Draft picks are an interesting commodity in the NBA world. Throughout history, teams have had their fate determined by tremendous and/or terrible draft selections.Over the past sixteen years, we have seen the impact of great draft picks. Players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Steph Curry, and Anthony Davis have shown what a great pick can do for a franchise.
But of course, as they say, there are two sides to every coin. The thing about the draft is that more often than not, players fail to live up to expectations. Players like the aforementioned (James, Wade, Curry, and Davis) are the rarest of draft picks. Way more often, we see teams draft highly touted collegiate players only to have them flounder before ultimately disappearing into the abyss that is an NBA bench.
Every team has seen a highly valued draft pick get wasted on a player who fails to live up to the expectations. It happens every year. But not living up to expectations, and setting a franchise back are two entirely different things.
We will now reveal, in alphabeltical order, every team's worst draft pick since 2000.
30 Atlanta Hawks - Marvin Williams
Marvin Williams has actually carved out a decent little career for himself, yet he is still the saddest selection that the Hawks have made recently. Marvin has been in the league for 10 seasons, playing the role of the elder statesman for the young Charlotte Hornets now.
29 Boston Celtics - Randy Foye
Randy Foye was the seventh overall selection in 2006. The Celtics drafted Foye, and immediately traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers, who shortly thereafter traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves. This pick became a wasted top 10 pick for the Celtics, as they ultimately landed one of the all-time busts Sebastian Telfair in the deal.
When the Celtics look back at the 2006 draft, they have to kick themselves. Instead of selecting Foye, trading him, and ending with Telfair, they could have had Rajon Rondo (rather than acquiring him via trade with Phoenix), Paul Millsap, or Kyle Lowry. Ultimately, Boston would get the last laugh though, as they would go on to win the NBA title two years after the Foye debacle. Of course, as they say, hindsight is 20/20. By the time it was clear they made a bad decision, it was too late.
28 Brooklyn (New Jersey) Nets - Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin was a standout collegiate player during his only season at Seton Hall. He averaged 17.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 4.4 blocks in his freshman season. Concerns about his attitude surfaced before the draft, causing him to slip to the Nets who had the seventh pick in the draft. The Nets didn't necessarily need Griffin's skill set, but his potential was too high for them to pass up on him. After selecting Griffin, the Nets sent him to the Houston Rockets for three picks in that 2001 draft including Jason Collins, and Richard Jefferson.
27 Charlotte Hornets - Adam Morrison
In 2006, the Hornets were still going as the Charlotte Bobcats, and Michael Jordan was in charge of the show. Jordan was sold on the guy he compared to Larry Bird, that guy being Adam Morrison of course.
Jordan invested the third overall pick in 2006 on Morrison, who was coming off a Co-Player of the Year season with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. In 2007, Morrison tore his ACL, which would end up costing him the entire following season. Prior to the injury, however, he was showing no signs of growth as an NBA player. In fact, prior to the ACL injury, Morrison had lost his spot in the starting rotation due to his erratic shooting, and lack of reliability on defense.
26 Chicago Bulls - Jay Williams
Williams was a superstar during his time with the Duke Blue Devils. He had superstar written all over him, and the Chicago Bulls saw it too. The Bulls selected Williams with the second overall pick in the 2002 draft.
Williams had always been a bit of a superstar, and with that came the attitude and swagger of a superstar. Williams lived his life the way he played basketball -- fearlessly. After an up-and-down rookie season, Williams crashed his motorcycle during the offseason. He was not licensed to be driving a motorcycle, nor was he wearing a helmet. Injuries sustained from the accident included a severed main nerve in his leg, fractured pelvis and three dislocated ligaments in his left knee including the ACL. He required physical therapy to regain the use of his leg.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers - Anthony Bennett
One of the easiest, and most obvious inclusions on this list is Anthony Bennett, who was only drafted three years ago, but is already regarded as one of the biggest busts in NBA history.
24 Dallas Mavericks - Kelly Olynyk
Kelly Olynyk himself is not a bad player. He is currently a solid rotation player for the up-and-coming Boston Celtics. The thing that makes this pick so bad for Dallas is what they received in return for Olynyd when they traded him to Boston on draft night in 2013.
23 Denver Nuggets - Nikoloz Tskitishvili
In 2002, the Denver Nuggets made one of the more underrated mistakes in draft history. They selected the seven foot Georgian, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, with the fifth overall selection.
22 Detroit Pistons - Darko Milicic
Darko is definitely one of the worst draft picks since the turn of the century. There is a strong case to prove that he is in fact THE worst pick since 2000. In 2003, the Pistons were blessed with the second pick in the draft, even though they were a contender for the title that year. Rather than go with an all but sure thing in Carmelo Anthony, the Pistons decided to take a flyer on Darko. In the process, the Pistons also passed up on Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as well.
21 Golden State Warriors - Ekpe Udoh
The Warriors are clearly not worried about their draft picks as much as other teams -- that is what back-to-back Finals appearances can do for ya. But it wasn't long ago that the Warriors were looking to the draft to help save their franchise.
20 Houston Rockets - Marcus Morris
In 2011, the Kansas Jayhawks had two of the best players in the country in Marcus and Markieef Morris. The Morris twins were both projected to be lottery picks and they both were. The two brothers were actually the first brothers to be drafted out of the same lottery, as they were drafted back-to-back with Marcus being the second brother drafted.
19 Indiana Pacers - Tyler Hansbrough
Hansbrough was a throwback type of player coming out of North Carolina in 2009. His physical play combined with his emotional leadership made his a lottery pick when the Pacers selected him with the 13th pick that year.
18 Los Angeles Clippers - Darius Miles
The Clippers had been the laughing stock of the NBA for decades. Long before Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and Blake Griffin turned the Clippers into Lob City, they were a perennial lottery team.
17 Los Angeles Lakers - Javaris Crittenton
The Lakers have had their share of success over the last 16 years, so their draft picks have generally been pretty low in the draft. In the past couple of years, they have had some high draft picks, but those picks are seeming to be panning out for the Lakers.
16 Memphis Grizzlies - Hasheem Thabeet
Thabeet was a monster during his three years at Connecticut, and when he decided to leave school a year early, the NBA scouts were salivating. He was an athletic 7'3" center who many people compared to Hall of Famer Yao Ming.
15 Miami Heat - Michael Beasley
Michael Beasley has had one of the most up and down basketball careers in recent memory. Beasley was an incredible collegiate player with Kansas State, which ultimately led to him being drafted second overall by the Heat in 2008. Unfortunately, Beasley was unable to mature to the level needed to be a dependable NBA player, never living up to many of the critics' expectations,.
14 Milwaukee Bucks - Jimmer Fredette
Fredette was all the rage in college basketball during his final season at BYU. He drew attention for his unique ability to create and hit difficult long range baskets. When the Bucks selected him with the 10th pick in the 2011 draft, they didn't take long before packaging him up in a trade, which would land Jimmer in Sacramento.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves - Jonny Flynn
In one of the more perplexing draft picks ever, the Timberwolves chose Jonny Flynn with the sixth overall pick in 2009. The pick of Flynn itself is not the oddity. In 2009, the Wolves had the fifth and the sixth picks in the draft. They were a team in need of help at pretty much every position. So what was so odd about the Flynn pick is that with the fifth pick, the Wolves selected Ricky Rubio. Both players were slender, somewhat undersized point guards -- it made no sense.
12 New Orleans Pelicans - Nerlens Noel
Noel is another one of the Kentucky Wildcats who was drafted incredibly high, but still has yet to pan out. In 2013, the Pelicans owned the sixth overall selection. They decided to draft Nerlens, even though he was coming off a major injury and was expected to miss his entire rookie season. The Pelicans decided to ship Noel off to Philadelphia on the night of the draft, ultimately salvaging something out of the fragile lottery pick.
11 New York Knicks - Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari was projected to be the next Dirk Nowitzki when he entered the draft back in 2008. Knicks fans were not as excited about the pick as the organization had hoped they would be. Gallinari was part of the Mike D'Antoni Knicks, one of he worst stretches in Knicks history. His style of play fit perfectly into D'Antoni's system -- basically run and gun on offense and play little to no defense. It was a recipe for disaster for the Knicks.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder - Robert Swift
The Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonic franchise has made some of the best draft picks over the past 15 years. They have been able to see the potential in players like Serge Ibaki, James Harden and Russell Westbrook while many other franchises failed to see it.
9 Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo
The Magic were kind of doomed from the get-go in 2013. It was widely known that the class of '13 was not very strong, and Orlando attempted to deal the second overall pick during the days leading up to the draft. They were unable, however, to find an offer of fair value and they were forced to draft a player for themselves.
8 Philadelphia 76ers - Evan Turner
The 76ers have had plenty of opportunities to succeed and have failed in the draft over the past two decades. They have been a perennial lottery team since Allen Iverson left town. The Sixers have had a top three pick in each of the last three drafts, and sadly, they have nothing really to show for it. Somehow, none of those three top picks are the Sixers' entry on this list.
7 Phoenix Suns - Earl Clark
The Suns have been an incredibly up-and-down franchise since 2000. They have had some of the most exciting teams in NBA history, and they have posted some pretty ugly records in the same time period.
During the heights of the Steve Nash days, Phoenix was a legitimate title contender. They had all the pieces needed to win it all. The one thing that may have been missing was that young spark plug that comes off the bench and carries the team for small stretches while the starters rest. In 2010, they were looking for just that when they selected Earl Clark.
6 Portland Trail Blazers - Greg Oden
Perhaps the most obvious inclusion in this list is Greg Oden. Not only was he a complete bust, but he was also drafted ahead of Kevin Durant.
5 Sacramento Kings - Thomas Robinson
In retrospect, the 2012 draft was a quality draft with at least a dozen players who are currently starters on their respective teams. Unfortunately for the Kings, who had the fifth overall pick in 2012, they don't have one of those players currently starting for them.
4 San Antonio Spurs - James Anderson
The Spurs are the model of consistency in the NBA, and with their incredibly high level of success, they rarely have high draft picks. Without question, they have been the most consistently successful franchise since 2000, and with guys like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Gregg Popovich around, their players rarely flop.
3 Toronto Raptors - Andrea Bargnani
As a prospect, Andrea was often compared to Dirk Nowitzki. It seems anyone born in Europe who can shoot is immediately the next Dirk. Bargnani did have some other similarities to Nowitzki -- his dribbling skills and his size also -- but there is only one Dirk.
2 Utah Jazz - Dante Exum
The Aussie, Exum, was expected to come in and light the league on fire. His rookie season was quite lackluster for a fifth overall selection, given the amount of minutes he was offered.
1 Washington Wizards - Kwame Brown
Probably the easiest selection on this entire list, the Kwame Brown experiment in Washington failed before it even began. Michael Jordan makes another appearance on this list for his misguided draft choices.
MJ had his first chance to make a real splash as a GM in 2001, when he was gifted the first overall pick in the draft. In his rookie season, Brown averaged less than five points and less than four rebounds per game. Brown never amounted to more than a warm body in Washington, but he was somehow able to last thirteen seasons in the NBA, never being used as more than a role player. In those 13 years, Brown averaged over 10 points per game only once. The Wizards were set back by the selection of Brown for several years afterward, and Jordan was relieved of his GM duties during that time.
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