Top 10 Worst NBA Draft Picks Z Menu

NBA Draft Busts vs. Worst NBA Draft Picks

If you’re simply looking for a list of well-known NBA underachievers, this post is the one you’ll want to read. Specifically, I have ranked the ten worst draft picks in NBA history as follows:

#10. Greg Oden (Center) – 105 games / 8.0 ppg / 6.2 rpg / 7.3 win shares

#9. LaRue Martin (Center) – 271 games / 5.3 ppg / 4.6 rpg / 1.9 win shares

#8. Dennis Hopson (Shooting Guard) – 334 games / 10.9 ppg / 2.8 rpg / 7.1 win shares

#7. Hasheem Thabeet (Center) – 224 games / 2.4 ppg / 2.7 rpg / 4.8 win shares

#6. Kwame Brown (Center) – 607 games / 6.6 ppg / 5.5 rpg / 20.0 win shares

#5. Todd Fuller (Center) – 225 games / 3.7 ppg / 3.0 rpg / 2.2 win shares

#4. Jon Koncak (Center) – 784 games / 4.5 ppg / 4.9 rpg / 29.2 win shares

Joe Kleine (Center) – 965 games / 4.8 ppg / 4.1 rpg / 19.1 win shares

#3. Michael Olowokandi (Center) – 500 games / 8.3 ppg / 6.8 rpg / 2.5 win shares

#2. Darko Milicic (Center) – 468 games / 6.0 ppg / 4.2 rpg / 7.1 win shares

#1. Sam Bowie (Center) – 511 games / 10.9 ppg / 7.5 rpg / 26.9 win shares

In subsequent posts, I’ll analyze each of these picks and describe why most of them aren’t all-time busts despite their disappointing careers. Hint: the media might have something to do with it.

Side Stories

NBA MODERN ERA (HEEERE’S MAGIC)

Do you root for players in the NBA but teams in the other Big 4 sports? Does your favorite basketball player not play for the NBA team geographically closest to you? Prior to 1980, your answers likely would have been different. However, something “magical” happened since then. In this post, I discuss the early days of the NBA Modern Era when television stations aired playoff games on tape-delay. Starting with superstars like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the league made a conscious decision to promote its stars more than its teams. Fortunately, players like Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron have been able to take the game to the next level. In fact, they helped drive the game’s tremendous international popularity. The NFL is set, but perhaps MLB and the NHL could learn something from their younger (and smarter) brother.

Introduction

1991 NBA Draft Night

With respect to popularity, the NBA Draft trails only the NFL Draft as a sporting event/spectacle. As such, it seems logical to focus on the NBA for my second compilation of Top 10 Busts. Regardless, the main reason for creating this particular countdown relates to the featured image. In particular, it shows my ticket stub to the 1991 NBA Draft. To date, that draft remains the only one I have ever attended in person. While I don’t provide any insight about a specific bust in this post, I offer some foreshadowing for future posts. As an enticement, there’s also a link to a classic Seinfeld clip regarding political incorrectness.

Top 10 NBA Draft Busts Top 10 Selections

Akili Smith: #5 NFL Draft Bust

NFL teams took five quarterbacks with the first twelve picks of the 1999 Draft. The careers of those five QBs ran the gamut from great to horrendous.

#2 pick Donovan McNabb proved to be a borderline HOF superstar.
#11 pick Daunte Culpepper) made 3 Pro Bowls 
#1 pick Tim Couch didn’t live up to the pick, but produced too much to be declared a bust.
#12 pick Cade McNown underachieved and became a bust.
#3 pick Akili Smith underachieved even more and became a Top 10 Bust.

I will discuss each of these quarterbacks in the following post. However, the last one listed deserves the most attention relative to this site. In 22 career games, he threw for approximately 2,000 passing yards with five touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In addition, he had a record of 3-14 as a starter. As one of the worst quarterbacks ever drafted with an early first round pick, Akili Smith has earned the #5 spot as a Top 10 NFL Draft Bust.