The ten worst players in Thunder history

Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

Examining the ten worst players in Thunder history is more than just an exercise in disappointment.  For any person, business or relationship to grow they must face their mistakes.

Luckily for Thunder fans, the personnel mistakes have been few and far between. Real front office vision is evident in the consistent success of recent years.  Yet, every team makes mistakes, misses on draft picks or under-develops a young player.  There are even cases when the team does everything it can but the player just doesn’t live up to the hype for various reasons (personal life, work ethic, injury, etc…).

What is the Criteria?

“Worst Player” doesn’t necessarily mean least talented, but talent is definitely a consideration. Basketball players are paid to play both offense and defense while being a good teammate at the same time, so overall basketball ability is considered.  The level of contribution to team success is also a serious consideration as well.

Hopefully, digging up these names will make us even more aware and thankful for the great players and for the work of the Thunder front office.

10.  Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins should have retired after his 2008 Championship with the Celtics.  With his other teams, especially the Thunder, he was slow, couldn’t shoot, couldn’t jump and despite his size averaged under six rebounds a game.  Perkins was supposed to be the “muscle” for a young Thunder team.  Unfortunately, the only muscles he worked came from facial expressions when called for fouls or while sitting on the bench.

9.  D.J. White

When D.J. White came out of Indiana and picked at the end of the first round in 2008, he was supposed to be an athletic PF who blocked shots, ran the floor and “glued” the team together. However, his career started with two stints on the injured list and was never able to glue anything together (unless you count the D-League).

8.  Chucky Atkins

Somehow Atkins became a veteran in the NBA despite never being much of a contributor, even more so in the last years of his career.  When with the Thunder he somehow shot less than 30% from the field and only averaged 41% his entire career.  Atkins was a slow and old liability that didn’t help the team in any way whatsoever.

7.  Kevin Ollie

Ollie was an older PG who came to the Thunder at the end of his career and did nothing but collect a check.  He is another player who, given his career stats, should not have been in the NBA for 13 years.  The Thunder were lucky enough to get the worst version of Kevin Ollie and might as well have left his spot on the roster empty and given the Thunder office staff a bonus.  His stats would be listed…if he had any.

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6.  Hasheem Thabeet

The massive center is one of the most disappointing players in recent history.  7’3″ and 263 pounds with training by the great Jim Calhoun should have made Thabeet into an NBA force.  But after 5 awful seasons, Hasheem found himself relying on his college education; not his basketball skills.  He somehow averaged only 3 rebounds per game his first year with the Thunder and less than 2 rebounds his second year; his blocks, points and shooting weren’t any better.

5.  Royal Ivey

Here’s another guard who played for ten years in the League, only averaged 1 assist per game and was supposed to be a point guard.  He averaged a meek 40% shooting for his career and in three stints with OKC was underwhelming and ineffective.  Bringing nothing of significance to the table was his trademark.  He excelled in the bringing-of-nothing to the Thunder in the 13-14 season and played in only 2 games.

4.  Mouhamed Sene

With the 10th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft the Supersonics selected Mouhamed Sene.  After a few horrible years in Seattle, Sene flew to the Knicks and then back to the Thunder in 08-09. Somehow, Sene became a top-10 pick, never averaged more than six minutes per game and can also be listed as one of the worst draft picks in history.  For the Thunder, it took five games before his career was finally put out of its misery.

3.  Cole Aldrich

Aldrich was a beefy, low post force at the University of Kansas who was picked in the first round (11th overall) by New Orleans and traded to the Thunder.  In the last two years with the Knicks and Clippers, Aldrich played in 60 games and put up Veteran big man numbers.

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /

However, as a member of the Thunder he never played in more than 26 games and gave OKC less than 2 rebounds per game.  The horrible rebound numbers he earned were only bettered by his less than 1 block per game average.

2.  Byron Mullens

Byron Mullens was yet another first round pick who flamed out and wasted the money and time of the OKC Thunder.  Mullens went on to average 7.4 points per game in his career but only gave OKC 1.5 points per game in two years with the team.  The Thunder traded for Mullens and expected him to meet the expectations of various scouts who thought he could be a steal at the end of the first round.

"In 10-11, the brooding Center averaged more Turnovers than Steals, Blocks and Assists combined."

And The Winner Is…

1.  Steven Hill

Steven Hill was signed by the Thunder, played two minutes, hit two free throws….and then he was gone.  Literally.  That is the stat line for his career: two total points and two minutes played. Shortly thereafter, Hill was released and bounced around the D-League and Summer League’s before he and his hair ran back to Arkansas.  While the signing of Hill as an undrafted free agent cost the Thunder very little, he still yet comes in as the Worst Player in Thunder History.

(Here’s a reminder of the greatness of the greatest Thunder player of All-Time)