Worst Wolves Draft Picks Part Two
5. Paul Grant (1997, 20th overall)
Paul Grant was drafted to be a durable presence in the post and to provide rebounds and scoring in the paint. Unfortunately, durable does not describe Grant, who missed his entire rookie season with a sprained foot.
He only made his way into four games in his second NBA season and was traded to Milwaukee as part of the Stephon Marbury-Terrell Brandon swap. He appeared in two games for the Bucks that season and did not resurface in the league until 2003 with Utah.
Passed on: Bobby Jackson, Stephen Jackson, Marc Jackson
4. Wes Johnson (2010, #4 overall)
Wesley Johnson came out of college after one year with Syracuse after transferring from Iowa State. Johnson was heralded as a sharpshooter who could immediately help the Wolves. Instead, he shot just 39% from the floor during his rookie season and just 36% from three-point range.
Johnson’s struggles continued in his sophomore season when he shot 39% again and his three point percentage dropped to 31%. Johnson was traded to Phoenix after just two seasons in Minnesota.
Passed on: DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, Paul George, Eric Bledsoe
3. Johnny Flynn (2009, #6 overall)
Johnny Flynn came out of Syracuse after two very good seasons and was the second point guard picked by the Wolves in the 09 draft. With the fifth pick, the Wolves had selected Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, who was not expected to join the team until the expiration of his contract with Barcelona.
GM David Kahn selected Flynn to hold down the point guard spot until the arrival of Rubio, but Flynn’s game never matured to full time NBA starter-status. In his rookie season, Flynn started in 81 games and averaged 13.5 points per game on 42% shooting.
This would prove to be far and away the best season in Flynn’s career. In year two his average dropped to 5.3 ppg, with Flynn starting only eight games. The following season Flynn was traded to Houston. He currently plays in the Australian Basketball League.
Passed On: Steph Curry, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Chase Budinger
2. William Avery (1999, 17th Overall)
Avery was one of the first players to leave Duke early under coach Mike Krzyzewski in 1999. Avery was bad enough as a player, but with NBA commissioner David Stern taking away five draft picks as a result of the Joe Smith scandal, this missed pick crippled the franchise for at least four seasons.
Avery averaged 2.7 points per game in 142 games with the Wolves. After his three-year rookie contract expired exactly zero teams made Avery a contract offer. Since departing the NBA in 2002, he has played for Hapoel Tel-Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israeli League, Strasbourg IG of the French League, Azovmash Mariupol of the Ukrainian League, Makedonikos Alfa, Panionios, and AEK Athens of the Greek League, ALBA Berlin of theGerman League, and Galatasaray Café Crown of the Turkish League (per Wikipedia).
Passed On: Ron Artest, Andrei Kirilenko, Devean George
1. Ndudi Ebi (2003, 26th Overall)
Ebi was the Wolves first draft pick in three years after the Smith scandal and he did not fail to disappoint in three seasons with Minnesota.
Ebi averaged 1.9 minutes in 17 games as a rookie and scored 13 points on 6-14 shooting. In his second season, Ebi made his way into only two games.
Before Ebi’s third season, the Wolves petitioned the NBA for an exemption (and were denied) that would have allowed Ebi to play in the Developmental League. Under league rules, the Developmental League is only for players in their first two NBA seasons.
With the appeal denied, the Wolves released Ebi. He has since bounced around European basketball.
At least he was responsible for bringing us this unforgettable moment with commissioner David Stern:
Passed On: Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Howard, Luke Walton