Wednesday, June 25, 2008

5 Worst Draft Picks This Decade...

With the Draft Day rapidly approaching, this is the time of year when fans of downtrodden organizations once again have reason to hope. The draft brings with it the promises of endless possibilities. One player can turn around even the most moribund franchise; optimism fills the air. However, making the wrong selection at the wrong time can set an organization back. Passing on a future superstar in favor of a bum hurts worse than a backdoor screen you never saw coming. With that said, let's take a look at the 5 worst pics this decade:

#1) Darko Milicic - Players that were passed on: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Yes, the Pistons went on to win a Championship in 2004, and that kept the criticism at bay for a while. However, Detroit hasn't returned to the Promised Land since. The Pistons have now been eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals three years in a row, and are on their third coach in four years.

#2) Fran Vazquez – Magic passed on Danny Granger, David Lee, Monta Ellis. After stating he was would play in the States, the Magic were crushed when Vazquez made an abrupt u-turn shortly after the draft and decided to stay in Spain. Needless to say, it's never a good sign when you spend a lottery pick on a guy who asks his girlfriend if it is okay if he heads off to America.

#3) Nikoloz Tskitishvili - Nuggets passed on: Amare Stoudemire, Caron Butler. Along with Darko, Tskitishvili would eventually become the poster boy for over-hyped European prospects. The Nuggets nabbed 'Skita early on back in 2002, hoping that his combination of size and shooting touch would deliver Dirk Nowitzki-type statistics. Instead, Tskitishvili's combination of defensive ineptness and a lack of toughness resulted in him flopping around the Association for a while and trying to latch onto summer-league teams. A major reason why Kiki Vandeweghe got canned a few years later…and a major reason why teams are hesitant to gamble on Europeans such as Danilo Gallinari this year.

#4) Kwame Brown – Wizards in 2001 passed on Pau Gasol, Tyson Chandler, Joe Johnson.
Michael Jordan was a God as a basketball player. As an executive? Eh, not so much… The Wizards won the 2001 lottery and had Michael Jordan calling the shots – it seemed like the sky was the limit. However, MJ picked Kwame and Kwame never picked up the game.

#5) Marvin Williams – The Hawks in 2005 passed on Chris Paul and Deron Williams.
Let's see… you need a point guard and there are two top-tier PG's sitting there for you on the draft board. Two point guards that had proven themselves as stars on the collegiate level. No-brainer, right? Wrong. Atlanta instead opted to take forward Marvin Williams out of UNC. Williams has had a solid career thus far, and will likely be a good player for years to come. But Paul and Williams are two of the best young players in the NBA, both representing Team USA this summer. (Oh, and the Hawks still owe Speedy Claxton, signed in lieu of drafting a PG, $11 million dollars over the next two seasons).

Have any others that should be on this list? Let us know...

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