NBA Draft Busts Series: Jonny Flynn

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Another one of the biggest NBA draft busts is Jonny Flynn. He really good in his two seasons at Syracuse, averaging 17.4 points and 6.7 assists per game for the Orange as a sophomore. He then declared for the 2009 NBA Draft.

You can find the other NBA Draft Busts here.

NBA Draft Busts: Jonny Flynn

Flynn was taken sixth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Along with PG Ricky Rubio, who Minnesota took one pick before him, they were supposed to star together for years to come in the Twin Cities once Rubio came over from Spain. That never materialized and they never played together.

Unlike a lot of other draft busts, Flynn’s rookie season was actually pretty solid. He started all but one game for the Timberwolves that season and averaged 13.5 PPG & 4.4 APG while playing 28.9 MPG. His performance earned him All-Rookie Second Team honors. His performance also got him named to the Rookies team for the Rising Stars Challenge game. But I am afraid that is where the good stuff ended. During the summer of 2010, he underwent hip surgery and was never the same player. The following season he numbers dropped dramatically. He averaged only 5.3 PPG & 3.4 APG. Really the only highlight from his season was the career-high 14 assists that he dropped against the Detroit Pistons in early March.

During the 2011 NBA Draft, he was traded to the Houston Rockets. He only played 11 games with them before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in March along with fellow 2009 draft bust Hasheem Thabeet. He played 18 games with them down the stretch. Flynn averaged 4.5 PPG and 3.3 APG while playing only 14.3 MPG in total that season.

On October 1, 2012, he signed with the Detroit Pistons but was waived three weeks later.

During the 2013 Orlando Summer League he played for the Indiana Pacers and during that year’s Las Vegas Summer League he played for the Los Angeles Clippers. That was the end of his time in the NBA.


On November 5, 2012, Flynn went to Australia and signed with the Melbourne Tigers of the National Basketball League (NBL). He had an impressive season and was even selected as a substitute for the 2012 NBL All-Star team and started at PG in the game. He signed with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association the following season but was gone a month later after suffering an injury. A year later he went to Europe to play with Orlandina Basket, located in Sicily, of the Italian league Serie A. But he ended up only playing two games for them before suffering yet another injury. He has not played professional basketball since then.

Solid Draft Class

The 2009 NBA Draft class was not great, but not bad at all. NBA All-Stars Blake Griffin and James Harden and Timberwolves teammate Rubio were all drafted before him. Superstar Stephen Curry was a part of that class, as was Rookie Of The Year Tyreke Evans. The draft also produced other solid players who were selected after Flynn such as Danny GreenPatty MillsTaj GibsonJames JohnsonDarren Collison, and others.

Doomed By Injuries

Like multiple other NBA Draft Busts like Greg Oden,  Flynn’s professional basketball career was doomed by injuries. There is no telling how good he might have been had he not suffered those injuries. Especially the one that caused him to have offseason hip surgery in 2010. Sure, he still could have turned out to be a bust. But he showed a lot of promise during his rookie season that was never realized due to injuries.


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