Is Greg Oden The Biggest #1 Draft Pick Bust In NBA History?
With the news coming that Greg Oden will miss the entire NBA season yet again with an injury, it is time to begin discussing whether or not Oden is the biggest #1 pick bust in NBA history. It certainly is leaning toward the latter.
NBA Draft Day busts must be gauged in a number of ways. Not only by the performance of the player, but also by the players drafted after him. The biggest name discussed is always Sam Bowie and the fact that Michael Jordan was drafted right after him. But let’s not forget that Bowie went #2 to the Portland Trail Blazers. The #1 pick that year was Hakeem Olajuwon. So that eliminates Bowie from this discussion. So what other competition does Oden have?
The #1 pick in 2001, Kwame Brown, ended up being terrible and Pau Gasol ended up going at #3 and has become a staple on a Los Angeles Laker team headed for glory. But at least Brown played.
In 1998, Michael Olowokandi went #1 to the Los Angeles Clippers as players like Vince Carter, Antwan Jamison, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce and Rashard Lewis all came after him. There is certainly a compelling argument there.
But Greg Oden was drafted before the youngest NBA player to win a scoring title, Kevin Durant. Oden missed his first year in the league with an injury. His second year (classified as his real rookie year) saw Oden play 61 games while averaging a paltry 8.9 points and seven rebounds. Last season he went down after 21 games with yet another injury. And this year Oden will not even touch the court. So that means at the end of this season, Greg Oden will have played 82 out of a possible 328 games. Meanwhile, Durant has become a perennial All-Star and has already entered the debate as one of the top 5 players in the NBA today. And the worst part about, Oden isn’t going to get any better any time soon. He’s injury prone and appears to be destined to be remembered as the bum picked before Kevin Durant.
It sucks, but can you find a worse #1 pick in the NBA?