76ers NBA Draft Busts: How Wrong Was Sharone Wright?

It was a top-heavy draft in 1994 and the Sixers had a front row view of two of the NBA’s top scouted rookies as Eddie Jones and Aaron McKie were tearing up the NCAA and had the Temple Owls on the forefront of basketball. The Sixers would surely target McKie who was a Philadelphia native and it just made sense. Or his teammate Eddie Jones who was the Atlantic-10 player of the year. The draft  came and the Sixers had the No. 6 pick and had the chance at either former Owl. As David Stern left the podium fans were left stunned as the SIxers selected Sharone Wright from the University of Clemson. It would go down as one of the worst picks in franchise history.

Wright played four years at Clemson and finished his collegiate career with 1308 points and 14.2 points per game average. He was slated as the next Charles Barkley in a way for Sixers fans as he was drafted at the power forward position. His best season was in actuality his rookie season where he recorded 11.4 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game. It seemed early on as if the 76ers nabbed a solid inside scoring big man and all worries were over, right? Wrong!

Playing along side Clarence Weatherspoon the Sixers were honestly no better than the year previous. in 1993 the Sixers went 25-57 , in 1994 the team actually finished worse. The team really lacked significant scoring from its wing players or lack thereof. Two years into the Shawn Bradley experiment the team had acquired several high-profile players who had simply not made any kind of significant early impact.It left the fans in Philadelphia quite bemused.

Just a year and a half later the Sixers dumped the soft former Clemson Tiger to the Toronto Raptors for Tony Massenburg and Ed Pickney and two second round draft picks. The team was an absolute debacle and it was in a true dark era of Sixers basketball. Failure after failure and missed chance after missed chance. It just seemed as if the horror would not end. The team — like previously stated — passed on Temple players Eddie Jones and Aaron Mckie. Eddie Jones played for the Lakers and along with Nick Van Exel and Shaquille O’Neal helped build the beginnings of a what would become a great team in Los Angeles. He played 16 seasons in the NBA for several teams including the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets. Aaron McKie made his way to the Sixers via trade and helped lead league MVP and scoring champion Allen Iverson and his hometown Sixers to an Eastern Conference title. They would lose four games to one versus the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001. McKie was named the leagues Sixth Man of the Year.  At the 13th selection the Denver Nuggets selected some guy named Jalen Rose from Michigan. The New York Knicks selected Heisman Trophy Winner Charlie Ward from Florida State with the 26th pick.

Sharone Wright made news while he was a member of the Toronto Raptors and honestly it was quite the shocking occurrence. While in his hometown of Meacon, Georgia, Wright was involved in a major vehicle accident and suffered severe injuries including several broken bones and an injured collarbone. His career was never really the same from that point forward. Maybe you can call it utter misfortune in his case. Some players are promising coming into the draft but are a victim of the team that drafts them and sadly the effects can be detrimental to a player’s career. Who knows, maybe under better management and different circumstances the legacy of Wright would have been different. We will never know what could have been because it just simply wasn’t in the cards for the Sixers to be successful following the Barkley trade. It took some time to recoil but Sharone Wright was just another fault for the Sixers during the pre Pat Croce era.

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