By Justin Danziger
Let’s set the rules.
The term “draft bust” can be broken down into three branches.
1) Did not live up to expectations.
2) Got picked before a superstar.
3) Utterly and completely sucks.
PG: Troy Bell
Never heard of this guy? Exactly.
Troy Bell was a megastar at Boston College, where he beat out Carmelo Anthony for Big East Player of the Year. He joined the elite list of players that includes Patrick Ewing, Richard Hamilton, and Chris Mullin for players who have won the award more than once. Bell was picked 16th overall by the Boston Celtics and traded to the Grizzlies, with high expectations as a scorer and playmaker. Unfortunately, Bell only played six games and didn’t even average two points per game. Bell was taken before Kyle Korver and David West.
SG: Joe Alexander
Once named “the most athletic player to participate in the 2008 draft” in a pool of players that included Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka. Alexander had the size, the skill, and the success at West Virginia. He went 8th overall to the Bucks and played two seasons there before being cut off because Milwaukee did not want to sign his rookie extension. Alexander was taken before Brook Lopez, DJ Augustin, Roy Hibbert, Serge Ibaka, Nikola Pekovic, and Goran Dragic.
SF: Adam Morrison
Is it terrible to laugh at people’s failure?…because I find this story to be hilarious. Morrison was huge at Gonzaga, both in height and contribution. He won the Oscar Robertson Trophy and averaged 28 points per game his senior season, which topped the division. Morrison went third overall to the Bobcats and had a decent rookie campaign, but it all fell apart quickly. However, he does have two championships, so he is kind of like LeBron… that is a joke. Morrison was taken before Rudy Gay, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, and Paul Millsap. That is another joke.
PF: Sam Bowie
June 19, 1984, a day that will live in infamy. Sam Bowie was a lanky center who played at Kentucky, where he scored lots of points and ruined lots of knees. Bowie missed an entire season because of his knees, so the writing was on the wall. The Blazers drafted Bowie second overall…and the rest is history. Bowie actually did not turn out to be THAT terrible. He did miss a ton of games, but he put together a solid rookie campaign and had a few years where he averaged double digits. But under no circumstances am I justifying this pick. Bowie was taken before Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Alvin Robertson, John Stockton, and Jerome Kersey.
C: Greg Oden
Yes, another Blazers big man. Greg Oden was an absolute monster at Ohio State. He won First Team All-Big Ten awards and Defensive Player of the Year…as a freshman. He was a key part of an Ohio State team that made it to the NCAA National Championship but lost to the star-laden Florida Gators. He was big, he was strong, and he was also injury prone. The Blazers picked Oden with the first pick. Oden battled injuries his entire life, so when these injuries translated over to the NBA, it was no surprise. Oden is just 27 years old and struggling to stay healthy and make a name for himself in the big leagues. Oden was taken before Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley, Jeff Green, Arron Afflalo, Thaddeus Young, Nick Young, and Marc Gasol.