Top 5 NBA Draft Day Disasters

By: 06.24.10  •  25 Comments

With the most exciting night in the NBA upon us, we often tend to focus on the players who get picked and their dreams finally coming true. But Draft Night is not always such a wonderful dream. For some franchises, selecting the wrong player turns a night of dreams into nightmares. With that in mind, here are my Top 5 Draft Day Disasters:

1. Same Bowie
Year: 1984
From: University of Kentucky
Team: Portland Trail Blazers
Pick: 2nd overall

Why: In the 1984 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers made maybe the worst decision in NBA history. No, not by selecting Sam Bowie, but by not selecting Michael Jordan. The Blazers (like most teams) got in this predicament by drafting for needs instead of overall talent. As the result of taking Bowie with the second pick, they not only missed out on MJ, but they also passed on Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. Now I know that they already had Clyde Drexler on the team, but if you really needed a big man and took Bowie over Barkley, that’s lands this pick as the worst Draft Day disaster ever.

Who they passed on: Michael Jordan…enough said!

2. Darko Milicic
Year: 2003
From: Serbia
Team: Detroit Pistons
Pick: 2nd overall

Why: Imagine this line-up: Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Carmelo Anthony, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace. Bring Tayshaun Prince off the bench, and we may be reminiscing a Detroit Pistons dynasty. Instead, we are talking about the Pistons’ rebuilding and I am going to put most of that blame (maybe 55 percent) on drafting Darko.

Who they passed on: Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

3. Kwame Brown
Year: 2001
From: Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia
Team: Washington Wizards
Pick: 1st overall

Why: Michael Jordan should have reviewed tape from his Draft and realized the potential mistake he was about to make. It’s easy to calculate today as to exactly how bad of a pick Kwame Brown was, but in 2001, Brown was considered a future NBA All-Star. Turns out he wasn’t, and if it weren’t for Bowie’s misfortune of going ahead of the G.O.A.T. in the Draft, Kwame could have been higher on this list.

Who they passed on: Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas.

4. Michael Olowokandi
Year: 1998
From: Pacific University
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Pick: 1st overall

Why: “The Candyman” would have been a better choice than The Kandiman. The reason that the Clippers don’t have a proven franchise player is because of Olowokandi. The list of players that they could have taken includes two superstars in Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki. Sorry Clipper fans.

Who they passed on: Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter.

5. Shawn Bradley
Year: 1993
From: BYU
Team: Philadelphia 76ers
Pick: 2nd overall

Why: One of the worst days in 76ers history. The 7-6 center has a career long list of poster achievements. No, not him dunking on people, but instead players dunking on him: From dunks as light as Derek Fisher, to dunks as nasty as Tracy McGrady‘s baseline slam. The Sixers are still hesitant to draft a big-man.

Who they passed on: Penny Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn.

Honorable Mention: Pervis Ellison (Sacramento Kings), Danny Ferry (Los Angeles Clippers), Ed O’Bannon (New Jersey Nets) and Chris Washburn (Golden State Warriors).

What do you think?

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