1. Dragan Bender
The crown jewel of this list comes in the form of Dragan Bender, a big man who had played for four teams before being drafted as a 19-year-old in the 2016 NBA Draft. The fact he was taken fourth overall makes this debacle a whole lot worse, but the logic for the Suns made sense at the time.
Booker was clearly going to be an All-Star, and the Suns wanted a young big man to pair with him. Bender had had success in Europe as a kid, and this came at a time when European players were beginning to turn heads and really change their perceptions in the league. Little did they know the ideal player was sitting there waiting for them, in the form of Domantas Sabonis at 11th.
The Croatian lasted three seasons with the team, and in year two started 37 games. Incredibly, Bender played in every game that season, averaging 25.2 minutes per night. The returns on that? 6.5 points and 4.4 rebounds, getting to the foul line less than once per game, being atrocious defensively and not doing much else either.
To Bender’s credit, he shot 36.6 percent on 3.9 attempts per game from deep, but that was a fleeting bright spark in a whole lot of darkness. Bender wasn’t ready for the league, and was out of it altogether by the time he was 23-years-old. These days he plays for Monbus Obradorio in Spain… and no more needs to be said on that.
This was an all-time bad moment for the Suns, because they also took Chriss in this draft, opting for two big men who flopped hard when they could have selected Buddy Hield (sixth), Jamal Murray (seventh) or even Taurean Prince (12th). When the Suns do eventually win a championship, you should personally get a ring if you rooted hard for the team during the Bender era.