The 30 most painful NBA Draft pass-ups since 2000

Greg Oden #20 of the Miami Heat on the bench during an NBA game (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Greg Oden #20 of the Miami Heat on the bench during an NBA game (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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NBA Draft Mistake #23: Philadelphia drafting Jahlil Okafor over Kristaps Porzingis

On paper, Jahlil Okafor seemed to be a safe choice for the Philadelphia 76ers in the lead-up to the 2019 NBA draft. Okafor was a five-star high school recruit and was productive in his only season at Duke. While there were concerns about his defense, most expected him to be an above-average offensive player thanks to his skill as a post player. During his first season in the NBA, it certainly looked like that might be the case.

Okafor averaged an impressive 17.5 points and 7 rebounds per game, leading to him being named to the All-Rookie first team. Unfortunately, a meniscus tear cost him the final two months of his rookie season and limited during his sophomore season. He continued to put up capable numbers until he suffered another season-ending injury.

During his third season with the Sixers, they opted not to pick up his fourth-year option after he was benched to start the year. He requested a trade and was later moved to the Brooklyn Nets after playing just two games for Philadelphia that season. In total, he logged 105 games and averaged a mediocre 12.6 points per game as the third pick for Philadelphia. Unfortunately for them, the player taken after Okafor would go on to have a much better career.

Kristaps Porzingis was selected fourth overall in 2019 and made a total of three All-Star teams with the New York Knicks. While he was later traded, they managed to win that deal, unlike the Sixers, who basically salary-dumped a high lottery pick. Moves like that are the exact reason they appear three times on this list. Stay tuned!