Going into the 2016 NBA Draft, most experts predicted that Ben Simmons would be the #1 overall pick. During his “one-and-done” season at LSU, Simmons averaged 19 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals per game. Given that production, the young phenom justified the hype which began while he still played in high school. Considered by some to be a “can’t-miss” prospect, Simmons regularly has drawn comparisons to LeBron James. Clearly, Simmons has a long way to go to match the best player on the planet. Sorry Steph, but the King still holds the crown. As of now, Simmons has a blank canvas upon which to paint his career. The odds are greater that Simmons will be a Not Top 10 Bust (i.e. an all-time great) than a Top 10 Bust (i.e. an all-time failure). Yet, I’m still not completely sold on him.
JaMarcus Russell is considered by some to be the #1 Bust in NFL history. While there’s certainly enough support for that claim, I can’t elevate him to that position because no other quarterback drafted in 2007 was even half-way decent. I have argued numerous times that a bust should be determined based on the player’s own poor performance. As such, Russell was a bust given his 7-18 record as a starter and career totals of 4,000 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. At the same time, all-time busts are ranked based on their performance relative to other players available in the same draft. Given the failures of every other quarterback in the 2007 Draft, Russell’s failure is less dramatic. Regardless, it probably doesn’t matter to him because he earned over $30 million in guaranteed money from his rookie contract. Even without the ancillary storyline, Russell still is an all-time bust. In fact, he was so bad that he’s the #3 NFL Draft Bust.