The NBA Draft is the biggest crapshoot in all of sports. NFL teams get instant improvements right away with picks going all the way into the sixth and seventh rounds holding value. The draft in the MLB sees the prospects go to the minor leagues, but no one is expecting results until many years later. It’s completely different for the NBA with fans and executives hoping for a new face of the franchise. The depth isn’t as strong as other sports with only a handful of talents becoming huge stars from each draft class. Every top tier basketball prospect drafted early will be viewed as a future star with a world of expectation.
LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are some of the current examples of living up to the hype of being an early draft pick. All three men have become NBA stars and household names for the league. Sadly, many of the highly touted rookies entering the league had the complete opposite directions for their careers. It’s one thing for a hopeful Superstar to thrive as a rotation player, but some names aren’t even good enough to remain in the league. We’ll look at some of the biggest NBA draft busts that were forced out of the NBA and find out what they are doing today.
15. Kwame Brown: Free Agent
Kwame Brown’s disappointing NBA career saw him get humiliated by some of the greatest players in basketball history. Michael Jordan drafted Brown with the first overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft to be the centerpiece of the Washington Wizards rebuilding process. Brown showed no signs of improving and Jordan frequently cursed him out for his lack of desire on the court.
Kobe Bryant also would get on Brown’s case by yelling at him during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. It would become clear that Brown wouldn’t be a good fit for the NBA. After bouncing around from team to team, Brown found himself out of a job and sitting at home. Brown recently signed with player agency Interperformances hoping to make a return to the NBA after a three year absence. Someone is surely in denial about their chances.
14. Adam Morrison: Father Of Three
Adam Morrison dominated college basketball as a star for Gonzaga before entering the NBA. Most scouts didn’t see him as a special talent, but the Charlotte Hornets decided to pick the shooter third overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. Morrison only lasted four seasons in the NBA consistently getting worse as time went on. Unlike someone with similar skills like J.J. Redick, Morrison couldn’t use his shooting touch to become a successful NBA player.
Morrison’s post-NBA life sees him living as a family man. Morrison is married and raising three children in Washington. Shockingly, Morrison doesn’t have a new career path after doing a bit of coaching for Gonzaga and is still living off the money made in the NBA along with endorsements. It’s proof that saving money is important for any young athlete. If Adam Morrison saved enough money to live comfortably with three kids, no NBA player has an excuse of going broke.
13. Anthony Bennett: Turkish Basketball Super League
Anthony Bennett is the most recent massive NBA Draft bust. Pundits were shocked when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Bennett with the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Cleveland lucked out when they signed LeBron James the following offseason and ditched Bennett in a trade along with other assets for Kevin Love.
Bennett continued to flop on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The lack of talent exhibited by Bennett made you wonder how he was ever a first overall pick. Bennett just saw his most recent chance with the Brooklyn Nets end when they released him. His NBA career appears to already be over as he’s read the writing on the wall by signing with Fenerbahce in the Turkish Basketball Super League. Bennett will likely never return to the NBA unless he can truly dominate outside of the United States.
12. Nikoloz Tskitishvili: Iranian Basketball Super League
The size of Nikoloz Tskitishvili led to the Denver Nuggets taking a chance on him with the fifth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Nothing of note would come from Tskitishvili’s time in the NBA, with disappointing results following him through all four seasons in the league. Tskitishvili averaged fewer than three points per game in his NBA career before he was forced out of the league.
Bill Simmons has cited Tskitishvili’s career as the worst case scenario for foreign prospects in the draft. The end of his NBA career saw him join the Iranian Basketball Super League. Tskitishvili is currently a member of Al Manama, continuing his career far away from the NBA. There’s no doubt Tskitishvili will always be among the biggest NBA busts in history.
11. Hasheem Thabeet: Free Agent
Another big man drafted early because of his size,the Memphis Grizzlies selected Hasheem Thabeet with the second pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. An impressive college stint with UCONN added to the temptation that Memphis unfortunately was fooled by. Thabeet was among the worst centers in the league with a career average of 2.2 points per game.
The big man only lasted five years in the NBA playing for four different teams over the short time period. Thabeet tried to continue his NBA career, but would never make the court after signing short term contacts. The Detroit Pistons allowed him to play for their D-League affiliate, but he couldn’t cut the mustard. Thabeet is allegedly working towards another attempt at a comeback. That is nearly impossible to believe.