Every year when the NBA draft rolls around, teams and fans alike get their hopes up that a young player might step in and immediately translate to wins.
However, the reality of the draft is that there are far more players who fizzle in the league than those who flourish at the professional level.
There are countless recent examples of NBA draft "busts," but perhaps no draft class teaches a better cautionary lesson than the 2006 draft. It was a true story of a little good, a lot of bad and even more ugly.
Several players have had sustained success since coming into the league in 2006; top pick Andrea Bargnani has averaged at least 10.2 points per game every season, second overall pick LaMarcus Aldridge enters 2012 coming off an All-Star season in 2011, while the 21st pick Rajon Rondo has developed into one of the league's top point guards. So, there's the good.
After the first two selections that both have paid off, numerous lottery picks have failed to live up to their lofty expectations. Tyrus Thomas was selected fourth overall, and he's now a forgotten man in a weak Charlotte frontcourt, while the fifth pick, Shelden Williams, has bounced around to seven NBA teams in six professional seasons. As top-10 draft picks, both players certainly fit the label of bad.
Whereas Williams and Thomas are considered to be nothing more than role players with their current NBA teams, several players from the 2006 draft class are no longer in the league. The ninth and 10th picks that year, Patrick O'Bryant and Mouhamed Sene, combined for just 137 game appearances and six starts between the two of them, and neither player is currently in the league.
The most well-known "bust" from the 2006 NBA draft is the man Michael Jordan tabbed with the third overall pick—Gonzaga's Adam Morrison. After just three seasons with the Bobcats and Lakers, the former top-three pick is currently out of the league. He is now better known for his long hair and sloppy mustache than his ability as a player. Ugly.
In next week's draft, rave reviews and promising previews will be given after every selection is made. Every single first-round pick will be counted on to live up to his draft position, and certainly every player taken in the top 10 will be expected to be more than just a role player.
Simply based on potential, some players will be taken far earlier than their production in college, or lack thereof, would suggest. This can be the devil in a red dress for general managers in the NBA.
While it's up to the player to make sure he reaches his "ceiling" of ability and and has a sustained professional career, let's look at five first-round picks who could wash out of the league in a few years.