Draft busts. Every team has had them. Every. All of the 30 NBA Franchises have had at least one bust they drafted sometime in their history. That includes you, too, Oklahoma City Thunder. We aren’t ruling out those Seattle SuperSonics. But what I am trying to do with this blog post here is to start a series. Yes, I am still continuing my series with Remember the Pacers. Yes, I haven’t done one for months, but once the draft passes by, it will probably began. But let me begin what I am trying to do with this series. I am writing about the Pacers drafting a player sometime in their career that they would later regret and they passed on so many good NBA players, but instead get that guy. So let’s begin, shall we? Enjoy.
I guess the best is to start with the 2006 NBA Draft. With 17th pick, Indiana drafted freshman forward out of Memphis, Shawne Williams. I have to admit, Williams had done some things with Indy. In his debut with Indy, against the Chicago Bulls, Williams put up 13 points, which ranks as one of top rookie debuts in Pacers’ history. For his rookie year, Williams was great from behind-the-arc and finished the year with nearly 40-percent shooting from there. He averaged nearly 50-percent on field goals. In twelve minutes per game, Williams averaged 3.9 PPG and 1.8 RPG for his rookie year. Then the 2008-09 season rolled by. Williams posted a career-high 6.7 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 14.9 MPG.
But then things started to change quickly afterward with Williams. He had four arrest charges and was getting in a lot of trouble with the law. That is when the Pacers traded him to the Dallas Mavericks for a couple of draft picks and Eddie Jones in return.
“On behalf of the Mavericks organization, we would like to thank Eddie Jones for the valuable contributions he has brought to our team,” President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Donnie Nelson told Mavericks.com. “We appreciated his professionalism both on and off the court as a Maverick. Shawne Williams is an exciting young prospect with a bright future. We look forward to developing him into the player he aspires to be.”
Williams never did much, actually. He averaged 2.8 PPG, but he did post a career-high 3.1 RPG. Yet, he only played 15 games. Williams is now done with jail things and is paying money and debt to society. Williams says he is going to put all of this behind him and is looking for a bright future. It was later reported that Williams is making a comeback to the NBA and is already receiving some interest in D-League teams and a couple of NBA teams. I wish the best for him, despite the trouble.
So what could have the Pacers done besides getting Williams? There is one person Indy could have easily picked. From Kentucky as a sophomore, the Phoenix Suns selected point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo would later be traded to the Boston Celtics and is now the key to the team’s success this year and is the only way the Celtics can get pass Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. But let’s look into to this. What if the Pacers picked Rajon Rondo instead of Williams? Their point guards were crappy and they only had faith in three-point chucker Jamaal Tinsley. Although, I must say, Tinsley played well but I would have picked Rondo instead. Just imagine how much success would come to the Pacers right now. Rondo-Granger-Hibbert.
I guess we’ll never know what the Pacers would have done…if they drafted somebody else.
Other Notable Players Picked After Williams
- Shannon Brown
- Jordan Farmar
- Daniel Gibson
- Paul Millsap
- Leon Powe