New Orleans Pelicans all-time draft bust starting 5

New Orleans Pelicans, Austin Rivers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
New Orleans Pelicans, Austin Rivers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Austin Rivers
New Orleans Pelicans, Austin Rivers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

SG: Austin Rivers

The Pelicans missed the playoffs in 2010 after back-to-back years in the postseason, and they had two top-ten selections in the 2012 draft. Chris Paul was traded to the Clippers, and New Orleans was in rebuilding mode.

They drafted Anthony Davis with the number one overall pick before taking Austin Rivers at tenth. Davis was viewed as a game-changing talent, and the Pels were hoping Rivers could be a quality starter next to their new star for the next decade-plus.

Rivers averaged just 6.9 points, 2.3 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game during his two-and-half seasons in New Orleans before being traded to the Clippers in 2015.

The 6’4 guard is still in the NBA, but he is a journeyman that has played for seven teams in his 11 years in the league. Rivers is a quality 20-minute per-game option, but he failed to live up to the hype of a top-ten selection. He is far from a star or even a starting-caliber player.

Rivers has the worst value over replacement player (VORP) in the 2012 NBA Draft class as he has rated slightly below for nearly all of his 11-year career. It was not the strongest class, but the Pelicans missed on Draymond Green, Khris Middleton, and Jae Crowder by drafting Austin Rivers in the top ten.