Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Worst NBA Draft Picks of the Last Decade
In honor of the 14-pick draft lottery, I've assembled the 14 lottery picks made over the past decade that are deemed as busts in some shape or matter. I'm sure there will be a few more busts added to this list in a few years once the last couple of classes get their careers moving along, but this is the best list I could come up with at the moment.
14-Ricky Rubio (No. 5 pick, Minnesota Timberwolves, 2009): Yeah, he has yet to play one second in the NBA, but the Spanish sensation has already made the Wolves look like fools. And that's something for this franchise. The Wolves drafted four point guards on that night with the one they coveted, Rubio, decided to stay in Spain (they may have traded away the best one of the bunch when they sent Ty Lawson to Denver). Who knows? Rubio could come into the league in a couple of years and set the league on fire. Right now, his only value is trade bait.
13-Stromile Swift (No. 2 pick, Vancouver Grizzlies, 2000): For a No. 2 pick in the first draft this decade, you need to have more than 97 starts in your career. Swift has only shown a few moments of promise and has been relegated to a journeyman who can't get on the court in the last few years.
12-Yaroslav Korolev (No. 12 pick, LA Clippers, 2005): Korolev played in a grand total of 34 games, averaging 1.1 pts and 0.5 rbs.
11-Rafael Araujo (No. 8 pick, Toronto Raptors, 2003): Just 139 games in three seasons, averaging 2.8 pts and 2.8 rbs. He's the worst player in a string of bad draft decisions by the Raptors.
10-Fran Vasquez (No. 11 pick, Orlando Magic, 2005): Let's see if this sounds familiar. Draft pick made by an team that entered the league in 1989 decides to stay in the Spanish leagues instead of going to his NBA team. Rubio fans, meet Vasquez who has yet to suit up for the Magic.
9-Rodney White (No. 9 pick, Detroit Pistons, 2001): Just 21 career starts and an average of 7.1 ppg. He's been out of the league since 2005.
8-Brandon Wright (No. 8 pick, Charlotte Bobcats, 2007): Charlotte drafted Wright, but immediately dealt him to Golden State for Jason Richardson. Yeah, G-State got hosed on that one. He is trending upward, but was he worth it?
7-Marcus Fizer (No. 4 pick, Chicago Bulls, 2000): Just six years in the league, 35 starts and a respectable 9.6 ppg average. However, he was drafted on a Bulls team that had ample opportunity to get points and he just couldn't do it.
6-Darius Miles (No. 3 pick, LA Clippers, 2000): The next great high school prospect flamed out pretty quickly. Miles is best known for the knucklehead celebration and screwing over the Blazers with his injuries just as he was starting to figure it out. Then, despite the Blazers getting cap relief due to Miles' career ending injury ... Miles comes back and triggers a huge cap hit on the team.
5-Jay Williams (No. 2 pick, Chicago Bulls, 2002): I've gotten into this debate plenty of times. Is Williams a bust because he suffered a career-ending injury? I think yes since the injury wasn't on the floor. He decided to do the dumb thing and wrap his motorcycle around a tree and nearly losing his life. I'm glad he's okay, but the Bulls just got one year out of the 2nd pick in the 2002 draft. Yeah, bust.
4-Adam Morrison (No. 3 pick, Charlotte Bobcats, 2006): Just another Michael Jordan draft pick that lives in Bust City. Morrison was taken ahead of Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Tyrus Thomas and Randy Foye. He was dumped off to the Lakers last year and sits on the end of the bench.
3-Nikoloz Tskitishvili (No. 5, Denver Nuggets, 2002): Just 16 starts and a 2.9 ppg average?? He played more than half a season just once in his four year career.
2-Kwame Brown (No. 1 pick, Washington Wizards, 2001): Kwame is the worst top pick this decade and is in the discussion for worst top pick ever. He also facilitated the current rule which keeps high schoolers out of the NBA draft. Yeah, despite all the good that LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Kevin Garnett did ... Kwame wrecked all of that.
1-Darko Milicic (No. 2 pick, Detroit Pistons, 2003): Darko beats Kwame due to two reasons. One, Kwame is a better player than Darko and, two, the next three people picked after Darko were Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Oh, and only LeBron James was selected before him. On those five guys, four are perennial All-Stars and three are on track to be Hall of Fame players. Darko not only is the odd man out, but it's not even close.
Brought to you by the Sportz Assassin at 11:16 AM