The past 10 years the NBA has provided us some memories from great players who were drafted within this time frame (Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and many more). The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors are a prime example of what happens when you draft the right players. Unfortunately, there are others who didn’t even scratch the surface of the hype that they were given before stepping foot on an NBA court. Here are the honorable mentioned below:
Andrea Bargnani, 1st Overall, 2006, Raptors, Italy
Epke Udoh, 6th Overall, 2010, Warriors, Baylor
Jimmer Fredette, 10th Overall, 2011, Kings, BYU
Anthony Bennett, 1st Overall, 2013, Cavaliers, UNLV, (Jury still out on him)
And here we go!
10) Patrick O’Bryant, 9th Overall, 2006, Warriors, Bradley
This guy, physically, had the potential of being a game-changer but his skills never developed. He wasn’t able to crack the rotation. O’Bryant played in 90 games (started 3) in 5 seasons averaging 2.1 points per game. Yeah… that’s pretty bad.
9) Yi Jianlian, 6th Overall, 2007, Bucks, China
The next best thing from China was nowhere as formidable as Yao Ming. His game wasn’t as polished and was too injury prone to stay on the court. At times you saw flashes of what could be, but all we’re left with is a “never was” (sounds harsh).
8) Sheldon Williams, 5th Overall, 2006, Hawks, Duke
The former Duke star was nothing close to stardom in the NBA. After only 2 years in Atlanta, Williams became a journeyman around the league until 2012. The only thing going for him is Candace Parker (Winning).
7) Royce White, 16th Overall, 2012, Rockets, Iowa State
Royce White was one of my favorite players entering that 2012 draft because his game was outstanding (point forward with an all-around game). However, nobody will ever see him at the next level because he is battling with anxiety disorder. It is to the point that White is not comfortable with flying. The only stat he has is 3 minutes played in his NBA career (Shaking my head). Great talent nevertheless.
6) Michael Beasley, 2nd Overall, 2008, Heat, Kansas State
After missing out on the Derrick Rose sweepstakes, Michael Beasley became the “sloppy seconds” to a draft class that also produced Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Brook Lopez, DeAndre Jordan, and Goran Dragic. Beasley’s play never lived up to the side kick that Dwyane Wade needed, and he also dealt with some off the court issues as well. Another player with wasted potential (You see the theme right?).
5) Joe Alexander, 8th Overall, 2008, Bucks, West Virginia
While we’re still on the 2008 draft class, we can’t forget Joe Alexander. Let’s put it like this: the guy who was supposed to help turn Milwaukee around played 67 games in his career in 2 years. He was phenomenal at West Virginia (I remember watching him on television). I honestly don’t have a clue what happened besides lack of work ethic and skills, but more unfortunate things have happened (You’ll see).
4) Jonny Flynn, 6th Overall, 2009, Timberwolves, Syracuse
I just want to remind everyone that the Timberwolves had back-to-back picks (like the cover of Lethal Weapon) which also included Ricky Rubio with the 5th pick. ALSO, they had two chances to draft the kid from Davidson but blew it. Jonny Flynn wasn’t the same after having hip surgery in the summer of 2010. No one could predict this would happen… just like the player who was selected after him right?
3) Adam Morrison, 3rd Overall, 2006, Bobcats, Gonzaga
Easily the 2nd worst pick that Michael Jordan was responsible for (cough, Kwame Brown). That one mythical season in College got him to be the worst pick in the Bobcats history (Now Charlotte Hornets 2.0). He lost his starting job mid way through his rookie year because of poor defense and shooting. The following year, he tore his ACL. He ended up being the late 2000’s version of Mark Madsen by riding the bench and receiving a championship ring from the Lakers (bum status with perks).
2) Greg Oden, 1st Overall, 2007, Trail Blazers, Ohio State
A lot of people have him at number one on these type of list because of where he was drafted and how many games he played. He also reminds people of Sam Bowie (ouch). When Oden did play, he was productive. Unfortunately, when you go four seasons without playing an NBA game due to knee injuries and set backs, it’s extremely hard to ignore that. At least he’s currently playing in China.
1) Hasheem Thabeet, 2nd Overall, 2009, Grizzlies, UCONN
He was the highest draft pick ever to be sent down to the NBDL. The worst lottery pick to ever come out of UCONN. He’s played on 4 different teams and his best statistical season was his rookie year (3.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg). The Memphis Grizzlies passed on James Harden, Stephen Curry, Demar Derozan, Jeff Teague, Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, Ty Lawson, Taj Gibson… even Danny Green would’ve been a better option than Thabeet (the list is longer than that). The TRUE definition of a wasted draft pick.