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, Julian Wright
New Orleans Pelicans, Julian Wright (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) /

SF: Julian Wright

New Orleans missed the playoffs three straight years, but Chris Paul was blossoming into a star in 2007. The Pelicans were just a few pieces short of their third postseason appearance in franchise history, and they were hoping the 13th overall pick in the draft would help. The Pelicans selected Julian Wright out of Kansas, who was a strong defender and role player in college.

The 6’8 forward played just three seasons in New Orleans where he averaged 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game before being traded to Toronto in 2010 for Marco Belinelli. Wright played just one more year in the NBA before a long career playing overseas.

The former lottery pick never lived up to the hype in the NBA, but he was a Turkish League All-Star and All-Star Game MVP in 2017.

The Pelicans passed on Nick Young, Jared Dudley, Wilson Chandler, Arron Afflalo, Marc Gasol, and Belinelli to draft Wright at 13th overall. There was no massive mistake, but finding even a role player would have helped New Orleans as they tried to make a deep playoff run with CP3. The Pelicans did advance to the second round of the postseason in 2008, and that is still the furthest the franchise has made it in the playoffs.