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3 Busts of the 2019 Draft

This was actually a pretty good draft class, but there are always some busts.

Photo By: Michael Reaves (Getty Images North America)

The 2019 draft was one of the most hyped-up drafts in recent history. With the likes of Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and RJ Barrett in the pool. Relatively, this class doesn't have many "busts" at all. Most of the guys in the lottery have shaped out to be pretty good role players. Yeah sure, they haven't all panned out exactly the way we expected (I'm looking at you R.J. Barrett), but it's been pretty good. Enough positivity though, we like busts.

1. Jarrett Culver, MIN

I actually feel pretty bad for Jarrett Culver. He may not be the best basketball player, but he's been a great teammate, and that's why he's gotten 2 more NBA contracts after the Timberwolves declined his option in 2021. Now, Culver is on a two-way deal for the Hawks and spent last year with the Memphis Grizzlies. The 6'6 ball-handler had all the tools to be a great NBA star. Nice defense, good playmaking, great rebounder. He just never got the opportunity in Minnesota.

Culver actually didn't have a bad rookie year. He averaged 9.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 1.7 APG. However, he only shot 30% from 3 and 40% from the field. His main problem has always been offensive consistency. In my opinion, when he gets the ball, he's always looking to dish it off to someone else. He's never aggressive in finding his own shot. Jarrett has shown flashes. He had a career-high 26 Points in his rookie year against the Raptors. In the G-League he's a 19 PPG scorer. He's still wildly inefficient, but he's aggressive. I hope he can make a big comeback, because he deserves it.

2. Romeo Langford, BOS

Maybe it was just me, but I thought Romeo Langford was the next good Celtic PG. Like his high school mixtape and even his college gameplay was so nice. But obviously, it never panned out for Langford in Boston. Danny Ainge and his squad took the combo guard 14th in the 2019 draft. He just never cracked the star-studded Celtics rotation. During his 2 and a half years in Boston, Langford averaged 3.6 PPG in 94 games played. He was then shipped to San Antonio, as part of the Derrick White trade at the deadline. In San Antonio, he's picked up his play. He now gets rotational minutes, averaging 5.8 PPG and even getting 2 starts.

What went wrong with the former high school superstar? Similar to so many others in the Association, he never got the opportunity. He had the unfortunate luck of being drafted into an immediate win-now situation. He had absolutely zero time to develop, and the coaching staff didn't really need him to develop. But maybe with the Spurs tanking for Wembanyama, Gregg Popovich gives him a little bit of a longer leash.

3. Jaxson Hayes, NOP

I'll start with this. Jaxson Hayes isn't a bust yet, but he's bust-esque. Jaxson Hayes has fallen in and out of the Pelicans rotation for the past 4 years now. He's lost and regained his job time and time again now with 3 different coaches. All to the same guy too, Willy Hernangómez. The Pelicans selected Hayes 8th overall back in 2019, the same draft class that pulled in Zion Williamson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker for the Pels. In the 4 seasons in New Orleans, Hayes has averaged 7.8 PPG in about 17 minutes per game. This season however, he is averaging just 1.1 PPG in 9 games played. He has completely fallen out of the Pelicans rotation for good.

The main problem with Hayes is the lack of motivation. He has not improved in the slightest. It took a demotion to the G-League last year to revitalize his 2022 campaign. Hayes lacks the want to be a physical center in the NBA. Which is really confusing considering he has all the tools. He's 6'11, pretty strong, and can jump out the gym. Yet Willie Green is running him at Power Forward because he doesn't want to get down and dirty.

Other "Busts": Coby White (CHI), Sekou Doumbouya (DET/LAL), Cameron Reddish (ATL/NYK)


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