NBA Draft: The Biggest Reaches of Each Year Since 2000
Every NBA Draft has its hits and misses. It has its sure things, its head-scratchers, and its steals.
Since the turn of the century, the song still remains the same. Every year, there are picks made by teams that leave us asking the questions; what were they thinking, and how, after having all that time to evaluate the players, did they come up with that as their best option.
Sometimes, it takes time until we realize just how bad the selection was. However, there are also those selections where you just instantly have to scratch your head, rewind, and shout or laugh as loudly as you can at your television set.
The NBA Draft has given us a collection of these instances. In each of the past 11 drafts, I was able to find my biggest reach in the top ten picks. The only year where the top ten selections actually made sense and got it right was in 2005. But I quickly found my reach with the 11th pick as you will see later in the slideshow.
These are my favorite reaches of the NBA Draft since the Y2K.
I will warn you though, be careful before you start the slideshow. Make sure all your joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons are ready for some stretching. Go through the slideshow at your own risk because we are going to do be doing some reaching.
If you think that you are ready; then let’s begin.
Also, don’t forget to leave your comments and any reaches that you feel your left out, overlooked, or forgotten about along the way. However, be sure to just include picks made in the top ten or lottery, and feel free to give your input on notable players who were still available that I may have left out.
2000: Marcus Fizer
The Chicago Bulls made Marcus Fizer, from Iowa State University, the 4th overall pick in the 200 draft. He lasted six years in the NBA, four with the Bulls.
His best season in the NBA was in his second year in the league where he played in 76 games and started in 26 of them for Chicago. He scored a total of 938 points, pulled down 427 rebounds, and 24 blocks in 1,963 minutes played.
Notable players taken after Fizer: Mike Miler, Jamal Crawford, Hedo Turkoglu, Quentin Richardson, and Jamaal Magloire
2001: Kwame Brown
Need I say more? One of Michael Jordan’s biggest mistakes, he is still in the mix and played in 48 games last season with the Detroit Pistons.
However, he is one of the most disastrous No. 1 overall picks ever and probably why they require kids to play college for at least one year.
So far, Brown’s best season was his third in the league. He appeared in 74 games, started in 57 games, logged 2,239 minutes, 805 points, and snagged 550 rebounds.
Notable players taken after Brown: Pau Gasol (2-time NBA Champion), Jason Richardson, Joe Johnson (2010 Free Agency’s big winner), Zac Randolph, Brendan Haywood, and Gerald Wallace
2002: Dajuan Wagner
Dajuan was the sixth overall pick in the 2002 taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wagner lasted four seasons in the NBA, three in Cleveland, and was supposed to be a sidekick to the Cavaliers’ former King, LeBron James.
Wagner’s best season was actually his rookie year in 2002-2003. He played in 47 games, started in 24, scored 629 points and had 130 assists in 1,385 minutes played.
Notable key players drafted after Wagner: Nene Hilario, Amare Stoudemire, Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince, John Salmons, and Carlos Boozer (Cleveland actually took Boozer 34th overall. Probably should have flipped those two picks around.)
2003: Darko Milicic
Despite his career of all downs and no ups that I know of (Please let me know about them if there are any), Milicic has lasted seven years in the league and is guaranteed at least another one after signing a 4-year $20 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Milicic is on his way to becoming a journeyman in the league, having already played with five teams.
However, what I will always think about are the three players that came after Darko; Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Perhaps if the Detroit Pistons had taken one of these guys, the NBA’s eyes would be on the Pistons and not the Miami Heat.
Notable key players taken after Darko Milicic: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Chris Kaman, David West, and Kendrick Perkins.
2004: Rafael Araujo
The Toronto Raptors took Rafael Araujo with the eighth overall pick in the 2004 draft and by 2007, he was done. In his short three years in the NBA, Araujo totaled 395 rebounds, 389 points, 1,585 minutes played, and 300 personal fouls.
Notable key players taken after Rafael Araujo: Andre Iguodala, Andris Biedrins, Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, J.R. Smith, Jameer Nelson, Delonte West, Tony Allen, and Kevin Martin.
2005: Fran Vazquez
We actually have to go outside of the top ten to find the biggest reach of the 2005 draft. The Orlando Magic used the 11th pick to draft Vazquez, who has still yet to play a game in the NBA.
The 6-foot-11 240-pound Vazquez enraged Magic fans after he told the team he was going to stay in the Spanish ACB League. He was supposed to team up with Dwight Howard in the front court, but never came to America.
Notable key players taken after Fran Vazquez: Joey Graham, Danny Granger, Hakim Warrick, Nate Robinson, Jason Maxiell, and David Lee.
2007: Greg Oden
I know that he hasn’t had much of an opportunity because of injuries, and up to this point I have stayed away from players that have ended up a reach because of an injury.
However, with Oden, when you think about who followed him, he is on his way to becoming another bust in Portland’s draft history.
Notable key players taken after Greg Oden: Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Jeff Green, Yi Jianlian, Joakim Noah, Thaddeus Young, Al Thornton, Rodney Stucky, Aaron Brooks, and Carl Landry.
2006: Adam Morrison
Adam Morrison was supposed to be the next Larry Bird. He was an outstanding college player while at Gonzaga, but has not managed to make any impact on the next level.
In fact, his mustache has gotten more face time than he has gotten minutes on the playing court. But he does have two rings.
Notable key players taken after Adam Morrison: Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Ronnie Brewer, Rajon Rondo, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Paul Millsap.
2008: Michael Beasley
Michael Beasley still has time to turn his career and maybe a change of scenery will help will him do that. After just two years in Miami, the Heat felt he was expendable and moved their former No. 2 overall pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
But at just 21 years old, time is on Beasley’s side and he still has a chance to become the impact player most expected him to already be.
Notable key players taken after Michael Beasley: O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez, J.J Hickson, and George Hill
2009: Hasheem Thabeet
At least Hasheem Thabeet was not the No. 1 overall pick. Luckily for the NBA, Blake Griffin decided to stay two years at the University of Oklahoma and prevented Thabeet from becoming the latest No. 1 overall pick.
The Memphis Grizzlies took Thabeet at No. 2 overall pick in 2009, only to make him become the highest draft pick ever sent to the D-League on February 26, 2010.
On a positive note, the move made by the Grizzlies actually seemed to help Thabeet. Thabeet though, accepted it and did his best to make the most out of it. He has taken the challenge and wants to prove his critics wrong. Only time will tell if the big man can make an impact in the NBA.
Notable key players taken after Hasheem Thabeet: Tyreke Evans (Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year), Jonny Flynn, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Omri Casspi, Rodrigue Beaubois, DeJuan Blair, and Chase Budinger
2010: Ekpe Udoh
I have nothing against Ekpe Udoh, I just think that Golden State went for a big reach by making him the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft in June.
For one, I felt that the Warriors already have a solid young forwards in Brandan Wright, Chris Hunter, Anthony Tolliver, Andris Biedrins, and a veteran in Vladimir Radmanovic.
Also, with the signing of David Lee, it makes the selection of Udoh even more of a stretch. More bad news for Udoh, a torn wrist ligament will sideline the rookie for six months, meaning Golden State’s first selection in the 2010 draft won’t be ready until January.
Notable key players taken after Ekpe Udoh: Greg Monroe, Al-Farouq Aminu, Paul George, Cole Aldrich, Ed Davis, Patrick Patterson, Larry Sanders, and Luke Babbitt.