NBA The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time  

Ranker NBA
1k votes 169 voters 33 items

List Rules Only first overall NBA draft picks.

After ranking the best number one draft picks in NBA history, it's time to rank the biggest NBA busts of all time. Featuring former and active players, this list of the worst NBA number one draft picks includes players who played in China, players who retired early, and those who eventually became useless in the league. Who is the worst number 1 draft pick in NBA history?

Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013, Anthony Bennett is widely considered to the biggest draft bust ever. After a mediocre rookie season, Bennett was passed around teams until he landed in the G League. More recently, 2017 number one pick Markelle Fultz had an underwhelming debut due to a shoulder injury messing up his shooting form. Although he became the youngest player to record a triple double in NBA history, his shooting form never improved, and many speculate the problem has more to do with his mentality. Other bad NBA draft picks include Greg Oden, Andrea Bargnani, and Andrew Wiggins. 

Vote up the most disappointing NBA players, and feel free to add any other bad number one picks who deserve to be on this list.

list ordered by

1
87 13
Anthony Bennett is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Guard, Power forward

Drafted by Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013

Anthony Harris Bennett (born March 14, 1993) is a Canadian professional basketball player for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League. He played college basketball for the University of ...more

2
54 18
Michael Olowokandi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Center

Drafted by Los Angeles Clippers in 1998

Michael Olowokandi is a retired professional basketball player. Born in Nigeria, he attended college on a basketball scholarship in the United States, and was the number one pick in the 1998 NBA ...more

3
58 34
Greg Oden is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Center

Drafted by Portland Trail Blazers in 2007

Gregory Wayne Oden, Jr. is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. Oden, a 7 ft 0 in, 273-pound center, played ...more

4
8 0
Kwame Brown is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Center Kwame James Brown is an American professional basketball player. The 6 ft 11 in, 290 lb center was the first overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards, and was the first ...more

5
61 40
Markelle Fultz is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Guard

Drafted by Philadelphia 76ers in 2017

Markelle N'Gai Fultz (born May 29, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the ...more

6
25 5
Darko Miličić is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
henrychandlerderick added Power forward, Center Darko Miličić is a Serbian former professional basketball player. Standing at 2.13 m, he played the center position. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons as the second overall pick in the 2003 ...more

7
39 26
Andrea Bargnani is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Small forward, Power forward, Center

Drafted by Toronto Raptors in 2006

Andrea Bargnani is an Italian professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association. He was selected first overall in the 2006 NBA ...more

8
16 4
Adam Morrison is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
bigulcards added Shooting guard, Small forward Adam John Morrison is an American retired professional basketball player. Morrison played for three years at Gonzaga University and was considered to be one of the top college basketball players ...more

9
20 9
Sam Bowie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
henrychandlerderick added Center Samuel Paul "Sam" Bowie is a retired American basketball player. A national sensation in high school and outstanding collegian, Bowie's professional promise was undermined by repeated ...more

10
21 11
Jimmy Walker is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Shooting guard

Drafted by Detroit Pistons in 1967

James "Jimmy" Walker was an American professional basketball player. A 6'3" guard, he played nine seasons in the NBA as a member of the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and ...more

11
24 17
Joe Barry Carroll is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Center

Drafted by Golden State Warriors in 1980

Joe Barry Carroll is a retired American professional basketball player who spent ten seasons in the NBA. After retiring he became a wealth advisor, philanthropist, artist, author of the memoir ...more

12
20 17
Pervis Ellison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Power forward, Center

Drafted by Sacramento Kings in 1989

Pervis Ellison is an American former NBA basketball player. Ellison was nicknamed "Never Nervous Pervis" for his play with the University of Louisville. At 6 ft 9 in and 242 lb, he ...more

13
10 5
Jimmer Fredette is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
bigulcards added Point guard James Taft "Jimmer" Fredette is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association. Fredette is a native ...more

14
18 16
Rod Hundley is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time

Drafted by Cincinnati Royals in 1957

Rodney Clark "Hot Rod" Hundley was an American professional basketball player and television broadcaster. Hundley's life revolved around the game of basketball. His love and talent for ...more

15
5 0
Andy Tonkovich is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Andrew Edward "Andy" Tonkovich was an American basketball player. He was selected first in the 1948 BAA draft by the Providence Steamrollers. He attended Marshall College.

16
5 0
Bill McGill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Power forward, Center Bill "The Hill" McGill was an American basketball player. His life is chronicled in "Billy 'The Hill' and the Jump Hook," as told by him to Eric Brach

17
5 0
Howie Shannon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Howard Shannon was an American basketball player and coach. He played professionally in the Basketball Association of America and the early years of the National Basketball Association and ...more

18
4 0
Mark Workman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Center Mark Cecil Workman was an American professional basketball player. Born in Logan, West Virginia, Workman grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, leading the Charleston High School Mountain Lions ...more

19
4 0
LaRue Martin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Center LaRue Martin is a retired American professional basketball player. Martin was taken first overall by the National Basketball Association's Portland Trail Blazers in 1972, drafted ahead of future ...more

20
4 0
Charlie Share is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Charlie Share

21
4 0
Gene Melchiorre is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Eugene "Gene" "Squeaky" Melchiorre is a retired American basketball player. He was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets and was the first overall pick in the 1951 NBA Draft, ...more

22
4 0
Fred Hetzel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Power forward, Center Fred W. Hetzel is a retired American basketball player.

23
3 0
Dick Ricketts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Richard James Ricketts, Jr. was an American professional basketball player. A 6 ft 7 in forward from Duquesne University, Ricketts was selected by the St. Louis Hawks with the first pick of the ...more

24
3 0
Clifton McNeely is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
BEASTMODER34 added Clifton McNeely was an American basketball player and coach. McNeely graduated from Slidell High School in Slidell, Texas. After serving with the United States Army Air Corps in World War II, ...more

25
14 17
Joe Smith is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest NBA Busts Of All Time
Power forward, Center

Drafted by Golden State Warriors in 1995

Joseph Leynard Smith is an American former professional basketball player who last played at power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, Smith was ...more