The NBA Draft process is arguably the most interesting in all of professional sports. Since 1984, the ping-pong ball draft lottery determines the first 14 picks of the first round. No matter if you were the worst team in the league, or the 14th, you have a shot at getting that coveted number one overall pick. Then, the rest of the draft follows suit going from worst to best teams. Two rounds, two picks per team. That’s it.
One can make the argument that the NBA draft is the most important draft to their respective sport. Considering there are only five players on the court at a time, and only 12 per roster, one player can totally change the landscape of a franchise. That’s what makes draft night so exciting. If you draft the right player, your franchise could revitalize itself and be on the upswing for years to come. Draft the wrong player, and your team could set itself up for years of rebuilding or painful mediocrity.
Over the course of history, NBA fans have seen picks from both ends of the spectrum. Teams have drafted their marquis franchise player that stayed with the organization for years, such as Tim Duncan and Dwyane Wade. We’ve also teams miss what was right in front of them. I’m sure the Trail Blazers are wishing they took Kevin Durant over Greg Oden, and how the hell did they take Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in 1984?
Anyway, some teams have been luckier than others on draft night. Due to their long run of success, you wouldn’t think the Boston Celtics have made too many mistakes when it comes to drafting. In actuality, there have been a few mishaps dating all the way back to the 60s. Here are the Top 15 Worst Draft Mistakes Of The Boston Celtics.
15 15. Acie Earl
14 14. Len Bias
It’s hard to call Len Bias a draft mistake. The Maryland product was widely regarded as a rising superstar that would only bolster the already great 1980s Celtics. However, two days after he was drafted by Boston, Bias’ life was tragically cut short due to a cocaine overdose when he was only 22 years old. He is often considered the greatest player to never play an NBA game.
13 13. Mel Counts
12 12. Jon Barry
11 11. Norm Cook
Just two years off of an NBA championship, the Celtics were still a very respectable team, positioned to get even better in the draft. However, the drafting of Norm Cook did not follow this trend. Though he was a great player in his college days at Kansas that did not continue into the NBA. The small forward only played a mere 27 games over the course of two NBA seasons.
10 10. Glenn McDonald
9 9. Paul Westphal
8 8. MarShon Brooks
The Celtics never actually hung on to MarShon Brooks. When the Nets drafted JuJuan Johnson two picks later, the teams decided to swap selections. However, neither selection would matter as both teams missed out on an All-Star just a couple picks later.
7 7. J.R. Giddens
6 6. Michael Smith
5 5. Gabe Pruitt & Glen Davis
4 4. Ron Mercer
3 3. Jared Sullinger & Fab Melo
2 2. Kedrick Brown
1 1. Antoine Walker
Antoine Walker wasn’t a stiff for the Celtics. Paired with Paul Pierce, they made the team relevant again in the late 90s and early 2000s. He was a three-time All-Star in Boston and was a key piece for the teams playoff runs. However, considering whom the Celtics missed out on, Walker can be viewed as a mistake. Taken seven picks after Walker was one Kobe Bean Bryant, whose legacy speaks for itself. Not to mention, two picks after Bryant the Suns scooped up a Canadian point guard by the name of Steve Nash, who went on to become a two-time MVP. Walker was great for the Celtics, but these two guys could have changed the franchise.
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