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Top 5 draft busts of all time

Nakul Yadav
Top 5 / Top 10
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Sam Bowie was one of the biggest draft busts
Sam Bowie was one of the biggest draft busts

In a league veering increasingly towards a title or bust line of thought, draft picks are a huge asset, even more so than before. Not only do they give trade flexibility, they allow teams to build their rosters at a fraction of the cost they would otherwise incur by looking to fill roster spots with established stars. And that is only the half of it.

One cannot forget the immense trade value of these picks; case in point - the Boston Celtics throwing in the 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick as the kicker in the deal to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But no one is a guaranteed success in the NBA and some of the highest recruited draft picks have flamed out spectacularly, as we shall showcase. Bear in mind, though, that we are not accounting for players that were unable to make an impact due to injuries, so that there are absolutely no excuses for those condemned to this notorious list.

#5 Sam Bowie

Before you jump the gun, let's put things into perspective. Bowie averaged 10.9 points and 7.5 boards per game for his career. Would any team looking for an impact bench player take those numbers? Absolutely.

But Bowie had the misfortune (in hindsight) of being drafted at number 2 in the 1984 Draft. The very same draft class that had Hakeem Olajuwon at No. 1 and Michael Jordan at No. 3. Suffice to say, expectations were significantly higher for Mr. Bowie when he was picked over the GOAT by the Portland Trail Blazers.

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