2015, 18th overall pick: Sam Dekker → Josh Richardson (pick from New Orleans)
Like they did with Draymond in 2012, the Houston Rockets missed out on another defensive force in 2015. Selecting Wisconsin native Sam Dekker, they ended up with a bench player that averaged just 17.8 minutes per game with the team.
Dekker missed nearly his entire rookie season with a back injury and never lived up to the level of play he had playing for the Wisconsin Badgers in college. After averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game from 2015-19, Dekker went on to play in Russia and currently plays in the Turkish Super League.
Considering what they ended up getting from Dekker, it’s unfortunate the Rockets didn’t have the foresight the Miami Heat did, who selected Josh Richardson with the 40th pick in the same draft. Richardson has developed into an effective perimeter defender while also averaging 12.4 points per game in five seasons.
Now with the Philadelphia 76ers, Richardson and Ben Simmons have formed one of the most formidable defensive backcourts in the league, even if the team itself has underperformed.
Given how their careers ended up, it’s clear the Rockets would like to take their 2015 selection back in favor of drafting someone like Josh Richardson.