With two rounds and 60 picks in each year’s NBA Draft, there are a lot of players who have a chance to join the league every year. Most of them never make it of course. A lot of them hang around for a while before having their careers putter out. Some of them do become stars or valuable rotation players. But then there are those who stay in the league, sit on the bench, and stink up the joint when they finally do get onto the court. These are the worst players in the NBA. Although they can’t be that bad if they are still in the NBA, that does not mean the teams that drafted them do not regret taking someone else with that pick. Read on to learn about the worst players in the NBA who are somehow still in the league, and what different players the teams who drafted them COULD have had if they were able to make their selections all over again.
15 Deandre Liggins (2011)
Re-Draft: Isaiah Thomas
Through four seasons in the NBA, with a two year hiatus in Russia, Germany, and the NBA D-League, DeAndre Liggins is pretty well established as one of the worst players in the league who is actually still around. He has averaged just a hair over two points per game in four seasons. He came to the league after a three year career with Kentucky when he was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 53rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Although there were only two players drafted after him that even played in the NBA, the Magic still could have gotten a much better choice if they had a chance to redraft. E’Twaun Moore was drafted two picks later, but with the very last pick in the draft the Sacramento Kings selected Isaiah Thomas, who is currently the best player on the best team in the Eastern Conference at the moment. You do not often get anyone good that late in the draft, but the Magic could have had an All-Star if they would have taken Thomas instead of Liggins.
14 Adreian Payne (2014)
Re-Draft: Jusuf Nurkic
The former Michigan State star who played four seasons with the Spartans was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 15th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft has been bouncing between the NBA and the D-League for three seasons. He has averaged just over four points and grabbed three rebounds per game through 97 games. Although he is currently injured, he had averaged 3.8 points per game during his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves this year. The player that the Hawsk should have taken instead of Payne is currently sliding into a key role with the Portland Trailblazers. Jusuf Nurkic was drafted with the very next pick by the Chicago Bulls who sent him to the Nuggets on draft night. He played well for three seasons in Denver but was traded to the Trailblazers at the deadline and has almost doubled his production in points, rebounds, and assists and looks to be on his way to being a very valuable player.
13 Jakob Poeltl (2016)
Re-Draft: Skal Labissiere
As a rookie, you don’t want to jump to conclusions too soon, as he could still develop into something good, but at the moment Jakob Poeltl is nothing special. He is averaging under three points, and although he is grabbing three rebounds per game it is all in minimal playing time for the Raptors. The Austrian kid was selected by Toronto with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft after a four year career at the University of Utah. Another seven footer (well, 6’11”) who the Raptors could have had who went 18 picks later was Skal Labissiere who the Kings chose at number 28. Although he started slowly, Labissiere has come along slowly and now averages over seven points and almost five rebounds in less than 15 minutes per game.
12 Bismack Biyombo (2011)
Re-Draft: Kawhi Leonard
Although he just signed a pretty huge $72 million dollar deal with the Orlando Magic in the offseason, and he is a solid part of their rotation, Bismack Biyombo is closer to being one of the worst players in the NBA than being one of the best. He is a pretty good rebounder grabbing over six boards per game during his career but on the other hand he scores less than five points per game. One of the problems with Biyombo is that he was taken with the seventh overall pick. The Sacramento Kings grabbed him in the 2011 NBA Draft but they could have had a few much better players. Kemba Walker went two picks later, and Klay Thompson went four picks later. But the player the Kings should have taken is Kawhi Leonard who is one of the very best players in the NBA at the moment who was taken by the Pacers with the 15th pick, who then traded him to the Spurs where he is in the running for MVP.
11 Noah Vonleh (2014)
Re-Draft: Dario Saric
After being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2014 with the University of Indiana, Noah Vonleh declared for the 2014 NBA Draft. He was selected with the ninth overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets. After an early season injury and some time in the D-League, Vonleh played 25 games during his rookie season. He was traded to the Portland Trailblazers in the offseason where he has played for the past two years averaging just under four points per game. Although he could still break out at some point, he is among the worst active players in the league so far. The Hornets could have had the guy who could be this year’s Rookie of the Year instead if they had a chance to redraft. Dario Saric has not been in the NBA since he was drafted, until this year. But now that he is here, he is playing great for the 76ers, and with Joel Embiid out, Saric is one of the best rookies in the league.
10 Jordan Hill (2009)
Re-Draft: DeMar DeRozan
Although he had a few productive years over the course of his eight year career, Jordan Hill’s best seasons came with the recently tanking Los Angeles Lakers in 2014 and 2015. Currently however, Hill is averaging 1.7 points per game with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Needless to say he is among the worst players in the league at this point. Hill was drafted with the eight overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of Arizona where he was named first team All-Pac-10 in 2009. The New York Knicks selected him, but traded him to the Rockets at the trade deadline. Steph Curry went one pick before Hill so the Knicks missed out on him, but they could have had DeMar DeRozan who went to the Raptors with the very next pick and would have been a much better choice.
9 Thomas Robinson (2012)
Re-Draft: Damian Lillard
One of the most highly regarded players to come out of the 2012 NBA Draft was the All-American from Kansas, Thomas Robinson. The Big 12 Player of the Year has hung around the league since the Sacramento Kings selected him with the fifth overall pick in the Draft, but he has never busted out and established himself as a very good player. Through five seasons he has bounced around among six teams while averaging less than five points and five rebounds per game. The guy who was taken with the very next pick would have been a much better choice. Although he came out of Weber State, Damian Lillard has become one of the best players in the NBA. Instead of going with the big time star from the blue-blood basketball school, the Kings could have taken the unknown kid from the tiny school in the Big Sky Conference and had a lot more success with that choice.
8 Wesley Johnson (2010)
Re-Draft: Paul George
Although he has had a decent career so far, averaging over seven points per game, Wesley Johnson is currently among the worst players in the NBA. In his seventh year in the league, his second with the Clippers, Johnson is now scoring under three points and grabbing less than three rebounds per game. Johnson was originally the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, after playing ball at Iowa State University, and then Syracuse where he was named first team All-American in 2010. DeMarcus Cousins was taken with the very next pick, but if the Wolves insisted on taking another small forward, then they should have selected Paul George who went six places later and is now considered one of the best two way players in the league.
7 Miles Plumlee (2012)
Re-Draft: Jae Crowder
Miles Plumlee played four seasons at Duke as an important contributor off the bench behind his brother Mason, winning an NCAA Championship in 2010. Following his senior year, Plumlee was chosen by the Indiana Pacers with the 26th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. He only played 14 games for the Pacers before he was traded to the Suns where he had his best two seasons averaging 6.6 points per game. Since then he has played for the Bucks and the Charlotte Hornets while averaging under five points per game. Although he is not the worst Plumlee in the NBA (his brother Marshall holds that distinction), he is among the worst players in the league. The Pacers could have easily had a better option by choosing Jae Crowder who went with the 34th pick.
6 Pascal Siakam (2016)
Re-Draft: Malcolm Brogdon
Another rookie who could possibly develop into something more is another foreign big man that the Raptors went for in Pascal Siakam. Siakam was taken by the Raptors with the 27th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of New Mexico State. Originally from Cameroon, Siakam is averaging just over four points and just under four rebounds in less than 16 minutes per game for the Raptors. Although they were apparently looking for a big man, a better choice for the Raptors could have been the senior out of Virginia who the Bucks drafted with the 36th overall pick, Malcom Brogdon. Brogdon is a key part of the Bucks rotation as they make their playoff push. He is also in the running for Rookie of the Year averaging over ten points and over four assists per game off the bench for Milwaukee.
5 Johnny O’Bryant III (2014)
Re-Draft: Nikola Jocic
Over three years at LSU, Johnny O’Bryant III was a two time All-SEC first team selection. After declaring for the draft after his junior year, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 36th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Over three seasons in the NBA so far, O’Bryant has averaged just three points and just over two rebounds per game. Despite spending most of 2017 in the D-League, Bryant is now with the Hornets making him one of the worst current players in the league. One of the best young players in the league could have been selected by the Bucks instead in 2014. Five picks later, Nicola Jocic was taken by the Denver Nuggets. Although he stayed in Europe for a year, once he came over to the NBA, Jocic established himself as a up and coming star and is now helping the Nuggets as they make a playoff push this year.
4 Luc Mbah a Moute (2008)
Re-Draft: Goran Dragic
Through nine years in the NBA, Luc Mbah a Moute has been a pretty decent player, although over the last few years he has slipped a little bit. His production with the Los Angeles Clippers in the past two years has been less than five points per game. Originally a star at UCLA where he went to three straight Final Fours, the last one with Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook, Mbah a Moute declared for the draft after his junior year. He was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 37th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Although he was a mid-second round pick, there was one other player who developed into a a star. The Bucks could have had Goran Dragic who ended up with the Pheonix Suns after being drafted by the Spurs eight picks later.
3 Kris Dunn (2016)
Re-Draft: Buddy Hield
The Minnesota Timberwolves were very high on the second team All-American point guard out of Providence, Kris Dunn. They chose him with the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft envisioning him as their point guard of the future who would replace Ricky Rubio. Although he is still just a rookie, Dunn has not broken through and looks to be among the worst high picks from the draft. With Rubio’s shooting improving bit by bit, Dunn might end up washing out with the Timberwolves before he is able to make a mark. If the Wolves had it to do again, their best bet would have been to take Buddy Hield who went to the Pelicans with the very next pick. Although Hield did not break out in New Orleans, he is starting to show signs of stardom now that he is with the Kings. He could have been even more useful in Minnesota however. Next to Karl Anthony-Towns' all around big man skills, Wiggins’ slashing and scoring, and Rubio’s masterful passing, Hield would have been an ideal fit draining spot up threes to open the floor for the rest of the team.
2 Austin Rivers (2012)
Re-Draft: Draymond Green
Based on his stats he might not be one of the worst players in the NBA, but Austin Rivers is also not as good as his numbers might suggest. At times he has certainly looked like the worst player in the NBA, falling down on fast breaks, dribbling the ball off his feet, having a dunk rejected by the rim. Add this to the fact that he is the coach’s son makes you wonder if he would be getting the playing time (and therefore the stats) he is if he was just some random kid. Nevertheless he is entrenched in the league for the moment. That said, the team that drafted him did trade him away after three seasons. The New Orleans Pelicans had originally taken him with the 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft after taking Anthony Davis with the number one pick. Imagine if the Pelicans had skipped over Rivers however and teamed Davis up with Draymond Green who went with the 35th overall pick.
1 Cole Aldrich (2010)
Re-Draft: Eric Bledsoe
Despite managing to hang around in the NBA for over seven seasons, while playing around half of his games every year, Cole Aldrich is probably one of the longest term bad players in the NBA. He has averaged over three points and over three rebounds per game during his career with six different teams. He was originally drafted by the New Orleans Hornets with the 11th overall pick and traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on draft night. One great player who could have been had by the Hornets with their pick was Eric Bledsoe who ended up being drafted seven picks later by the Thunder who shipped him to the Clippers. The Hornets could have had the replacement for Chris Paul they had been searching for, but instead Bledsoe ended up as CP3’s backup in Los Angeles.
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