NBA Draft: Biggest Busts of All-Time

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The draft is a thing of beauty. It has the power to have us glued to the TV like we’re actually watching a game but in reality we’re listing to an old white guy read off names written on a piece of paper at a podium.

But beyond the obvious irony of watching the draft versus an actual game, the draft is a fascinating beast. Every year there is a young guy who comes out of the college ranks to become a superstar in the NBA. The best part is most guys only have one year of college ball under their belts like Derrick Rose and others like Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard played no college ball at all and are fresh out of high school.

However like all things there are pitfalls and the uncertainty surrounding prospects in the draft means some teams are going to take a giant swing and whiff — badly.

In the history of the draft this has happened very often, too often for some NBA execs but if there is one certainty about the NBA draft — and all drafts for that matter– is that there will be busts and there will be blood lusted after by the angered fans who saw their team miss so badly.

Let’s gather around children and take a look at some of those sad, miserable draft busts.

Sam Bowie – 2nd Overall Pick (Portland Trailblazers)/1984 Draft 

Let’s get this one out of the way right away. Sam Bowie gets A LOT of guff for being a draft bust even though he was a serviceable NBA player. Is it his fault he was drafted so high? No, but if that was the defense of draft busts then they wouldn’t exist all together. The fact of the matter is Bowie on his own didn’t perform like a No. 2 draft pick but things were immortalized by who was taken after him. See: 6 championships in Chicago and Michael Jordan.

Revised Selection: Michael Jordan (3rd overall)


Dennis Hopson – 3rd Overall (New Jersey Nets)/1987 Draft

Hopson just never lived up to the expectations the Nets had for him. They wanted to re-establish their backcourt and drafted five more guards in the draft. But with the high expectations and a name like Hopson, Dennis hardly made a mark in the NBA and barely had any hops–son. The Nets, had they drafted another position, like Scottie Pippen who went 5th overall or had they had the gift of hindsight with shooting guards in the class New Jersey would have chosen differently.

Revised Selection: Reggie Miller (11th Overall)

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