A Player On Each NBA Team That Has Not Or Will Not Live Up To Expectations
One Player On Each NBA Team That Will Not Live Up To Expectations
Each NBA Team will have on their roster a player who will not live up to expectations and depending on the team it will be a veteran player, a player in his first couple of seasons in the league, a first round draft pick, a few former no.1 picks or even a few big name players.
The New York Knicks made intriguing moves by having a number of veteran players on the bench including Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace. In this case it’s about providing leadership off the bench and providing rest for Raymond Felton, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.
Which the question becomes which one these players will be the one who does not live up to expectations this year?
With the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Charlotte Bobcats there’s a need for one to resurrect their careers because of a lack of production. The Boston Celtics and New Orleans Hornets first round picks are examples of a player being hyped up, yet will not live up to it right away.
Even more surprising is that there are two former no.1 picks.
A number of the players get the opportunity to change this perception if they make the necessary changes or in one case gaining confidence with a change in offense, for others it will take a few seasons, and a select few will not get the opportunity due to a lack of playing time.
Here’s a list of one player on each team’s roster that fits that definition.
Atlanta Hawks: PG Devin Harris
Atlanta Hawks point guard Devin Harris is best known for being involved in the trade that brought Deron Williams theBrooklyn Nets. After coming off a career season in 2008-2009 when he averaged 21.3 points, 6.9 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals on 43.8 percent shooting, 29.2 percent from the three-point line and 82 percent from the free throw line.
Since that time his numbers have steadily declined with 2011-2012 being his worst season since 2006-2007. In 63 games he averaged just 11.3 points, 5 assists, 1.8 rebounds, 1 steal, on 44.5 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and 74.6 percent from the free throw line in 63 games.
His best role with the Hawks will be as the backup to Jeff Teague who is coming off his best season and gained valuable experience in his first year as the starter.
Boston Celtics: C Fab Melo
The Boston Celtics made a somewhat surprising choice with the 22nd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft taking Fab Melo out ofSyracuse University. He is a classic example of big man who needed to stay in school and will not likely make an immediate impact if at all.
During his two seasons in college he averaged just 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, on 57.6 percent shooting and 55.3 percent from the free throw line. He also had eligibility issues as well and missed the NCAA tournament.
Best case scenario is that he gets the opportunity to develop his game in the D-League.
Brooklyn Nets: SF Josh Childress
Josh Childress in his first three seasons in the league became one of the better bench players in the league. He averaged double figures and played tremendous defense. Then it all went downhill for him when he signed a contract to play overseas.
Coming back in 2010-2011 he yet to find any success and in 34 games last season he averaged 2.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1 assist, shot 48.5 percent from the field and managed getting to the free throw line twice in a total of 491 minutes, missing both.
Expect the downward trend for Childress to continue and if he does get minutes it won’t be much.
Charlotte Bobcats: SG Ben Gordon
For Ben Gordon in his first five seasons with the Chicago Bulls he averaged at least 15 points per game in those five seasons. He averaged a career high 21.4 points in 2006-2007 and in his last year of his contract he averaged 20.7 points.
He signed as a free agent with the Detroit Pistons and his scoring decreased dramatically to 13.8 points and that was the highest in his three seasons with the team. This season he’ll be with the Charlotte Bobcats after being acquired in a trade.
Still among the best shooters from the three-point line, yet because he will be the best scorer on the roster he will find it harder to get open looks. Meaning that his struggles scoring the basketball are likely to continue.
Chicago Bulls: PF Carlos Boozer
With Derrick Rose out for the considerable future it means that Carlos Boozer will become the no.1 option offensively for the Chicago Bulls and that doesn’t bode well for as he has always been at his best when he’s in the no.2 role.
Boozer is entering his third season with the club and his numbers have gone down in the past two years. Even more of an issue is that his playoff numbers have significantly decreased in that time frame as well.
He has never been a great defensive player and with Rose out defenses will now focus on getting the ball out of his hands. There’s also a very good possibility that he will continue his downward trend.
Cleveland Cavaliers: SF Luke Walton
There are zero expectations for Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Luke Walton coming into the 2012-2013 season. Yet, for a veteran with championship experience and being the second highest paid player on the roster behind Anderson Varejao they're definitely needed.
He came over in a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers in March and in 21 games averaged 2 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists on 35.3 percent shooting, 43.8 percent from the three-point line and did not get to the free throw line in 299 minutes.
With the Cavaliers being a young team a veteran presence on the roster is a necessity and unfortunately Walton doesn’t fit into that category. The good news is that his contract will end at the end of the season and that large contract will disappear.
Dallas Mavericks: SG O.J. Mayo
O.J. Mayo came into the league with a lot of hype after playing just one year for the University of Southern California. He started 164 games in his first two years with the Memphis Grizzlies and played well, yet then got moved to the bench the past two seasons.
As a direct result he has struggled with inefficiency especially in the playoffs and at times subjected to a number of trade rumors. He became a free agent this off-season and signed with the Dallas Mavericks for two-years.
This season he will be a starter and the question will be can he become more efficient and live up to the high expectations of a no.3 pick?
Denver Nuggets: PF JaVale McGee
Javale McGee got blessed with tremendous athleticism and talent. At this point in his career he is better known for his lack of maturity and mistakes on the court while a member of the Washington Wizards.
The good news is he got a fresh start back in March when Denver Nuggets acquired him in a trade. Though his numbers did go down in 20 games to 10.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, on 61.2 percent shooting and 37.3 percent from the free throw line.
He is one of the few on this list that will get the opportunity to exceed expectations for the 2012-2013 season.
Detroit Pistons: SF Austin Daye
With the 15th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the Detroit Pistons took Austin Daye out of Gonzaga University. Unfortunately he has yet to pan out and had his worst season his career in 2011-2012 when he averaged 4.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, on 32.2 percent shooting, 21 percent from beyond the arc and 81.4 percent from the free throw line.
In his career he averages just 5.9 points, 3 rebounds, on 40.6 percent from the field, 33.7 percent from the three-point line and 78.7 percent from the free throw line.
This season will be his fourth in the league and if he doesn’t show a marked improvement he’s not likely getting another contract with he Piston and he’s an example of a player leaving college early who shouldn’t have.
Golden State Warriors: C Andris Biedrins
Andris Biedrins has regressed to a shell of his former self. While still being one of the better rebounders on the roster even with David Lee and Andrew Bogut added to the mix, he is lost offensively. He had his worst season in the NBA in 2011-2012.
There’s some good news for him now that Bogut has the starting center spot and that is the Warriors will slow down the offense and start making an effort in getting the ball into the post. In years past the offense got the ball up the court as quickly as possible before the defense setup, which meant that the center position wasn't a focus on offense.
Biedrins is also one of those players on the list that gets the opportunity to exceed expectations.
Houston Rockets: SG Kevin Martin
Houston Rockets shooting guard Kevin Martin is a capable scorer, yet over the past few years his three-point field goal percentage has decreased. Another issue with him is that he lacks an all-around game and isn’t a good defender.
Last season in 40 games he averaged 17.1 points, 2.8 assists, 2.7 rebounds, on 41.3 percent shooting, 34.7 percent from beyond the arc and 89.4 percent from the free throw line. His point per game average is the lowest since 2005-2006.
While he still will provide scoring it’s unrealistic for him to expand his all-around game or on defense. On a more talented roster he would be a perfect sixth man.
Indiana Pacers: PG D.J. Augustin
After trading away Darren Collison the Indiana Pacers needed a point guard and the answer became D.J. Augustin who put up a decent assist per game average, yet struggled mightily shooting the basketball. In 48 games he averaged 11.1 points, 6.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds on 37.6 percent shooting, 34.1 percent from beyond the arc and 87.5 percent from the free throw line.
He now has more talent around him on the roster with Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert. The question now becomes with a more talented roster can he increase his scoring and his field goal percentage?
Of all the players on the list he has the best chance of exceeding expectations for 2012-2013.
Los Angeles Clippers: SF Lamar Odom
Saying Lamar Odom had a bad year in 2011-2012 is an understatement. It got so bad that in April the Dallas Mavericks got to an agreement with him that made him inactive for the rest of the season.
Odom stated “the Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it's in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team.” Which didn’t come as a surprise as came to camp out of shape and averaged a career worst 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists on 35.2 percent from the field, 25.2 percent from beyond the arc and 59.2 percent from the free throw line.
He got traded to the Los Angeles Clippers and with Caron Butler, Grant Hill and Matt Barnes on the roster minutes are likely scarce.
Los Angeles Lakers: Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace numbers continues to decline since his arrival with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011-2012. His most glaring issue is shooting the basketball and in 2011-201 he shot a career low 39.4 percent and averaged a career low 7.7 points per game.
While the offense has disappeared over the last three seasons he still is a very strong defensive player. Yet, it wouldn’t be surprising that Mike Brown decides on giving Antawn Jamison more minutes even though he isn’t as strong defensively, he's the better offensive player.
It also illustrates why his minutes have gone down and in 2012-2013 there’s a chance his minutes will go down even more.
Memphis Grizzlies: SF Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay is one of the most athletic players in the NBA and yet he winds up on the list. The question is how come? The Simplest explanation is because on offense he’s a black hole and on defense he doesn’t do enough especially with his wing span.
He’s a good scorer averaging between 18-20 points per game in the last five seasons and rebounds. Yet, his highest assist per game so far is 2.8, 1.7 steals and he does take too many threes and has hit at just under 35 percent.
It is not likely that his game will expand since he’ll now be entering his seventh season in the league though Memphis Grizzlies fans can only hope.
Miami Heat: SF Rashard Lewis
Rashard Lewis of the Miami Heat has fallen of the deep end since he signed a huge contract with the Orlando Magic. Eventually he wound up with the Washington Wizards during the 2010-2011 season and played out the rest of that contract.
At the time he signed with the Magic he averaged over 20 points per game for three straight seasons and was among the best shooters in the NBA. 2011-2012 he hit rock bottom in 28 games he averaged 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds,1 assist, on 38.5 percent shooting, 23.9 percent from the three-point line and 83.8 percent from the free throw line.
He adds depth in case Mike Miller again struggles with injuries.
Milwaukee Bucks: PG Brandon Jennings
With one of the smallest backcourts in the NBA the Milwaukee Bucks in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. It also brings up an interesting issue with Ellis who had issues with the Golden State Warriors when Stephen Curry got drafted.
The difference between the two is that Curry when he gets the chance to score is efficient and is one of the best shooters in the game, Jennings is the exact opposite and 2011-2012 was the first time he shot over 40 percent from the field.
Since he is usually looking to score his assist numbers are low only averaging 5.4 assists so far in his three seasons and because of his inefficiency shooting the basketball he averages 16.8 points per game.
There’s no dominant big on the Bucks roster and that means he will continue to struggle.
Minnesota Timberwolves: SF Derrick Williams
In 2011 the Minnesota Timberwolves took Derrick Williams with the second overall pick and he did not have a good first year. In 66 games including 15 starts he averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, on 41.2 percent shooting, 26.8 percent from the three-point line and 69.7 percent from the free throw line.
With Andrei Kirilenko, Dante Cunningham and Chase Budinger on the roster he may have a difficult time finding minutes at small forward and at power forward he may get some minutes to spell Kevin Love.
He definitely has talent and with the Timberwolves bringing in a number of small forwards will he be traded during the season? From what it seems the answer is yes and then he will get the opportunity to showcase why he was the no.2 pick.
New Orleans Hornets: C Anthony Davis
The New Orleans Hornets bought the hype of Anthony Davis and took him with the no.1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft even though he played just one year at the University of Kentucky. He is athletic, yet lacks strength.
He is a clone of Ekpe Udoh and even after three years at Baylor University he still wasn’t ready for the NBA. Davis will get playing time right away and block shots, yet will also struggle to stay out of foul trouble and rebound against stronger players.
Offensively he is raw and lacks post moves which is why he should have stayed in college for another year and it will take at least three years before he makes a name for himself.
New York Knicks: PF Amar'e Stoudemire
For the New York Knicks it came down to Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Both have not lived up to the extremely high expectations since their arrival. In the end it was Stoudemire because of his scoring going down in 2011-2012, his frustration boiling over when he smashed his hand that required surgery and during the off-season a statement he made about defense.
Defense has never been in his vocabulary and with his athleticism he could have made a tremendous impact on defense. Yet, it’s not like a switch that gets turned on. The only way it works is if he sacrifices scoring and minutes.
It isn’t something that’s plausible and there really shouldn’t be any expectations of Stoudemire improving defensively
Oklahoma City Thunder: C Hasheem Thabeet
In 2009 the Memphis Grizzlies made a surprising choice with the no.2 pick and took Hasheem Thabeet out of the University of Connecticut. Over the last year he’s bounced around first playing for the Houston Rockets, then being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers and to where he signed as a free agent with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
How he got signed remains a mystery even though he will not much playing time if it all. The issues with him is that because of his size he’s slow in his footwork which causes issues with him on both ends of the floor.
The Thunder roster is strong and with Thabeet being a no.2 pick just a few years ago it is why he’s on the list.
Orlando Magic: SF Hedo Turkoglu
The Orlando Magic made the move in trading star center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers and begun the rebuilding process. Yet, somehow remaining on the roster is Hedo Turkoglu who is the highest paid player at just over $11 million.
While throughout his career he has been a solid role player and now is entering into his twilight years at the age of 33. Even Though he still averaged in double figures in 2011-2012 he isn’t a player to build around.
He does want to retire with the Magic and yet it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets traded at the deadline to a team that is in need of a veteran.
Philadelphia 76ers: SF Evan Turner
In a surprising move the Philadelphia 76ers traded Andre Iguodala. Why it’s surprising? At the time of the trade it meant Evan Turner became the starting small forward and he hasn’t really showcased why he got taken with the second pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
So far in his two years he averages 8.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 rebounds, on 43.6 percent shooting, 26.9 percent shooting and 74.7 percent from the free throw line.
The 76ers acquired Dorell Wright from the Golden State Warriors and that means Turner will be the sixth man, which for a second round pick in the draft isn’t the expectation.
Phoenix Suns: SF Wesley Johnson
In 2010 the Minnesota Timberwolves took Wesley Johnson with the fourth pick and he never lived up to those expectations. Averaging 7.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, on 39.8 percent shooting, 34.1 percent from beyond the arc and 69.8 percent from the free throw line.
This offseason he became expendable and got traded to the Phoenix Suns. With Michael Beasley and Jared Dudley ahead of him at small forward he may find getting minutes and proving himself difficult.
Johnson is another example of a high draft pick from the 2010 draft that has yet to live up to expectations.
Wesley Matthews: SG Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers made a shrewd move when Wesley Matthews became a restricted free agent with the Utah Jazz as a front loaded contract was given that the Jazz were unable to match. Yet, in 2011-2012 he struggled with consistency.
In 66 games including 53 starts he averaged 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, on 41.2 percent shooting, 38.3 percent from beyond the arc and 86 percent from the free throw line. At shooting guard he is one of the better defensive players.
A reason for his struggles was the play of point guard Raymond Felton and he left after only one season. Drafted this year to replace Felton is Damian Lillard. Meaning that Matthews is one of the few on the list that will exceed expectations for the 2012-2013 season.
Sacramento Kings: SG Jimmer Fredette
In 2011 Jimmer Fredette got taken with the 10th selection by the Milwaukee Bucks and ultimately traded to the Sacramento Kings. Last season second round pick Isaiah Thomas outplayed Fredette and that wasn’t surprising.
The issue with Fredette is that he doesn’t have the athleticism or size to play shooting guard in the NBA. It is the main reason why he shot 38.6 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from beyond the arc.
His best role for the Kings is coming off the bench and providing a scoring threat from the three-point line because he’s an excellent shooter. That evidence is because last season almost half his shot attempts were from three.
Being a one-dimensional player is not the expectation for the 10th pick.
San Antonio Spurs: SF Stephen Jackson
With the Golden State Warriors desperate to unload Stephen Jackson after being part of the trade that brought over Andrew Bogut, the San Antonio Spurs unloaded Richardson Jefferson for Jackson. While he’s a strong defensive player, he isn’t efficient offensively.
In the 47 games he played in for the Milwaukee Bucks and Spurs he averaged 9.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, on 37.4 percent from the field, 28.8 percent from beyond the arc and 82.5 percent from the free throw line.
If he can play like he did in the playoffs then that tune will change as he shot 53.5 percent from the field and an incredible 60.5 percent from the three-point line, yet his shot selection has never been that great, which is why he will see a decrease in minutes for 2012-2013.
Toronto Raptors: C Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani got taken with the no.1 pick in the Toronto Raptors in 2006 and has never lived up to expectations. The reason because as a center he does not rebound well averaging 4.9 per game over his career and on offensive plays more on the perimeter then in the post.
As a big man he can definitely shoot the basketball, which allows him to score and over the last two seasons he’s averaged 21.4 points and 19.5 points. Yet, in those two seasons rebounding wise he averaged 5.2 rebounds and 5.5 rebounds.
If he could get his rebounding up to 7-9 rebounds per game over the next couple of seasons then taking him at no.1 doesn’t seem that bad. He’s 26 and still there's a chance to prove that he can improve those numbers. Yet, it is not likely.
Which is why when his career is over he will be a bust.
Utah Jazz: SF Marvin Williams
In 2005 the Atlanta Hawks took Marvin Williams with the second pick in the NBA Draft and even though he turned out as a very good defensive player, his offense never progressed. After seven seasons with the team he got traded to the Utah Jazz for Devin Harris.
His best season scoring wise came in 2007-2008 when he averaged 14.8 points per game. The reason as of late he’s been disappointment is that over the past three seasons he averaged just over 10 points per game
With a change of scenery and the chance in a lineup that includes Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors it opens up the opportunity for Williams to exceed expectations.
Washington Wizards: PG John Wall
Another first pick makes the list and this time it’s John Wall. While he certainly is one of the most athletic players in the NBA his biggest issue is his inability to hit a jump shot. Teams play him to drive and make him shoot the basketball.
It is the reason his career field goal percentage is at 41.6 percent. He does deserve some credit because he still is able to find open teammates and his assist numbers are solid at 8.2 per game.
He deserves credit because he did cut down on shooting three last season to 42 attempts, yet he only made three and another aspect of his game he will need to work on is cutting down the turnovers as he led the league in that category.
Until Wall can consistently hit an open jumper and take care of the basketball he will not live up to the expectations of a no.1 pick.
Which Players Will Live Up To Expectations For 2012-2013?
Heading into the 2012-2013 season each team has a player that will not live up to the expectations. In some cases it happens with a high draft pick and in some cases a no.1 pick that hasn’t panned out yet, a big name player attempting to expand his game even though the possibility is unlikely and in some cases a veteran player that’s on the roster and is overpaid.
In rare cases there's a player that will exceed expectations.