Ranking the 5 biggest Texas basketball NBA Draft busts of all-time

Texas has a few dozen players in program history who have played at least one NBA game.
Mo Bamba
Mo Bamba / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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Mo Bamba
Mo Bamba / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

C. No. 6 pick in 2018 NBA Draft. Mo Bamba 2. player. . . Mo Bamba. Mo Bamba. 1. 38

Even before New York City, NY, native big man Mo Bamba was recruited to Texas in the mid-to-late 2010s, he was viewed as a future NBA star prospect by the major recruiting services and NBA Draft pundits alike. All the major recruiting services hyped Bamba up as one of the top two or three recruits in the 2017 class.

That recruiting class included future NBA lottery picks and multi-year veteran starters, like DeAndre Ayton, Michael Porter Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., Collin Sexton, Mitchell Robinson, PJ Washington, Trae Young, and many more.

Bamba was a rare bright spot for a Texas team that struggled in Big 12 play in 2017-18 and finished with a losing record that year. After Bamba averaged 13 points per game, 11 rebounds, and four blocks as an All-Big 12 center for the Longhorns, he was selected early in the lottery (sixth overall) by the Orlando Magic in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The 2018 draft class is considered to this day one of the best in the last decade in the NBA. It featured All-Stars like Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic, Young, Memphis Grizzlies power forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson.

Bamba has yet to live up to the hype as one of the top 10 picks in that loaded draft lottery in 2018. Due to a combination of injuries and a lack of playing time in the Magic frontcourt, Bamba never lived up to the expectations of the next elite two-way seven-footer for Orlando.

He spent the first five years of his NBA career with the Magic until he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers around the 2023 trade deadline. In the last two years, Bamba has been a reserve center for the Lakers and 76ers.

Bamba's once-promising NBA career has seen him start to become somewhat of a journeyman as a backup center for various teams. At 26 years of age, it's still possible that Bamba could see a resurgence in his NBA career if he finds the right situation where he could earn a starting role.

But he has yet to live up to his potential over a half-decade into his NBA career.

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