The 2019 NBA draft is on Thursday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN), and beyond the first few picks, there’s a lot of uncertainty around which players will actually be able to have an impact in the league. With every draft comes players who impressed in college but can’t quite make it in the NBA.
These aren’t necessarily draft busts, rather guys who had stellar college careers but couldn’t translate their games to the next level. Being a First Team All-American or the Wooden Award winner doesn’t always guarantee star status in the NBA, where the competition is much stiffer.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest disappointments over the years.
Tyler Hansbrough, UNC (No. 13 overall pick, 2009)
Hansbrough had a dominant four-year career at North Carolina. He averaged 20.2 points and 8.6 rebounds during that span, won the Wooden Award and Naismith Award and was named AP Player of the Year. Hansbrough lasted seven seasons in the NBA, averaging 6.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 16.9 minutes. He currently plays in China.
Adam Morrison, Gonzaga (No. 3, 2006)
Morrison averaged 28.1 points and 5.5 rebounds in his junior season and was considered one of the best shooters in college with a 3-point percentage of 42.8%, but his game didn’t translate to the NBA. Morrison averaged 11.8 points as a rookie with Charlotte, but after sitting out a year with a knee injury, he would go on to average 3.2 points for the rest of his career, which ended in 2010.
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova (Undrafted)
Reynolds led the Wildcats to the Final Four as a junior and averaged 18.2 points and 3.3 assists in his senior season while shooting 45.7% from the floor. He then became the first AP All-American since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976 not to be taken in the draft. He spent time in the D-League, where he was selected as an All-Star in 2011, and also played in various international leagues. He’s the only player on this list to never play in an NBA game.
Bo Kimble, Loyola Marymount (No. 8, 1990)
Kimble led the NCAA in scoring with 35.3 points per game in his senior season. He also averaged 7.7 rebounds and 2.9 steals and was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a Second Team All-American. Against stiffer competition in the NBA, though, Kimble lasted three seasons and only averaged 5.5 points.
Jimmer Fredette, BYU (No. 10, 2011)
The 2011 Wooden Award and Naismith Award winner, Fredette was a prolific scorer at BYU. He averaged 28.9 points in his senior season, and he holds a myriad of records in the Mountain West Conference. Fredette is still struggling to find the same success in the league. He had a brief stint with the Phoenix Suns last season, but has only averaged six points throughout his time in the NBA.
Ed O’Bannon, UCLA (No. 9, 1995)
O’Bannon led UCLA to a national championship as a senior, and he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. He also won the Wooden Award that season and put up 20.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals. But in the NBA he played in just 128 games, averaging 16.1 minutes and five points in his career before playing overseas.
Luke Jackson, Oregon (No. 10, 2004)
A Second Team All-American, Jackson put up 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists in his final season at Oregon. He led the Pac-10 in points that season and made First Team All-Conference. Jackson played on four teams in four seasons in the NBA, averaging 9.9 minutes, 3.5 points and 1.2 rebounds.