2013-14 NBA Season: 15 Veterans Who Have Disappointed Thus Far
15 NBA Veterans Who Have Disappointed in 2013-14 Season
The 2013-14 NBA season has already seen some fantastic performances. Kevin Durant has clearly taken it to another level this season and is threatening to win his first MVP. Paul George has also been someone that’s made a huge leap, justifying all of the superstar talk that got underway about him last season. In addition, LeBron James has also been LeBron James, which is always impressive.
Those three are the best of the best, but there have also been plenty of other solid performances this year throughout the league, the success of the Portland Trail Blazers coming to mind. However, amidst all of this success, there have certainly been a mess of disappointments in terms of both teams and individual players.
In terms of teams not living up to expectations, you obviously have to look at the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. Both the Nets and Knicks came into this season expecting to be one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference. In reality, though, both teams are currently out of the playoff picture and have looked inconsistent and disheveled for the majority of the year.
As far as individual players go, though, there have been plenty of disappointments as well. Young guys like Anthony Bennett have been nothing like people expected them to be this season, trying to find success early on in their NBA lives. However, one of the things that has been kind of startling about this season is how poorly some of the veterans around the league have performed.
When you bring in veterans to your organization, you either expect them to be contributors, leaders or both. However, there have been quite a few guys around the league that have been in the NBA a while, but have fallen short this season. These are 15 NBA veterans who have not answered the call over the first two or so months of the year.
15. Kendrick Perkins - Oklahoma City Thunder
It’s not like anyone expected a great deal from Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins this season, but it’s been unbelievably bad for the veteran big man this season. He’s averaging just 3.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists this season while shooting 45.7 percent from the floor. Moreover, he’s been losing minutes to rookie Steven Adams this season because of his overall ineffectiveness. Like I said, there weren’t many expectations for Perk coming into the year, but his terribleness deserves to be recognized.
14. Gerald Wallace - Boston Celtics
The decline of Gerald Wallace began last year and has only continued in his first season with the Boston Celtics. Wallace has not only been relatively ineffective and seen his skills decline, but he’s also been playing with a general air of apathy whenever he takes the floor. The fact that he’s averaging just 3.2 shot attempts in 22.4 minutes per game shows that he’s not been aggressive and has largely been ineffective this year. Wallace, at this point, is simply an albatross on the Celtics’ books and not much more.
13. Elton Brand – Atlanta Hawks
Particularly with the Al Horford injury leaving the Atlanta Hawks short-handed, they could have really used solid contributions from free-agent acquisition Elton Brand as of late. However, the 34-year-old forward has been largely a bust this season. He’s played in only 28 games and seeing the floor for just 13.2 minutes per. His production hasn’t been awful, but it’s been evident that he’s on the downside of his career. The Hawks could use him as a quality post option for the rest of the year, but that doesn’t seem like a possibility anymore.
12. Stephen Jackson – Los Angeles Clippers/Free Agent
The Los Angeles Clippers took a flyer on Stephen Jackson not too long ago and it turned out awfully. In nine games, Jackson looked out of shape and shot 23.1 percent from the floor and just 7.1 percent from three. It’s no surprise with how he performed that he was just recently waived by the Clips. Jackson hasn’t had a meaningful NBA moment in a while now, but there was still the thought that he could possibly help a team this season. Apparently that was asking too much, though.
11. Tyler Hansbrough – Toronto Raptors
When the Toronto Raptors went out and grabbed Tyler Hansbrough this off-season, they knew they weren’t getting a life-changing post presence in the 28-year-old. However, Hansbrough should have been a player that gave them a tough and energetic presence off of the bench. Due to a couple of injuries that have left him on the sidelines for a bit and relatively poor performance, though, Hansbrough hasn’t been much of a factor at all.
10. Metta World Peace - New York Knicks
With limited cap-room this summer, the Knicks’ options were severely crippled in terms of who they could sign in free agency. One player that they were able to grab is veteran forward Metta World Peace. Like many people thought might happen to the 34-year-old, though, his years in the league seem to have taken a toll on him. Injuries have started to pile up for the veteran and, even when healthy, he’s not been able to contribute much to help the dysfunction. Say what you will about World Peace overall, but he was once a hugely talented player in this league. Those days may be over, though.
9. Wayne Ellington - Dallas Mavericks
Though I may have been in the minority, I thought that Wayne Ellington could be a key role player for the Dallas Mavericks this season. After all, the 26-year-old came into the year on the heels of one of his best seasons in the league and looking like a potential perimeter threat off of the Mavs’ bench. However, Ellington has been little-used and ineffective. Playing just 7.9 minutes per game in 21 appearances, Ellington is shooting 33.9 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from three on the year. Perhaps it’s the system and his role with the team, but I was clearly off base on thinking he’s be important to this team.
8. Steve Novak – Toronto Raptors
The biggest thing that the Raptors did this summer was to get rid of Andrea Bargnani, but they also were able to land Steve Novak in that same trade. Coming off his success in New York, you had to think that Novak could do the same things from beyond-the-arc for Toronto, even in a different system. However, the seven-year veteran has struggled to find minutes and hasn’t made the most of his time either. Averaging just 11.4 minutes per game in just 18 appearances, Novak has shot only 34 percent from three, a far cry from his career mark of 42.9 percent. Toronto is undoubtedly glad to be rid of Bargs, but they had to wish Novak was giving them more this year.
7. Ray Allen - Miami Heat
One of the secrets with the Miami Heat this season is that Ray Allen hasn’t been playing at quite the same level that he was during their second title run last season. Sure, his averages are nearly the same, but he’s shooting 5.8 percent worse from three this season at 36.1 percent, his lowest percentage since the 2002-03 season. Allen has been effective, but his decline in efficiency from long-range is something you have to consider a bit disappointing and, at the very least, mildly concerning.
6. Samuel Dalembert - Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks missed on Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden, but had to feel at least decent about landing the services of 11-year veteran Samuel Dalembert to trot out at center this season. However, Dalembert hasn’t had much of an impact this season. Sure, his averages of six points, 6.1 boards and 1.2 blocks in 20.6 minutes per game aren’t bad, but he’s hardly been reliable for them and hasn’t done anything to inspire a ton of confidence. He’s been fine, but you have to think the Mavs were expecting just a bit better than “fine.”
5. Tyreke Evans - New Orleans Pelicans
It feels a bit weird to call 24-year-old Tyreke Evans a veteran player, but after four seasons in the league that actually feels longer than that, it seems like the right call. As Evans came over to the New Orleans Pelicans this season, the reviews were mixed on how people perceived the move. Since getting healthy after some early injury troubles, Evans has been solid off of the bench for the Pelicans, averaging 13 points, 4.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 25.6 minutes per game. However, Evans is shooting just 41.3 percent from the floor this season and his production has been sporadic. He really hasn’t made the impact that you’d want him to for New Orleans, which has to be considered disappointing.
4. Andre Miller - Denver Nuggets
Andre Miller has been solid on the floor for the Denver Nuggets once again, playing the highest brand of “old man basketball” in the NBA. However, Miller’s disappointment comes from his lack of leadership. He’s currently being disciplined for the way he’s handled himself lately because of his unhappiness with the coaches and organization in Denver. As the veteran presence for a younger team, that’s not how they hoped he would be behaving. Since it is how things have been, though, Miller has to be considered on this list.
3. Pau Gasol - Los Angeles Lakers
The days of Los Angeles Lakers glory are certainly in jeopardy and so too is the days of glory for Pau Gasol. Over his 12 years in the league, Gasol has proven to be a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer. This year hasn’t been his best work, though. Inconsistent and unreliable, Gasol has shot a meager 45.1 percent from the floor this season along with seeming to lack the fire that he once had on the floor. Maybe it’s the lack of Kobe Bryant or the poor personnel around him, but this isn’t the Gasol the Lakers need or were hoping for this year.
2. J.R. Smith - New York Knicks
Disregarding the untying of shoes and all of the other drama that people seem to focus on these days with Knicks guard J.R. Smith, his play has been abysmal this season. The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year has averaged 11.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and three assists per game, but has shot only 34.8 percent from the floor and just 33.9 percent from three. His inefficiency doesn’t even factor in his poor decision-making and so on. You can think whatever you want about Smith off of the court and his silly antics, but the Knicks want and need better from Smith, if they plan to keep him around that is.
1. Kevin Garnett - Brooklyn Nets
As the Nets have struggled this season, no one player’s problems have been more evident than Kevin Garnett. When Garnett was traded to Brooklyn, there was the assumption that he still had something left in the tank and could help take the Nets to another level, even playing limited minutes at 37 years old. That’s been far from the case, though, as Garnett has been slowed, banged up, and ineffective. In 21.8 minutes per game, he’s averaging a mere 6.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game while shooting just 37.9 percent from the field and seeing his defense be pretty poor. Garnett has been more of a contributor to Brooklyn’s struggles than a player making things better. He’s bound for the Hall of Fame, but this year has been a disappointment for the ages.