Some of the biggest draft busts in NBA history have come with the first overall pick. The hype and expectation placed on these athletes at such a young age make the eventual disappointment seen in some players inevitable.

Some - LeBron James, Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson - relish the milestone and fuel themselves to live up to the title.

Others - as highlighted on this list - fail to even approach the standard set by these legends, often falling out of the league quickly and into the basketball wilderness.

Let's look through some of the names who just couldn't live up to that number one hype.

2017 | No. 1 pick — Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers)

Career averages:

  • 11.1 points
    3.4 rebounds
    4.6 assists
    1.2 steals
    0.3 blocks

There's still time to turn it around, but the writing was on the wall from the beginning, struggling to hit shots as a rookie and clearly impacted by his free-throw line fears.

After a career-best season in 2022/23, Fultz's form dipped yet again this season, dropping to less than eight points, three rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes per game.

His career has been marred by injury; playing less than 20 games in four of his seven seasons, but even when he has hit the court, the production is not flattering.

14 points and 5.7 assists on solid percentages in his best season was an improvement, but still nowhere near the expected production of a first-round pick, let alone a number one in the peak of his athletic prime.

Players picked after:

  • Jayson Tatum
  • De'Aaron Fox
  • Donovan Mitchell

2013 | No. 1 pick — Anthony Bennett (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Career averages:

  • 4.4 points
    3.1 rebounds
    0.5 assists
    0.4 steals
    0.2 blocks

Anthony Bennett has made himself the poster boy for NBA draft busts. Since his departure from the association, he has struggled to hold a spot in a number of oversees domestic leagues, most recently falling out of favour for the Goyang Sono Skygunners in the Korean Basketball League.

The averages speak for themselves, but they don't mention how he was never held back by major injuries and was given opportunities with four teams, including his hometown Toronto.

One could argue he was never given the chance to shine, never averaging more than 15 minutes per game. But it would probably help to put up more than five points in that time to keep a place in the league.

Players picked after:

  • CJ McCollum
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Rudy Gobert

2007 | No. 1 pick — Greg Oden (Portland Trail Blazers)

Career averages:

  • 8.0 points
    6.2 rebounds
    0.5 assists
    0.4 steals
    1.2 blocks

Unlike Bennett, Greg Oden's career was completely tarnished by injury.

four of his seven seasons he did not play, dealing with failed knees for each, including three years in a row. Of the three seasons he did appear, two saw him play less than 25 games, one with just nine minutes per game.

His 2010 season was actually promising, putting up 11 points, nine rebounds and over two blocks. But as was the story of his career, it was again cut short by injury.

Players picked after:

  • Kevin Durant
  • Al Horford
  • Marc Gasol

2001 | No. 1 pick — Kwame Brown (Washington Wizards)

Career averages:

  • 6.6 points
    5.5 rebounds
    0.9 assists
    0.5 steals
    0.6 blocks

Kwame Brown's NBA career has a famous link to the legendary Michael Jordan, who was allegedly part of his downfall at the Washington Wizards, whom the six-time champion was a part of during the early 00s.

His best season came aged 21, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds in nearly 60 games starting for the Wizards. He would soon make the move to the Lakers, where his career gradually spiralled.

He featured for Toronto, Memphis, Detroit, Charlotte, Golden State and Philadelphia with continued chances to resurrect his basketball career, but could never reach even eight points per game all the way into his 30s.

Players pick after:

  • Pau Gasol
  • Joe Johnson
  • Zach Randolph
  • Tony Parker

1998 | No. 1 pick — Michael Olowokandi (LA Clippers)

Career averages:

  • 8.3 points
    6.8 rebounds
    0.7 assists
    0.5 steals
    1.4 blocks

Olowokandi's first warning sign was being drafted by the Clippers, who are famously cursed with draft and franchise misfortune dating back to the days of Danny Manning in the 70s.

He was drafted as a mature 23-year-old prospect, expected to impact straight away. This did not occur, instead failing to reach the 10-point-per-game mark through his first three seasons.

He did make the all-rookie team in his first season but could never buck the trend set by his first few years during his 11-season career.

Players picked after:

  • Vince Carter
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Paul Pierce

1977 | No. 1 pick — Kent Benson (Milwaukee Bucks)

Career averages:

  • 9.1 points
    5.7 rebounds
    1.8 assists
    0.5 steals
    0.5 blocks

Benson may be the best of the lot on this list, playing a couple of solid seasons including the year he averaged nearly 16 points and seven rebounds for the Pistons in 1981.

Though Benson will forever be renowned as the victim of a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar punch to the face, which broke his right hand and forced a rookie Benson into two stitches in his first-ever game.

Perhaps this incident was a factor in the disappointing career.

Players picked after:

  • Bernard King
  • Cedric Maxwell
  • Tree Rollins

1972 | No. 1 pick — LaRue Martin (Portland Trail Blazers)

Career averages:

  • 5.3 points
    4.6 rebounds
    0.7 assists
    0.2 steals
    0.5 blocks

LaRue Martin was able to find success away from basketball as a UPS driver, gradually rising up the corporate ladder to be one the leading operations managers at the company.

It's a fortunate turn-around having only spent four seasons in the NBA after being taken number one overall.

Martin's best season was his third, playing 81 games for Portland averaging seven points and five rebounds through 17 minutes per game.

The remainder of his playing career was shockingly poor, having averaged 4.4 points across 77 outings in his rookie year and the same number in his final year in the league.

Players picked after:

  • Bob McAdoo
  • Julius Erving
  • Kevin Porter