The Philadelphia 76ers traded up to land the No. 1 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft from the Boston Celtics, and though they may believe that Markelle Fultz is a can't-miss prospect, literally every team in their position over the years has felt the same way about their respective picks.
The reality is that the draft is a complete crapshoot, even for the teams choosing in its loftiest positions. Here are seven times the No. 1 pick resulted in a player being selected who was far less impactful than anyone projected.
NBAE/Getty ImagesDavid Sandford
1995: Joe Smith, Golden State Warriors
Smith had a fine NBA career, playing 16 NBA seasons for 13 different franchises. But he was never the dominant force that many expected to see after being selected first overall. Add in the fact that Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett were taken with the following four picks, and it's easy to see why Smith is considered a disappointment despite his lengthy career.
2006: Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors
Bargnani had his moments with the Raptors, at least on the offensive end of the floor. The 7-footer shot better than 40 percent from three-point distance in the 2008-09 season and averaged 21.4 points per game two years later. But he was the stereotypical soft European player on the defensive side, and his reputation took an even bigger hit once the Knicks gave up far too much to acquire him in trade in the summer of 2013.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Kyle Lowry, Rajon Rondo and Paul Millsap were other players taken further down the board after Toronto selected Bargnani with that 2006 No. 1 pick.
1998: Michael Olowokandi, L.A. Clippers
Olowokandi played nine NBA seasons, as any remotely-skilled 7-footer would. But the "Candy Man" never came close to developing into the franchise cornerstone the Clippers thought they'd be getting when selecting him with the No. 1 pick overall.
The 1998 NBA Draft had legitimate Hall of Fame talent available for the taking, and L.A. simply swung for the fences and missed. Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter were selected fourth and fifth, and Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce went ninth and 10th.
1989: Pervis Ellison, Sacramento Kings
The Kings haven't made the playoffs in the last 11 years for a reason; the franchise has been historically inept when making player personnel decisions, essentially since the dawn of time.
Sacramento wasted the No. 1 pick in 1989 on Pervis Ellison, a player who lasted just one underwhelming year with the franchise before he was traded in advance of the following season. He finished his career with a 9.5 points per game average, and in a draft that had guys like Sean Elliott, Glen Rice, Tim Hardaway and Shawn Kemp available as first-round options, Ellison wasn't nearly good enough to warrant the lofty selection.
2001: Kwame Brown, Washington Wizards
Brown ended up playing 12 NBA seasons for seven different teams, but never once put together the type of statistical campaign worthy of being selected with the first overall pick. He left the league with career averages of just 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds and was emotionally targeted by both Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson for his perceived mental weakness at different stages of his career.
This content is subject to copyright.AFP/Getty Images
2013: Anthony Bennett, Cleveland Cavaliers
Bennett was a surprise choice by the Cavaliers as the first pick in 2013; most of the latest mock drafts at the time had Nerlens Noel or even Alex Len ending up in that No. 1 spot. But since the best players that year were largely unpredicted, the Cavs didn't necessarily do as poorly here as history seems to suggest.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (15th), Rudy Gobert (27th) and C.J. McCollum (10th) are the best players to emerge from the 2013 class thus far, and while Bennett has averaged just 4.4 points over four NBA seasons for four different teams, there wasn't a sure thing available at the top of the lottery that the Cavs decided to pass on to make Bennett their choice.
USA TODAY SportsHoward Smith
2007: Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers
Oden is the biggest bust of the modern era, even if injuries were significantly responsible for contributing to his demise. When Kevin Durant was the second overall pick, and when Al Horford and Mike Conley were taken immediately after that, it's clear the Blazers made a regrettable mistake. Oden was limited to just 82 games in two seasons in Portland, before attempting to revive his career one last time with the Heat in the 2013-14 season.