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If the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors have taught us anything, it’s that the best way to build a sustainable contender is through the draft. The core of that team — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes — were all Warriors draft picks, and their presence on the roster has all but ensured the Dubs will be in the hunt for titles for years to come.

Of course, shrewdly choosing four franchise cornerstones is easier said than done. The reality is most teams hoping to pick franchise-changers end up disappointed. With this in mind, PointAfter decided to look back on all the draft day blunders of the past 15 years and find the worst picks at each draft slot.

When determining the worst pick at each slot, we mainly focused on three stats: games played, player efficiency rating and win shares per 48 minutes. Other raw stats, likes points and rebounds per game, were considered, but not as heavily. In addition, we put stock into the other players who were available when the draft bust was taken. So, for example, while there may have been worse players taken with pick No. 14 than Marcus Morris, the fact that he was chosen one spot ahead of Kawhi Leonard makes that pick look worse.

We’ll count down the worst of the past 15 years of the NBA draft, from pick No. 30 all the way to No. 1. In reviewing the recent history of each draft, this much is clear: There is no such thing as a can’t-miss prospect.

Note: All stats reflect games played prior to Dec. 17. We did not include players selected in the 2015 draft.

#30. Christian Eyenga, 2009

Career Games Played: 51
Career Win Shares: -0.4
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.02
Career PER: 8.6

The Cavaliers took Eyenga with the final pick of the first round in 2009 out of the Republic of Congo. He lasted less than two seasons in the league before taking his career overseas.

#29. Wayne Simien, 2005

Career Games Played: 51
Career Win Shares: 0.9
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.083
Career PER: 10.5

Simien was a two-time All-American at Kansas and was the Big 12 Player of the Year his senior season. He made just two starts in his two-year NBA career with the Heat, and the 30th pick in the 2005 draft — David Lee — has been a two-time All-Star.

#28. Maurice Ager, 2006

Career Games Played: 82
Career Win Shares: -0.9
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.089
Career PER: 2.8

Ager had a successful college career at Michigan State, helping lead the Spartans to the Final Four in 2005. The Mavericks drafted him after their loss to the Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals, but Ager appeared in just 44 games for the team before being traded to the Nets as part of a package for Jason Kidd.

#27. Chris Jefferies, 2002

Career Games Played: 72
Career Win Shares: -0.5
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.03
Career PER: 7.2

There have been some useful players taken in this spot since 2000 — Kendrick Perkins, Arron Afflalo, DeMarre Carroll and Rudy Gobert have all had success — but Jefferies was not one of them. The Lakers drafted Jefferies out of Fresno State and traded him to the Raptors on draft night. He spent parts of two seasons with Toronto and Chicago and made just 12 career starts.

#26. Ndudi Ebi, 2003

Career Games Played: 19
Career Win Shares: 0.1
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.051
Career PER: 14.6

Ebi was picked by the Timberwolves and played just 19 games before being released in November 2005. He played for the Mavericks in the summer league of 2006 before moving overseas, with stints in Israel, Italy and Lebanon.

#25. Tony Wroten, 2012

Career Games Played: 141
Career Win Shares: -0.8
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.013
Career PER: 13.0

Wroten is the first active player to make the list. Though he’s still just 22 and has time to turn things around, he’s been overwhelmed by NBA opponents thus far. A one-and-done player out of Washington, Wroten was drafted by the Grizzlies and then traded after his rookie season to the 76ers. He is the only former No. 25 pick since 2000 to have a negative win share.

#24. Raul Lopez, 2001

Career Games Played: 113
Career Win Shares: 2.1
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.047
Career PER: 12.2

The Jazz drafted Lopez with hopes that he’d be a facilitating point guard. He didn’t pan out, washing out of the league in two seasons. Pick No. 25 in the 2001 draft was Gerald Wallace, who made the All-Star team in 2010 and has averaged nearly 12 points per game during his 14-year career.

#23. Josh Boone, 2006

Career Games Played: 256
Career Win Shares: 9.2
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.097
Career PER: 14.2

Boone does not have the worst stats among former No. 23 picks — Brandon Armstrong (2001) and Sergei Monia (2004) each have negative career win shares. But Boone was never anything more than a bench player for the majority of his four-year career, playing all four seasons with the Nets. His teams never had a winning regular season. Pick No. 24 in 2006 was Kyle Lowry, who made his first All-Star team in 2015.

#22. Marcus Williams, 2006

Career Games Played: 203
Career Win Shares: 0.0
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.001
Career PER: 11.0

It’s remarkable that Williams was able to have such a long career despite having such poor stats. He never shot over 40 percent in any of his four seasons and made just 10 starts. Williams gets the slight nod as the worst No. 22 pick since 2000, barely earning the distinction over Jeryl Sasser, Casey Jacobsen, Victor Claver, and Fab Melo.

#21. Nolan Smith, 2011

Career Games Played: 84
Career Win Shares: -0.8
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.047
Career PER: 7.5

As a college player, Smith helped lead Duke to a 2010 national championship win during his junior season. He was a first-team All-American and the ACC Player of the Year in his senior season, but his professional career has been unremarkable. He was picked by the Trail Blazers and released after two seasons. Making matters worse is the fact that he was drafted one spot ahead of Kenneth Faried.

#20. Julius Hodge, 2005

Career Games Played: 23
Career Win Shares: 0.0
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.003
Career PER: 10.7

Hodge was the ACC Player of the Year in 2004 while playing for North Carolina State. The Nuggets picked Hodge in ’05, but he was never able to earn any significant playing time. After his NBA career ended, he played for various international teams, including stops in Italy, Australia, Venezuela, and China.

#19. Javaris Crittenton, 2007

Career Games Played: 113
Career Win Shares: 0.1
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.002
Career PER: 10.6

Crittenton’s on-court career was unremarkable, but his off-the-court actions resulted in tragedy. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges. This was a result of a gang-related drive-by shooting in which he killed a 22-year-old woman. He played for the Lakers, Grizzlies and Wizards during his two-year career.

#18. Tyler Ennis, 2014

Career Games Played: 44
Career Win Shares: -0.5
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.045
Career PER: 6.9

Ennis played just one year in college before the Suns drafted him. He had several stints in the D-League during his rookie year and was traded to the Bucks in February 2015. He’s still young, but has yet to show that he truly belongs in the league after posting a 6.9 career PER.

#17. Zarko Cabarkapa, 2003

Career Games Played: 150
Career Win Shares: 1.1
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.035
Career PER: 11.5

Cabarkapa was a decent enough role player for the Suns and Warriors during his three-year career. Injuries cut his career short at age 25, and he lands on this list in large part because of the success of this draft’s No. 18 pick — David West, who is a two-time All-Star.

#16. Troy Bell, 2003

Career Games Played: 6
Career Win Shares: -0.2
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.326
Career PER: -4.5

Bell spent his college career at Boston College and was a two-time Big East Player of the Year and two-time All-American. He was picked by the Celtics but traded on draft night to the Grizzlies. His entire career lasted just 34 minutes.

#15. Reece Gaines, 2003

Career Games Played: 71
Career Win Shares: -0.6
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.049
Career PER: 5.3

Gaines was drafted by the Magic and spent his rookie year in Orlando, appearing in 38 games. He also played for the Rockets and Bucks, though he made just one career start. Following his NBA career, he spent time playing professionally in Italy, Greece, and France.

#14. Marcus Morris, 2011

Career Games Played: 284
Career Win Shares: 12.0
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.089
Career PER: 13.2

Morris has not been the worst player to be picked at No. 14 since 2000. That dubious honor goes to Mateen Cleaves, who had -0.8 win shares in 167 career games. Morris is the worst No. 14 pick since 2000, though, because the No. 15 pick in the 2011 draft was Kawhi Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and 2015 Defensive Player of the Year.

#13. Marcus Haislip, 2002

Career Games Played: 89
Career Win Shares: 0.5
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.026
Career PER: 10.8

Haislip was picked by the Bucks after a three-year college career at Tennessee. He appeared in 79 games with eight starts in three seasons before getting released by the Pacers. Haislip then spent four years playing overseas before a brief 10-game stint with the Spurs during the 2009-2010 season.

#12. Robert Swift, 2004

Career Games Played: 97
Career Win Shares: 1.7
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.054
Career PER: 11.4

Swift was taken by the SuperSonics out of high school and did not pan out. He flashed some promise during his first two seasons but tore his ACL in the preseason prior to his third year. He played in just 34 games after that before being released in December 2009. Since leaving the NBA, he’s had numerous personal and legal troubles, including incidents of driving under the influence, unlawful possession of a firearm, drug use and a home invasion attempt.

#11. Terrence Williams, 2009

Career Games Played: 153
Career Win Shares: -0.2
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.004
Career PER: 11.5

Williams gets the nod here despite competing with 2005 No. 11 pick Fran Vázquez, who never appeared in an NBA game. Williams spent four seasons in the NBA and played for four different teams, posting a negative win share total. He has spent his post-NBA career playing for numerous international teams.

#10. Jimmer Fredette, 2011

Career Games Played: 233
Career Win Shares: -2.3
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.036
Career PER: 12.6

During his senior season at BYU, Fredette was the unanimous National Player of the Year, averaging nearly 29 points per game. His pro career, however, has been a bust, especially considering the lights-out shooter who was taken one pick after him — Klay Thompson.

#9. Rodney White, 2001

Career Games Played: 218
Career Win Shares: 1.8
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.026
Career PER: 2.3

White played just 16 games for the Pistons during his rookie season before they traded him to the Nuggets. He got more playing time in Denver but was unable to make a big impact, and he was released after the 2004-2005 season. The No. 10 pick in the 2001 draft was seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson, who’s averaged over 17 points per game during his 15-year career.

#8. Rafael Araujo, 2004

Career Games Played: 139
Career Win Shares: -0.4
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.013
Career PER: 6.3

Araujo was taken by the Raptors in the 2004 draft after a successful college career at BYU. He made 41 starts his rookie year but averaged only 3.3 points per game. Araujo was traded to the Jazz before his third season and played just 28 games. The No. 9 pick in the 2004 draft was Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.

#7. Ben McLemore, 2013

Career Games Played: 189
Career Win Shares: 3.8
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.033
Career PER: 9.3

McLemore has struggled mightily during his still-young NBA career. He played in every game during his first two seasons, with 137 starts, yet never posted a PER higher than 10.4. The No. 7 pick has been a sweet spot since the turn of the century, producing several good players: Kirk Hinrich (2003), Luol Deng (2004), Stephen Curry (2009), Greg Monroe (2010) and Harrison Barnes (2012).

#6. Jonny Flynn, 2009

Career Games Played: 163
Career Win Shares: -1.1
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.015
Career PER: 11.3

Flynn was part of one of the most infamous drafts for any team in NBA history. The Timberwolves had three first-round picks in 2009, and used them all on point guards — Ricky Rubio with pick No. 5, Flynn at No. 6 and Ty Lawson at No. 18. Flynn was taken one spot ahead of Stephen Curry and was out of the league in three years. Draft grade: F-minus.

#5. Nikoloz Tskitishvili, 2002

Career Games Played: 172
Career Win Shares: -1.6
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.039
Career PER: 5.2

Tskitishvili was one of the much-hyped skilled European big men that entered the league during the early 2000s. He played for four teams in four years and never came close to living up to his top-five pick status.

#4. Wesley Johnson, 2010

Career Games Played: 375
Career Win Shares: 6.5
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.033
Career PER: 10.4

Johnson was a consensus first-team All-American in 2010 and was named the Big East Player of the Year. He was drafted by the Timberwolves and has never averaged more than 10 points per game in a season. Minnesota drafted him one spot ahead of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.

#3. Adam Morrison, 2006

Career Games Played: 161
Career Win Shares: -1.4
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: -0.021
Career PER: 7.4

Morrison averaged over 28 points per game in his junior season at Gonzaga, drawing comparisons to Larry Bird. He was a total bust in the NBA, though he was a part of two NBA championship-winning teams with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.

#2. Hasheem Thabeet, 2009

Career Games Played: 224
Career Win Shares: 4.8
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.099
Career PER: 10.3

Thabeet’s 7’3″ frame proved to be too enticing for the Grizzlies to pass up in the 2009 draft. He played for four different teams in five seasons, making just 20 starts, and was picked one spot ahead of three-time All-Star James Harden.

#1. Greg Oden, 2007

Career Games Played: 105
Career Win Shares: 7.3
Career Win Shares per 48 min.: 0.174
Career PER: 18.7

Were it not for devastating knee injuries, Oden may have lived up to his enormous potential. Unfortunately, he appeared in just 82 games for the Trail Blazers before being waived in 2012. He had a brief stint with the Heat during the 2013-2014 season but was not re-signed at the end of the year. Oden’s misfortunes are only magnified by the success of Kevin Durant, the No. 2 pick in 2007. Because of this, Oden will go down among the biggest draft busts the league has ever seen.


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