10 Draft Busts Who Were Worse Than Kwame Brown

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

10 Draft Busts Who Were Worse Than Kwame Brown


The burden of being a number one draft pick. NBA fans often use Kwame Brown as an exaggerated example of the worst player, and biggest bust of all time. Yes, he has never played like a number one pick, although he was having a pretty decent career, better than most people think. On top of that, the 2001 draft really wasn’t the best draft in NBA history, and only Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph and Gerald Wallace ended up being frontcourt players significantly superior to Kwame (Joe Johnson, Tony Parker, Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas became the best guards out of the 2001 draft).

Kwame Brown played 607 NBA games through 12 seasons and managed to put up follwong career averages:


6.6 PPG / 5.5 REB / 0.5 STL / 0.6 BLK / 49.2% FG


He had two strong seasons, one with the Washington Wizards, one with the Lakers. Playing for the Wizards In the 2003-2004 season, he averaged:


10.9 PPG / 7.4 REB / 0.9 STL / 0.7 BLK / 50.0% FG


In his 2006-2007 campaign with the Lakers, he averaged:


8.4 PPG / 6.0 REB / 1.0 STL / 1.2 BLK / 59.1% FG


His career highs, are not too bad either:


Points: 30 vs. Sacramento 03/17/04

Rebounds: 19 vs. Sacramento 03/17/04

Assists: 7 vs. Atlanta 12/08/06

Steals: 5 vs. Memphis 03/15/09

Blocks: 6 vs. Boston 10/31/02


He really wasn’t that bad. Kwame Brown was a key role player for most of his career. Check out these ten examples of worse draft busts than Kwame Brown, for the next discussion with your friends.

NOTE: I won’t include players like Greg Oden or Jay Williams, who were busts because of injuries.


Hasheem Thabeet (#2 pick 2009):

The 7 foot 3 giant from Tansania was the 2nd pick in the 2009 NBA draft and made NBA history. Well not the kind of history you would want to make, but still, he became the highest drafted player, who was sent down to the D-League (at that point). He was drafted before players like: James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, Jordan Hill, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Gerald Henderson, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, Omri Casspi, Taj Gibson, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Beverly, Jodie Meeks, Marcus Thornton, Chase Budinger, Danny Green and Patty Mills. This is not even the complete list of players that have been (way) more successful in the league than Thabeet, but more than enough for you to get the idea.

Thabeet played a total of 224 games in the NBA so far, with averages of 2.2 PPG and 2.7 REB. Not too impressive for a player who was drafted 2nd overall.


Anthony Bennett (#1 pick 2013):

The 2013 draft class is slowly proving itself to be better that one initially would have assumed. Not the first pick of the draft though. Bennett became the first Canadian in NBA history, to be selected first in a draft and therefore being selected infront of players like; Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter, Cody Zeller, Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Trey Burke, C.J McCollum, Michael Carter-Williams, Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk, Shabazz Muhammad, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dennis Schröder, Mason Plumlee and Rudy Gobert.

Bennett also became the first number one draft pick in NBA history, to play in the D-League. In his first four years (Cavs, Wolves, Raptors, Nets) he averaged: 4.4 PPG and 3.1 REB with awful shooting percentages. He got waived by all of his teams and now plays for Fenerbace in Turkey. Bennett will go down as one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history.


Robert Traylor (#6 pick 1998):

Robert Traylor is a huge part of NBA history without even being responsible for it. He is the player the Mavericks traded to Milwaukee on draft night in 1998 for non other than Dirk Nowitzki, who I probably don’t need to introduce. But since he was selected 6th, a lot of major superstars had been drafted after him. As I said, Dirk Nowitzki, but also Jason Williams, Paul Pierce, Cuttino Mobley and Rashard Lewis.

Traylor played in the NBA for 7 years and averaged 4.8 PPG and 3.7 REB.

Robert Traylor unfortunately passed away way too early. He suffered a deadly heart attack in 2011. May he rest in peace.


Chris Washburn (#3 pick 1986):

Let’s go back in time a little bit. 1986, the year of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, the Challenger disaster and the year Chris Washburn was the 3rd pick in the draft. Ok, the comparisons are too harsh but Chris Washburn’s professional career was nothing else but a disaster as well.

He managed to play in the NBA for two seasons, averaging 3.1 PPG and 2.4 REB. Washburn received a lifetime NBA ban in June 1989 after failing three drug tests in three years.  In 2005 Sports Illustrated named him the second-biggest NBA draft bust of all time. He was drafted before players like: Dell Curry, Scott Skiles, Arvydas Sabonis, Mark Price, Dennis Rodman, Jeff Hornacek and Kevin Duckworth.

Washburn later played overseas (Spain, Switzerland, Argentina, Greece, Colombia) with limited success. After he was done playing basketball, his life wasn’t too succesful as well, living in abandoned buildings and crack houses and eating out of garbage containers (his own words), before thankfully kicking his drug habit and getting back a normal life.

Even if he eventually found back to a normal life, he will be remembered as one of the biggest NBA draft busts in history.


Adam Morrison (#3 pick 2006):

Adam Morrison definitely made the most out of his underwhelming four year NBA career, winning two championships with the Lakers. He also was part of the rookie first team in his, what seemed to be promising, first year in the NBA with the Charlotte Bobcats (12PPG/3REB/2AST).

I was thinking if I should add him to the list, because I said earlier that I won’t include players who were busts becaue of injuries. On October 21, 2007, the Charlotte Bobcats announced that Morrison had sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He missed the whole 2007–08 NBA season. But he came back eventually for three more NBA seasons and a couple of seasons played overseas, reason enough to include him to the list.

In his 4 NBA years, he averaged: 7.5 PPG and 2.4 REB but never really was more than a deep bench players who mostly played garbage time minutes.

These numbers aren’t impressive at all, especially for a 3rd pick who was selected before players like: Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Randy Foye, J.J Redick, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry and Paul Millsap. This is the reason why he always will be named, when someone talks about the biggest draft busts.

Morrison now is a video coordinator for Gonzaga, back where he played in college.


LaRue Martin (#1 pick 1972):

Honestly, I barely even knew who he was, before researching the history of NBA drafts. That probably does not speak for Martin who was a number one draft pick. I also don’t believe that too many people will remember Anthony Bennett in 45 years, to even things out.

LaRue Martin was drafted by the Blazers and played with them for four years, before retiring from professional basektball. In four seasons he averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.6 REB.

Since 1972 is a long time ago, let me tell you that the draft some special players who left footprint in NBA history.

Martin was drafted before Bob McAdoo, Paul Westphal, Juluis Erving, Jim Price, Brian Taylor and Don Buse, making him one of the worst #1 draft picks in NBA history



Nikoloz Tskitishvili (#5 pick 2002):

Who? The Alphabet before Giannis, only less talented (by a huge margin).

It isn’t even that long ago, but I bet almost everyone, besides some die hard fans and the Republic of Georgia, forgot about him, if they even knew who he is in the first place.

With career averages of 2.7 PPG (30% FG !!!!! He played center!!!!) and 1.8 REB per game over 6 NBA seasons, Tskitishvili is widely considered to be a major draft bust. ESPN writer Bill Simmons claimed that Tskitishvili is “the worst-case scenario for any foreign pick” in the NBA. Columnist David Schoenfield of ESPN’s Page 2 ranked Tskitishvili 30th on his “100 worst draft picks ever” in 2006, in 2008 ESPN’s Adam Reisinger rated Tskitishvili the worst NBA draft lottery pick ever selected at 5th overall and now, he also made our list.

He is the original Darko Milicic (don’t worry the real Darko will be part of that list as well), being a worse player than Darko and also having been a lottery pick from Europe. He was selected 5th in the 2002 NBA Draft, before players like Amare Stoudemire, Nene, Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer and Matt Barnes.

Tskitishvili can be greatful, that the 2002 draft class was one of the worst draft classes in the past 30 years and therefore not being mentioned more often, when talking about the biggest draft busts in NBA history.


Darko Milicic (#2 pick 2003):

There he is! You’ve probably already knew that he will be on this list, because he more than deserves a spot. Darko was the 2nd pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, a draft class that will go down in the record books, being one of the best classes in NBA history. Darko was picked after LeBron James, but before players like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Chris Kaman, Kirk Hinrich, David West, Boris Diaw, Josh Howard, Zaza Pachulia, Mo Williams and Kyle Korver. He’s the epitome of a bust.

His NBA career was overshadowed by the players who were drafted after him. Other than that, his career was not that bad. He played in the NBA for 9 seasons, averaging 6.0 PPG, 4.2 REB and 1.3 BLK. These numbers are not more than mediocre, but still, he’s had a decent career. He even won the championship in his rookie year, something Carmelo Anthony hasn’t achieved yet. Joke aside, Milicic will forever come up in discussions about the worst draft picks in NBA history.


Rafael Araujo (#8 pick 2004):

There is not much to say about Rafel Araujo’s NBA career, other than that it was a complete failure. The Brazilian big man was selected with the 8th pick in the 2004 NBA draft, therefore being drafted infront of players, who turned out to be way better, such as Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, J.R. Smith, Josh Smith, Jameer Nelson, Kevin Martin, Tony Allen, Anderson Varejao and Trevor Ariza.

Araujo’s NBA career lasted three seasons, two with the Raptors who had drafted him, and one with the Jazz after a trade.

His career averages are far from impressive: 2.8 PPG and 2.8 REB

After spending one year in Russia, Araujo has made a name in the Brazilian League, the last couple of years and will remain one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history



Joe Alexander (#8 pick 2008):

It hasn’t even been too long ago since he was drafted, yet most people have already forgotten about him by now. Why? Maybe becuase he only played a total of 67 NBA games (59 for the Bucks, 8 for the Bulls) averaging 4.2 PPG and 1.8 REB.

He was a great college player and was described as the best athlete on paper at the draft overall, by having the second most number of 185 lb bench reps, the second highest max touch and the second fastest ¾ sprint time (2.99 seconds). Yet he was never able to overcome  his struggles of transitioning from college to the NBA.

Alexander was drafted before players like Brook Lopez, D.J Augustin, Robin Lopez, Roy Hibbert, Ryan Anderson, Courtney Lee, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, George Hill, Nikola Pekovic, Mario Chalmers, DeAndre Jordan, Omer Asik and Goran Dragic, making him eligible for this draft bust list.


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