As I stated in my previous articles, this year’s NBA draft is stocked full of talent. There are guys that will go between picks 4-7 this year, who would be a easy top three selection in previous years’ drafts.
With that being said, there are players in every draft no matter what the sport, who simply just don’t pan out. They don’t reach a certain standard of expectations that they were anticipated to surmise. These players are known as busts. Some of the most recent draft busts are Adam Morrison, Darko Milicic, Joe Alexander, and of course Greg Oden.
So who will be a bust in this year’s draft? Without a crystal ball, predicting potential draft busts is a very difficult thing to do. Based off the player’s skill set, size, and over all drive for the game, I have selected three players who may become potential busts.
Nick Stauskas, SG Michigan
Stauskas was the top scoring threat for his Wolverines team last season thanks to his beautiful stroke from long range as evident to his 44% career 3-point percentage. But if Stauskas’ shot isn’t on target like it was when he faced some elite competition such as Duke, he doesn’t bring his team much value. He’s a bit of a one trick pony: shut his shot down, and shut him down entirely.
Stauskas has mediocre athletic traits and is relatively slow for the two guard position. He may struggle getting around screens and gets thrown around when he’s in the paint. He will probably get played like a puppet if he tries covering elite scoring two guards in the NBA such as James Harden or Bradley Beal.
Stauskas has an overall good mindset for a shooter and is very intelligent on and off the basketball court. I just don’t see him developing into anything more than a 3-point specialist at the next level. Just think, his ceiling is Kyle Korver.
Aaron Gordon, PF Arizona
Aaron Gordon is one of the youngest players in this year’s draft. Understanding that, he will likely take a longer time to develop than most. Unfortunately, Gordon falls under the category of a tweener forward. Standing 6-foot-8, he has too much size and not enough skill for a small forward, but also lacks the footwork and is not strong enough to be a legitimate power forward.
When Gordon shoots the ball, it looks forced and often comes up too strong. He has little to no touch on the ball and doesn’t really have any post moves. Most of his points came via the slam dunk, while that play won’t be as available in the NBA.
Gordon does play very hard and is one of the top three athletic players in the draft. His defensive nose for the ball will translate to the NBA as long as he replicates the effort he played with at Arizona. I’ve heard Gordon going as high as five in this year’s draft which I feel is way too high for a player who will struggle offensively at the next level and will at best be a high-motor role player.
Zach LaVine, SG UCLA
Unlike Aaron Gordon, I don’t think Zach LaVine will make any sort of positive impact on the court for the team that drafts him. Despite his unreal athleticism including a freakish leaping ability, he really struggles getting to the rim and seems to shy away from contact all together. LaVine is a frail, 180-pound 18-year-old, that NEEDS to put on some muscle because players are only bigger and stronger in the NBA.
When team’s decided to double team this athletic Bruin, they seemed to stifle his offensive game entirely. On the other side of the ball is where LaVine struggled immensely. He showed very poor defensive effort and seemed mentally weak.
Also, LaVine came off the bench for UCLA and didn’t play particularly well. Since LaVine didn’t receive a whole ton of minutes and is an extremely raw player who has a lot to prove, common sense would say he should stay in college another year to develop his all around skills, but who’s to say.