Year: 2006
Rating: 71
Crucial Stat: 10.9 PER
The Difference: Jonathan Bender is one of the biggest flops in NBA history, but since he played for a series of fairly good Pacers teams, he is lost in the list of great NBA flops. He was taken with the 5th pick in the 1999 draft by the Raptors and spun off for Antonio Davis. The Pacers thought they were getting the next Kevin Garnett. They did not. Davis managed to bruise his way to nine more mostly effective seasons after the trade and Bender never really cracked the starting five for the Pacers and battled injuries. Both retired after the '06 season (with Bender making a disastrous comeback attempt with the Knicks in 2009), but the problem is that Bender is still only 31 and Davis is now 44. In NBA 2K6, he was a 71 (athletic, with a lot of dunks), and this was two years and multiple injuries after his breakout-that-turned-out-not-be-one breakout in the 2004 playoffs. In 2019, during his comeback attempt, someone was nice enough to make a CAP or him that put him at 55. That was still too high. (Note: Bender is a decent human being, he founded a nonprofit in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina among other things.) At 10.9 for his career in PER, he was a little more effective than the uneffective Michael Doleac.