The NBA is littered with busts at or near the top of the first round. Here is just a sampling of the worst, starting with Bowie. His selection underscores the cardinal rule behind NBA Draftology: You can't draft for need. The Blazers, flush with Jim Paxson and Clyde Drexler on the wings, needed a center and passed on drafting Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton. Bowie struggled with injuries throughout his 10-year run and finished with career averages of 10.9 points and 7.5 rebounds.
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Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Denver Nuggets
Skita created a buzz with his predraft workouts, and that was that. Four teams discarded him in four seasons.
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Kwame Brown, Washington Wizards
The 27-year-old still has time to turn it around, of course, but his body of work -- career averages of 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds -- suggests that's a long shot for Michael Jordan's handpicked choice.
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LeBron James, Milicic, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade -- which top five pick from 2003 doesn't belong? Like Kwame Brown, the 24-year-old Milicic has time to turn it around, but he's failed to produce much with three teams.
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Michael Olowokandi, Los Angeles Clippers
Bust-worthy on so many levels. The Kandi Man was taken before future All-Stars Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce and a host of more suitable selections. Even the final pick of the first round, Nazr Mohammed, has had a much more distinguished career in the pivot.
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LaRue Martin, Portland Trail Blazers
Portland passed on future Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo to take fellow big man Martin, who never averaged more than seven points in his four NBA seasons. The Loyola product retired in 1976, a year before the Blazers won their first and only championship.
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Chris Washburn, Golden State Warriors
The North Carolina State product totaled 222 points in 72 career games, as good a represenative as any for a draft full of busts.
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Shawn Bradley, Philadelphia 76ers
Find him on a poster near you. To his credit, Bradley developed into a so-so big man who ranks 11th on the all-time list in blocks. He's the perfect example of a player whose draft position colors the perception of his career.
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Ed O'Bannon, New Jersey Nets
The go-to guy for a UCLA team that won the national championship in '95, O'Bannon led the Nets right back into the lottery and played just two seasons in the NBA.
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Joe Smith, Golden State Warriors
Average in name and game, Smith has had a serviceable career for eight teams, but later selections Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and (especially) Kevin Garnett have had better careers.
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Danny Ferry, Los Angeles Clippers
Ferry had no interest in playing for the Clippers so he toiled for a season in Italy before Los Angeles agreed to trade his rights. Venerated Cavs GM Wayne Embry made one of the worst moves of his career by sending scoring machine Ron Harper to the Clippers for Ferry, who spent 10 nondescript seasons in Cleveland.
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Dennis Hopson, New Jersey Nets
The first in a series of "Next Jordans" flamed out before producing a fraction of what MJ accomplished. Hopson averaged 10.9 points in five seasons.
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Jonathan Bender, Toronto Raptors
Indiana acquired the draft rights to the preps-to-pros, Kevin-Garnett look-alike for solid big man Antonio Davis. Bender showed tantalizing flashes of his potential but never put it together before cutting short his career because of knee injuries in February 2006.
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Jon Koncak, Hawks/Joe Kleine, Kings
Koncak and Kleine spent the bulk of their time in the NBA cashing in on their right to commit six fouls per game.
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Kent Benson, Milwaukee Bucks
It never got better for Benson than winning the national title at Indiana. He did stick in the NBA for 10 seasons but produced only three double-digit scoring campaigns.
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He went about 10 spots higher than was expected, and about 25 spots higher than was deserved. The 6-11 center from BYU was a three-year washout in the NBA.
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The former Wyoming star (shown here with Larry Bird) split four pedestrian seasons (5.5 points, 4.3 rebounds) between Dallas and Indiana.
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2000 first round
Most of the GMs in '00 got their picks right; this was just a bad group of players. Here was the top half of the first round: Kenyon Martin, Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer, Mike Miller, DerMarr Johnson, Chris Mihm, Jamal Crawford, Joel Przybilla, Keyon Dooling, Jerome Moiso, Etan Thomas, Courtney Alexander, Mateen Cleaves and Jason Collier.
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In a prearranged draft-night trade that turned into one of the most lopsided deals in history, the Mavericks sent Traylor to the Bucks for Nowitzki and Pat Garrity, whom Dallas dealt to Phoenix for Steve Nash. Nowitzki led the Mavericks to the 2006 NBA Finals and was named league MVP in 2007. The Tractor? He averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in seven seasons.
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A high-scoring, high-profile college star at Loyola Maramount, Kimble was out of the league after 105 NBA games split between the Clippers and Knicks.
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