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Beyond The Mic: My Top 10 Busts In NBA History

With the NBA draft taking place tonight, it’s time to take a look at the biggest NBA draft busts of all-time. To qualify as a bust, a player must be a top 10 draft pick with big expectations, and never come close to reaching them. The basketball blog Hoopism put together some amazing illustrations of the top busts in NBA history. It also got me to thinking about making my own list. So I did.

My list varies from the blog, but has some similiarities. Feel free to leave comments and tell me who belongs on the list.

1. LaRue Martin (drafted first overall, ahead of Julius Irving and Bob McAdoo, played only 4 years averaging 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds a game, Portland won the title the year after he retired)

2. Adam Morrison (drafted third overall, ahead of Brandon Roy and Rajon Rondo, terrible defender, averaged 8.6 points a year before fizzling out of the league after 5 seasons)

3. Kwame Brown (drafted first overall, ahead of Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph, Joe Johnson, never a solid contributor on any of the 5 teams he has played for, currently on the Bobcats, has averaged 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds a game during his lackluster career)

4. Darko Milicic (drafted second overall, ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, has played for 6 teams and actually received a big contract from Minnesota last offseason, career averages are 6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists for the 7 foot Serbian)

5. Michael Olowokandi (drafted first overall, ahead of Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, one of many LA Clipper draft busts, notoriously soft, had three o’s in his name but no o in his game, averaged 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.39 blocked shots in 500 career games, in 15 playoff games (2 starts), he averaged 2.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.73 blocks)

6. Chris Washburn (drafted third overall, ahead of Dennis Rodman, Mark Price, Jeff Hornacek, Drazen Petrovic, terrible work ethic, played in only 72 games over 2 years, averaged 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds a game, banned for life by the NBA after failing three drugs tests in three years)

7. Sam Bowie (drafted 2nd overall, ahead of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, will forever be known as the player taken ahead of Jordan, solid rookie year, experienced various injuries for the remainder of his 9 years in the NBA,  averaged 10.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game, a decent career but makes the list because of who he was drafted ahead of)

8. Shawn Bradley (drafted second overall, ahead of Penny Hardaway, Allan Houston, extremely soft in the paint, a good shot blocker but inconsistent scorer and rebounder despite being 7’6, averaged 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks, often made sportscenter highlights for getting dunked on)

9. Greg Oden (drafted first overall, ahead of Kevin Durant, Al Horford, has played only 82 games over 3 seasons, every season has been cut short due to knee injuries, averages 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists a game, would be higher on the list if he had no chance of a comeback)

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

10. Jonathan Bender (drafted fifth overall, ahead of Shawn Marion, Ron Artest, outstanding athlete who started had a decent start to his career,  plagued by injuries and poor play the majority of his career, averaged 5.6 points a game in 237 career games)

So that’s my list. Hasheem Thabeet could be on it by next year. I’ll wait and see if he can develop with the Rockets. Kent Benson, Marcus Fizer, Rafael Araujo, Joe Barry Carroll, Pervis Ellison, Benoit Benjamin, Dennis Hopson, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Sheldon Williams, Ed O’Bannon, Yinka Dare, and Frederic Weis all get honorable mention.

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