Today’s topic is draft busts. The MLB draft is a tough nut to crack, while the NBA and NFL draft usually get most of the headlines. I’ve never been a huge NFL guy, so I’ll focus on the NBA. There have been some memorable draft busts over the years from Darko Milicic to Sam Bowie. However, those guys were number two picks and the guys in the poll today are top picks, so that narrows things down.
Your duty as visitors of this fine site is to chose the worst top pick of the lottery era (since 1985). Here’s the rundown on your choices:
- Greg Oden (2007): Oden went as the top pick to the Blazers and was seen as a “can’t miss” sort of prospect. Oden missed all of his rookie season with an injury. In 2008-09 he got another shot as a “rookie” and played in 61 games averaging 8.9 ppg a 1 block per game. He was amongst the league leaders in fouls and averaged a staggering 6.5 fouls per 36 minutes. This season he appeared in 21 games before going down to a season-ending injury. Picked before: Kevin Durant, Al Horford, and Aaron Brooks.
- Kwame Brown (2001): Kwame is nearly out of chances. The Pistons made the mistake of giving him a 2-year deal which expires in June. That really could be it for this guy. Brown was drafted by Washington right out of high school and had his confidence obliterated by an aging Michael Jordan. In his four seasons in DC, he averaged 10ppg only once. Luckily for the Wizards they were able to trade him for Caron Butler. Picked before: Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, Tony Parker, Zach Randolph, and Gilbert Arenas.
- Michael Olowokandi (1998): The Kandi Man was a disaster from the start, averaging 8 points per game on 43% shooting as a rookie for the hapless Clippers. Kandi was highly-touted for some reason even though he played his college ball at the University of the Pacific. In nine NBA seasons, Olowokandi averaged a pedestrian 8 points and 6 boards a game before falling out of the league in 2007. Picked before: Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Dirk Nowitzi, Paul Pierce, and Rashard Lewis.
- Pervis Ellison (1989): I just went over Ellison in a post the other day. Picked before: Glen Rice, Sean Elliott, Vlade Divac, and Shawn Kemp.
Now do your civic duty and VOTE: