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3 Busts of the 2018 Draft

The top of the draft brought us some of the best players in the league today, but like all drafts, some guys don't pan out as well as we expect

Photo By: Rocky Widner (Getty Images North America)


The 2018 Draft had a big top of the draft in terms of prospects. Luka Dončić, Trae Young, and DeAndre Ayton were all taken top 5. Then Mikal Bridges, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Michael Porter Jr. were all selected later on in the lottery. This class is filled with lots of other quality role players as well. But then there are some that either never got an opportunity, or just flat out sucked.


1. Marvin Bagley III, SAC

Bust may be a bit harsh for a 14 PPG scorer. But the Kings selected Bagley 2nd overall in 2018. I think the thing that makes him a "bust" the most would be the fact that he got taken over Luka Dončić. Bagley has struggled with injuries throughout his young career thus far. He's had a load of knee and foot problems during his time with Sacramento and Detroit. Last season, Bagley was traded to the Pistons as a part of a multi-team trade which included Donte DiVincenzo and Serge Ibaka.


Bagley is actually a pretty solid player. He is one of the key rotational guys up in Detroit. He's been a consistent 13-15 PPG scorer every season. He even re-upped with the Pistons this off-season. He just had the unfortunate luck of being drafted before one of the best players of this new generation. Bagley should have a long career in the NBA, and should continue to be a key piece for teams as long as he stays healthy.


2. Kevin Knox, NYK

This hurts me specifically as a Knicks fan. From watching Villanova make an incredible NCAA tournament run just months prior, I wanted to see Mikal Bridges in a New York uniform and kind of expected it. Other guys drafted behind Knox include Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Miles Bridges, and Michael Porter Jr. We should've saw this bust label coming when he wore that Fortnite suit on Draft Night. But all jokes aside, Knox just never took off. His first year was actually really good. The 2018-19 Knicks lacked skills in basically every aspect of their organization, and Knox was one of the only players who show competency. He averaged 13 PPG and 5 RPG, but on some disappointing percentages from the field. But as the years went on, Knox showed zero improvement, and fell in the rotation.


The main problem with Knox was the defense and the shot percentages. He was wildly inconsistent throughout his time in New York, and was pushed out of the rotation but better, more experienced vets. Then when Tom Thibodeau was brought in, that completely killed every shot Kevin Knox had of significant playing time. He was then traded to Atlanta for Cameron Reddish at the deadline, and was let go at the end of the year. He now plays for Detroit as well, and has somewhat picked up his play as the season has gone along.



3. Zhaire Smith, PHI

This was a very confusing move even at the time of selection. As the 76ers took Mikal Bridges 10th overall, and promptly traded the Villanova (in Philadelphia) alum to Phoenix for Zhaire Smith, who has only played 13 total games in the NBA. Smith was the 16th pick out of Texas Tech, and injured his left foot and played just 6 games in his rookie season. As a result of an allergic reaction, Smith lost weight and reworked his shot in his second professional season. He was sent down to the Delaware Blue Coats, and that's where he spent a majority of his time remaining in the NBA system. He bounced around G-League teams since then, and failed to make an NBA roster again.


Well if we're being fair, the main problem with Zhaire Smith was his lack of availability. He was injured, and the 76ers never really gave him a fair shot to be a productive member of their rotation. However, his skills just were not there. There's a reason he's not on an NBA roster right now. The guy straight up can't play basketball at a professional level. Which is tough, and a main reason to why he is being ridiculed by the Philadelphia media is because of the trade for Bridges. But honestly, this is really on the 76ers management. They didn't try to develop him, and took him way too high.


Other "Busts": Jerome Robinson (LAC/WAS), Mo Bamba (ORL), and Troy Brown Jr. (WAS/CHI/LAL)

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