The NBA Draft is one of the league's most exciting and entertaining events in sports. While all the teams involved look to better their roster with a talented young player, not all the selections made turn out the way the team selecting the player thought it would. It's always fun to look back at certain draft picks, as many players who were thought to be the next NBA superstars ended up being total busts.
In this article, we will be looking at the biggest busts of the last decade from pick 1 to 15. We have seen a lot of busts over the last decade, and this list of players just gets more and more disappointing considering how high they were selected. Many NBA owners would look at these names and feel sick because many great players were selected behind these NBA busts. Looking from 2005 to 2015, these guys just did not pan out like expected.
As always, feel free to leave any thoughts you have on this matter in the comment section, as we would love to here your opinion on these draft busts.
Here are the biggest NBA duds of the last decade from pick 1 to 15. To work our way up to the biggest bust of them all, we will start from 15 and work our way down to no.1.
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15 Cedric Simmons
Drafted #15: 2006 by New Orleans Hornets
You may not know who Cedric Simmons is, but he showed enough promise during his two-year college career at North Carolina State to get drafted by the Hornets with the 15th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. The Hornets definitely wish they could have this pick back, as players such as Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, and Paul Millsap where chosen behind Simmons. The Hornets obviously saw they weren't getting what they saw in Cedric when they drafted him, and he was traded to Oklahoma City during his rookie season. Jumping from team to team, Simmons played for five NBA teams over his very short five-year career. He was then moved to the D-League where he ultimately ended up leaving to play basketball overseas. The 6-foot-9 forward from North Carolina State was supposed to be a solid scorer and rebounder down low, but all the Hornets got with their 15th overall selection was a total bust. Cedric has been the league's worst draft selection at pick 15 from the last decade.
14 Earl Clark
Drafted #14: 2009 by Phoenix Suns
Helping lead Louisville to the Big East Title as well as a #1 ranking, Earl Clark was drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the 14th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Clark spent a few seasons with the team that drafted him, but Phoenix never really gave the guy many minutes to produce, and he was then moved to Orlando, where he got pretty much the same treatment minute-wise. Clark found some success in Los Angeles in 2012, where he averaged 7.3 ppg, but he only spent one season with the team. Moving to three other teams after that, Clark spent last season with the Brooklyn Nets until he was moved to the Suns' D-League affiliate.
Clark will play overseas in China this upcoming year, and at 28 years old, Earl's run in the NBA is most likely over. Clark was no doubt a wasted pick with the 14th pick in 2009, as the Suns could have chosen players such as Jrue Holiday or Jeff Teague.
13 Julian Wright
Drafted #13: 2007 by New Orleans Hornets
Julian Wright, another Hornets/Pelicans draft bust, was the worst selection at pick #13 of the last decade. It's hard not to be considered a bust when you only play four years in the NBA, and sadly that's the story of Julian Wright's career. After playing two successful years at Kansas, the Hornets liked what they saw in Julian and his athleticism, and the team took him with their 13th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Instead of Wright, New Orleans could have selected their would-be franchise big man Marc Gasol, who was drafted with the 48th pick in 2007.
Wright did play for the Hornets for three years, but his inability to stay healthy or to steadily produce led to him being traded to the Raptors, where he was ultimately moved to the D-League. Now playing overseas in the Turkish Super League, hopefully Wright has more success there than he did in the NBA.
12 Yaroslav Korolev
Drafted #12: 2005 by Los Angeles Clippers
Only playing 34 games in his NBA career, Yaroslav Korolev was a total bust. Playing in Russia before being drafted by the Clippers with the 12th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Korolev must have dominated overseas to be considered good enough to be a lottery selection in the NBA. The Clippers obviously made the wrong decision going with Korolev, as he only spent two seasons in the NBA. The Clippers could have gone with players such as Marcin Gortat, Monta Ellis, or Danny Granger, all of whom would have been more productive than Korolev. After quickly leaving the NBA after averaging 1.1 ppg for his career, Yaroslav went back to his homeland to play in Russia.
The Clippers definitely regret this one, especially because Korolev was the worst selection at pick #12 in the last decade by far, definitely an embarrassing post to hold.
11 Fran Vazquez
Drafted #11: 2005 by Orlando Magic
It is certainly hard to say much about a player who never actually played an NBA game since most people, myself included, have not heard of Fran Vazquez. Fran was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 11th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft after a solid showing overseas. Apparently Fran indicated he would definitely be playing for the Magic after being drafted, and Orlando fans were enraged that Fran decided to stay overseas instead of joining Dwight Howard in their front court. Instead, Fran signed with Akasvayu Girona of the Spanish ACB League. Vazquez then played for FC Barcelona for six years, Unicaja for four years, and is now playing for Iberostar Tenerife. Considering he never even scored a basket for the Orlando Magic, there is no doubt that Fran Vazquez was the worst selection at pick 11 of the last decade, and a terrible disappointment to Orlando fans.
10 Mouhamed Sene
Drafted #10: 2006 by Seattle SuperSonics (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Mouhamed Sene was thought to be a dominant center due to his gigantic 7-foot-8 wingspan, but Sene just didn't have the talent to compete in the NBA. Drafted with the 10th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, Mouhamed Sene never panned out like many scouts thought he would. To be honest, I am a little confused as to why the Sonics went with this guy so early in the draft in the first place, considering that before the NBA, Sene only played 12.3 minutes per game in the Belgian League. Overall, Sene only managed to play 47 games throughout his four-year NBA career. Sene was no doubt the wrong decision to draft with a top 10 draft pick. Averaging 2.2 ppg over his career, Sene was the worst draft selection at pick 10 of the last decade by a long shot.
9 Patrick O'Bryant
Drafted #9: 2006 by Golden State Warriors
Patrick O'Bryant attended Bradley University for two years, and his standout games against Kansas and Pittsburgh during the 2006 NCAA Tournament caught the attention of NBA scouts. Being drafted by the Warriors with the 9th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft must have been a dream come true for O'Bryant, but his career in the league was anything but a dream. Playing only sparingly throughout his five-year career, O'Bryant only managed to play 90 games. After playing with the Warriors for two seasons, O'Bryant played for the Celtics and then for Toronto.
He did not get many minutes to produce, as he only averaged 2.1 ppg in about 6 minutes a night over the course of his career. Now playing overseas in Taiwan, O'Bryant may have found some new life there, as he is one of the more dominant centers in the league.
8 Joe Alexander
Drafted #8: 2008 by Milwaukee Bucks
A classic case of a player not being able to translate his college success into the NBA, Joe Alexander struggled mightily throughout his disappointing NBA career. After a solid junior season at West Virginia, Joe Alexander declared for the draft. Milwaukee must have seen something special in Alexander, and they drafted him with their 8th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, which they would soon see was a mistake. Joe only played 59 games for the Bucks until being traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he would play 8 games. That is sadly the story of Alexander's career, and the Bucks could have chosen players such as DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez, and Goran Dragic, all of whom were all chosen behind Alexander. Alexander now plays overseas, playing for Dinamo Sassari of the Italian Serie A league. Joe Alexander is the decade's worst selection at pick 8 of the NBA Draft.
7 Charlie Villanueva
Drafted #7: 2005 by Toronto Raptors
Charlie Villanueva was not necessarily a terrible draft pick, but the last decade has produced some pretty solid 7th overall selections, and Villanueva happens to be the worst of the bunch. Drafted 7th by the Raptors in 2005, Villanueva had a solid rookie season, even being named to the All-Rookie First Team. Charlie was then traded to Milwaukee, and had his best season during his time there, averaging 16.2 ppg before signing with Detroit. Villanueva's career was all downhill from there, and Charlie is now a role player for the Dallas Mavericks. He recently made headlines when he interrupted Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne's dance routine during the Mavs and Thunder's playoff series this season.
Durant dealt a scathing blow to Villaneuva when he remarked on the incident, saying, "guys who don't play have to do something to be remembered," and even adding "he might not even be in the league next year."
6 Jonny Flynn
Drafted #6: 2009 by Minnesota Timberwolves
This past decade has produced a healthy amount of busts at the number 6 draft spot, but who was drafted after Jonny Flynn is what makes him the worst. Here's a little backstory. The Timberwolves had both the 5th and 6th draft selections of the 2009 NBA Draft. With the 5th pick, the Wolves went with Ricky Rubio, and with the 6th, Jonny Flynn. Still waiting to be selected was a player by the name of Stephen Curry, who was drafted with the 7th pick by the Golden State Warriors. While Jonny actually played pretty well during his rookie season, hip surgery hindered Flynn's chances of being a real star. Steph Curry went on to be one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, while Jonny Flynn was out of the league after four short, injury ridden seasons. The T-Wolves sure do wish they could have this draft pick back.
5 Shelden Williams
Drafted #5: 2006 by Atlanta Hawks
After a very successful four years at Duke, Shelden Williams looked to be one of the league's best new big men. However, despite his greatness in college, Shelden Williams did not have a very good NBA career. Drafted 5th by the Hawks in 2006, Shelden Williams didn't perform like a top five draft selection should have. Williams didn't have a stellar rookie season, but he played pretty well nonetheless. Williams never dominated in the NBA like he did in college, and he never really got the minutes needed to produce big numbers. Never playing a full season, Williams played for a total of seven NBA teams over the course of his nine-year career. Shelden Williams has been the worst pick at the 5th slot in the NBA Draft of the last decade, and sadly for the Hawks, they were the ones that ended up drafting him.
4 Tyrus Thomas
Drafted #4: 2006 by Portland Trail Blazers (traded to Chicago)
Even though Tyrus Thomas was one of my favorite players growing up, he definitely flew under the radar of many NBA fans, which is not what the Bulls where hoping for when they traded their 2nd overall pick, LaMarcus Aldridge, for him. Tyrus played one season at LSU, where he showed he was a solid scorer and an excellent rebounder. His rookie season wasn't anything special, as he averaged about 5 ppg in 13.4 minutes a night. Thomas stuck with Chicago for four seasons, until he was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats in 2009. He had a few solid seasons with the Cats, averaging over 10 points a night during his stint there.
While his career wasn't terrible, he didn't have as much of an impact as the man he was originally traded for in LaMarcus Aldridge, who ended up having a very successful career.
3 Adam Morrison
Drafted #3: 2006 by Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets)
Michael Jordan had an amazing NBA playing career, but his decision to draft Adam Morrison with the Bobcats' 3rd pick in the 2006 NBA Draft was anything but Jordan-like. Adam Morrison was a great player at Gonzaga, but sadly, that is where Morrison's career would peak, as his NBA career was anything but successful. His rookie season with the Cats was his best season, since knee injuries kept him out of many games the next few seasons. He was traded to the Lakers in 2009, just in time to win two championships, thanks in very large part to the play of Kobe Bryant I might add and not because of Morrison. He was out of the league after four years, and his career averages were staggeringly low considering Morrison was drafted with a 3rd overall selection. Morrison is infamously known as one of the worst draft selections ever, and his disappointing career has garnered him a spot on this list.
2 Hasheem Thabeet
Drafted #2: 2009 by Memphis Grizzlies
The 2009 NBA Draft was stacked with future superstars, but it also had its share of busts, Hasheem Thabeet being one of them. Drafted with the 2nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, Hasheem Thabeet is one of Memphis' biggest regrets. His three years at UConn were impressive, as he displayed good defensive instincts and an ability to score down low. His college showing was so eye-opening, however, that the Grizzlies believed Hasheem Thabeet would be their next franchise center. Boy were they wrong! Thabeet averaged about 3 ppg in his rookie season, and he was moved in and out of the D-League multiple times. Thabeet just wasn't as NBA-ready as many people thought he was, and his skills didn't match up to NBA centers in the slightest. Thabeet was a total bust, and by far the worst selection at pick number 2 of the last decade.
1 Greg Oden
Drafted #1: 2007 by Portland Trail Blazers
After debating whether this spot should go to Greg Oden or Anthony Bennett, it quickly became apparent as to why Oden was the worst bust of the two. Firstly, Oden was primed to be one of the league's greatest centers, and it was a shock to many how ineffective his NBA career turned out to be. Also, a player by the name of Kevin Durant was drafted just one pick behind him, which just adds to the regret the Blazers must still feel over this wasted draft selection. While Oden had the talent to compete, injuries absolutely derailed his career, as he was only able to compete in 105 NBA games before having to call it quits. Oden made a return and played for the Jiangsu Dragons of the CBA league, and even though his time spent there was pretty successful, I don't think Oden will ever get to make things right regarding his time spent in the NBA.
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