Draft pick busts happen to every franchise. The Boston Celtics, storied team and all, have been dealt their fair share over the years.
The NBA draft has delivered to the Boston Celtics some of the best players in franchise history. Names like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Reggie Lewis, Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce have shined in their time in the green and white.
For every Tatum, though, there is a name Celtics fans would like to forget. Some played out their initial contract with the team. Others, like the 8th pick in 1965 Ollie Johnson, never set foot on the parquet for the team in the regular season.
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In most cases, the player never lived up to the hype or gave the team the production expected of them. While there are no drafting “Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan” type picks among the long history of drafts for Boston, there are still missed opportunities over the years. (Like a 1963 draft that saw the Celtics select seven players who never accrued a stat for the team.)
For the sake of this list, we will look at first-round draft picks only. One notable pick, Len Bias, who was the second pick of the 1986 draft, will not be included due to the tragedy that befell the young star out of Maryland.
Some players you might remember and others, well, you’ll probably like to forget.
5. Clarence Glover
Clarence Glover arrived in Boston as the 10th pick in the 1971 draft. Glover was a star for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, a team that made the Final Four in ’71. The team was the first collegiate team in Kentucky to start five African-Americans.
Glover averaged 8.4 points and 10.9 rebounds his senior year and was expected to contribute right away for Boston. Instead, his career in Boston — and the NBA — lasted all of 25 games, in which he pulled down 46 rebounds while averaging 2.6 points per game.