NBA

NBA Draft Busts: 20 Lottery Players Who Didn’t Quite Pan Out in Recent Memory

NBA Draft Busts

Worst NBA Lottery Draft Busts in Recent Memory
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With the NBA draft just a few months away, it's time to look back and reminisce about the recent draft busts that have entered -- and some have already exited -- the NBA. Although I could easily make a list of about 50 to 100, I have stuck to the biggest draft busts in recent memory -- and only in the lottery.

Let's take a look at the worst lottery draft busts in recent memory and let me know if I missed your favorite NBA bust.

20. Jonathan Bender, No. 5 Overall (1999): Toronto Raptors

Jonathan Bender
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20. Jonathan Bender, No. 5 Overall (1999): Toronto Raptors

Jonathan Bender
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Bender was the perfect example of a player who should have gone to college instead of turning pro right out of high school. The seven-footer never averaged more than 7.4 points a game in any season and his career rebounding mark is sad for his height at just 2.2 boards per contest.

19. Cole Aldrich, No. 11 Overall (2010): New Orleans Hornets

Cole Aldrich
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19. Cole Aldrich, No. 11 Overall (2010): New Orleans Hornets

Cole Aldrich
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Cole Aldrich wasn't going to be a star in the NBA, by any means, but he was expected to be a serviceable big man who could be a defensive stopper down low. However, he has started just one game ever and has averaged over 10 minutes per game in just one of his five professional seasons.

18. Thomas Robinson, No. 5 Overall (2012): Portland Trail Blazers

Thomas Robinson
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18. Thomas Robinson, No. 5 Overall (2012): Portland Trail Blazers

Thomas Robinson
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Thomas Robinson was a big deal at Kansas. I mean, a huge deal. After his junior season, he decided to declare for the NBA draft and that seemed like a great choice at the time because his stock was higher than ever. The power forward is still young and could erase his name from lists like this if he proves that he is more than a 4.5 point and 4.3 rebound per game guy.

17. Trajan Langdon, No. 11 Overall (1999): Cleveland Cavaliers

Trajan Langdon
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17. Trajan Langdon, No. 11 Overall (1999): Cleveland Cavaliers

Trajan Langdon
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Sure, Langdon wasn't supposed to set the world on fire coming out of Duke, but he was supposed to be a solid pro. However, the guard who averaged 17.3 points and shot 44 percent from three-point range flopped with the Cavaliers. He spent just three years in the NBA after being drafted 11th overall in 1999.

He proceeded to play overseas.

16. Stromile Swift, No. 2 Overall (2000): Vancouver Grizzlies

Stromile Swift
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16. Stromile Swift, No. 2 Overall (2000): Vancouver Grizzlies

Stromile Swift
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Stromile Swift was an exciting player coming out of the 2000 NBA Draft class and many thought his skill and athleticism would translate well into the NBA.

Well, those people were dead-wrong. His best season came in his second year in the league as he averaged 11.8 points and 6.3 rebounds. It was all downhill from there for the second-overall pick.

15. Brandon Rush, No. 13 Overall (2008): Portland Trail Blazers

Brandon Rush
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Brandon Rush

Brandon Rush
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He was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 13th pick in 2008 after winning an NCAA title with Kansas and then traded on draft day to the Indiana Pacers.

The Kansas star was also the Big 12 Tournament MVP in the same year he was drafted, but failed to ever maintain strong production in the NBA. He's started just one game since 2011 and is averaging 2.2 points and 1.1 rebounds in just over 11 minutes with the Utah Jazz this year.

14. Josh Childress, No. 6 Overall (2004): Atlanta Hawks

Josh Childress
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14. Josh Childress, No. 6 Overall (2004): Atlanta Hawks

Josh Childress
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Childress was another guy who was expected to be somewhat of an athletic specimen, but he failed to become anything more than a middle-of-the-pack role player in the NBA. He experienced a ton of success in his first four years in the league with the Hawks, but not much of anything after that.

After leaving the Hawks, Childress' best season saw just 5.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

13. Tyrus Thomas, No. 4 Overall (2006): Portland Trail Blazers

Tyrus Thomas
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13. Tyrus Thomas, No. 4 Overall (2006): Portland Trail Blazers

Tyrus Thomas
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Tyrus Thomas was somewhat of a hot commodity in the 2006 NBA Draft. It was a busy draft day for him as he was chosen fourth overall by the Trail Blazers and then traded to the Bulls.

He was expected to be a solid starter and produce heavily from the post, but he was as average as they come, averaging 7.7 points and 4.8 rebounds for his career.

12. Shelden Williams, No. 5 Overall (2006): Atlanta Hawks

Shelden Williams
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12. Shelden Williams, No. 5 Overall (2006): Atlanta Hawks

Shelden Williams
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The big man from Duke was coached by the best in college, but he never showed that in the NBA. Many thought the Hawks were getting great value by nabbing the 6-foot-9 center with the fifth overall pick in the 2006 draft, but this was yet another bust for Atlanta.

11. Sean May, No. 13 Overall (2005): Charlotte Bobcats

Sean May
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11. Sean May, No. 13 Overall (2005): Charlotte Bobcats

Sean May
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Sean May won a championship and was expected to be a solid NBA big man, but never proved it and gained weight like it was his job.

Besides ballooning in weight, May had a solid first two years in the league then lost his touch in years three and four. He was then out of the NBA faster than the average student's college career.

10. Hasheem Thabeet, No. 2 Overall (2009): Memphis Grizzlies

Hasheem Thabeet
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10. Hasheem Thabeet, No. 2 Overall (2009): Memphis Grizzlies

Hasheem Thabeet
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Hasheem Thabeet is a big man. Any team would love to have a big 7-foot-3 guy in the lineup, but Thabeet just didn't have the intensity or toughness to solidify his spot in an NBA rotation.

He is still in the league and on the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he just doesn't get what it means to use his height as an advantage, averaging 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in his career.

9. Charlie Villanueva, No. 7 Overall (2005): Toronto Raptors

Charlie Villanueva
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9. Charlie Villanueva, No. 7 Overall (2005): Toronto Raptors

Charlie Villanueva
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Charlie V, as he's known to his teammates and fans, was a solid collegiate player with dangerous range -- even though he didn't shoot that many in college. Villanueva was average in his first few seasons in the league, but dropped off in his time with the Pistons.

What's even worse than his career drop-off? How about a career 34.3 percent three-point shooting percentage.

8. Jonny Flynn, No. 6 Overall (2009): Minnesota Timberwolves

Jonny Flynn
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8. Jonny Flynn, No. 6 Overall (2009): Minnesota Timberwolves

Jonny Flynn
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Flynn took the collegiate ranks by storm in 2008-09, averaging 17.4 points and 6.7 assists, boosting his draft stock all the way to the top-10. However, after just one productive year in the NBA, Flynn found himself fighting for playing time.

His minutes dropped considerably over the years and he is now overseas fighting for playing time.

7. Jimmer Fredette, No. 10 Overall (2010): Milwaukee Bucks

Jimmer Fredette
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7. Jimmer Fredette, No. 10 Overall (2010): Milwaukee Bucks

Jimmer Fredette
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Everyone loved Jimmer Fredette coming out of the 2010 NBA Draft, but our worst fears were realized when he became exploited for his terrible defense and the whole term "Jimmer range" was forgotten.

Fredette is still looking to catch on in the NBA, but for now, the three-point specialist can be considered a bust.

6. Adam Morrison, No. 3 Overall (2006): Charlotte Bobcats

Adam Morrison
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6. Adam Morrison, No. 3 Overall (2006): Charlotte Bobcats

Adam Morrison
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Remember Adam Morrison? I mean, it seems like so long ago since he's been relevant or even talked about, for that matter. Morrison won handfuls of hardware in college as the nation's top player, but then became one of the biggest busts of our time.

After a sophomore slump with the Bobcats, he was traded to the Lakers and then disappeared forever.

5. Marvin Williams, No. 2 Overall (2005): Atlanta Hawks

Marvin Williams
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5. Marvin Williams, No. 2 Overall (2005): Atlanta Hawks

Marvin Williams
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Marvin Williams was supposed to be a pretty big star in the NBA coming out of North Carolina -- heck, North Carolina is known for producing big-time NBA talent. However, he became the third player in the 2005 draft from North Carolina to become an NBA bust.

Rashad McCants and Sean May were the other two.

4. Greg Oden, No. 1 Overall (2007): Portland Trail Blazers

Greg Oden
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4. Greg Oden, No. 1 Overall (2007): Portland Trail Blazers

Greg Oden
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Although he looks like he's about 40 or 50, Greg Oden isn't an NBA veteran, by any means, nor is he an NBA player who has produced at a high rate. In fact, injuries have hampered his career to a point of no return.

He has gotten a chance with the Heat this year, but he only averaged about 8.3 minutes per game. The former No. 1 overall pick has played in just 98 games since being drafted in 2007.

3. Darko Milicic, No. 2 Overall (2003): Detroit Pistons

Darko Milicic
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3. Darko Milicic, No. 2 Overall (2003): Detroit Pistons

Darko Milicic
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Detroit fans are just screaming at their computer right now because of this selection. Yes, the infamous Darko Milicic who was chosen in 2003 with the second overall pick. Yes, the year in which guys like Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade went later on in the top 10.

The international star somehow lasted 10 years in the NBA, but didn't even average 2.0 points per game with the Pistons.

2. Michael Olowokandi, No. 1 Overall (1998): Los Angeles Clippers

Michael Olowokandi
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2. Michael Olowokandi, No. 1 Overall (1998): Los Angeles Clippers

Michael Olowokandi
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Michael Olowokandi got progressively better in his first five years in the NBA, but regressed greatly after that. Olowokandi averaged 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his career -- which isn't terrible.

However, he was a No. 1 overall pick and never made a serious impact on any team.

1. Kwame Brown, No. 1 Overall (2001): Washington Wizards

Kwame Brown
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1. Kwame Brown, No. 1 Overall (2001): Washington Wizards

Kwame Brown
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Kwame Brown was supposed to be the next big superstar in the NBA while coming out of high school in 2001, but the 6-foot-11 center never quite panned out.

He is widely considered the biggest bust in NBA history and there's really no arguing that. With a career average of 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds, Brown has disappointed. Oh yeah, and he averaged more personal fouls per game than assists, blocks steals combined.

Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.