1991 — Round 1, Pick 10
The Orlando Magic made Bison Dele — then Brian Williams — the 10th pick in the 1991 Draft as the team was still trying to find its way forward. The expansion glimmer was beginning to wear off the franchise and the team was still looking for a franchise player to build around.
They were not going to get that at 10.
Still, Bison Dele was an intriguing and versatile forward, averaging 14.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his final year with the Arizona Wildcats. That got him in the top 10. And he played well his rookie year.
Dele averaged 9.1 points per game his rookie year largely coming off the bench. But he played in only 48 games. And injuries would characterize his first few years.
Really, Dele struggled to handle the limelight of being in the NBA. The realities of being turned out into the world was a lot for him to handle.
A lot of Dele’s life has been written about. His life was cut short when he was mysteriously lost at sea. Many suspect he was murdered.
But everyone in life knew he was a bit different. And no one seemed able to reach him to help him make the most of his talent. The lifestyle of a NBA player was too much. And we will never know what Williams could have been as a pair with Shaquille O’Neal.