Ranking the 5 riskiest boom-or-bust prospects in the 2023 NBA draft

GG Jackson II, South Carolina Gamecocks -Kns Vols Hoops South Carolina Bp boom-or-bust
GG Jackson II, South Carolina Gamecocks -Kns Vols Hoops South Carolina Bp boom-or-bust /
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The NBA draft is often just as big of a draw as the NBA finals or free agency. The appeal to fans is obvious: whether your team was one of the worst and needs an infusion of talent or yours was the best and has to reload to contend again, adding a new player is exciting. That’s why the archetype of boom-or-bust players are some of the most polarizing to NBA fans.

The idea of a boom-or-bust player centers around what they can do exceptionally well and what they can’t do that may have them out of the league before their second contract. Taking a player with that sort of reputation is often a bet on a team’s developmental plan and staff to highlight the positives and scrub away the negatives in their games.

Some recent examples of boom-or-bust players in the past handful of drafts are Shaedon Sharpe, Jonathan Kuminga, Jaxson Hayes, Aleksej Pokusevski, and R.J. Hampton, to name a few. Each player had some excellent attributes, but either due to some major minuses in their games or a lack of proven success, all were considered likely to bust.

On one end of the spectrum, Sharpe looks like a future star for the Trail Blazers. On the other hand, R.J. Hampton is barely scraping by at the end of the roster for the Pistons. The jury is still out on Kuminga, Hayes, and Pokusevski, as they’ve neither become stars nor been bad enough to lose their spot on their respective rosters.

In the 2023 draft class, there are a handful of players who offer the same boom-or-bust upsides and downsides of prospects past. Each of the five players on this list has sky-high potential alongside notable flaws that could see them either dominate the league or not make it to their next contract.