Having been given a few years in the League to developâ€”and for some, that was a few years too manyâ€”these once projected gems, have surely not helped their GM’s resumes. For each of these players, their expectationsâ€”either be when they entered the League or were given a generous contractâ€”have been high at one point or another in their respective careers. But with failed production and diminished minutes, each has seen their stock plummet.
With a little seasoning in the NBA, these guys were sure to make an impact in the League. Suffice to say, none have amounted to what was hoped of them. After looking at this list, it’s interesting to see both the Toronto Raptors and 2006 Draft class well represented. Sophomores are exempt, because they have not been given enough time to develop (For all those penciling in Joe Alexander and Alexis Ajinca, it will have to waitâ€”as will Hasheem Thabeet).
And no, J.J. Redick is playing fine and Chris Duhonâ€”as terrible a fit for the Knicks as he isâ€”is still playing relevant minutes. Here is the “All But Given Up On” first team.
Past members include: Gerald Green and Kedrick Brown
GUARD: Marcus Banks, Toronto Raptors (Drafted 13th in 2003)
This season: 1.8 points, 1.2 assists and .4 rebounds in five games
Career: 6 points, 2.1 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 328 games (37 starts)
The 6-2 point guard out of UNLV is in his seventh season in the League and has found refuge on the Raptors’ bench (which I’m told is pretty comfy). Since Banks has entered the NBA, he has routinely failed to reach the level of play he was expected of. For all his inconsistencies and lack of understanding schemes, Banks continues to rake coinage in the NBA; this season he is making $4.5 million (thank you Phoenix).
Banks’ career has taken him through Boston, Minnesota (Where he enjoyed his most success at 12 points and 4.7 dimes a game through 40), Phoenix, Miami and now Toronto. The asset that has always intrigued teams about Banks is his quickness. There is no doubt, even at 28, Banks is still one of the fastest guys in the League. Still, he has no work ethic and does not play well in a system offense. Lucky for him, he can continue to rack up DNP’s and collect his multi-million dollar checks for the next few years.
GUARD/FORWARD: Adam Morrison, Los Angeles Lakers (Drafted 3rd in 2006)
This season: 2 points, 1.2 rebounds and.4 assists in 13 games
Career: 8.1 points, 2.3 and 1.5 assists in 143 games
Behind what has to rival as the dirtiest stache in professional sports, lies a former NCAA scoring champ and third overall selection. From one number three pick to the next, Michael Jordan helped make Morrison the Charlotte Bobcats’ prize for the future in 2006 (Blast, the Kwame Brown curse continues!).
For the 6-8 former Gonzaga legend, Morrison has been seen as one of the worst draft selections of the past decade. During his rookie year in 2007, he did score 11.8 points a game; although, that was also en route to being the statistically least efficient player in the NBA and shooting a dirty stache-esque 37.6 percent from the field. Morrison then went through an ACL tear that robbed him (robbed is also code for saved the Bobcats) of the 2007-08 season and then was shipped off to Hollywood when Larry Brown had lost all patience (Insert D.J. Augustin).
Adam, the baby-j bank is no longer open for business. At least you got a ring.
FORWARD: Antoine Wright, Toronto Raptors (Drafted 15th in 2005)
This season: 4.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20 games
Career: 5.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1 assist in 243 games
Wright is currently in his fifth year out of Texas A&M and after finding nothing long-term in both New Jersey and Dallas, is trying to revive his career in Toronto. Wright is getting the most burn out of anyone is this group, with 17.4 minutes a game and is working to become a more solid role player.
He didn’t start out his NBA career on a great noteâ€”only seeing action in 39 games for the Netsâ€”where he averaged 1.8 points and .8 boards a game. Mark Cuban then took a chance on Wright with the Mavericks and he actually started 53 contests before ownership felt he wasn’t in their future plans. Coming into the League, Wright was tagged as a do-all player who was a lanky defensive presence (6-7) and a crafty offensive wing. However, in his 243 career games, he has yet to find a niche and assert himself as the player New Jersey thought he’d become. Toronto is hoping he can fill their role of defensive stopper for opposing small forwards, but his inconsistent play and inability to mix-in with offensive schemes have kept him on the bench more often than not.
FORWARD: Shawne Williams, Dallas Mavericks (Drafted 17th in 2006)
This season: Goose egging across the board on injured reserve
Career: 5.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and .7 assists in 126 games
Williams is only 23-years-old, but is in his fourth year with the Association. After leaving Memphis as an inconsistent freshman, the 6-9 Williams has been nothing but that: an inconsistent freshman.
He has not really given himself a chance to succeed on the court; Williams’ career has been hampered with a mixture of immaturity, off-court problems and injuries. When the Pacers drafted him in 2006, they had pegged Shawne as the future anchor of their frontcourt. Williams arrived with hype similar to that of Marvin Williams coming out of college, but his lingering issues away from basketball have always scared teams away. While with Indiana, he did show rare spurts of the player he could have becomeâ€”once putting up 24 against L.A. early in the 2007-08 season. Williams had all the talent and tools to one day become a solid NBA forward, too bad he couldn’t figure it out.
CENTER: Patrick O’Bryant, Toronto Raptors (Drafted 9th in 2006)
This season: 2.8 points, 1 rebound and zero assists in 4 games (zero blocks)
Career: 2.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and .3 assists in 83 games
I’ll be the first to admit it: I’ve given O’Bryant a lot of slack over the past few years. From the moment Golden State drafted him in 2006 to when Toronto decided to keep him on the roster this year, I have scoffed at every O’Bryant decision. He is only 23; maybe I made a mistake on his potential…Nah.
For a ninth overall pickâ€”who’s going into his fourth year in the Leagueâ€”to only log 5.9 minutes a game, through 83 games and three starts, is ridiculous. The Warriors found out pretty quickly that their project center was not going to pan out after his first two years in the Bayâ€”as they did not pick up O’Bryant’s option. From Golden State, he then “played” in Boston and now resides Torontoâ€”which is quickly becoming the central haven for NBA forget-me-nots (see Marco Belinelli next). He has a career high of seven rebounds in a game and still does not play with much confidence for a 7-footer. The trouble is, he really is a nice kid and works hard. On one hand, I am all for determined, class act guys to claim final roster spots. On the other, O’Bryant seems to get more jazzed about Twitter followers than playing time. And who wouldn’t be jazzed about 24 career assistsâ€”14 less than his turnover countâ€”in four years? At least he can hope for better health care being in Canada.
Honorable Mention: Amir Johnson, Brandan Wright, Dorell Wright, Marko Jaric and Sean Williams
What do you think? Who did I miss?