15 2014 NBA Draft Prospects With The Most “Bust” Potential

Russ Smith

Russ Smith (photo. Louisville Athletics)

Listening to the hoopla surrounding this upcoming season, it’s easy for one to get caught up in the hype. If you’re old-fashioned and enjoy watching seasoned college players, it’s also understandable to resent it. However, after watching the opening week, it’s safe to say this is one of the most promising draft classes of the last 20 years. From 1-30, there’s an impact athlete capable of singlehandedly turning around a franchise.

Still, that’s not a guarantee. There’s a feeling that fans are assuming these players are going to be great before things actually play out. Being the realist that I am, I understand that potential doesn’t always pan out and only a select few players fulfill the wondrous goals prematurely lofted upon them. For every LeBron James, there’s a Kwame Brown and as unfortunate as it may sound, some of these players will be busts.

Now, there are plenty of different variations for what a bust is. To me, a “bust” is not a player who can’t play in the NBA, but one who doesn’t meet the expectations placed on him coming out of school after given time to prove his worth. Duke’s Jabari Parker has all the tools to be an All-Star in the NBA so if he’s the top overall pick and then averages 10 points per game throughout his career, he’ll be deemed a bust. In short, a player’s draft potential versus where he was picked. Typically, if a player is not projected to go in the lottery, they’re probably not expected to be a superstar in the league. However, this draft is stacked and everyone in the first round could become All-Stars so that equation is skewed.

Here are 15 players in the upcoming NBA draft that could be busts at the NBA level.

*** *** ***

BRANDEN DAWSON, Michigan State
For a guy coming off a torn ACL, he doesn’t look like it. The kid is as physical and high-flying as ever. However, standing at only 6-6, Dawson is an undersized small forward with a questionable shooting stroke and mediocre handle. He’ll likely play the two in the pros and if defenders pressure him off the bounce, they’ll be able to force a few turnovers. He has a strong frame and his strengths are on full display in transition and at the rim, but he’ll need to refine his perimeter game to make any splash at the next level.

Grant dropped 15 pounds because of an illness this offseason, but thanks to playing on the U19 National Team, he’s shown steady improvements on both sides of the ball. But he’s at his best on defense, using his length and nimbleness on the back end of Boeheim‘s zone to make his presence felt. He could be a great defender in college, but we won’t know until he reaches the league if that’s all his doing or if he’s just a product of the system. Grant is another player whose draft stock depends solely on his potential – projected late first round – but he still has a ways to go offensive to become an All-Star caliber player.

Christon is an exciting young player who should make noise in the Big East and on the national spotlight. But he still struggles with his left hand, which is a cardinal sin for a point guard and will certainly get exposed at the next level, and his perimeter shooting and free throws could use a tune-up. He’s best when attacking the rim, which he did effectively in a win against Tennessee on Tuesday, as he dropped 18 points on 7-for-13 from the field. But he won’t be a legitimate threat at the next level until he stretches the floor with his scoring.

Around The Web


Chris Hardwick Talks ‘Funcomfortable,’ His Dad’s Personal Mantra, And Keeping A Crazy Schedule

Is There More To The Adam Walsh Story?

Stand-Up Comedy Scared The Hell Out Of Me, So I Decided To Give It A Shot

W. Kamau Bell On Joking With The KKK For CNN And Quoting Malcolm X In His New Special

Chef Jonathan Bennett Shares His Fourteen ‘Can’t Miss’ Food Experiences In Cleveland, Ohio

Jen Kirkman Talking About Her New Book Will Make You Want To Write Your Own

Your Travel Guide To Every ‘Archer’ Location On The Planet

Drifters Take Note: This Couple Has Crucial Advice For Long-Term Travelers

‘Rad’ Star Bill Allen Looks Back On Helltrack And That Iconic BMX Prom Scene, 30 Years Later

Key And Peele Talk About ‘Keanu,’ Why Cats Are Funny, And What They’ll Do If Fame Doesn’t Work Out

Meet Christine Sun Kim — The Sound Artist Who’s Changing The Way We Listen

Presented By
The All-New Prius

UPROXX 20: Jon Lajoie Wishes He Could Go Back In Time To Buy Netflix Stock, Just Like You