When you watch sport news like ESPN, listen to sport talk radio or read various sport articles, the word “bust” tends to come up the most, when referring to the NBA or at least that’s how I’ve always perceived it. Because there’s only two rounds in the NBA Draft, it leaves more pressure for executives and scouts to get their picks correct, otherwise, the pick will be considered a bust.
In recent years, players like Derrick Williams, and Anthony Bennett have been labeled as busts, as they’ve didn’t live up to their potential as the number-two and one picks, respecitvely in their drafts. Both today serve as reserve role players on there respective teams.
But Players like Jan Vessely and Jimmer Ferdette, of the 2010 draft are true busts of the past decade, as they’re no longer in the league.
So how does that fit into the 2015 draft?
No. 1 pick Karl Anthony-Townes and No. 3 pick Jahlil Okafor have shown promise, along with the other top-10 picks, except for D’Angelo Russell, former Ohio State Buckeye and current Los Angeles Laker.
Russell has shown very few highlights between summer league, preseason and his first two regular season games. And being only 19, he still has a lot of room to go grow. Over the past decade, general manager Mitch Kupchack has drafted 16 players drafted who have ever worn the purple and gold. But his overall drafting record speaks less than how the players performed.
Andrew Bynum – ’05
Ronny Turiaf – ’05
Von Wafer – ’05
Jordan Farmar – ’06
Jordan Ebanks – ’10
Derrick Character – ’10
Daruis Morris – ’11
Andrew Goudleock – ’11
Darius Johnson-Odom – ’12
Robert Sacre – ’12
Ryan Kelly – ’13
Julius Randle -’14
Jordan Clarkson – ’14
D’Angelo Russell – ’15
Larry Nance Jr. – ’15
Anthony Brown – ’15
Of those 16, every player from the 2012 to 2015, (except Johnson-Odom), are on the Lakers. Additionally, every player listed prior to Sacre is no longer in the league.
Of all the players selected in the top-10, most league personnel believed that Russell would have the hardest transition to the NBA.
Prior to Russell’s arrival in the NBA, I personally didn’t think he’d be a superstar or an impact scorer. At Ohio State, he was the focal point of the team, but he wasn’t a 20 ppg type of player. His athleticism and ability to find open passing lanes is how Russell made a name for himself. And personally, I believe he can make the transition into being a great distributer.
But for the Lakers, Russell is not the next Kobe or Magic.
He has the ability to be a special player and Byron Scott is the type of coach that he needs, it’s just going to take a couple years. But by that time, Kupchack and even Scott maybe out of Tinseltown.