The 10 Worst Top-5 Picks in the NBA Draft's Lottery Era
This is a great example of how enamored we become with big-time NBA prospects. We expect most -- if not all -- to become NBA stars, but each top pick is different. Their career trajectories range from being one of the best players of all time, down to "oh, they did play in the league."
This group of former top-five picks are the latter of the two -- they're all busts that came out of nowhere to disappoint us all.
Keep in mind, though, that some are more disappointing than others. In addition to terrible numbers, some players had more sustained irrelevance during their time in the league, while a few more recent draftees have yet to show the same promise they did as a prospect.
To level this playing field, we use Basketball Reference's win shares per 48 (WS/48), which acts as an estimate of the number of wins a player contributes over 48 minutes of play. This metric will help to show each player's value over the same period of time rather than accounting for minutes, games played and the like. Keep in mind that .100 WS/48 is league average, and the lower the number, the lower the value of a player's performance.
In addition, we are only dealing with players drafted in 2014 and earlier during the lottery era, allowing each player the opportunity to gather at least three years of play under their belt. Only the last 30 years (1985-2014) will be gauged, meaning D'Angelo Russell and Dragan Bender won't be making any appearances.
Those are the parameters, so now it's time to get into this list!