When can the very bad be very good? Or at the very least: entertaining? When you get 10 sportswriters and editors together to debate the best of the worst.
We gathered once again Wednesday night for the latest installment of our Virtual Happy Hour Draft events. After success last week picking the best draft picks in Minnesota sports history (TOPICAL! We held it a night before Round 1 of the NFL draft) we felt it was best to heel-turn toward the other end of the spectrum.
Who are the unlucky ones to go down in Minnesota sports history as the worst draft picks this state has seen?
Our crew had different variations on what makes a "bad" pick. Was it because the player never panned out? Was it because the athletes selected just after this player went on to bigger and better things? Or was he just a member of the Minnesota Wild draft class in the mid 2000s?
Some picks were obvious. Some made you go "hmmmm." And as always, we likely forgot some altogether. Let us know in the comments below.
Here's a rundown of the draft:
1. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (2009). Perhaps you've heard this before, but they could have had Steph Curry (Ken Chia, copy editor).
2. Troy Williamson, Vikings (2005). The team's response to losing Randy Moss was drafting a wide receiver who couldn't catch. And had vision problems. (Andrew Krammer, Vikings writer).
3. Travis Lee, Twins (1996). The No. 2 overall pick actually had a decent MLB career, but with the Twins he never was given a formal offer and went to the Diamondbacks for $10 million. (Joe Christensen, Gophers team leader).
4. Dimitrius Underwood, Vikings (1999). He was a first-round pick who didn't even make it to his second day of training camp and never played a down for the team. (Michael Rand, senior digital writer).
5. Brian Lawton, North Stars (1983). Taken No. 1 overall, Lawton played in nearly 500 career NHL games. But oh, what could have been. Hall of Famers Pat LaFontaine (No. 3), Steve Yzerman (No. 4) and Cam Neely (No. 9) all went shortly after. (Brian Stensaas, digital sports editor).
6. Christian Ponder, Vikings (2011). The Vikings needed a quarterback. No quarterbacks were worthy of a top pick. The Vikings reached anyway, and Ponder was in over his head from the start. (Pete Steinert, copy editor/Sunday section editor).
7. J.R. Rider, Timberwolves (1993). Selected not for his on-court play but off it. Rider might have brought the East Bay Funk Dunk, but wore out his welcome in Minnesota from the start. An assault on a female bar manager at the Mall of America was the last straw. (Rachel Blount, Olympics writer)
8. Shabazz Muhamad, Timberwolves (2013). A good bit of Wolves Nation was outraged the team didn't take Trey Burke for themselves (he was flipped to Utah). Instead, they took Muhamad and passed on … Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Jerry Zgoda, soccer and golf writer).
9. Adam Johnson, Twins (2000). Adrian Gonzalez (rightfully) went No. 1 and then the Twins took Johnson, who wound up making just nine appearances in the major leagues. From the "what might've been" department: Tampa Bay took a young fella named Rocco Baldelli at No. 6. (Chris Miller, pro sports team leader).
10. Kyle Gibson, Twins (2009). Not a bad pick on the surface. But consider: Mike Trout was selected three picks later by the Angels. The Twins had an inside track on Trout. His father Jeff Trout played in the Twins minor league system for four years and the team had scouted Mike throughout his senior year at high school, but passed. (Jeff Day, copy editor)
11. Derrick Williams, Timberwolves (2009) (Day)
12. A.J. Thelen, Wild (2004) (Miller)
13. Warren Babe, North Stars (1986) (Zgoda)
14. James Sheppard, Wild (2006) (Blount)
15. Bryan Oelkers, Twins (1982) (Steinert)
16. Tyler Cuma, Wild (2008) (Stensaas)
17. Derrick Alexander, Vikings (1995) (Rand)
18. David McCarty, Twins (1991) (Christensen)
19. Darrin Nelson, Vikings (1982) (Krammer)
20. Wes Johnson, Timberwolves (2010) (Chia)