Earlier today, Mark had the dubious honor of trying to come up with the Nets’ top five best non-lottery choices. I decided to take a look at the worst non-lottery choices that the Nets have made. Needless to say, my list was much easier to come up with than his list. The hardest part of my list was narrowing it down to just five. Because of that I decided to focus on first round selections only. Because of that, on this list you won’t see Mile Illic, Christian Drejer or Tamar Slay, but you will see plenty of familiar names that may or may not have caused you heartache. Enjoy.
No. 5 – Vicktor Khryapa: The player from CSKA Moscow gets some points knocked off his poor NBA performance due to the fact that the Nets traded this pick on draft day to the Portland Trail Blazers for, brace yourself, Eddie Gill and cash considerations (Yes! More cost cutting!).
In a four year career that spanned from the Trail Blazers to the Chicago Bulls, Khryapa boasted blistering averages in the NBA of: 4.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, and 1.0 apg. He has since returned back to CSKA Moscow.
Notable Players Passed Over: Tony Allen, Kevin Martin, Delonte West and Anderson Varejao.
No. 4 – Zoran Planinic: After the 2003 season the Nets were looking for a backup guard to spell Jason Kidd, among others. So, naturally the Nets decided to select a relatively young Croatian swing player to do the job. The results were underwhelming to say the least.
Planinic never really made his mark on the Nets or in the NBA, as he was unable to continue running the Nets fast break offense that they employed back then. The most memorable thing about Zoran’s NBA career?…his hair.
Notable Players Passed Over: Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Howard, Mo Williams.
No. 3 – Marcus Williams: In 2006, the Nets were still looking for that backup guard to Jason Kidd and with Kidd aging, even drafting a potential heir to his throne. The Nets opted to take enigmatic point guard Marcus Williams of UConn. The lefty guard seemed to have a great feel for the game and his rookie season yielded mixed results, but enough was done for there to be some cause of optimism.
But, all clouds have a silver lining. Williams’ decision-making began being called into question and his work ethic and conditioning were always cause for concern from day one. As Williams’ role on the team diminished, so did his attitude, topping out with a trade to the Golden State Warriors for a first round pick. Who knew a guy who tried selling stolen laptops while at UConn would become a character problem anyway?
Notable Players Passed Over: Kyle Lowry, Paul Millsap.
No. 2 – Sean Williams: In 2007 the Nets selected Sean Williams of Boston College with the 17th overall pick. A long and athletic 6’10” forward, Williams was hailed as having talent worthy of the lottery, but due to character issues while at Boston College his draft stock dipped. The Nets took a chance on him and got just about what you’d expect from a guy who was suspended twice from his college team in a three-year career. But he could jump so high!
Much like Marcus Williams, Sean’s rookie year could have been dubbed a semi-success, and we saw the athletic potential we had heard about upon drafting him. But due to his on the court mishaps (“Wait, Coach Frank, what do you mean help defense?”) and his off the court trouble (Ok so he smashed one computer monitor at a mall, NBD!) his role on the team shrunk and he was used sparingly in his second and third seasons, eventually being released by the team in 2010.
Notable Players Passed Over: Wilson Chandler, Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis.
No. 1 – Yinka Dare: Ah yes, everyone’s favorite, Yinka Dare. The Nets selected Dare 14th overall in the 1994 NBA Draft. Dare was a seven-foot Nigerian born center and seemed like a competent player coming out of college.
The NBA proved to be different for Mr. Dare, however. Dare will forever be remembered, in my eyes at least, for his 95-96 season in which he played in 58 games and did not record a single assist! As a matter of fact, Dare played 1002 minutes in his NBA career and recorded only four total assists, for a scorching average of one assist per 250 minutes played. Not bad Yinka!
Notable Players Passed Over: Charlie Ward, Aaron McKie.
Remember to come back later tonight and join us for our annual live draft chat. The chat will begin approx. at 6:45 pm est. Seeya then!