The NBA Draft is a time of excitement, opportunity, and more importantly, uncertainty. The Draft has produced some of the greatest players in basketball history, but it also has produced some of the most disappointing players. Young players out of high school or college, are thrust into the NBA and are expected to make impact in a positive way right out of the gate. When players are expected to produce for their team and don't live up to their expected potential, they are considered to be a bust.
No player wants to be a bust, but it happens, and will continuously happen until the end of time. Whether it's due to injuries, lack of skill, or off-court problems, some players just can't seem to adjust to the NBA life. It may be fun to discuss these draft busts for us fans, but for the players, it must be one of the worst feelings in the world. I can't imagine the feelings that these bust players go through as they begin to realize the career they could have had. While some of these players spiral downwards in their personal life from their careers, some of these draft busts go on to lead productive lives whether it's connected with the NBA or not.
You have to wonder what some of these players did after their disappointing NBA career, and where they are now.
This list includes the top 15 worst NBA Draft picks, and where they are today.
15 Sam Bowie
If you're a basketball fan, you probably have heard of Sam Bowie. If you don't know who he is, well in the legendary 1984 NBA Draft, he was drafted with the second pick to the Portland Trail Blazers. Okay big deal, he was drafted with the second pick and didn't turn out to be a superstar. In reality, he wasn't that bad in the NBA, but he will be forever be remembered because of who was picked after him.
Who was picked after him? None other than the greatest basketball player of all time in Michael Jordan. Bowie wasn't terrible in the NBA, but considering the Trail Blazers could have selected Michael Jordan, Bowie was a complete bust of a player.
Sam Bowie now resides in Lexington, Kentucky, where he trains and races horses. One of his horses even won him hundreds of thousands of dollars. He states that the people in Lexington remember him for his success in college, and not his disappointing NBA career.
14 Chris Washburn
This is an example of a player who couldn't even be productive in his personal life, let alone the hardwood. Chris Washburn was drafted in 1986 with the third overall pick to the Golden State Warriors. He only played three seasons in the NBA averaging 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds for his career averages. He was banned from the NBA for life in 1989, because he failed three drug tests in three years. He was drafted in front of players such as Mark Price and Dennis Rodman.
Chris Washburn moved to Houston after his career, where he claims he lived in abandoned houses eating food out of trashcans. After kicking his drug addiction, Chris and his girlfriend started a fried chicken business in his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina. The business unfortunately closed in 2013. In May 2014, Washburn was arrested for obtaining property under false pretenses.
13 Jonny Flynn
Jonny Flynn was one of several players selected before Steph Curry in the 2009 draft. The Timberwolves were one of six teams to make that mistake. Flynn played just four NBA seasons and after a promising first year where he averaged 13.2 points per game, his numbers dipped to 5.3, 3.4 and 5.2.
Since leaving the NBA, Flynn has played for the Melbourne Tigers in Australia and the Orlandina Basket in Italy. He lasted just two games in Italy before getting injured and was cut.
12 Jay Williams
One of the more tragic stories of an NBA bust, Jay Williams was supposed to be a good NBA player. The point guard was drafted second overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2002. The following year, Williams was in a terrible motorcycle accident, and was terribly injured. Williams was never the same player as he was before the crash, and he was forced to retire when no franchise would pick him up.
Jay Williams now works for ESPN as a college basketball analyst. In 2016, Williams released his autobiography, "Life Is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention".
11 LaRue Martin
LaRue Martin is considered to be one of the worst first overall draft picks of all-time. Drafted to the Trail Blazers in 1972, in front of Hall of Fame players Julius Erving and Bob MacAdoo, Martin was a total bust. He averaged a measly 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in his short four season career for the Blazers. He retired one year before the Trail Blazers won the NBA Championship.
LaRue Martin received a B.A. in sociology with a minor in education from Loyola. He worked for Nike, and joined UPS in the mid-1980s. He has worked as their Community Services Manager since August 2005.
10 Pervis Ellison
Drafted first overall in 1989 to the Sacramento Kings, Pervis Ellison never lived up to the hype of being the number one pick. His stats were not terrible, as he averaged 9.5 points and 6.7 rebounds in his 11 seasons in the NBA. He was picked in front of NBA legends Tim Hardaway and Glen Rice, so it's hard not to consider this guy a bust.
Pervis Ellison is now a high school basketball coach for Life Center Academy in Burlington, New Jersey.
9 Nikoloz Tskitishvili
Drafted from Georgia, Nikoloz Tskitishvili never made an impact in the NBA, at all. He was picked with the fifth pick in 2005 draft by the Denver Nuggets. He averaged a very mediocre 2.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in only six seasons. Broadcasters are lucky this guy never was a real player because his name is just impossible to announce.
Nikoloz Tskitishvili is still playing professional basketball, and is now starting overseas for the Chemidhor Tehran of the Iranian Basketball Super League.
8 Todd Fuller
Todd Fuller was picked with the 11th pick in the legendary 1996 draft, to the Golden State Warriors; he was drafted just two picks before the Hall of Fame bound Kobe Bryant. Fuller was never a good NBA player, averaging only 2.8 points in his four year career. This goes to show that the person picked behind you, can memorialize you forever.
Todd Fuller serves on the Park Scholarships Selection Committee for North Carolina State University. He is also a certified high school math teacher.
7 Shawn Bradley
This 7'6" center from BYU was supposed to be one of the most dominant centers in the NBA. He was drafted second by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1993 NBA Draft, but Bradley never turned into the star the Sixers envisioned him to be. He averaged 8.1 points per game, and 6.3 rebounds in his 14 seasons in the NBA.
Shawn Bradley now works at West Ridge Academy, a private school in West Jordan, Utah. He is the vice principal, counselor, and basketball coach. In 2010, Bradley ran as a Republican against Rep. Tim Cosgrove for the 44th District seat in the Utah House of Representatives; he ultimately lost the nomination.
6 Adam Morrison
Adam Morrison had a great college career at Gonzaga University. He played so well in college, he was drafted third overall by the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006. We all know NBA basketball is not the same as college basketball, and Morrison is a perfect example of that. He wasn't able to be a productive player in the NBA averaging 7.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in his short six season career where he played for a multitude of teams.
Adam Morrison is now an assistant video coordinator for his alma mater Gonzaga. He once stated he has an apocalypse bunker filled with guns and food because he thinks something political is going to go severely wrong. If he had put that dedication into his professional career, he may not have made it onto this list.
5 Hasheem Thabeet
Drafted with the second pick in the 2009 NBA Draft to the Memphis Grizzlies, Thabeet was picked before NBA stars Stephen Curry, James Harden, and DeMar DeRozan. Thabeet has been on six NBA teams, and never lived up to the hype of being the second pick of the draft. In his NBA career, he has only managed to average 2.2 points, and still that is the highlight of all his stats.
Hasheem Thabeet now plays for the Grand Rapid Drive of the NBA D-League, and is still looking to join an NBA team.
4 Michael Olowokandi
Michael Olowokandi was drafted with the first overall pick in 1998 by the Los Angeles Clippers. Poised to be one of the most dominant NBA players ever, he never lived up to his potential seen by many. He averaged 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds during his decade long NBA career. Drafted before some of the biggest names in NBA history such as Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, and Paul Pierce, Olowokandi was a total bust.
Michael Olowokandi has lived as a recluse in Dallas since his retirement from the NBA in 2007.
3 Greg Oden
If you get picked before Kevin Durant with the first overall draft pick, you're really supposed to be something special. Greg Oden was anything but special in the NBA during his injury ridden, three year career. Oden was drafted in 2007 to the Portland Trial Blazers and is regarded as one of the worst busts in NBA history, considering he never managed to play more then 62 games in a single season. He averaged 8 points and 6.2 rebounds in his short 105 game career.
In 2014, Oden was charged with battery after allegedly beating his girlfriend. In 2015, Oden signed with the Jiangsu Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association. In February of this year, he parted ways with the Dragons after averaging a solid 13 points and 12.6 rebounds for them.
2 Darko Miličić
The only accomplishment in Darko Miličić's career is being drafted second in one of the best drafts classes of all-time. In 2003, Darko was picked right behind high school phenom LeBron James. He somehow showed more promise than NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, Chirs Bosh, and Dwyane Wade, who were all drafted behind him. He averaged 6 points and 4.2 rebounds in his disappointing 12 year career.
In 2013, Darko Miličić retired from the NBA in order to pursue a kickboxing career. In 2015, it was announced that Darko agreed to come out of retirement to play for Metalac Farmakom, in the Basketball League of Serbia. He changed his mind shortly before the season started; good move.
1 Kwame Brown
The perfect embodiment of an NBA bust, Kwame Brown is the worst NBA draft pick of all time. As the first ever high school player drafted with the first overall pick, Kwame Brown never lived up to the potential he showed in high school. Michael Jordan was a great player, but as the team president for the Wizards at the time, he made a poor decision drafting Kwame Brown in 2001.
Kwame showed a lack of production and especially a lack of maturity as he finished his rookie year averaging 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds a game. Over the next 12 years, he moved from team to team, as he limped his way to the end of his miserable career.
After being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013, Kwame Brown went off the radar and his whereabouts are unknown. He did manage to make about $60 million in his playing days, so he is probably doing fine for himself, wherever he may be.
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