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Top 20 NBA Draft Busts Since 1990


I'm counting down the top 20 NBA draft busts since 1990. My definition of a bust is someone who was drafted in the lottery, which is picks 1 through 14, and didn't live up to their potential. Also, if a player was injured, I don't count them as a bust unless they were horrible when they did play. So someone like Greg Oden will not be on this list because when he was healthy enough to play he actually played pretty well.

Another factor in my list is who the team could have drafted other than the player that they took. If someone on the list was taken in the top 5, then I'll look at the rest of the lottery picks in the draft in that particular year. If someone was drafted outside of the top 5, then I'll look at the next 10 picks, so if someone who was a bust was drafted 13th, I'll see what players were drafted from 14th to 23rd. 

Length of time in the league is important as well. If a player was a bust, but was able to play in the league for 10 plus years, he'll be ranked lower on the list, and if a player was out of the league 3 to 5 years after he was drafted, he'll be much higher on the list.

Like most countdowns, we're going from 20 to 1, with number 1 representing the biggest bust since 1990. With all of that in mind, let's get started!

20. Eddy Curry

Drafted: Round 1, pick 4 by the Chicago Bulls in 2001.
Drafted Ahead Of: Jason RichardsonShane BattierJoe JohnsonRichard Jefferson.
Seasons Played: 11.
Played For: Chicago BullsNew York KnicksMiami HeatDallas Mavericks.
Career Stats: 12.9 points, 0.7 blocks, 5.2 rebounds.


19. Raef LaFrentz

Drafted: Round 1, pick 3 by the Denver Nuggets in 1998.
Drafted Ahead Of: Antawn JamisonVince CarterDirk NowitzkiPaul Pierce.
Seasons Played: 10.
Played For: Denver NuggetsDallas MavericksBoston CelticsPortland Trail Blazers.
Career Stats: 10.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks.

18. Michael Olowokandi

Drafted: Round 1, pick 1 by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1998.
Drafted Ahead Of: Mike BibbyAntawn JamisonVince CarterDirk NowitzkiPaul Pierce.
Seasons Played: 9.
Played For: Los Angeles ClippersMinnesota TimberwolvesBoston Celtics.
Career Stats: 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks.


17. Shawn Bradley

Drafted: Round 1, pick 2 by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993.
Drafted Ahead Of: Penny Hardaway, Jamal MashburnAllan Houston.
Seasons Played: 13.
Played For: Philadelphia 76ersNew Jersey NetsDallas Mavericks.
Career Stats: 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks.

16. Billy Owens

Drafted: Round 1, pick 3 by the Sacramento Kings in 1991.
Drafted Ahead Of: Dikembe MutomboSteve Smith.
Seasons Played: 10.
Played For: Golden State WarriorsMiami HeatSacramento KingsSeattle SuperSonicsPhiladelphia 76ersDetroit Pistons.
Career Stats: 11.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists.

15. Marvin Williams

Drafted: Round 1, pick 2 by the Atlanta Hawks in 2005.
Drafted Ahead Of: Deron WilliamsChris PaulAndrew Bynum.
Seasons Played: 9. (Still Active)
Played For: Atlanta HawksUtah Jazz.
Career Stats: 10.9 points, 1.3 assists, 5.1 rebounds.

14. Shaun Livingston

Drafted: Round 1, pick 4 by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004.
Drafted Ahead Of: Luol DengAndre Iguodala.
Seasons Played: 9. (Still Active)
Played For: Los Angeles ClippersMiami HeatOklahoma City ThunderWashington WizardsCharlotte BobcatsMilwaukee BucksCleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets.
Career Stats: 6.7 points, 0.7 steals, 3.5 assists.


13. Derrick Williams

Drafted: Round 1, pick 2 by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2011.
Drafted Ahead Of: Brandon KnightKemba WalkerKlay Thompson.
Seasons Played: 3. (Still Active)
Played For: Minnesota Timberwolves.
Career Stats: 10.1 points, 0.5 assists, 4.9 rebounds.

12. Joe Smith

Drafted: Round 1, pick 1 by the Golden State Warriors in 1995.
Drafted Ahead Of: Antonio McDyessJerry StackhouseRasheed WallaceKevin GarnettDamon Stoudamire.
Seasons Played: 16.
Played For: Golden State WarriorsPhiladelphia 76ersMinnesota TimberwolvesDetroit PistonsMilwaukee BucksDenver NuggetsChicago BullsCleveland CavaliersOklahoma City ThunderAtlanta HawksNew Jersey NetsLos Angeles Lakers.
Career Stats: 10.9 points, 0.8 blocks, 6.4 rebounds.

11. Wesley Johnson

Drafted: Round 1, pick 4 by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010.
Drafted Ahead Of: DeMarcus CousinsGreg MonroePaul George.
Seasons Played: 4 (Still active)
Played For: Minnesota TimberwolvesPhoenix SunsLos Angeles Lakers.
Career Stats: 7.7 points, 1.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds.

10. Chris Wilcox

Drafted: Round 1, pick 8 by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2002.
Drafted Ahead Of: Amar'e Stoudemire, Caron Butler.
Seasons Played: 11.
Played For: Los Angeles ClippersSeattle SuperSonicsOklahoma City ThunderNew York KnicksDetroit PistonsBoston Celtics.
Career Stats: 8.2 points, 0.4 blocks, 4.9 rebounds.

9. Robert Traylor

Drafted: Round 1, pick 6 by the Dallas Mavericks in 1998.
Drafted Ahead Of: Dirk NowitzkiPaul Pierce.
Seasons Played: 7.
Played For: Milwaukee BucksCleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Hornets.
Career Stats: 4.8 points, 0.7 blocks, 3.7 rebounds.

8. Fran Vasquez

Drafted: Round 1, pick 11 by the Orlando Magic in 2005.
Drafted Ahead Of: Danny Granger.
Seasons Played: None, stayed overseas. 

7. Tyrus Thomas

Drafted: Round 1, pick 4 by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2006.
Drafted Ahead Of: Brandon RoyRudy Gay.
Seasons Played: 7.
Played For: Chicago BullsCharlotte Bobcats.
Career Stats: 7.7 points, 1.3 blocks, 4.8 rebounds.

6. Kwame Brown

Drafted: Round 1, pick 1 by the Washington Wizards in 2001.
Drafted Ahead Of: Tyson ChandlerPau GasolJason RichardsonShane BattierJoe JohnsonRichard Jefferson.
Seasons Played: 12.
Played For: Washington WizardsLos Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Detroit PistonsCharlotte BobcatsGolden State WarriorsPhiladelphia 76ers.
Career Stats: 6.6 points, 0.6 blocks, 5.5 rebounds.


5. Jan Vesely

Drafted: Round 1, pick 6 by the Washington Wizards in 2011.
Drafted Ahead Of: Brandon KnightKemba WalkerKlay Thompson.
Seasons Played: 3 (Still Active)
Played For: Washington Wizards.
Career Stats: 8.2 points, 1.0 blocks, 1.5 assists.

4. Eddie Griffin

Drafted: Round 1, pick 7 by the New Jersey Nets in 2001.
Drafted Ahead Of: Joe JohnsonRichard Jefferson.
Seasons Played: 5.
Played For: Houston RocketsMinnesota Timberwolves.
Career Stats: 7.2 points, 1.7 blocks, 5.8 rebounds.

3. Ekpe Udoh

Drafted: Round 1, pick 6 by the Golden State Warriors in 2010.
Drafted Ahead Of: Greg MonroePaul George.
Seasons Played: 4 (Still Active)
Played For: Golden State WarriorsMilwaukee Bucks.
Career Stats: 4.6 points, 1.4 blocks, 3.5 rebounds.

2. Nikoloz Tskitishvili

Drafted: Round 1, pick 5 by the Denver Nuggets in 2002.
Drafted Ahead Of: Amar'e Stoudemire, Caron Butler.
Seasons Played: 4.
Played For: Denver NuggetsGolden State WarriorsMinnesota TimberwolvesPhoenix Suns.
Career Stats: 2.9 points, 0.7 assists, 1.8 rebounds.

1. Darko Milicic

Drafted: Round 1, pick 2 by the Detroit Pistons in 2003.
Drafted Ahead Of: Carmelo AnthonyChris BoshDwyane Wade.
Seasons Played: 10.
Played For: Detroit PistonsOrlando MagicMemphis GrizzliesNew York KnicksMinnesota TimberwolvesBoston Celtics.
Career Stats: 6.0 points, 1.3 blocks, 4.2 rebounds.

 



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