Thursday, May 23, 2013

NBA Draft - Worst #5 Picks Since 1980

Worst #5 Picks since 1980

5.  Jon Koncak, Atlanta Hawks, 1985, from SMU (11 seasons, 4.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 bpg) - Unlike most of the players who have decorated these lists, Koncak hung around for a considerable amount of time.  7-footers in the NBA are like lefties in baseball, someone will want them even if their talent does not warrant it.  Koncak never averaged in double figures in any of his 11 seasons and managed to start almost half his games played.  He signed a big contract with the Hawks that actually surpassed the superstars of the time like Michael Jordan, earning the nickname "Jon Contract".  While none of them were centers, the Hawks missed out on Chris Mullin, Charles Oakley and Karl Malone in the 1985 draft.

4.  Shelden Williams, Atlanta Hawks, 2006, from Duke (361 games, 4.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.5 apg) - If the Hawks select you 5th, you will average 4.5 ppg for your career.  Williams had promise coming out of Duke, but that never materialized with any of the 7 teams he played with in his 6-year career.  The 2006 draft was not strong and you actually have to go to the 47th pick and Paul Millsap to find a power player who has had much of an impact.  Williams is married to collegiate and WNBA star Candace Parker, so all is not bad.

3.  Jonathan Bender, Toronto Raptors, 1999, from Picayune HS (262 games, 5.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.6 apg) - Bender is an exhibit for those who are against the High School-to-NBA path.  He never played for the Raptors as he was traded to the Pacers for Antonio Davis, so the Raptors actually came out ok with this pick.  For a high school player, it was a bit surprising that injuries were the reason his career ended with unfulfilled promise. 

2. James Ray, Denver Nuggets, 1980, from Jacksonville (103 games, 3.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.7 apg) - Ray had a brief NBA career, all with the Nuggets, only starting 7 games in his 3 seasons with the team.  Taken ahead of Mike Gminski and Kiki Vandeweghe (whom the Nuggets acquired anyway on draft day), Ray was another bust who has faded from memory. 

1.  Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Denver Nuggets, 2002, from Italy (172 games, 2.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.7 apg) - Tskitishvili is the foreign equivalent to a bad high school pick like Bender, drafted at 19 from Italy but never developed an NBA game, despite chances from 4 NBA teams.  Let's keep in mind he was drafted after averaging 6.6 ppg for his Italian team.  Amare Stoudemire was drafted 4 picks later.  The Nuggets clearly do not do well with the 5th pick in the draft.


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