Anthony Bennett- When Bennett was drafted with the pick in 2013, then-ESPN basketball analysts Bill Simmons said, “what?!?!” Bennett actually had solid numbers while a Runnin’ Rebel, and even posted a PER of 28.3. So, its not a complete shock that he was drafted number 1. Just for perspective, Giannis was drafted 14 picks later.
Rodney White- Small forward Rodney White was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 2001 NBA Draft. White had a phenomenal Freshman year at UNC-Charlotte and was even named National Freshman of The Year by ESPN. White and coach Rick Carlise butted heads a bunch of times and Carlise limited his playing time. He was later dealt to the Denver Nuggets but didn’t fare much better there. He spent the rest of the decade playing in multiple countries overseas.
Rafael Arajuo- Brazilian baller Rafael Arajuo is famous for 3 different reasons in his career: for being drafted right before Finals MVP Andre Igoudala, for being the only college senior taken in the lottery in the 2004 NBA Draft, and oh, you know, being suspended from international play for two years because of steroid use. The Toronto Raptors didn’t see a problem with that and drafted him anyway. He spent limited minutes in Toronto and then at Golden State. Years later he broke a backboard in a FIBA game, so that makes up for him being a draft bust, right?
Fran Vazquez- In 2005, the Orlando Magic thought Spanish Forward Fran Vazquez would be the perfect complement to Dwight Howard. There was only one minor problem. After being drafted the Magic, Vazquez said he was not leaving the Euro-leagues to play in the United States. Vazquez ended up having a long term European and International career that spanned up until last year. Just none of it with the Orlando Magic or any NBA team.
Jan Vesely- 7 footer Czech center Vesely posted a ridiculous NBA career averages of 3.6 points per game along with 3.5 rebounds in 15 minutes of playing action. Vesely was picked right before Kemba Walker and Klay Thompson. Vesely last just under 4 years with two teams before heading back to Europe where he has been since. Can you imagine what a John Wall-Klay Thompson backcourt would have been like?
Chris Washburn- Washburn comes the famed draft class of 1986, where multiple players had substance abuse problems. Luckily for him, his life didn’t end the way Len Bias’s life did. Washburn was seen as an extremely talented big man, who was a superstar in both high school and college. Washburn lasted a year with the Warriors and a year with Hawks before his NBA career was done. One of the big knocks on Washburn in addition to his substance abuse was his lacking work ethic.
Terrance Williams- Coach Rick Pitino once called Williams a “freakish athlete” because of his strength and vertical jumping abilities. Unfortunately that didn’t translate into much in the NBA, as after one year in the NBA, he averaged only 13 more games a season for three years. Williams claim to fame is that he is a sneakerhead with a big collection.
Johnny Flynn- Johnny Flynn is also famous for three things: partaking in the famous college game with 6 overtimes, dating Michael Jordan’s daughter and being the draft pick right before Stephen Curry. Flynn played for the Timberwolves for a few years before a short stint with the Houston Rockets. After that, it was overseas. Did you hear about that time Stephen Curry got cut for the Warriors and was playing in Bulgaria?!?!
Joe Alexander- Here is an interesting one. Alexander was drafted in the 2008 NBA Draft and was named pre-draft as the most athletic prospect on paper. Other notable “athletic players” that were drafted that year along with Alexander, you know, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum and JaVale McGee. Yup, Alexander was seen as MORE athletic than a young Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. Alexander saw limited minutes with the Milwaukee Bucks and then was cut by only his third year.
Mouhamed Sene- Looking back, it wasn’t a bad choice for the Seattle Supersonics to draft Sene in 2006 NBA Draft, He was an athletic 7-footer with a 7 feet and 8 inch wingspan. NBA scouts love foreign big players that are super-athletic. And that’s what Sene was. Sene actually played in more D-League games than he did NBA games. The Knicks gave him a shot in 2009, and he lasted on 3 minutes as a Knick.