Draft mistakes are common in the NBA. Many fans hate their general managers for the poor scouting and poor choosing. However, some general managers pick guys with good talent, but at the wrong time…
1. Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins was expected to be the next Kobe coming into the NBA. In 2014, he was selected 1st overall by the Cavaliers but later traded to the Timberwolves to acquire Kevin Love. Wiggins is a decent player and has shown NBA talent, but he hasn’t lived up to the hype circulating him. He also hasn’t lived up to the max contract the wolves have given him either. However, Wolves cleared his salary of their cap space by trading him to the Warriors for D’Angelo Russell. Although Wiggins isn’t the next Kobe, he is capable of helping this warriors team contend next season when Stephen Curry and Klay Thomson come back healthy. Not worth being picked first though, considering Joel Embiid (who fell to the third pick) was in the same draft class.
2. Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball was greatly criticized for his tenure with the Lakers. That criticism doesn’t come without unfairness. He greatly underperformed then what was expected of him. Lonzo was taken by the Lakers with pick 2 in the 2017 draft after expressing the desire to play with them. After a bad start, he was included in the trade that sent Antony Davis to L.A. While the Lakers greatly benefited from this deal (they’re in the first seed currently) New Orleans has as well. People were ready to declare Lonzo an official bust until he proved himself this year in New Orleans. Every aspect of his game took flight in New Orleans (scoring, rebounding, playmaking, shooting, etc.) He’s now proven that he still has the potential to be a star in this league. Was taking him at pick two a wise move? Jayson Tatum and De’Aaron Fox were also in the 2017 draft and Tatum were chosen third, while Fox was chosen fifth. Both have a case to be chosen above Lonzo, as Tatum is already an all-star and Fox has been performing amazing since day one.
3. Markelle Fultz
Another guy from the 2017 NBA draft. Markelle Fultz. Fultz was taken with the first draft pick in 2017 by the Sixers. His start with the Sixers was horrendous. Injury-prone, inconsistent free throw shooting, you name it. However, he, like the others, also got traded for not fulfilling his expectations. However, Fultz is thriving in Orlando. He’s starting to show us the Markelle Fultz people wanted to see in Philadelphia. With his role increased in Orlando, he’s been putting up numbers and has been proving to us he’s not a bust. But being selected at number one wasn’t a great move. As mentioned before, Tatum would have been worthier of being the number one pick in 2017.
4. Jahil Okafor
Another draft mistake by Philadelphia. Jahil Okafor was taken with the third pick in 2015 by Philadelphia and seemed like a complete bust there. However, like Lonzo Ball, Jahil has been reviving his career in New Orleans and looks like a promising player for the Pelicans future (although it seems like Jaxon Hayes will be their center for the future). However, pick 3 was not a reasonable place to draft Okafor. Kristraps Porzingis was still available and taken with the 4th pick after Philadelphia passed on him. Myles Turner was also in this draft class and fell to the 11th pick. Devin Booker was also available and fell to the 13th pick.
5. Otto Porter Jr.
In 2013, Otto Porter Jr. was selected by the Wizards with the third pick. Although Otto is a great role player and can be valuable to contending teams, the Wizards have many more options available to them. For instance, CJ McCollum, who is an all-star. Also, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is the defending MVP, and Rudy Gobert, who is the back-to-back DPOY.