6 First-Round Picks That Will Definitely Be Busts in the NBA

With the NBA Draft over and done with and all of the chatter behind us, it’s now time to unreasonably speculate by analyzing our favorite topic ever: busts. Here are six players taken in the first round that will not pan out at the next level.

While the Los Angeles Lakers draft pick has shown a penchant for scoring, he is rather slow on his feet and is an underwhelming rebounder for his size. His low free throw percentage throughout college is also troubling because in the past that figure has been a solid indicator of who will translate as a shooter. 

The Philadelphia 76ers traded Mikal Bridges for Smith and Miami’s 2021 first-round pick, and while the pick may end up being a valuable trade chip, they definitely gave up a solid player in Bridges for a much less proven prospect. The former Texas Tech guard has elite athleticism, but his lack of polish on the offensive end gives him high bust potential. 

The fact that Porter slipped to the Denver Nuggets at 14 is enough of a cause to worry. The former top-three recruit played a mere three games in his sole year at college due to back problems. Porter has the tools to be a legitimate player, but he is so unproven that it’s hard to say that he will fulfill his potential. 

The Charlotte Hornets got a player with elite athleticism and size, but I cannot get over the fact that he consistently underperformed at Michigan State. Bridges has a solid shooting stroke to go with his ability to rock the rim, but he has yet to show the go-to scorer mentality that made him a top recruit in high school. 

This is not say that the Los Angeles Clippers took a player who can’t contribute, but the Kentucky product’s game may be getting overvalued. Gilgeous-Alexander looks the part at 6-6, but his lack of true guard skills is something that may put the point guard in a tough spot at the next level. 

The Atlanta Hawks passed up on the opportunity to draft Luka Doncic as they traded down to grab Trae Young, and this will be a decision that could forever haunt the organization. While the sharpshooting point guard has some unbelievable offensive talent, his lack of physical attributes combined with some poor decision making makes him a reach for Atlanta. 

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