A lot of time and money is invested into NBA prospect scouting, whether that be throughout a player’s high school years, college career, or during the NBA Draft combine, as many franchises are looking for that next Michael Jordan or LeBron James that can thrust the team into title contention for the foreseeable future.
Many third-party organizations are also heavily invested into NBA prospect scouting. Websites such as NBADraft.net and DraftExpress.com have entire databases of every NBA prospect from the past and into the future, so us fans can read up on the newest rookies before they enter the league.
Sometimes though, these sites get stuff VERY wrong, comparing eventual NBA busts to the Association’s greatest stars. Here are the top 5 worst NBA Draft comparisons of all-time.
Fizer was a 6’8 power forward coming out of Iowa State in the 2000 NBA Draft, being taken 4th overall by the Chicago Bulls, ahead of players such as Jamal Crawford, DeShawn Stevenson, and Michael Redd.
Marcus averaged 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds during his time with the Cyclones, which garnered comparisons to NBA legend Charles Barkley due to his size and rebounding ability.
Of course, Fizer never lived up to the hype, and averaged 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds while in the NBA, playing for a total of 3 NBA teams before leaving the league for good in 2006.
Alexey Shved, who had a fairly decent NBA career all things considered, was a 6’7 guard coming out of Russia and was touted as the next great tall point guard who could do it all on the court. Pass, score, defend, rebound, you name it. He won several championships while in Russia, and signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2012 to a multi-year deal.
Because of his height and passing ability, Shved was likened to another 6’7 point guard who was on the cusp of taking over the league before running into a myriad of injuries.
Hardaway was a 4-time All-Star before injuries crippled him, whereas Shved achieved virtually nothing in his NBA career, being better suited to the Euro game back in Russia.
As most NBA fans know, Eddy Curry was one of the heaviest players the league has ever seen towards the back end of his career. Curry also carried some of this weight in the NBA Draft, being billed at 300 pounds pre-draft.
Eddy’s large frame and athleticism made some people see a bit of Shaq in him, and Curry was heralded as the next Shaquille O’Neal coming into the 2001 NBA Draft, going 4th to the Bulls (again), ahead of players such as Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas and Joe Johnson.
The two men may share the same size and frame, but did not share the same skill set, as Curry only averaged 12.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest during his 11-year NBA career, and was constantly accused of being lazy and having no work ethic.
Adam Morrison out of Gonzaga is amongst some of the worst NBA busts in history, going 3rd in the 2006 Draft and having a very disappointing career.
Being compared to Celtics great Larry Bird would always be a negative for any player, as it is almost impossible to live up to those sort of expectations, and that’s exactly what happened to Adam.
Morrison was taken ahead of players such as Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay, going to the Charlotte Bobcats and having his best year during his rookie season, averaging 11.8 points on 37% shooting, making the All-Rookie Second Team.
Things only went downhill from there as Adam crumbled in the NBA spotlight, averaging around 3 points a game for the next 3 seasons. He did ride the bench for the two-time NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, and will always hold two championship rings, which is a lot more than other players can claim.
Now this one is BAD.
Stevenson was a 6’5 shooting guard coming out of Washington Union High School. As we all know, high school players were very hit and miss during their draft eligibility period, with players such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James the only bright spots out of a group consisting of Kwame Brown and Sebastian Telfair.
According to NBADraft.net, this is what they saw in Stevenson before he declared for the draft:
Strengths: Special player. Extremly gifted athlete. Great ball handler. Very advanced shooter and scorer for his age. A showstopper. Can play the 1 or 2. Won the McDonald’s High School dunk contest. Super character. As NBA ready as any HS player in his class.
And this what they said after their comparison went viral:
[6/25/15 Edit: Scouting report and comparison to G.O.A.T. were written while Stevenson was in high school and assumed to be headed to Kansas. Lessen learned, never compare anyone to Michael Jordan. This was 2000, the site was just getting started. Go watch a tape of Stevenson in high school, he was incredible. One of the most spectacular 17 year old wings you could ever see. Not going to college had a catastrophic effect on him. It seems everyone enjoys dis-crediting our expertise by bringing up the year 2000 DeShawn Stevenson comparison to MJ. We never went back and changed his comparison after it was originally made. Apologies to MJ…. Hey the “Sports Leader” compared Marshawn Brooks to Kobe Bryant just a few years ago.The other large NBA draft site compared Greg Paulus to John Stockton. Nobody wants to bring that up?]
As you can see, comparing any potential draftee, especially one straight out of high school, is an extremely bad idea, as no matter how their career pans out, there is a 99.99% chance they will disappoint.