In Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind, Edwin Shneidman writes that, "hindsight is not only clearer than perception-in-the-moment but also unfair to those who actually lived through the moment."
Don't tell that to sports fans.
We love hindsight—it's an opportunity to look back and ridicule/praise any decision that's ever been made. And there's no debating hindsight; it gives us a resolute, sound answer that (typically) can't be argued.
Like now, everybody knows that Sam Bowie probably wasn't the best selection at No. 2 in the '84 Draft.
But at the time, Portland had an athletic, explosive, young scoring guard in Clyde Drexler. Their three best players were Jim Paxson, Calvin Natt, and Kenny Carr—three guys who were all over 6'6" and could score from the wing.
They needed help inside. Bowie was the next sure thing, a 7'1" big man that could change the game on both ends of the floor. Add that with Mychal Thompson, a blossoming power forward who averaged 15.7 points and 8.7 rebounds the previous year, and Portland assumed that they would have a dominant duo inside to go along with their high-scoring wing players.
But hindsight tells us that it didn't work out too well.
With that preface, we jump into today's theme: the biggest busts and screw-ups of the NBA Draft...lottery selections only. These were selections that not only raised eyebrows at the time, but eventually tanked and gave us a quite-forgettable NBA career.
(Important note: This will only cover lottery selections, and since the lottery wasn't introduced until 1985, any picks before them won't be taken into consideration. So no, I didn't forget Bowie over Jordan in the list.)