Mark Thomas

Niner: Biggest NBA draft busts

Posted June 3, 2009

Mark Thomas, the co-host of The Insiders every afternoon on 99.9 FM The Fan ESPN Radio, gives the top nine NBA picks that didn't work out.

9 - 2001, No. 1 pick overall, Wizards: Kwame Brown (Glynn Academy) - In the dictionary next to the word "bust," Kwame Brown's picture appears. He is currently on the Grizzlies and has previously played for the Wizards and Lakers. He has averaged 7.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Brown is still only 25 years old because he came out of high school, but he was quickly considered one of the worst #1 picks of all-time.

8 – 2002, No. 6 Cavaliers: Dajuan Wagner (Memphis) – He scored 100 points in a high school game. The shortest lived career on this list belongs to Wagner, who only stayed in the NBA for a total of 103 games.

Notable players selected after Wagner: Amare Stoudemire, Caron Butler and Carlos Boozer

7 - 1997, No. 8 Warriors: Adonal Foyle (Colgate) - One of many big men busts drafted by the Warriors, Foyle played on the Warriors for 10 seasons before playing for the Magic this season. He has averaged about four points and five rebounds per game for his career. Foyle's best season was in 2000-01 when he averaged 5.9 points and seven rebounds per game for Golden State

6 - 1993, No. 2 Sixers: Shawn Bradley (BYU) - At 7 foot 6, he turned into what many believe to be the equivilant of a giraffe playing basketball on roller skates blind-folded.

Next two – Penny Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn

5 - 1989 No. 2 Clippers: Danny Ferry (Duke) – Aside from not being able to rebound, pass, or play defense, Ferry was very proficient at missing shots. He managed to average double figure scoring numbers twice in his career.

4 - 2003 No. 2 Pistons: Darko Milicic, Serbia - Imagine being a Heisman trophy winner with a great personality everybody likes. Then one day you strangle your wife, and everyone’s opinion changes of you. That’s me with Larry Brown for drafting Darko instead of Carmelo Anthony!

Picked ahead of: Carmelo Anthony (3rd), Chris Bosh (4th), Dwyane Wade (5th).

3 - 1998 No. 1 Clippers: Michael Olowokandi, Pacific - Olowokandi will forever be known as one of the worst #1 picks of all-time. He played nine years in the NBA with the Clippers, Timberwolves and Celtics, and averaged about eight points and seven rebounds per game. He had size (7-feet, 269 pounds), but that's about it.

Picked ahead of: Mike Bibby (2nd), Antawn Jamison (4th), Vince Carter (5th), Dirk Nowitzki (9th), Paul Pierce (10th).


2 – 1984 No. 2 TrailBlazers: Sam Bowie (Kentucky) - A Portland scout, when asked about taking Michael Jordan instead by Bob Knight, said, “ We need a center.” Knight's response, “Play him at center.

Next picks - Michael Jordan (#3), Sam Perkins (#4), Charles Barkley (#5)

Had 10.0 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game in his first full season, but the injury bug doomed his Blazers career. He played just 63 games over the next three years, leading to a change of scenery in a trade to the Nets.

1 - 1986 No. 3 Warriors: Chris Washburn (N.C. State) - The 6-foot-11 big man left early for the NBA after his sophomore season at State. Washburn played just 72 games in parts of two NBA seasons with the Warriors. He averaged just over three points and two rebounds per game. Washburn had a series of drug problems and was banned for life from the NBA in 1989 after failing three drug tests.

Picked ahead of: Chuck Person (#4), Roy Tarpley (#7), Ron Harper (#8), Mark Price (#25), Dennis Rodman (#27)

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