The NBA Draft is more important than ever right now with the value of the Superstar. Every relevant team needs at least one Superstar and contenders now need at least two or three Superstars. The Golden State Warriors currently have four Superstars to show just how important top talent is. NBA teams with high lottery draft picks hope to find the next face of their franchise. Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Devin Booker show the ideal scenario of a rookie progressing in a couple of years to show Superstar status.
However, there have been way more busts than success stories. The past two NBA Draft events gave us great talent but also provided some unfortunate selections. 2016 Draft players have seen quite a few talented guys fail to get established as a credible player. The 2017 Draft is only a few months old with rookies trying to prove their worth. We'll look at the least impressive players from these two drafts. The sample size is rather small, but you usually know how well a draft pick will do quickly. These are ten NBA Draft picks from 2016 and five NBA Draft picks from 2017 that already look like busts.
15 2016 Draft: Denzel Valentine
The Chicago Bulls selected Denzel Valentine in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft with the hopes of him blossoming into a Superstar. Valentine performed well in college at Michigan State. While it is commendable that he spent all four years in college with Michigan State, that is usually a bad sign for the overall talent of a top prospect.
14 2016 Draft: Dragan Bender
The name Dragan Bender stood out in the 2016 NBA Draft for more than the unique nature of it. Bender was one of the top prospects at the time and would get selected with the fourth overall pick by the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix has struggled in recent years when it comes to making the most out of their lottery picks outside of Devin Booker.
13 2017 Draft: Frank Ntilikina
The New York Knicks made a bold pick in the recent 2017 NBA Draft when selecting Frank Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick. Ntilikina comes from France and is struggling to adapt to his new surroundings in New York. There have been some small flashes of brilliance that will remind you why the Knicks believe he can be a future star. However, other rookies like Dennis Smith Jr. and Donovan Mitchell were picked after him and look significantly better.
12 2016 Draft: Malik Beasley
Denver Nuggets second year prospect Malik Beasley is a name even diehard NBA fans have a hard time remembering. The talent of Beasley saw him get selected in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft. Beasley has struggled to get consistent playing time due to the lack of faith in him. Most young player prove they belong in the rotation if they are good, but Beasley just isn’t pulling it off.
11 2016 Draft: Juan Hernangómez
Juan Hernangómez is another second year player on the Denver Nuggets struggling to get on the court. Denver has been giving Hernangómez about 14 minutes per game at the power forward position. Hernangómez is only averaging 3.7 points per game so far, this season compared to the lackluster but better 4.9 points per game last year.
10 2017 Draft: Zach Collins
The Portland Trail Blazers have a solid roster but lack dynamic players in the front court. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are both elite guards in the back court. The play of Jusuf Nurkic has been impressive but they still need more bodies in the front court. Zach Collins was supposed to be a nice addition to team after he was picked tenth overall in the recent 2017 NBA Draft.
9 2016 Draft: Henry Ellenson
The Detroit Pistons have taken a positive step forward this season with no help from Henry Ellenson. Detroit selected Ellenson in the 2016 NBA Draft in the first round with the hopes of him contributing right away. Unfortunately, Ellenson just doesn’t look to be good enough to play at the NBA level given how poorly he has performed so far in his short career.
8 2016 Draft: Georgios Papagiannis
The fact that most of you have no idea someone named Georgios Papagiannis is in the NBA means he is close to reaching the status of being a bust. Papagiannis is a member of the Sacramento Kings after being selected high in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Greek big man looked to have a lot of potential, but it has yet to come in the NBA.
7 2017 Draft: Jonathan Isaac
The star studded 2017 NBA Draft featured names like Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz and De’Aaron Fox are all making fans excited about their team’s futures. Jonathan Isaac is a name that slipped under the radar. Orlando Magic management felt they had the most underrated pick when selection Isaac with the sixth overall pick in the recent draft.
6 2016 Draft: Wade Baldwin
Wade Baldwin was selected in the first round by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2016 NBA Draft. Wade Baldwin is no longer a member of the Memphis Grizzlies The rookie season of Baldwin was atrocious as he averaged 3.2 points per game on 31% shooting from the field. Baldwin was so bad that Memphis decided to waive him in training camp heading into this season.
5 2016 Draft: Jakob Poeltl
The use of Jakob Poeltl by the Toronto Raptors has led to conflicting beliefs on his talent. Poeltl has looked solid shooting 69% from the field for a nice start to the season. However, the team doesn’t give him strong playing time due to a lack of faith in his overall skills. Toronto is a playoff team and allowing a young player to make mistakes isn’t something the want to risk.
4 2017 Draft: Josh Jackson
Many pundits believed Josh Jackson was the best overall player in the 2017 NBA Draft. Three teams passed on Jackson allowing the Phoenix Suns to select him with the fourth overall pick. Jackson has been dealing with a poor start to his NBA career. The average of nine points per game on an abysmal 37% shooting from the field is not what the Suns hoped for.
3 2016 Draft: Marquese Chriss
Another Phoenix Suns young talent to have a tough time right now is Marquese Chriss. The Suns acquired Chriss after he was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Chriss looked good last season and actually contended for Rookie of the Year for a short time. The weak rookie class and various injuries helped his mediocre rookie season look impressive.
2 2016 Draft: Thon Maker
The hype for Thon Maker has added pressure to him as he is having a horrible second season in the NBA. Maker was drafted with the tenth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. The talent of Maker is there, but he has yet to show it.
1 2017 Draft: Lonzo Ball
The first few months of NBA action have welcomed Lonzo Ball to the professional level in a harsh manner. LaVar Ball’s big mouth made Lonzo the most talked about rookie since LeBron James but with considerably less talent. Many NBA players have targeted Lonzo due to this. The current shooting percentage of Lonzo is an abysmal 33% from the field as he averages nine points in 33 minutes per game as of this writing.
There have been times where the Lakers bench Lonzo in the fourth quarter due to his inability to shoot the ball. Lonzo has shown some signs of greatness, but the times where he kills the team have been more prominent. The Lakers will give Lonzo a lot of time to progress. Lakers fans are a different story as they believe they have a shot at signing LeBron James next summer. If Lonzo continues to look like a bust, the fans will turn on him soon.
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