as he was pretty much a huge waste of a 2nd overall pick by the franchise back in 2010.
Turner was supposed to be a versatile guard/forward that could even run the point, be a switchable defender and you name it. Needless to say, he’s proven to be just an average role player.
2011: Derrick Williams, 2nd overall pick
The Minnesota Timberwolves really dropped the ball here when they decided to go with Derrick Williams as high as 2nd, a guy that was supposed to bring a lot of hustle but that was really undersized for a center and had not outside stroke whatsoever to play at the four.
The Williams-Love tandem was a failed experiment from day one, and he just didn’t have what it takes to make it in this league. Moreover, this Draft class wasn’t so deep, but players of the likes of Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard were up for grabs when they got Derrick Williams.
2012: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 2nd overall pick
This Draft class wasn’t the deepest but with Bradley Beal, Dion Waiters, Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond on the board, Charlotte Hornets selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist?
MKG had the upside to be a lockdown wing stopper and overall dominant defender, but up to this date, the injury-prone forward has been nothing more than an offensive liability, averaging 9.1 points on 47% shooting and 17.7% from deep.
2013: Anthony Bennett, 1st overall pick
If you look at the word ‘Bust’ in the dictionary, a picture of Anthony Bennett instantly pops up. Nobody knew how on earth the Cavs were so bold to actually draft him with the 1st overall pick ahead of Victor Oladipo, and he never did anything to proves us wrong.
Bennett looked out of shape and out of place, he was slow and looked like he wanted to run out of the court and hide beneath his covers. 5 years after being drafted 1st overall, he’s not even on any team’s roster.
2014: Dante Exum, 5th overall pick
We’re considering Dante Exum to be a bust not because he’s not played well, because he’s been a stud, at least defensively, when he’s actually been healthy to suit up and play for the Utah Jazz.
Still, he’s been a major letdown due to the high expectations everybody had around him, and with Ricky Rubio in town, he’s looking like he’s going to be roughly a backup point guard for his entire career.
2015: Jahlil Okafor, 3rd overall pick
We’re actually really sorry about Big Jah. We truly are. He was a stud in the making, at least offensive wise, and in the worst-case scenario, he had what it takes to be a younger version of Brook Lopez.
A lot of disputes with the Sixers’ Front Office sent him to the doghouse, but it’s still pretty early on his career to give up on him. He’s a risky pickup, but he’s got the offensive upside to at least be worth a shot.
2016: Dragan Bender, 4th overall pick
When people looked at Dragan Bender, they were all hoping he’d turn out to be the next Porzingis, a better Porzingis. Nowadays, he’s not been able to even be a good version of Andrea Bargnani.
Bender struggled to find any playing time in the Suns’ crowded frontcourt, mostly due to injuries and his very own inconsistency. Up to this date, he’s only averaged 5.4 points and 3.7 boards on a horrid 37.8% from the floor and 34% from three.