The San Antonio Spurs are known as the model franchise in the NBA that every team aspires to imitate, especially when it comes to selecting players in the draft. The Spurs have been fortunate enough to have some no-brainer picks with David Robinson and Tim Duncan, which any general manager with two cents would have done. However, the Spurs have also built the reputation of turning water into wine.
With their winning percentage in the top of the league each and every year, the Spurs have always had late draft picks, which usually means slim pickings for most teams. But rather than viewing these late picks as scraps, the Spurs have always viewed them as diamonds in the rough. For example, Tony Parker was selected with the 28th pick in the 2001 draft, which is nearly the last pick in the first round. Manu Ginobili was selected with the 57th pick in the 1999 draft, which is nearly at the bottom of the 2nd round. Yet, both of these players will eventually wind up in the Hall of Fame. And this year, they selected Kyle Anderson with the last pick in the first round, whom many experts believe will be a very solid NBA player, for no other reason than the fact that the San Antonio Spurs drafted him.
Meanwhile, some of the worst teams in the league, who get the highest draft picks each and every year, are somehow picking up coal in the heart of a gold mine. The point is, that sometimes you have a lot more to lose by picking early than by picking late, simply by the fact that the expectations are far, far greater. Players picked late in the first round aren’t supposed to be good. Players in the second round aren’t supposed to even make it to the NBA. However, players selected in the lottery are supposed to be franchise players and All-Stars.
Unfortunately, that has not always been the case throughout NBA history. In fact, sometimes the expectations crush some of these players to the point where their careers are very short lived and almost non-existent. The following is a list of the worst picks that every team in the NBA has ever regrettably drafted, and even the Spurs are no exception.
30 30. Sacramento Kings – Pervis Ellison (1989)
29 29. Detroit Pistons – Darko Milicic (2003)
28 28. Dallas Mavericks – Roy Tarpley (1986)
27 27. Chicago Bulls – Keith Lee (1985)
26 26. Charlotte Bobcats – Adam Morrison (2006)
25 25. Atlanta Hawks – Jon Koncak (1985)
24 24. Denver Nuggets – Mark Macon (1991)
23 23. Houston Rockets – Royce White (2012)
22 22. Golden State Warriors – Chris Washburn (1986)
21 21. Indiana Pacers – Scott Haskin (1993)
20 20. Los Angeles Lakers – Earl Jones (1984)
19 19. Los Angeles Clippers – Michael Olowokandi (1998)
18 18. Milwaukee Bucks – Kent Benson (1977)
17 17. Miami Heat – Michael Beasley (2008)
16 16. New Orleans Hornets – Kirk Haston (2001)
15 15. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonny Flynn (2009)
14 14. Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder – Rich King (1991)
13 13. New York Knicks – Frederic Weis (1999)
12 12. Philadelphia Sixers – Marvin Barnes (1974)
11 11. Orlando Magic – David Vaughn (1995)
10 10. San Antonio Spurs – Alfredrick Hughes (1985)
9 9. Washington Wizards – Kwame Brown (2001)
8 8. Toronto Raptors – Andrea Bargnani (2006)
7 7. Utah Jazz – Jose Ortiz (1987)
6 6. Phoenix Suns – William Bedford (1986)
5 5. Portland Trail Blazers – Greg Oden (2007)
4 4. New Jersey Nets – Ed O’Bannon (1995)
3 3. Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet (2009)
2 2. Boston Celtics – Eric Montross (1994)
1 1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Chuckie Williams (1976)
The 15th pick in the 1976 draft played only 22 games in the NBA before his pro-career was over. He tallied a total of 37 points, which came out to about 1.7 points per game. Very rarely does a player picked this high, last so little in the NBA. Instead of wasting a pick on Chuckie, the Cavs could've had Alex English or Johnny Davis. Hell, they could've taken any other player in the first two rounds of the draft and got more mileage out of them.
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