Ten Potential 2007 NBA Draft Busts
by Robert Ferringo - 06/06/2007
Pervis Ellison. Chris Washburn. Sam Bowie. Michael Olowokandi. The list of busts in the NBA Draft is a long and hysterical jaunt through NBA history. Who could forget the cringing faces of Philadelphia fans when their 76ers took Shawn Bradley No. 2 overall back in 1993? Or what about the last 15 years worth of drafts for Atlanta and New York? Or, digging deeper, how about the dreaded LaRue Martin pick by the Blazers back in 1972, a selection that could have sunk the young franchise before it even got off the ground?
Everyone has their favorite frightening NBA Draft moment, be it some pathetic choice by your team or that of one of your buddies. It's like picking your favorite gruesome moment out of a Freddy or Jason slasher movie from the 80s. And the great news is that as long as there are NBA Drafts, there will be horrendous NBA Draft busts.
The 2007 NBA Draft will be held on June 28 at Madison Square Garden. Below I've compiled a list of players that, while I don't think they'll make it onto the list of top busts of all time, are guys that you should really not want your team to select. If your team does manage to take one of these overrated clowns you should A) pound a drink immediately, B) allow each of your friends watching the draft with you to punch you in the face or C) go into the bathroom and weep.
Now, I know you're going to look at this list and think, "How did HE make the it on here. I really liked that guy in college and Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale were rubbing themselves with canola oil while talking about him just the other day." Well, you can either believe the bobbleheads or you can believe the guy who doesn't eat or pay his rent unless he knows more about certain sports than the general betting public and their ESPN jesters. I leave it to you.
But for now, in no particular order, here is my list of 10 players you absolutely do not want your team to draft:
1. Joakim Noah, PF, Florida
I'm not some random hater of the Predator. The kid was great at his role and a solid college contributor. But he can't shoot, doesn't have a reliable post up game and isn't a superior athlete. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for a guy who is a likely Top 10 pick. He simply isn't that good. His passion echoed that of college basketball fans, but I don't think his act will fly in the pros. You have to wonder about how this rich kid's work ethic and energy will be as the 10th man on a team primed for 45-50 losses.
2. Spencer Hawes, C, Washington
A poor man's Eric Montross, Hawes made a tremendous mistake by leaving after just one year in college. He had flashes of brilliance but was only about the third-best center in his conference. And the Pac-10 isn't exactly a rugged league known for its big men. He's not very athletic - shocking - and he averaged just over 14 points for a team that went 19-13 and missed the NCAA Tournament, despite being a Top 10 team to start the year. Not good.
3. Javaris Crittenton, PG, Georgia Tech
Crittenton is a high-risk, high-reward pick whose future may entirely rest on the stability and coaching in the organization that picks him. At 6-feet-5, 200 pounds he has exceptional size for a point guard. But he never really dominated games at Tech and never showed me that he had a complete understanding of The Game. He also struggled against other NBA-quality opponents like Darren Collison, Derrick Byars and Sean Singletary.
4. Jason Smith, C, Colorado State
I get the sense you're going to see Smith on a lot of posters in his career - for all the wrong reasons. I won't hold it against you if you hadn't heard of this stiff from Colorado State. The seven-footer is projected as a Top 20 pick even though he was pedestrian on a team that finished 6-10 in the Mountain West. He is highly touted although in two seasons he never so much as sniffed the jock of another NBA-caliber center.
5. Yi Jianlian, C, China
The most likely scenario here is that Yi Jianlian falls into a category between Wang ZhiZhi and Yao Ming. But is that a good thing? Even if he were the next Yao, I think we've come to the conclusion that he wasn't worth the No. 1 overall pick. Now some team between No. 4 and No. 9 will likely show us that Jianlian wasn't worth that high of a pick, either.
6. Aaron Gray, C, Pittsburgh
I think Gray will have a hard time once teams are able to eliminate his top offensive move: throwing the ball off the backboard, getting the rebound, throwing it off the rim again, grabbing it again, and then dunking. Here is a guy who wasn't good enough to enter the draft as a junior, who then regressed in his senior season. Gray is a stiff and will be nothing more than a baggage boy in the league.
7. Rayshawn Terry, SG, North Carolina
I really don't have a better way to say it: Terry is a bum. He's kind of a punk (on the court) and his attitude and sense of entitlement are completely undeserved. I mean, we're talking about a guy who averaged over 10 points per game just once in his four-year career. Just because he played with a lot of good players doesn't mean he's a good player.
8. Marcus Williams, SG, Arizona
These Arizona guys are hot and cold when it comes to the NBA life. Will he become a Richard Jefferson-type player and tap into that potential or will he end up kicking it at Damon Stoudamire's crib getting high and talking about how good they used to be against Arizona State? Either way, it's tough to gamble on a guy that doesn't play defense, doesn't like physical play and, comparatively, has limited athleticism.
9. Tiago Splitter, PF, Brazil
One scout said that Splitter, "tends to get frustrated when played physically in the low post." Not good for a guy who stands 6-feet-11. Also, he's injury prone and has been projected as a first round pick for about seven straight years. I think there's a reason he's not in the NBA already and he could end up as the Brazilian Frederic Weis.
10. Sean Williams, PF, Boston College
I don't even know how this guy has made it into the discussion, but there he is, listed as a potential early second round pick. I mean, are you serious? He got kicked off the B.C. team last year, submarining any shot the Eagles had at an ACC title or Sweet 16 berth. It's alleged that he has a poor work ethic and a poor commitment to basketball. That's got to be music to the ears of any general manager that would even think about taking this guy.
Honorable Mention: Mustafa Shakur, PG, Arizona
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