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6/23/2008 02:30:00 PM
Worst NBA Draft Lottery Picks of All-Time
Michael Olowokandi has averaged 8.3 points per game for his career.
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
Once again, the NBA Draft is upon us, meaning GMs around the League will once again get a chance to show us that they know talent. And while picking later in the Draft gives teams a chance to gamble on players they think are underrated, teams selecting in the Lottery are expected to find sure things, guy who just can't miss. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. Here are my top five worst NBA Draft Lottery picks of all time.
1. Darko Milicic: Darko's actually turned out to have a fair NBA career, recently signing a lucrative contract with the Memphis Grizzlies. Still, his production has never matched the expectations that came with him being drafted second overall in the 2003 NBA Draft ahead of players like Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, among many others.
2. Michael Olowokandi: Snagged first overall in the 1998 Draft by the Clips, The Kandi Man never managed to make everything he touched satisfying and delicious.
3. Kedrick Brown: The Celts selected this JuCo star 11th in the 2001 Draft, much higher than most experts had him projected (at least, those who had heard of him). He most recently played in the NBA's D-League.
4. Kwame Brown: Drafted first overall in 2001 and endorsed by none other than Michael Jordan, NBA fans are still waiting for Brown's skills to catch up with his body.
5. Robert Swift: It's still early to completely write Swift off, his career has been defined by injuries thus far. At least he's found a good tattoo parlor in Seattle to fill his downtime.
Who is the worst NBA Draft Lottery pick of all-time? Let us know below…
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
You've missed some of this biggest 1. Chris Washburn - GSW 2. Len Bias - BOS - Some may quible, but his death really set the franchise back. 3. Rafael Araujo TOR - mentioned already 4. Ed O'Bannon NJN -
Todd Fuller,11th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft by Warriors. Fuller was taken ahead of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Peja Stojakovic, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jermaine O'Neal, all of whom became NBA All-Stars.
I get it, some people hate "Duke" so do I, but you can not put Elton Brand on this list: Rookie of the year, 2 time all star, 05-06 All NBA 2nd Team, Member of USA 2006 FIBA World Championship Team, Averaging 20.3 pts and 10.2 rebounds per game for career.
The person who should be on the list is Shaun Livingston (4th overall draft pick).
i hated kwame brown so much.i saw him try the same layup 3 times and get blocked 3 times in the same play. its like the defender wanted to get the rebound cuz he knew what he would try. the laker crowd booed his sorry ass after that and im pretty sure i saw him cry.
Williams, Hurley both fell victim to unfortunate accidents, and although Hill has many injury plauged seasons I definitly wouldn't call him a bust since hes averaged 19-6-5. Brand over his career has averaged 20 and 10. Don't be a hater because of the colors they wear. On another note Sam Blowie and Rafael Araujo should definiltly be on the list.
Toronto selecting Charlie Vallenueva over Chris Paul. ESPN didn't even have any footage of Valleneuva at the draft, and had to piece together a montage - and the montage was of Vallenueva turning the ball over, fouling, etc. If TO had seen the video before the draft, they would have thought otherwise.
What a lazy, useless article. Robert Swift has one half-decent year and gets injured for 2 years, after being the 12th pick, and suddenly he's the 5th worst lottery pick of all time? Was the research time for this article measured in seconds or microseconds?
Gotta compare the pick to the rest of the draft. Joe Smith picked first over names like Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett. "This is one of the biggest blunders in the history of professional sports." - Bill Walton
Shawn Bradley was a terrible pick for #2, to be sure. But his draft position unfairly tarnishes his career. He scored in double digits for 4 NBA seasons, and consistently had 3-4 blocks per game for the first half of his career. 8 rebounds a game was probably an under achievement given his size.
Has Bradley been picked up at 20 or later, he would be judged in a much more positive light. But you can't fault him for taking the contract that Philadelphia was so foolish to give him, or for Philadelphia's foolish decision to take him over Anfernee Hardaway.
how can you possibly assert that len bias was a bad draft pick?!?!?! sure he died of a cocaine OD, but the Celtics had no way of knowing that. granted, it did set the franchise back, but at the time, it was an amazing pick. too bad about his coke habit, but c'est la vie.
How come no one mentioned JOE SMITH? He was picked #1 by the Warriors over Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Brent Barry and Michael Finley. That's bad enough, but he also destroyed the Timberwolves franchise for years to come later.
Lang Whitaker doesn't go back nearly far enough for his all-time worst list. Darko isn't anywhere close to the worst all-time lottery pick. As mentioned previously, Chris Washburn is worse. So is William Bedford.
other guys who didn't work out:
Jay Williams Nikoloz Tskitishvili Dajuan Wagner Shawn Respert Sharone Wright Lamond Murray Eric Montross Billy Owens Bo Kimble Dennis Hopson Benoit Benjamin Joe Kleine
Darko was a HUGE BUST. I know Detroit won the NBA title his rookie year, which he sat on bench, unless it was 30 seconds left, even in huge lead games. So he is not a bust, because Detroit won the NBA title, and he was on the roster? He was worse than Greg Kite and Chuck Nevitt of the 80's Boston and LA teams! I would add Benoit Benjamin to the bust list.
The #1 all time worst draft pick...boston giving up the #1 pick in the draft for Robert Parish and the number 3 pick which turned out to be Kevin McHale. 2 Hall of Famers for Joe Barry Carroll. Red Auerbach was a Genius.
Ndudi Ebi. He was the only thing we had, after the Joe Smith unpleasantness, and he played like 14 minutes in his career. Ultimate clown. That guy couldn't hack it in a suburban rec league, I'd take Mark Madsen over him any day.
Every draft is different. A number one pick for a particular year has little bearing on the same for another year. Based upon the strength of the draft it is really who you fail to choose with a high pick that really matters. That makes the answer easy...Sam Bowie. It's not how poorly the guy you picked performed, rather it's how good was the guy you passed on.
If it's only about the how good the guy you passed on was, then that would make busts out of Olajuwon (Jordan was taken later), Bibby (Nowitzki), and depending on who you think is better Anthony or Bosh (Wade). Nothing is that black and white.