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NBA Draft - 5 worst No. 1 picks in league history

Anthony Bennett was the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Anthony Bennett was the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
ANALYST
Modified 12 Nov 2020, 19:34 IST
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In NBA Draft history, NBA executives' judgment of talent with high picks has not always been spot on. Many players have been selected with the first overall pick, only for them to have underwhelming NBA careers.

On that note, let us have a look at the five worst No. 1 picks in NBA Draft history.

NBA Draft - Five worst no. 1 picks in league history

It is not easy to make the right NBA Draft picks at all times because there are a lot of imponderables involved. A player with a fabulous career in college or high-school basketball is not always able to step up against seasoned pros in the NBA due to a bevy of reasons like injury, loss of form or a lack of drive, to name a few.

When a top NBA Draft pick is not able to live up to his expectations, it is a massive missed opportunity for the franchise that picked him, as they could have picked up another prospect or an established star in his place.

Through out the history of the NBA Draft, there have been fabulous no. 1 picks like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969), Magic Johnson (1979), Tim Duncan (1997) and LeBron James (2003), to name a few, who managed to live up to their hype and gone on to achieve superstardom in the competition.

However, there have been a few who turned out to be real duds. Without further ado, let us have a look at five such no. 1 drafts in NBA Draft history who flattered to decieve.


#5 Kwame Brown - (2001 NBA Draft)

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BIG3 - Week One
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Kwame Brown was the first selection in the 2001 NBA Draft. He was picked up by the Washington Wizards, but the 6' 11'' power forward/center only started three games in his rookie season.

He averaged 4.5 points per game in his debut season, shooting a dismal 38% from the field. He went on to play 12 years in the NBA but only averaged 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in his career.

Brown was picked first in an NBA Draft that comprised of Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, Zach Randolph, Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas.


#4 LaRue Martin - (1972 NBA Draft)

LaRue Martin.
LaRue Martin.
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With the first pick of the 1972 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected LaRue Martin from the Loyola University, Chicago.

Martin had averaged 18 points and 15.9 rebounds per game during his three years in college to attract the attention of Portland heading into the 1972 NBA Draft.

However, he only played four seasons in the NBA, averaging only 5.3 points per game on 41% shooting from the field, which was hardly a great output from a 6' 11'' center.

After Martin went first in the 1972 NBA Draft, the Buffalo Braves selected future NBA Most Valuable Player winner Bob McAdoo with the second pick. The Boston Celtics selected Paul Westphal 10th and Julius Dr J Erving (who continued to play in the ABA) 12th for the Milwaukee Bucks in that NBA Draft.

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Published 12 Nov 2020, 19:30 IST
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