In what is a Part 2 from last week’s article (Best 1st Round Draft Picks in Sacramento Kings History), this week I’ll be providing the opposite. My choices are based off the following: lack of production on the team and NBA, and lack of value for the numbered pick. I’ll only bring up players taken after the selection if the team would’ve realistically needed that player. Additionally, players the Kings drafted, yet never suited up in uniform (i.e. Dan Dickau) are not included on this list.
5. Quincy Douby , No. 19 – 2006
From Getty Images
Quincy “Dynamite” Douby. Besides qualifying as a Tupac Shakur lookalike, Douby’s unremarkable three-year NBA career is largely forgotten. However, at the time of his drafting, Douby led the Big East in scoring his junior year at Rutgers, breaking his university’s all-time single season scoring record. With a mid-late first round choice, GM Geoff Petrie gambled on the wiry combo guard in 2006, envisioning him as an electric bench scorer who could spell Bibby and K-Mart. It ultimately did not pan out for “Dynamite” as he never averaged more than 4.8 ppg or 11.8 mpg for the Kings or Raptors. Douby would’ve been moved up on my “bust” list had he been taken higher in the draft. Looking back, besides Rajon Rondo and Kyle Lowry (whom the Kings wouldn’t have taken anyways with Bibby on the roster), no guards selected after Douby made this pick that unbearable.
4. Duane Causwell, No. 18 – 1990
The Kings had four first round selections in 1990. While only Lionel Simmons turned out to be a world-beater, by far the least impressive pick of the group was Duane Causwell. True, he did last seven seasons in Sacramento and four more with Miami, but Causwell never seemed to put his 7-foot frame to great use, simply averaging 4.9 ppg and 4.2 rpg in 17.4 mpg for his career. Other Kings picks of 1990 Travis Mays and Anthony Bonner could also been chosen here.
3. Thomas Robinson, No. 5 – 2012
“I ain’t stoppin for nobody. I got work to do.” -Thomas Robinson upon being drafted
Oh T-Rob…with the exception of one buddy of mine, no Kings fan wasn’t ecstatic about this selection. Robinson broke out his junior year at Kansas, averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds. He played with heart, hustled, and brought energy gamely, all of which the Kings severely lacked as a team. T-Rob was projected by many to go 2nd overall and when he slid to 5th Petrie snatched him up. Too small for a PF yet too slow for SF, in limited minutes T-Rob was hardly effective, and was dealt to Houston midway his rookie year in a move to “add depth” (but really to save the Maloofs money). This pick was an especially hard pill to swallow as Sacramento looked like the likely destination for Weber State’s Damian Lillard. However, Petrie didn’t think Jason Thompson would get his extension approved by the cash-stricken Maloofs and were surprised to see Robinson available at 5. Lillard went to Portland at pick 6, and the rest is history. At the time this pick excited Kings fans and players alike, but looking back the Kings missed out on a franchise point guard and completely blew this pick.
2. Pervis Ellison, No. 1 – 1989
Of course, the one year Sacramento struck lottery gold in receiving the first overall pick was in a notoriously bad draft class. “Never Nervous Pervis” was phenomenal at Louisville, leading his team to a national championship in 1986 and being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Unfortunately, knee problems and a toe injury hindered Ellison for the majority of his career. The Kings ended up only having Ellison for 46 games before trading him after one season. In typical Kings fashion, they blew a number one overall pick on a guy who hardly geared up for them, passing on Glen Rice and Sean Elliott. Regardless of position, those late 80’s/early 90’s Kings teams were so bad that they could have used anyone with a hint of talent. The only call to fame of “Never Nervous Pervis” is his inclusion in virtually every list of “NBA’s biggest busts.”
1. Jimmer Fredette, No. 10 – 2011 (Pick made by MIL)
There has never been a more polarizing figure in Sacramento Kings history than Jimmer Fredette. Beloved or hated, Sacramento surprisingly traded down in the 2011 draft to get Fredette and add John Salmons (whether this was a sign of Petrie going senile or simply Maloof sabotage remains to be seen). Jimmer was a folk hero at BYU, breaking almost every scoring record in school history. He had universal name recognition amongst basketball fans, and the Maloofs wanted to cash in it. Ignoring question marks surrounding Fredette’s defense (or lack thereof), his athleticism (also or lack thereof), or size for a PG, the Maloof brothers strongly pushed for his drafting. From day one it was a bad fit: Sacramento already had a guard without a true position in Tyreke Evans, and Jimmer was badly outplayed by the 60th pick of the same draft Isaiah Thomas. Three head coaches in three Sacramento seasons all played Fredette sparingly and by year three his contract was bought out. Rumor has it that Kings assistant-GM Shareef Abdur-Raheem liked Kawhi Leonard, with Klay Thompson and Kenneth Faried also available. While it’s almost impossible to judge amateur talent, the Fredette pick was the worst, and most wasteful draft choice in Sacramento Kings history, setting the organization back a couple of years.
Let us hope Robinson was the last poor first round selection for Sacramento! I trust current GM Pete D’Alessandro and am excited to see what he has in store this Thursday.