The 2013 NBA Draft will go down in history as a very odd one. We haven’t seen many superstars emerge from the draft class yet, but we do have some players that appear to be on the doorstep such as Giannis Antetokounmpo. There have also been a lot of surprising players to make an impact on their teams such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, C.J. McCollum, Steven Adams and others.
The amount of role players that the 2013 NBA Draft has produced so far is incredible, but there have also been a ton of busts already, and players that seem that they are well on their way to eventually leaving the NBA without creating much of a legacy. Unfortunately for some of the teams in the draft, they spent some pretty high picks to get next to nothing in return.
Let’s take a look at some of the players from that draft class that already seem to be on their way to having floundering NBA careers, specifically in the draft’s first 35 picks. There are some big names on the list that were superstars in college, but haven’t quite found their footing in the NBA. Here are 15 NBA players that were drafted early in 2013 that already look like they failures.
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15 Kelly Olynyk
For the first few players on the list, “failure” might be too harsh of a word depending on who you ask, but we’re using the word in terms of draft position early on. A star at Gonzaga, Kelly Olynyk was drafted 13th overall by the Celtics after posting 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in his final season with the ‘Zags. Olynyk put up some decent numbers in his rookie season with 70 games played, but those numbers have not improved much since then.
Celtics fans thought that Olynyk would have improved dramatically after three seasons in the league, but he’s still not much more than a role player with 10.0 points per game and rebound numbers that have dropped each season, reaching 4.1 per game in his most recent season. Olynyk also hasn’t reached the starting lineup much in his career, with just 30 career starts over three seasons.
14 Cody Zeller
The Zeller name was a big one in college, as the first two brothers Luke and Tyler attended Notre Dame and North Carolina, respectively. It was thought that the best of the bunch was the youngest, Cody, who made national headlines when he decided to attend Indiana University. The 7 footer was a first-team All-Big Ten player that left the Hoosiers after his sophomore season and was selected 4th overall by the Bobcats.
Zeller hasn’t had the worst career by a longshot, but for the fourth overall pick, you might expect a little more. In his third season, Zeller had a career high in starts with 60 and posted 24.3 minutes per game, but the rest of the numbers weren’t quite there. In 2015-16, Zeller was averaging 8.7 points per game and 6.2 rebounds. Zeller was named to the Team USA roster in 2016 after a lot of superstars pulled out, but he left the team in July with a knee injury.
13 Tim Hardaway, Jr.
If you’re a Michigan basketball fan, you might not want to read the rest of the list since there are a couple of Wolverines that pop up. Tim Hardaway, Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps by attending U of M from 2010 to 2013, helping the team reach the Final Four. Though he wasn’t the most highly touted prospect, name recognition alone made him a big name in college and he definitely delivered.
After his junior season, Hardaway opted to declare for the NBA Draft and was selected 24th overall by the New York Knicks. Hardaway showed a lot of promise early, scoring 10.2 points per game despite only having one start and 23.1 minutes per game. Hardaway’s scoring and rebound would get slight bumps in the second year, but the 2015-16 season looked like the beginning of the end. Hardaway made just one start for his new team (Atlanta) and scored a paltry 6.4 points per game.
12 Ben McLemore
Kansas is always a basketball powerhouse and they are able to snag some pretty big recruits. One of those big gets was Ben McLemore, who was the 34th prospect in the country. McLemore’s Kansas career got off to a shaky start thanks to some transcript issues, but he had a decent impact for the Jayhawks when he finally debuted, scoring 15.9 points per game with 5.2 rebounds. McLemore left after his freshman season and was selected seventh overall by the Sacramento Kings.
McLemore’s NBA career didn’t get off to a huge start, but he was at least putting up some numbers that gave the Kings a bit of hope. In his second year, McLemore took a step forward and was putting up 12.1 points per game and 2.9 rebounds. Unfortunately, it looks like that was his peak, as the 2015-16 season was a huge regression. McLemore was getting plenty of playing time, but he put up career lows in points per game (7.8) and rebounds (2.2). Not what you want from the seventh overall pick.
11 Trey Burke
Our second Michigan alum on the list is one was the straw that stirred the drink for the Wolverines when he played in Ann Arbor for two seasons, reaching the Final Four and being named the Big Ten Player of the Year. The former Ohio Mr. Basketball achieved star status and was then selected ninth overall by the Utah Jazz in 2013. That first year for Burke was a very promising one, as he scored 12.8 points per game, dished out 5.7 assists and hauled in 3.0 rebounds, making the First All-Rookie Team.
Unfortunately for Burke, those numbers have been his career highs so far. Burke’s playing time was slashed by a couple of minutes per game as he started missing more shots from the field and from the line. In the 2015-16 season, Burke’s career took a big step backward as he was relegated to just 21.3 minutes per game. Now that he’s a member of the Wizards, it’s going to be hard for Burke to find the court behind John Wall.
10 Tony Snell
The New Mexico Lobos don’t get a lot of love despite having a fairly rich basketball history, and they have actually produced some solid players including Mel Daniels and Danny Granger. One former Lobo that tried to join the ranks was Tony Snell, who departed from New Mexico after his junior season after leading the team to a Mountain West Conference title. Snell was drafted 20th overall by the Bulls, a squad that he is still with today.
Snell hasn’t shown much on the offensive side of the ball, though he has had a decent defensive career. In Snell’s three seasons with the Bulls so far, he has just 67 starts to his name with 5.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game. When it comes to the 20th overall pick in the draft, you aren’t exactly banking on a superstar, but you are hoping for better numbers than what Snell has been able to deliver.
9 Shane Larkin
Much like Tim Hardaway, Jr., Shane Larkin already had a lot of name recognition before reaching the college basketball ranks. That’s because Larkin’s father is Cincinnati Reds legend Barry Larkin. After quitting baseball, Larkin focused on hopps and was a standout in high school, committing to DePaul before transferring to Miami (FL). Larkin led the Hurricanes to the Sweet 16 in his sophomore season, deciding to leave afterward to be drafted 18th overall by the Atlanta Hawks and then getting swapped to the Mavericks.
Larkin got just 10.2 minutes per game in his rookie season, scoring less than three points per game. Larkin was then shifted to the Knicks in his second season where he improved his numbers slightly, but was still just a role player. Larkin joined his third different team for 2015-16, heading to the other side of New York to play for the Nets. Larkin continued to put up low numbers, but at least he is still signed to stay in the same place for a second straight season.
8 Reggie Bullock
Reggie Bullock was one of the best shooting guards coming out of high school in 2010 and had offers from all of the blue chip basketball schools before deciding to attend North Carolina. Bullock became the team’s leading scorer during his junior season in 2013 and it led to him being selected 25th overall by the Clippers. Bullock found the starting lineup just twice in his first two seasons in Los Angeles and his numbers barely registered on the radar.
During the 2014-15 season, Bullock was shipped to the Phoenix Suns as part of a three team trade. In 11 games, Bullock scored 0.4 points per game and then joined the Pistons for the 2015-16 season. Bullock didn’t crack the starting lineup once in the most recent season, and averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. More of a D-League plug-in at this point, Bullock doesn’t appear to have a future impact for the Pistons, but is still on the roster.
7 Lucas Nogueira
You never really know what you’re getting when you draft a foreign player in the NBA, but a lot of teams like to take the chance. Hailing from Brazil, 7’0” center Lucas Nogueira was another one of those players that American fans didn’t know much about. The Boston Celtics selected Nogueira 16th overall in 2013 and he had his draft rights traded to the Atlanta Hawks. After a season of not playing in the league thanks to his foreign commitments, Nogueira was traded again to the Raptors.
So far, Nogueira has spent a lot more time in the D-League than he has in the NBA, having long stints with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and Raptors 905. In his two NBA seasons, Nogueira has played in just 35 games with one start (coming in 2015-16). The numbers have been far from impressive, as he has registered 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
6 Glen Rice, Jr.
We meet yet another player that had a lot of name recognition, and this time it’s Glen Rice, Jr., the son of former Michigan player Glen Rice, Sr. that led the Wolverines to the 1989 National Championship. Instead of heading to Michigan and joining Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., Rice joined Georgia Tech, and he was drafted 35th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, but made his debut in his rookie season with the Washington Wizards.
Rice started out in the D-League and he was a standout there before being moved up to the NBA roster. There was some hype after his big D-League numbers, but Rice has disappointed on the NBA level as he didn’t make the roster at all in the 2015-16 season. So far in his career, Rice has just 16 appearances (one start) with 2.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. Rice has also had run-ins with the law, being arrested in 2015 for marijuana possession and was arrested once again on July 25, 2016 for robbery.
5 Solomon Hill
One of just two Americans left on the list, Solomon Hill was the third ranked small forward out of high school in 2009 and declared to the University of Arizona. Hill spent all four of his eligible years with the Wildcats and was a member of the All Pac-12 First Team in his senior season. With the 23rd overall pick, the Pacers selected Hill and assigned him to the D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
In his second season, Hill became a member of the Pacers’ starting lineup, playing in all 82 games and averaged 8.9 points with 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. It ended up being more of a fluke than a promising start to his career as he took a huge step back in 2015-16 once Paul George returned full time. Hill’s numbers in the most recent season weren’t impressive with just 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, establishing himself once again as a bench player.
4 Livio Jean-Charles
Here is a name that you probably completely forgot about. Livio Jean-Charles was already playing professional basketball in France as a member of the NM1 League and then ASVEL with LNB Pro A. After being a standout at the Nike Hoop Summit, Jean-Charles was picked up with the 28th selection by San Antonio. Instead of making his way to the United States, Jean-Charles stuck around in France with ASVEL and has played four seasons with the team so far.
The numbers haven’t been all that impressive, with his most recent year being the best one with 5.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. In July of 2016, Jean-Charles signed with the Spurs to get a second chance at joining the club. He will have to make a big splash early if he wants to stick around, though, and the chances aren’t all that great with an already stacked lineup. Now 22 years old, Jean-Charles will have to sit behind LaMarcus Aldridge.
3 Nemanja Nedovic
We go from France to Serbia now for a player that was once dubbed as “The European Derrick Rose,” Nemanja Nedovic. Nedovic had all of the physical tools at 6’3” and 190 pounds and played professionally in Europe with Crvena zvezda and Lietuvos rytas. On draft night in 2013, Nedovic was selected 30th overall by the Phoenix Suns and was then shipped to the Golden State Warriors later that night.
Nedovic would spend most of his rookie season with the D-League squad, but did make 24 appearances with the Warriors where he scored just 1.1 points per game with 0.6 rebounds and 0.5 assists. Nedovic returned for Summer League, but was then waived by the Warriors before the next season started. Nedovic has not returned to the NBA since then, and has been spending his time in the Euro league,most recently with Unicaja. You will likely see the 25 year old during the Olympics this summer, though, as he is on the Serbian (ranked 6th by FIBA) roster.
2 Sergey Karasev
Our final foreign born player on the list was the fourth one selected (19th overall) in the 2013 NBA Draft after Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lucas Nogueira and Dennis Schroder. Karasev was coming off of a career with Triumph Lyubertsy where he was a standout, and it was the Cavaliers that scooped him up off of the draft board. Karasev, a Russian, has mostly been a D-League option so far in his career.
Karasev spent just one season with the Cavaliers, scoring 1.7 points per game in 22 appearances and one start. A three team trade sent Karasev to the Brooklyn Nets where he saw more playing time, but still didn’t have an impact. In his third season, Karasev’s playing time dropped back down to 10 minutes per game, and he was scoring just 2.4 points per game with 1.5 rebounds. Now, Karasev has returned to Russia to play for Zenit Saint Petersburg and is also a member of the Russian national team.
1 Anthony Bennett
Without a doubt, the career that looks like it has become the most doomed from the 2013 NBA Draft class belongs to Anthony Bennett. When the UNLV product was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, a lot of people were scratching their heads with some calling it the most confusing number one pick in NBA history. The critics would end up being proved right almost instantly as Bennett floundered in his rookie year with just 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
The numbers would improve when Bennett was traded to Minnesota in the Kevin Love deal, but not by much as he scored just 5.2 points and hauled in 3.8 rebounds per game. Bennett’s tenure in Minnesota would end after just one season, and he was a member of the Toronto Raptors for the 2015-16 season. There, Bennett put up career lows in numbers, playing just 19 games and has now been given yet another chance with Brooklyn, his fourth team in as many years.
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