It’s the moment when kids who have honed their skills on the basketball court throughout their high school and college years get to play with the big boys. Yes, draft day remains one of the most exciting, entertaining and eventful parts of the NBA season. But, of course, nothing is guaranteed – even when a team clinches the first overall pick.
After all, for every player who goes on to repay the faith invested in them by a major franchise, there’s another who causes nothing but pain by hopelessly failing to live up to their early potential. And the 1990s drafts certainly contained both canny and ultimately disappointing signs. On the upside, take Dirk Nowitzki, for example; selected ninth overall by the Dallas Mavericks in 1998, the 13-time All-Star has certainly earned his place in NBA history.
Paul Pierce was drafted by the Boston Celtics, also in 1998, and The Truth has certainly prevailed since. But, of course, as many fans will know, there are a whole lot of busts for every Pierce or Nowitzki. Here’s a look at 15 ’90s top-ten draftees who each never quite achieved lasting success on the court.