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3 Busts of the 2014 Draft

The 2014 NBA Draft had it all. Superstars, All-Stars, 2nd round gems, and BUSTS!

Photo By: John W. McDonough (Getty Images North America)

I was looking through the 2014 draft class and was astonished to see the amount of talent that this class had to offer. Yeah sure, the number one pick Andrew Wiggins may have been disappointing. But he's still an All-Star. Then there's Joel Embiid who went 3rd, Marcus Smart who went 6th, Zach Lavine who went 13th, then all the way at 41st was Nikola Jokić. The man who was drafted during a Taco Bell commercial is a back-to-back MVP. There were some downsides as well. A few draft busts that we'll get into. But overall, pretty solid draft.

1. Jabari Parker, MIL

Jabari Parker was one of the best high school and college players during his era. Which is something that a lot of these draft busts have in common. The expectations were high coming in, and they failed to meet them. Well that was no different for Parker, who was drafted 2nd overall to Milwaukee after dominating at Duke. Parker started off his career wildly disappointing. He averaged 12.3 PPG mainly due to the fact that the Bucks had zero other offensive weapons. But his percentages were horrendous. Sadly, during the middle of December, Parker suffered an ACL tear which kept him out for the rest of the season. Parker came back strong though, he averaged 20 PPG in 2016-17. But once again he tore his ACL, which kept him out for the year. Parker came back late in 2017, and played out his contract with the Bucks. He then signed a 2 year deal as a RFA with the Bulls.

Parker then bounced around teams and failed to stay on the court with any of the teams he played with. He played for the Wizards, Hawks, Kings, and Celtics for the rest of his NBA career. That was his problem. He never was able to stay healthy. When he was healthy he was kind of nice. Somewhat of a 2021 Julius Randle of sorts. He could've been so good next to current Giannis and Khris Middleton. It's something that is out of his control, but the ACLs just ruined his career, as his quickness and explosiveness was shot. But he can still have an impact as a veteran guy in the locker room, as he was last year for the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics.

2. Dante Exum, UTA

Dante Exum is pretty much forgotten about by NBA fans. He was a Point Guard out of Australia who went straight from Australian high school straight to the NBA. He was drafted 5th overall to the Jazz, and was a promising piece to a rebuilding Jazz squad. However, he started the season barely getting any minutes. And he just never progressed as a player for the Jazz. He averaged 4.8 PPG in his rookie year and missed an All-Rookie Team. But while playing for Australia over the summer, Exum tore his ACL and was out for the year. He struggled to ever get consistent minutes for the Jazz, as he had a flurry of injuries throughout his career. During the 2019 season, Exum was shipped to Cleveland for Jordan Clarkson, but that would be his last time seeing the court in the NBA. As he was shipped to Houston but didn't play a game there, and now plays in Serbia.

As the problem is for many draft busts, Dante Exum was littered with injuries. An ACL, shoulder surgery, ankle issues, knee issues, etc. Then when he was on the court, he just didn't have something that he was really good at. He was just kind of there as a fill-in player. He was okay defensively, alright offensively, and hustled a little bit, but that was it. Exum was also very inefficient, as he shot just under 41% for his career.

3. Nik Stauskas, SAC

Nik Stauskas was a Michigan legend and had a great career for the Wolverines before entering the NBA draft in 2014. He was drafted 8th overall by the Kings, and he was to be a piece next to DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay as a spot-up shooter. Well in his rookie year that didn't really work out as well. He shot just 32% from 3 and averaged 4.4 PPG during his time in Sacramento. His disappointing season led him to be traded to Philadelphia for close to nothing. He then bounced around the league with Brooklyn, Portland, and Cleveland before heading overseas. But he made a quick comeback last season with the Heat and Celtics after an impressive G-League season.

Stauskas entered the draft as one of the best shooters on the board. Yet he didn't really show it when it mattered. He shot around 35% from 3 during his career, but that was very much below what people expected from the March Madness star. Outside of shooting, Stauskas brought close to nothing to the table. His defense was lackluster, he couldn't create his own shot, and he was so mid at everything. He was originally projected around the late 20s, but the Kings took him top 10. So it was just another poor selection by the Kings and lack of player development.

Other "Busts": Noah Vonleh (CHA), Adreian Payne (ATL), and James Young (BOS).


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