The 2020 NBA Draft will not take place until October 15 once the crazy 2019-20 season ends. Thinking of this year’s draft brings back memories of draft’s past, particularly one that stands out as one of the worst in league history.
The year was 2006. The winner of the draft lottery was the Toronto Raptors and with the first selection in the draft they chose 7-foot Italian Andrea Bargnani. Thinking back to No. 1 overall picks in the NBA, one thinks of Magic Johnson (1979) or Tim Duncan (1997), and even LeBron James (2003).
It’s doubtful anyone would think of Andrea Bargnani. As a No. 1 pick, Bargnani was a bust. He had a decent NBA career though one that Toronto could have picked up in the second round or even as a free agent. Bargnani played 10 seasons in the league and averaged 14.3 points per game.
Like 26 of the other 30 players chosen in the first round of the 2006 NBA draft, Bargnani never played in an NBA All-Star game nor was he selected to an All-NBA team.
Of the top ten picks, only No. 2 LaMarcus Aldridge and No. 6 Brandon Roy became All-Stars. Aldridge has had an outstanding career having played in seven All-Star games and making five different All-Star teams. Aldridge is still with San Antonio but will miss the remainder of this season with a shoulder injury.
Roy was off to a great start winning the 2006-07 Rookie of the Year award. He averaged 22.6 points per game in his third season, but injuries prevented him from having an extended career. Roy would limp through two more seasons and attempt a comeback in 2012-13 that lasted just five games.
The only other All-Stars in the first round of the 2006 draft were Rajon Rondo (No. 21) and Kyle Lowry (No. 24). No. 3 overall pick Adam Morrison is considered one of the biggest NBA draft busts in history. Fourth pick Tyrus Thomas averaged a measly 7.7 points a game over his eight seasons.
The second round wasn’t much better. Only one player – Paul Millsap – ever played in an All-Star game and a full eight of the 30 second-round selections never played in a single NBA regular season or postseason game.