NBA The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts  

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List Rules Only first round draft picks

The biggest first round NBA Draft pick busts are those highly anticipated players who were selected very early in the NBA Draft who never really lived up to their expectations. While many turned out to be very good players, for the most part they were expected to be legends and fell quite short of that.

Going into and right after each annual NBA Draft, the hype surrounding the top basketball prospects and those who are selected first in the draft is nearly endless. Former college basketball players are compared to the legends of the game and often said to be the next young star primed to take the game by storm. In many cases, these young players have great NBA careers. These are not those cases.

It's easy to name players like Andrew Bogut, Andrea Bargnani, Greg Oden, John Wall, Kwame Brown, Elton Brand and Michael Olowokandi as some of the worst NBA Draft picks of all time as each were selected first overall with massive expectations, few of which they fulfilled. But there are plenty more where that came from. Sam Bowie might perhaps be the biggest NBA Draft pick bust of all time. The 7'1" player our of Kentucky was selected second overall in 1984, ahead of best NBA player of all time Michael Jordan, and thought to have great potential however injuries repeatedly prevented his success and his career was ultimately deemed a flop.

So while these players are certainly not horrible, they all had expectations to be league leaders and Hall of Famers and simply failed to deliver. Which was the worst NBA player drafted in the first round? Have your say in that by voting, adding to or re-ranking this list of the biggest first round NBA Draft pick busts. When you're done here, head over and vote for the biggest first round NFL Draft pick busts too!
list ordered by

1
512 169
Kwame Brown is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Center

2
449 118
Darko Miličić is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Power forward, Center

3
380 120
Adam Morrison is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Shooting guard, Small forward

4
267 21
Anthony Bennett is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
STLsportsMGH added Guard, Power forward

5
333 119
Michael Olowokandi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts

6
329 91
Hasheem Thabeet is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts

7
419 241
Greg Oden is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Center

8
312 172
Sam Bowie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Center

9
201 84
Chris Washburn is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts

10
169 46
Nikoloz Tskitishvili is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Power forward, Center

11
180 90
Yi Jianlian is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
wiabux added Power forward, Center

12
146 68
Robert Traylor is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Power forward

13
120 49
Jonathan Bender is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Power forward

14
121 67
Joe Barry Carroll is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts

15
110 48
LaRue Martin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Center

16
118 80
Darius Miles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
wiabux added Shooting guard, Small forward, Power forward

17
131 82
Eddy Curry is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
ChangesDownClub added Center

18
121 79
Sebastian Telfair is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
wiabux added Point guard

19
103 37
J. R. Giddens is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
wiabux added Shooting guard, Guard

20
106 46
Stromile Swift is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Power forward

21
77 20
Rafael Araújo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
hookstyler added Center

22
103 83
Jay Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Point guard

23
75 49
Pervis Ellison is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added Power forward, Center - #1 in 1989 by the Kings. Traded the following year and never lived up to expectations from his days at Louisville.

24
81 31
Richard Washington is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts

25
63 27
Rick Robey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest First Round NBA Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added Power forward, Center - #3 in 1978 by the Indiana Pacers, 3 picks ahead of Larry Bird of Indiana
Had a less than mediocre career as a journey man.