The NBA showcases the best basketball players in the world, but sometimes players that were once great lose some of those skills that helped them dominate in prior years. The veterans of the NBA eventually get old and have to retire. It is rare of basketball players to be able to end their careers on their own terms. Players like Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan who went out on their own terms are not the norm. The NBA is an ever-changing league, and old age is not the main reason some ball players will not be in an NBA uniform for long.
The NBA draft is held every year in June, and it is a time that allows teams to make improvements to their rosters through the addition of young talented players from collegiate level and overseas. The biggest phenomenon of the past decade has been the rise of the one and done player in college. This movement has made it difficult for most to come to the NBA ready, and leads to the young prospect not being able to enjoy a long and prosperous NBA career.
Here are 15 current NBA players that won’t be in the league next season:
15. Michael Carter-Williams
In 2014, Michael Carter-Williams seemed poised to be a star in the NBA after averaging 17 points, six assists, and six rebounds per game, and being honored with the rookie of the year award at the end of the season. Everything since that incredible rookie season has gone downhill for the six foot six inch point guard. His first three years he averaged in double figures in scoring, but in his first season with the Chicago Bulls he only averaged six points per game on the season and that shrunk to three points in playoff games. His role is clearly diminishing, and his play has become so poor that an opportunity to play in the NBA next season may not be available for Michael Carter-Williams.
14. Roy Hibbert
After being named an All Star in 2012 and 2014 Roy Hibbert’s career has landed flat on its face, and it feels like it has been forever since he was recognized as one of the best big man in the NBA. Hibbert tried to turn his career around with a struggling Lakers team during the 2015-16 NBA season. His scoring and rebounding outputs were cut in half, and after being thought of as a guaranteed double double he struggled just to score in double figures. This trend continued this past season with the Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets.
With the Denver Nuggets Hibbert only played two minutes a game. Hibbert has probably flamed out at this point, and teams now know that he will never be able to rekindle the talent that made him an All Star.
13. Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace is still in the NBA, but it would be hard to realize this after the little minutes he played for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2016-17 NBA season. Peace played the role of veteran leader on a young Lakers team that is trying to learn how to win in the league. Defense has always been a big part of Peace’s game, and teaching that tenacity to his teammates could pay dividends for the way the team’s defensive mentality is in the future. At 37 years of age it is more than likely time for Peace to step away from basketball. His averages are a pedestrian two points per game on 28 percent from the field, and this could be a sign that he has nothing left to give on the basketball court.
12. Mike Miller
Shooting in the NBA is a premium, and this skill set has kept Mike Miller in the NBA for 17 years. Miller has shot the three pointer at 40 percent over his career. This has allowed Miller to enjoy success in the NBA, and he was able to win two NBA championships as a member of the Miami Heat with Lebron James and company. This past season Miller played for the Denver Nuggets but I use the word play loosely. In 20 games played this season with the Nuggets Miller only averaged seven minutes and one point per contest, and at 36 years old his best basketball is more than likely well behind him. There is a good chance Miller will not see an 18th season in the NBA.
11. Jason Terry
Jason Terry played a mentor role on a young up and coming Milwaukee Bucks squad that managed to get into the NBA playoffs last season. Terry at the start of next season will be 40 years old, and it is hard to imagine him going on with a Bucks team that likely will not compete for an NBA championship next season. Terry scored four points per game which is nine points lower than his career average. He still played a decent amount suiting up for 74 games and playing 18 minutes per game. Terry has had a productive NBA career winning an NBA championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, and although that was six years ago it should be incentive enough to walk away from the game now.
10. Chris Andersen
Thanks in large part to LeBron James Chris Andersen has enjoyed a 15 year career in the NBA, and in the 2016-17 NBA season Andersen was limited to only 12 games before suffering a season ending injury. Andersen probably would not have helped the Cleveland Cavaliers overcome the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA finals to win his third NBA title of his career. The Cavs could choose to replace Andersen with a late draft pick in the 2017 NBA draft, and even if they don’t it is highly unlikely that he will be with the team next season because of the addition of Walter Tavarres. Andersen has gone 15 years in the NBA despite having low averages of five points per game, five rebounds, and one block per game.
9. Noah Vonleh
Noah Vonleh was a highly touted prospect coming out of the University of Indiana, but he has not been able to put it together since he entered the NBA in 2014. In 2013 Vonleh was named a McDonalds All American before choosing to attend the University of Indiana. While playing for the Hoosiers he was able to score 11 points and grab nine rebounds per game, and despite being thought of as raw he was still considered to be a lottery pick in many scouts eyes. The Charlotte Hornets gave up on Vonleh after 25 games trading him to the Portland Trail Blazers. His game has not improved much since moving to Portland, and only scoring four points a game could make him viable to not be wanted back by the Trail Blazers for the 2017-2018 NBA season.
8. James Young
The one and done has been made most famous by University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, and James Young is an example of a one and done player that has not panned out at the NBA level. Young was great at Kentucky as a scorer and shooter scoring over 14 points a game. The Boston Celtics drafted Young 17th overall, but he has failed to live up to his potential since arriving in Boston. It is now clear that he probably should have stayed in college for another year or two to develop his game further. With the Celtics, Young has a career average of two points per game, and his lack of great play has left him fighting for playing time on one of the best teams in the eastern conference.
7. Quincy Acy
It is almost a mystery as to how Quincy Acy was able to stay in the league as long as he has, but the devoid of talent Brooklyn Nets brought in Acy last season to serve as a reserve player. Acy has spent a majority of his time riding the pine since he was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft by the Toronto Raptors. During his 4 years of service he has suited up for five different teams, and the 2016-2017 NBA season will most likely be his last. Acy averaged six points and three rebounds per game while with the Mavericks and Nets last season. The Nets can find a replacement for Acy through the draft, and the rest of the NBA would probably prefer to do the same rather than bring in an unaccomplished veteran such as Acy.
6. Jordan McRae
Jordan McRae has had a wild ride to get to the NBA level. He was drafted late in the second round by the Philadelphia 76ers, and then he played professional basketball over in Australia. After not being able to crack the 76ers roster he made his NBA debut with the Phoenix Suns during the 2015-2016 NBA season. He only played seven games for the Suns that year, but he joined the Cavaliers for their championship run. This past season he was still a part of the Cavaliers roster but only participated in 37 games before being let go. McRae is a decent scorer but cannot do much of anything else, and even though he can score his average of four points a game might not be enough to convince other NBA teams to take a chance on McRae next season.
5. Cliff Alexander
Cliff Alexander was once one of the biggest named prospects in country post high school, but after a tumultuous collegiate career at the University of Kansas he has not been able to show off the skills that made him a 2014 McDonalds All American. The Portland Trail Blazers gave him his first crack at the NBA, and in eight games he was only able to score one point and grab one rebound a contest. The Orlando Magic gave Alexander another chance after he was waived by the Trail Blazers. He failed to make the Magic’s opening day roster, and had to work on his game in the D league in an attempt to get back to the league. The Nets signed Alexander to a 10 day contract on April 2, 2017, and then waived him a day later.
4. Alex Porthyress
It seemed as though Alex Poythress was never going to get a chance in the NBA after a successful college career at the University of Kentucky, but the Philadelphia 76ers were bit by the injury bug prompting them to give Poythress the chance to be an NBA player. In the final six games of the 2016-17 NBA season Poythress averaged 10 points and five rebounds a contest. He was playing decent minutes due to the 76ers lacking players because of injuries.
His numbers were a bit inflated because the Sixers were without some of their best players such as Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, and Ben Simmons. Poythress will probably not be back with the 76ers next season, and it is hard to see a place where he might land next year if anywhere.
3. Chris Bosh
One of the saddest stories in recent memory in the NBA has come out of Miami, and it has officially been ruled by an NBA doctor that Chris Bosh has a career ending illness. Due to the illness being proclaimed career ending the Heat can cut Bosh despite the massive $52 million remaining on his contract which will be covered by insurance. Bosh has endured a lot of success during his NBA career by averaging 19 points and eight rebounds a game during his career with the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat, and he has also been able to win two NBA championships as a member of the Heat.
2. Manu Ginobli
Manu Ginobli may have played his final days in the NBA after the Spurs reached the Western Conference finals and were swept by the Golden State Warriors. The San Antonio Spurs have been a long standing NBA dynasty, and Ginobli has been the primary scoring threat off the bench during their multiple championship runs. Ginobli gave it his all this postseason but only averaged six points a night in the playoffs. His most notable highlight from the 2017 NBA playoffs came in Game 5 of the western conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, and with little time remaining Ginboli was able to block a James Harden three point try that would’ve tied the game as time expired to win the game.
1. Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce has had a hall of fame worthy career primarily playing for the Boston Celtics, and reuniting with Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers the past couple seasons. It is pretty evident that Pierce has little to nothing left to give as a basketball player. In his final postseason series with the Los Angeles Clippers this year he was only able to muster an average of three points per game, and this is well off his career average of 20 points per game which helped him win the 2008 NBA finals MVP. After the Los Angeles Clippers bowed out of the playoffs against the Utah Jazz we got a glimpse of what Pierce may do post playing career.
Pierce was part of the ESPN pre and postgame shows during the NBA finals, and provided notable hot takes such as one stating Kevin Durant was the best player in basketball.
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