Friday, May 17, 2013

NBA Draft - Worst #1 Picks since 1980

I have been blogging the NFL's best and worst draft picks by position and will continue with those, but I thought I would preview another set of lists.  Last year I did the best NBA Draft picks by draft position, but unlike the NFL I did not provide the worst.  So as the NBA Playoffs reach the Conference Finals and the NBA Draft is just over a month away, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the guys you are glad your team did not select.

Worst #1 Picks since 1980
The #1 pick in the NBA draft has had very few misses and the names you are about to see should come as no surprise.

3.  Michael Olowokandi, Los Angeles Clippers, 1998, from Pacific (9 seasons, 8.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg) - Olowokandi was the first selection of the 1998 draft ahead of Mike Bibby who went #2.  Also going in the Top 10 of that draft were Antawn Jamison(4th), Vince Carter(5th), Dirk Nowitzki(9th) and Paul Pierce(10th).  The Clippers were looking for the next great thing at center, unfortunately they got another in a long-line of bad draft picks that doomed the franchise until just recently.

2.  Kwame Brown, Washington Wizards, 2001, from Glynn Academy (12 seasons, 6.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.6 bpg) - Oh Michael, how you struggle with draft picks.  Brown is the first of the Jordan debacles, but at least Jordan was nice enough to comeback and play with this one.  The #2 pick in 2001 was Tyson Chandler and Pau Gasol went #3.  In Brown and Jordan's defense, this is one of the worst drafts in history, but it is also an exhibit for those who side with the current NBA rule that players are not draft-eligible right out of high school.

1.  Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers, 2007, from Ohio State (2 seasons, 9.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg) - I usually try to give injured players the benefit of the doubt on a list like this, but at the #1 overall pick there is no comparable who was able to give less to his team than Greg Oden.  What hurts even worse is the #2 pick in 2007 is none other than Kevin Durant, arguably the 2nd best player in the game today.  It is not the first time the Blazers have let one of the greats go and picked a franchise center.  It is a wonder that the franchise has been as successful at times as it has for two of the worst picks in NBA history.


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