Mar 20, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs former player Adam Morrison during practice before the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at Viejas Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Draft: Lottery Mistakes of Past 10 Drafts


The 2014 NBA Draft is quickly approaching and every team is scouring over their draft reports to find the next NBA superstar. Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out as planned and often times, we get players who bomb or even worse — don’t even play in the league. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of those lottery ghosts so that we may learn from our past.

2013 NBA Draft

The first player taken in the 2013 NBA Draft is going to be our first lottery ghost, but this one comes with a caveat — he did show some signs of life later in the year. Mr. Anthony Bennett posted the worst win share (-0.4) of any player in the lottery and put up the horrific shooting line of .356/.245/.638. As I mentioned, he did show signs of life later in the year, including two double-doubles in a two-game stretch, with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning both.

2012 NBA Draft 

Apr 11, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Austin Rivers (25) brings the ball up the courst against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 NBA Draft was surprisingly strong. Of the 14 lottery spots, no player has appeared in less than 100 games. The worst of the bunch was Austin Rivers, who had one of the worst rookie seasons we’ve seen in a long time, averaging 6.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 23.2 minutes with a shooting line of .372/.326/.546. He “improved” in his sophomore season to 7.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists with a shooting line of .405/.364/.636. At least he’s trending in the right direction.

2011 NBA Draft

I couldn’t make up my mind on this one as both Jan Vesely and Jimmer Fredette both have disappeared in their own special ways. Vesely shoots 40.8 percent from the foul line and scores just 3.6 points per game. Fredette seems to have a ton of support out there and even shoots 40.1 percent from the 3-point line, but the dude just can’t get any run, largely because “defense” isn’t something he plays much of. The NBA Finals MVP was in this class at No. 15. Good drafting, guys.

2010 NBA Draft

As a Minnesota Timberwolves fan, there’s no way I can’t mention Wesley Johnson here. He was taken No. 4 overall, ahead of DeMarcus Cousins (he and Kevin Love together would own the glass), Greg Monroe and Paul George. Both Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry have had less “successful” careers, but Johnson and the mistake that the Wolves made here (more coming, believe in Kahn) were glaring. Not to mention, the Wolves had all the swingmen at this point and decided to go after one that couldn’t shoot and didn’t have much upside. Yay Wolves!

2009 NBA Draft

Speaking of the Wolves…their No. 6 pick here was baffling on a number of different levels. After drafting their point guard of the future in Ricky Rubio, they decided to go with…point guard Jonny Flynn. Now, Flynn made Hasheem Thabeet look like Hakeem Olajuwon by comparison. If we can get over the ridiculous selection of point guard-point guard, we can talk about the fact that the Wolves went with Flynn over STEPHEN FREAKING CURRY. Can you imagine Rubio-Curry-Kevin Love out there? It would be a three-for-all (get it?).

2008 NBA Draft 

Oct 16, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Jonny Flynn (8) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons beat the Magic 112-86. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re a small market team that’s not going to get free agents to flock to your city, you had better draft well. The Milwaukee Bucks were like, “nah, we’ll take Joe Alexander instead.” At No.8, he played in just 67 career games and couldn’t create his own shot in the professional ranks. The Bucks could have taken D.J. Augustin, Brook Lopez or Roy Hibbert but instead figured they needed a guy who wasn’t very athletic and didn’t even have a great college career (16.9 points on .462/.268/.814) in his last season.

2007 NBA Draft

I’m not going with Greg Oden here. Nobody could have known his body would betray him so badly. So, we’ve got the pu-pu platter of Yi Jianlian, Acie Law and Julian Wright to choose from. We’ll give the “win” to Jianlian because again, the Milwaukee Bucks weren’t interested in a guy like Joakim Noah, who could bring more energy and passion to the team than they had seen since Sam Cassell was doing the onions dance.

2006 NBA Draft

If you’re looking for a draft full of stiffs, look no further. The top picks in this draft were Andrea Bargnani, LaMarcus Aldridge, Adam Morrison, Tyrus Thomas and Shelden Williams. Other luminaries such as Patrick O’Bryant and Mouhamed Sene littered the lottery. It hurts my heart to know that Morrison, he of the -1.4 career win share, is the holder of a NBA Championship ring — and no, he didn’t buy one from the Pawn Stars.

2005 NBA Draft

Ah yes, a return to the Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams draft. Williams went ahead of Paul and I think we can all agree that wasn’t the best choice. This is also the last draft where a team (Orlando Magic) drafted a player that essentially hinted that he wouldn’t play for them, yet he was drafted anyways. Fran Vasquez was drafted No. 11, ahead of Danny Granger, Nate Robinson and others — and never saw one minute of action in the NBA. Good job, good effort!

2004 NBA Draft

Thinking back to the days when teams were haphazardly going after foreign-born players trying to make a splash makes me giggle. The Toronto Raptors were the fools in this draft, going after the BYU center Rafael Araujo. To their credit, Rafael did have an impressive sophomore season at BYU, averaging 18.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. However, when the No. 8 player in the draft (drafted ahead of Andre Iguodala) finishes his career with 389 points and 300 fouls, you messed up.

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