10 Talented Players That Didn’t Fulfill Their Destiny in the NBA
There is only so much information about a player before the draft day, and sometimes the evidence is misleading. A lot of players are posting solid numbers in their college runs, but the result is not often transferred into the NBA.
Some players might not actually fit in the team that drafted them and require a trade in order to fulfill their destiny. However, there are others who are destined to fail, no matter where and for which team they are playing. There have been a lot of mishaps in NBA drafts throughout the NBA history, and here is a list of the 10 players who failed to live up to the expectations:
10. Lance Stephenson
– 40th overall pick in 2010
He won city basketball championships in all four years of high school and is New York State’s all-time leading scorer in high school basketball. He did few things in his first couple of seasons with Indiana, but an injury to Danny Granger gave Lance the starting spot. He did have a couple of good seasons there before he was traded to the Hornets, where he was solid in 61 matches.
After a short stint with the Clippers, Lance made a case for himself when he averaged 14.2 ppg in 26 matches with Memphis. He got 10-day contracts in Minnesota, New Orleans and back to Indiana before the Pacers offered him a full-time contract at the start of this season. His personality is the cause of his inconsistency, but he has great athletic abilities, and he is only asking for a chance to show them.
9. Nerlens Noel
– 6th overall pick in 2013
Well known for his elite shot blocking abilities, he was yet another Kentucky product that was pumped into the NBA. He would have actually been picked at a higher spot had it not been for a torn ACL in his left knee. He missed his entire rookie season but posted some really solid numbers in the next two and a half seasons in Philly.
However, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Richaun Holmes were all vying for minutes in Philadelphia, which made Noel the odd man out. He was eventually traded to the Mavericks, where he finished last season with some solid numbers. Even so, this season he has been nowhere the be found, having played really few matches, mostly garbage time. His career is on the brink of extinction, and it might require another trade to get things going.
8. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
– 2nd overall pick in 2012
He was an NCAA Champions in his only year with Kentucky in 2011-12, with averages of 11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.0 spg and 0.9 bpg. He brought some of his flair in the NBA, but the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) kind of overreacted with this pick.
Michael has somewhat of a broken shot, at least visually, but still is a career 47% shooter. He has suffered from a lot of injuries, losing the entire 2015-16 season in the process. He is actually trending up the past couple of years, but his production is by no means that of a 2nd overall pick.
7. Thomas Robinson
– 5th overall pick in 2012
One more mistake was made by the Sacramento Kings here, who picked him at the 5th pick that year. They skipped on Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond among others, and it really came back to bite them.
Robinson might have been a Dwight Howard type of player in college (17.7 ppg, 11.9 rpg in his last season), but he never really got it going in the NBA. He changed six teams in five years but failed to make an impression. He currently plays overseas, where he is actually quite a strong Center for the Russian Khimki Moscow.
6. Wesley Johnson
– 4th overall pick in 2010
A known defensive force since his high-school days, where he posted 4.3 blocks per game. He continued that trend in his college career, where he played four years for Iowa State. The Wolves grabbed him at the 4th pick but saw very few things in the first couple of seasons. A trade to Phoenix didn’t help his case, but his two years with the Lakers were his best in his career.
Johnson now plays for the Clippers, where his numbers have seen a steady decrease. Last season he had a mere 2.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg and just 0.4 in each of the defensive stats. This season he still can’t find his place in a re-vamped Clippers line-up, posting averages of 6.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.1 spg and 1.1 bpg. While his defense is something positive, his overall outlook in a soon to be rebuilding team is not the best.
5. Evan Turner
– 2nd overall pick in 2010
Dubbed as a triple-double threat from his college days, Evan Turner was decent in his first two seasons in Philadelphia. He greatly improved in his third season, but exploded in his fourth and final season in Philly, with 17.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.3 apg and 0.9 spg. However, his career took a downward trajectory after he was traded to the Pacers.
After that he played for the Celtics for two seasons, averaging just under 10 points per match. He is now struggling to stay relevant in the Blazers’ roster, with a mere 7.9 ppg. Maybe a trade can revive the talent he hides inside.
4. Dante Exum
– 5th overall pick in 2014
Exum is one of the few players to have been drafted in the NBA without going to college, as he was born and raised in Australia. He caught the eye of the NBA in a Nike Hoop Summit in 2013 but chose to not go to college. He was selected by the Utah Jazz that year and went on to become just the 10th player in the franchise’s history to play all matches in his rookie season.
On August 4, 2015, he suffered a tear in the ACL and missed the entire next season. He put in real work in the Summer camps so far but suffered another season-ending injury in his shoulder, that left him out of this season as well. Tough luck for a very promising playmaker.
3. Derrick Williams
– 2nd overall pick in 2011
Derrick Williams was a constant double-double threat in his two years in college, reaching 19.5 ppg and 8.3 rpg through 38 starts in his sophomore year in Arizona. He actually showed some good glimpses of his ability in his first two seasons with the Timberwolves.
But the constant trades and changes of the environment have not fared well with him. He actually had a good shot in his Knicks days, but he hasn’t played more than 25 games in a season ever since and is currently a free agent.
2. Michael Carter-Williams
– 11th overall pick in 2013
Carter-Williams came into the league as an elite defender, posting 11.9 ppg, 7.3 apg and 2.7 spg in his second season with Syracuse. The 76ers were in need of a PG in their rebuilding phase and they thought that they picked their playmaker of the future.
e was stellar in his rookie season (16.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.9 spg), and was also good in his sophomore year. However, his career took a turn for the worse when he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he failed to make an impression. He now plays for the Charlotte Hornets, but a series of injuries have messed up with his evolution as a player.
1. Michael Beasley
– 2nd overall pick in 2008
Michael Beasley was a really solid prospect coming off college, where he was a dominant force like the NBA hadn’t seen since Carmelo Anthony. He was named in the 2009 NBA All-Rookie First Team and was great in his first three seasons.
However, he was charged with marijuana possession during his time with the Suns, who waived him shortly after. He has at least four different incidents like that, and also join a rehab center back in 2009. He has shown us glimpses of his talent in recent years and currently plays for the Knicks.