The “Greek Freak” has dominated the NBA for the last few seasons and won the NBA Most Valuable Player award for the 2018-19 season. Despite all his recent success, he wasn’t a sure thing when he entered the league through the 2013 draft from Greece.
In fact, at pick number 15 Giannis doesn’t even qualify as a lottery pick. Outside the lottery picks teams are just hoping to get a quality pro, so for Giannis to have turned out to be the monster he is today is nothing short of incredible.
What happened in Giannis’ development to get him to this level? More importantly, how did NBA scouts get it so wrong that they drafted 14 players ahead of him? Players that, as you will read, have a combined 2 All-Star game appearances. Take a look at the players drafted above him and you will be amazed.
1. Anthony Bennett – Cleveland Cavaliers
What was said at the time: Bennett scores well on the models and draws some intriguing comparisons, but I subjectively dock him more points than any other player. Bennett has an abysmal defensive reputation and looks like a poor man’s version of the Beasley, Derrick Williams, “Big Dog” … class of players who have historically done really well in my models but not in the NBA. I would have a tough time passing on him after the 10th pick or so, but I really worry about his bust potential in the top 5. – Canis Hoopus
Measurables: 6ft 8in, 245lbs
Where he is now: Bennett is considered one of the biggest draft busts in all of professional sports. He spent a couple of poor seasons in Cleveland before being shipped to Minnesota in the Kevin Love trade. After that, he bounced around the D-League and in Europe. He has a career average of 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in the NBA.
All-Star Games: 0
All-NBA teams: 0