Adam Morrison and the 15 Biggest Lottery Busts of the Last 15 Years

Mike B.Correspondent IOctober 6, 2010

Adam Morrison and the 15 Biggest Lottery Busts of the Last 15 Years

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    Every year, a rookie enters the NBA with high expectations.

    Sometimes, these talented youngsters end up living up to their potential as they become perennial All-Stars and franchise players.

    But sometimes, they fall flat on their faces and tun out to be busts.

    This slideshow will take a look at the NBA's 15 biggest lottery busts since 1995.

    Players who saw their careers ended by massive injuries will not be included. So that means no appearances from guys like Jay Williams and Dajuan Wagner.

    Let's get started.        

15. Marvin Williams

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    Williams was drafted second overall by the Atlanta Hawks in 2005, despite not being a starter at North Carolina.

    People felt that he possessed tremendous upside, and could eventually develop into a Tracy McGrady type of player in the pros. 

    Williams has had a decent five-year career with the Hawks, averaging 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. However, those aren't McGrady-type stats.

    Atlanta could have had arguably the league's top-two point guards in Deron Williams and Chris Paul, whom went third and fourth overall, respectively.

    Even Danny Granger (17th overall), David Lee (30th overall), and Monta Ellis (40th overall), have turned out to be better pros than Williams.

14. Joe Smith

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    It may be a bit unfair to label Smith a bust since he's lasted 15 years in the league.

    However, he hasn't quite played like a No. 1 overall draft pick. The former Maryland star has spent time with 10 different teams throughout his career, including two stints with the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Smith has never made an All-Star team, and has averaged just 11 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for his career.

    Players picked after him in the 1995 draft such as Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, and Michael Finley went on to become stars.

13. Stromile Swift

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    Mostly because of his athletic ability, Swift was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies second overall in 2000.

    The former LSU star went on to last nine seasons in the league, but became a journeyman instead of a superstar.

    Swift averaged 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for his career with his best season coming in 2001-02, when he put up 11.8 points 6.3 rebounds per game.  

12. Michael Sweetney

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    Georgetown has produced a few NBA All-Star big men, such as Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning.

    Unfortunately, Sweetney was never added to the list.

    Following an outstanding junior season with the Hoyas in which he was a candidate for both the Naismith and Wooden Awards, Sweetney was drafted by the New York Knicks ninth overall in 2003.

    Battling with weight issues, he lasted only four seasons in the league with the Knicks and Chicago Bulls, averaging 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.  

11. Rodney White

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    White won National Freshman of the Year honors in 2000-01, putting up roughly 18 points and six boards a game.

    Too bad that was the highlight of his hoops career.

    Chosen by the Detroit Pistons ninth overall in the 2001 NBA Draft, White only managed to stick around for four seasons with the Pistons, Denver Nuggets, and Golden State Warriors.

    He finished his career with a scoring average of 7.1 points per game.

10. Ed O'Bannon

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    O'Bannon was the main reason that UCLA won a national championship in 1995.

    The 6'8" forward scored 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the championship game, earning him NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors. 

    The New Jersey Nets then made O'Bannon the ninth-overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.

    His game never translated to the NBA, as he averaged 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game during a forgettable two-year career.

9. Marcus Fizer

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    As a junior at Iowa State, Fizer was named Big 12 Player of the Year and led the Cyclones to the Elite Eight.

    The Chicago Bulls then made him the the fourth overall pick in the 2000 draft.

    Fizer went from a phenomal college player to a monumental NBA bust, as he averaged 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during his six years in the league.  

8. Robert Traylor

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    "Tractor Traylor" was an intimidating inside force during his time at the University of Michigan.

    The 6-foot-8, nearly 300-pounder shattered a backboard in a game against Ball State. 

    He was later selected by the Dallas Mavericks sixth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft, and then immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Dirk Nowitzki.

    Nowitzki went on to become a nine-time All-Star and a one-time MVP, while Traylor was out of the league after seven seasons.

    Traylor started just 73 games for his career, and finished with averages of 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. 

7. Todd Fuller

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    Fuller is one of many draft busts in Golden State Warriors history.

    The center from North Carolina State was selected by the Warriors with the 11th-overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. 

    Fuller stuck around in the league for only five seasons, with career averages of 3.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

    By drafting Fuller, Golden State passed up future MVP winners Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, as well as All-Stars Peja Stojakovic, Jermaine O'Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Ben Wallace.  

6. Rafael Araújo

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    The Toronto Raptors shocked fans when they selected Araújo with the eight overall pick in the 2004 draft. Many projected the former BYU center as a mid-first rounder.

    Araújo went on to prove that he wasn't worthy of being a lottery pick, a mid-firstrounder, or even a second-round selection.

    He averaged just 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds a game in a short three-year career with the Raptors and Utah Jazz.

5. Nikoloz Tskitishvili

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    Because he was a seven-footer who could shoot from downtown, Tskitishvili was expected to become the second coming of Dirk Nowitzki.  

    However, Tskitishvili ended up being the poster boy for European NBA busts.

    Drafted by the Denver Nuggets fifth overall in 2002, he went on to have a four-year pro career in which he averaged 2.9 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

4. Adam Morrison

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    Morrison enjoyed a memorable junior season at Gonzaga in 2005-06.

    The big-time scoring forward averaged 28.1 points per game and finished second to Duke's J.J. Redick for National Player of the Year honors.

    After being selected by the Charlotte Bobcats with the third-overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Morrison was expected to become the "Next Larry Bird."  

    Sadly, Morrison has been a major disappointment at the next level, averaging just 7.5 points per game in his three seasons with the Bobcats and Los Angeles Lakers.

    He may be a bust, but at least he has two NBA championship rings (Lakers), which is two more than Hall of Fame greats such as Karl Malone and Elgin Baylor.

3. Kwame Brown

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    Four high school big men were taken within the top eight picks in the 2001 draft.

    Brown, who was supposed to be the best of the crew, was drafted No. 1 by Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards.

    Rather than becoming the Wizards' franchise player, Brown has given Jordan a horrible reputation as an NBA executive.     

    He has played nine seasons in the league, averaging only 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. In addition, Brown has only averaged double figures in scoring once in his career.

    The Wizards would have been better off drafting All-Stars such as Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, and Tony Parker.

    Ironically, Brown is now a member of the Jordan-owned Charlotte Bobcats.

2. Michael Olowokandi

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    Believe it or not, Olowakandi was so good in college (University of the Pacific) that he was labeled by some as the "Next Hakeem Olajuwon."

    After he was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the No. 1-overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, the "Kandi Man" became the complete opposite of Olajuwon: a bust.

    Olowokandi ended up playing nine seasons in the league with the Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Boston Celtics, averaging 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

    He only managed to average double figures in scoring twice.

1. Darko Milicic

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    The Detroit Pistons are currently one of the league's worst teams.

    However, things could be different if the team hadn't drafted Milicic second overall in 2003.

    The seven-foot Serbian has averaged just 5.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for his seven-year career, in which he's spent with the Pistons, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies,  New York Knicks, and Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Joe Dumars and the Pistons couldn't have drafted LeBron James since he went No. 1 overall, but they could've had possible future Hall of Famers Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, all of whom were taken after Milicic.