2013-14 NBA Season: The 15 Most Expendable Players
15 Most Expendable NBA Players of 2013-14 Season
One of the most interesting developments that we saw leading up to the 2013-14 NBA season is how many teams looked to address issues of depth this summer. While many teams were frontloaded with talent last year, those same teams recognized the value of being able to dip into your reserves with little-to-no worries for chunks of time throughout the game.
In addition to the number of teams that made a concerted effort to build deeper rosters heading into this new season, there were also quite a few teams around the Association that somewhat became deep by default. Whether that means that they had young players develop organically into rotation players or that they have the talent around that almost anyone on their roster can succeed in their rotation doesn’t matter.
The direct result of having deeper teams as a whole around the league is a better level of competition, which obviously benefits the fans and viewers as the league is putting a better product out on the floor with a better distribution of talent. However, that’s not the only result of deeper teams around the league.
One of the things that is a somewhat overlooked result of teams getting noticeably deeper heading into a season is the fact that the addition of depth sometimes makes other players expendable to a degree. Obviously the guys sitting on the end of the bench waving a towel for 82 games are, more or less, expendable, but deeper teams throughout the league creates an effect where players who see regular minutes in the rotation can become expendable.
Looking past the 13th, 14th and 15th men on teams’ rosters, it’s interesting to see what players have become or are still expendable to their respective teams this season. Does saying they’re expendable mean they’re indubitably going to be dealt? No; but it does mean that these 15 players’ respective teams wouldn’t be in the worst shape if that’s the way things play out.
15. Will Bynum - Detroit Pistons
It may be weird to see Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum on a top-anything list, but he’s certainly expendable for Detroit at this point. Right now, Bynum is playing as the starting point guard for the Pistons while they wait for Brandon Jennings to get back to action. Bynum hasn’t been awful, but he’s also not going to be vital to any success that they have this year. In the end, Bynum is a guy they could do without and be just fine with, once Jennings returns that is.
14. Rashard Lewis - Miami Heat
Rashard Lewis is another guy I’d guess you weren’t expecting to see on this list, but Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat have said they plan for him in their rotation this season, with him playing in two games for a total of 26 minutes already this year. Having said that, Lewis certainly isn’t a vital piece for the Heat and could be replaced by a number of other players throughout the league or already on Miami’s roster. He could have a nice comeback season, this year, but he’s also not a necessity to this team either.
13. Jameer Nelson – Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic have started Jameer Nelson at point guard over their first three games this season, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s expendable to this team going forward. With the Magic playing rookie Victor Oladipo at the point, though, and the team playing for the future as well, Nelson is pretty much as good as gone if you ask me.
12. John Salmons - Sacramento Kings
You could make a case that there are a number of players on the Sacramento Kings that qualify as expendable, but John Salmons gets my vote as the most expendable. Salmons isn’t productive enough to make a difference for this team and also serves to clog up their rotation on the wings. I’d venture to say that Salmons is not only expendable for Sactown, but that the team would be better off without him.
11. Ben Gordon - Charlotte Bobcats
The Charlotte Bobcats are improved heading into this season and that’s no thanks to Ben Gordon. Gordon’s skills have declined over recent seasons and continued to do so last season in Charlotte. With the Bobcats having young wings to work with and continue to build with, I don’t really see a need for Gordon in Charlotte this season.
10. Gerald Wallace – Boston Celtics
Since the Boston Celtics acquired Gerald Wallace in the blockbuster trade, Celtics fans have wanted him gone. Simply put, his declining skills don’t match up with his huge salary. In an ideal world, Wallace would already be out of Boston. However, it’s going to be hard to unload his contract. In the end, Wallace is certainly expendable, but he’s probably going to be with Boston all season.
9. San Antonio Spurs Backup PGs
It’s really hard to pick a single guard between Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli and Nando de Colo as Tony Parker’s backup for the San Antonio Spurs as the most expendable, so I’m just lumping them together. Pretty much, if you can shoot and semi-competently run the Spurs’ offense, you can back up Parker. All three of these guys are pretty much expendable and can be replaced by the other at any time.
8. Derrick Williams – Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams is an interesting case in terms of expendability. As of right now where he’s playing behind Kevin Love and still trying to prove himself, he certainly seems like an unnecessary piece to this team. However, if he were to realize the potential that caused him to be drafted second-overall, that could change. As of right now, we’ll keep him on this list, but things could certainly change for Williams.
7. David Lee - Golden State Warriors
Purely on a statistical basis, Golden State Warriors forward David Lee is one of their key plays. However, based on their proficiency when they play small-ball with Harrison Barnes at the forward and with Lee’s somewhat empty/non-meaningful statistical production, Lee may not be a long-term part of the Warriors.
6. Tyreke Evans – New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans may have just completed a sign-and-trade for Tyreke Evans, but he’s still expendable to this team from my perspective. Evans is coming off of the bench for the Pelicans right now, which is more or less a result of their rotation being clogged. Sure, there are less talented players in New Orleans that you could consider expendable, but I think that Evans’ salary and what he brings to this team don’t really match up. Ultimately, Evans doesn’t seem like a key cog in this Pelicans team going forward.
5. Joe Johnson – Brooklyn Nets
When the Brooklyn Nets took on Joe Johnson’s immense salary last summer, they knew they were taking a bit of a risk. Now that they have year of Johnson and loads more depth, Johnson really isn’t the key part of their team that they once thought that he would be. His efficiency has slipped and he’s shown injury concerns in recent years. With all of the talent, no matter how aging those players may be, Johnson really seems expendable at this point.
4. Patrick Beverley/Jeremy Lin - Houston Rockets
Though it’s probably a good problem to have, the Houston Rockets have too much talent at the point guard position. Between Patrick Beverley and Jeremy Lin, the Rockets have two guards that can and have started at the point for this team. Throw in Aaron Brooks as the third guard, and it’s clear they’d be fine if they were to part ways with either Beverley or Lin.
3. Kendrick Perkins - Oklahoma City Thunder
If I were running the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kendrick Perkins would have been waived via the amnesty clause this summer. However, now that he’s still around and I’m not an NBA general manager, he’s certainly expendable. He simply isn’t good enough to make himself stand out from any other centers in the league, making him virtually interchangeable.
2. Amar'e Stoudemire - New York Knicks
With his injury history as of late, there’s no question that Amar’e Stoudemire is not the key part that he could have been for the New York Knicks. He’s lost a step when he’s on the floor and can’t stay on the floor. More than that, he’s also tying up a great deal of the Knicks’ salary cap. In the end, Stat is essentially the epitome of expendable.
1. Danny Granger - Indiana Pacers
I’ve written on several occasions recently that Danny Granger is simply a luxury to the Indiana Pacers nowadays. With his injuries as of late and the Pacers being able to succeed without him last year, Indiana no longer needs Granger to be a playoff team. That’s pretty much the definition of expendable and why he lands at the top of this list.