The NBA is entering one of the most exciting seasons of all time. Major names like Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and many others changing teams made the offseason as exciting as the regular season and playoff run. Training camp has started with new look rosters of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics looking to dethrone the defending champions of the Golden State Warriors. Talent is better than ever with the established Superstars mostly still contributing to greatness. Young names are making an impact to create even more star power.
One negative to the new talent crop coming in is that many older names and role players will find their way out of the league rather soon. We have seen Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Tim Duncan all retire within the past two seasons due to no longer being able to keep up with the new stars. This list we'll take a look at NBA players that are either on a roster or trying to sign before the season starts. These fifteen NBA names likely won’t see a favorable season and will find their way out of the NBA by next year.
15 Roy Hibbert
Roy Hibbert was once viewed among the greatest centers in the league during the Indiana Pacers run to back to back Eastern Conference Finals. A combination of superb defense and impressive offense made him an All-Star. Hibbert however hit a decline quickly and fell down the NBA rankings within a couple of seasons. This coincided with the center position no longer being as valuable due to speed and shooting taking over the game.
Hibbert fell from a top All-Star to a role player to now struggling to find a roster spot. The belief of Hibbert is that he will be able to get a spot on an NBA team this season. Regardless of if this happens or not, he is going to be forced out of the NBA by this time next year. Hibbert represents the outdated center that failed to adapt to the current era of basketball.
14 Pau Gasol
Another big man that has been a fixture of the NBA for a long time now is Pau Gasol. The peak of Gasol’s career came as the sidekick Superstar to Kobe Bryant during the Los Angeles Lakers NBA Championship wins in 2009 and 2010. Gasol signed with the San Antonio Spurs last season. The presence of Gasol certainly helped, but he put up a career low average of 12.4 points per game.
Gasol barely did anything of note in the playoffs which really showed how far he has fallen. San Antonio often benched the former Superstar in important times. Gasol has always been a difference maker throughout his NBA career. This coming to an end means he is going to retire sooner or later. Don’t be surprised if Pau hangs it up after this one final attempt at adding a third ring.
13 Michael Beasley
Michael Beasley has been in the news lately due to making weird comments about his upcoming season with the New York Knicks. The play of Beasley has been a perennial disappointment since entering the NBA. Beasley is one of those guys that are always on the bubble. A bad enough season can boot him out of the league.
The Knicks will give him more playing time than the average team due to their lack of talent. Beasley getting a chance seems good in theory, but it will likely be a disaster. Role players like Beasley often regress when given a bigger role for a full season. The best bet is Beasley having a horrible season and falling out of the NBA next season. An overseas run could come for Beasley in 2018.
12 Richard Jefferson
The fact that Richard Jefferson has played noteworthy minutes in the past two NBA Finals is rather shocking. Jefferson is one of the older guys in the NBA today and has been a role player for the past decade. The Cleveland Cavaliers loves the toughness of Jefferson and felt he was their best defensive option in small lineups.
Jefferson returned to Cleveland on a one-year deal but is likely going to spend his season on the bench. The Cavaliers added Jae Crowder to essentially upgrade the small lineup. Jefferson is barely going to get any playing time and will more than likely retire next summer. The successful podcast and broadcasting hopes for Jefferson is setting up a future off the basketball court. Jefferson is one of the safest bets of a player being out of the NBA by next year.
11 Mike Miller
Free agent Mike Miller has not retired and plans to join an NBA roster at some point this season. Miller is a bench player at this stage that can hit a three-point shot or two in very reserved minutes. The locker room presence as a respected veteran is his greatest gift and he doesn’t want to hang it up yet. Miller is more than likely going to get a roster spot before the playoffs as an extra body to help the team.
Time is still working against Miller and this is going to be the end of the road. Miller will have to retire after this season considering he's approaching 37 years old and has many injuries in his past. This is assuming Miller even gets a gig this season. Regardless, there’s no way he is still a player this time next September.
10 Metta World Peace
The Los Angeles Lakers signed Metta World Peace for the past couple of seasons after he was forced to leave to play overseas. World Peace did a great job adding a veteran presence to the extremely young roster. However, the time of change has come for the Lakers as they look to make a huge splash in the 2018 offseason with a rich free agent class featuring names like LeBron James and Paul George.
World Peace is not on the Lakers roster right now as they look to see which of their young stars are worth building around. The hopes of Metta are to join another roster this season before the playoffs. Things likely won’t work out for World Peace in the long run as he is already discussing joining the Big3 summer league run by Ice Cube.
9 Udonis Haslem
Udonis Haslem has quietly been a fixture on the Miami Heat for his entire thirteen-year career. The presence of Haslem was most pivotal when playing the majority of minutes at power forward when winning the 2006 NBA Championship. Most of his recent years have been spent on the bench as a locker room leader that contributes on court in minimal time.
Haslem recently expressed unhappiness in former teammate Dwyane Wade choosing to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is obvious that Haslem is definitely going to be ending his career sooner than later. The best bet is Haslem retiring this summer to end his career solely playing for the Heat. A goal of wanting to have one final season with Wade in Miami is just not going to happen at this point.
8 Jason Terry
Another veteran still playing in the NBA is Jason Terry. The play of Terry was quite impressive during his prime as he contributed a great deal to the Dallas Mavericks winning the 2011 NBA Championship. Terry recently signed a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. Jason Kidd loves the presence of Terry as a veteran leader that can still step in late and hit big shots when needed.
However, Terry’s minutes winding down is the major sign that he is no longer able to play at the NBA level for more than a handful of minutes. There comes a time when the locker room leader positives no longer warrant the wasted roster spot. Terry is clearly going to have to leave to the NBA after this season. The destination of Terry could be overseas or the Big 3 if he wants to keep playing.
7 Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is the one name of his generation of Superstars still in the league. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant have all retired. Nowitzki is the veteran now in a world of younger stars. Last season featured a tough road for Nowitzki trying to keep his high level of play up. Nowitzki did play well when on the court, but injuries limited his season.
The wear and tear of a long career caught up to him. Dirk revealed that he underwent some of the worst pain of his life trying to get back on the court. The Dallas Mavericks have him back for at least one more season. It is obvious that they won’t contend for a ring and likely won’t make the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference. Nowitzki is more than likely to retire since he’ll never contend for another NBA Championship and it is becoming tougher to stay on the court.
6 David West
The consistent play of David West during his prime made him one of the most underrated power forwards in the league. West was the second best player on the Chris Paul-led New Orleans Hornets teams that failed to get out of the first round. As he hit his older years, West decided it was time to contend for a ring.
West joined the Golden State Warriors super team last summer and finally achieved his dream of winning an NBA Championship. The desire to win another ring has him back but he’s up there in age. West is more than likely going to hang it up after this season. West’s best days are over and he has a ring to his name. There’s no real incentive left for him to continue playing as his career winds down.
5 Vince Carter
Someone that appears to never age is 40 year old veteran Vince Carter. The former Superstar of the early 2000s is now a role player but contributes a great deal. Carter helped the Memphis Grizzlies all season and played important minutes in the playoffs. An offseason free agency saw many expect Carter to join the Golden State Warriors to ring chase, but he chose the Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento offered Carter the opportunity to play every night. The desire to contribute on the court is something that is highly important to Carter. Sadly, the aging process has to hit sooner than later and an extremely rare number of stars have been able to play effectively after turning 40. A likely situation would see Carter retire after this season once he witnesses a decline.
4 Rudy Gay
The San Antonio Spurs made an interesting value signing when adding Rudy Gay to their roster as a role player. Gay has been a starter for the majority of his career as one of the major stars on his team. This situation sees him take a completely different role after coming off a serious knee injury. Most teams didn’t believe in Gay’s health enough to offer a big deal and that’s a bad sign.
Gay taking a reserved role on San Antonio sounds good in theory, but there’s a poor track record to it. NBA stars like LaMarcus Aldridge, Richard Jefferson and a few others failed to get acclimated to their new surroundings. Gay potentially having a bad season between the injuries and tough situation could land him out of the league by the next summer.
3 Deron Williams
Deron Williams was once viewed as being in the debate as the best point guard in the NBA with Chris Paul. Last season, he proved to be among the worst players in the entire league. Williams played a handful of minutes per game in the NBA Finals for the Cleveland Cavaliers and ruined their rotation every time he was on the floor.
Both Dallas and Cleveland saw better records and better plus/minus numbers when they got rid of Williams. The fall from grace makes Williams unable to actually contribute to an NBA team at this stage. Someone will likely sign him as a free agent this season due to his name value. The most likely situation is him failing once again and getting exiled from the NBA forever.
2 Manu Ginobili
The San Antonio Spurs have witnessed Manu Ginobili have a Hall of Fame worthy career. Ginobili contributed to the success of the Spurs dominating every single season of his tenure. While Manu has never been the top star on the roster, he always plays a role in the team doing well. Ginobili is still a credible player on the bench helping San Antonio still contend for a title.
The past few seasons have seen Ginobili end the year contemplating retirement. Ginobili decided to come back for at least one more season going forward. San Antonio fans will appreciate Manu this season treating it as it is his final one. At the age of 40, Ginobili is definitely playing his final season here. The legendary guard will end his wonderful career this season with the hopes of contending for another ring.
1 Rajon Rondo
The career of Rajon Rondo is one of the more depressing stories in recent NBA memory. Rondo entered the league about a decade ago and instantly contributed to an NBA Championship win for the Boston Celtics in 2008. The passing skills of Rondo were spotlighted with teammates Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce getting bucked thanks to him.
Once the big three stars left Boston, Rondo saw his career fall apart. The Celtics dealt Rondo when it became clear he would not be able to lead them through a rebuilding process. Poor runs on the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls made him fall even further down the line. Rondo is now on the New Orleans Pelicans as a reserve in his potential final chance. The most likely outcome is Rondo continuing to prove he is no longer an NBA level talent and losing his spot in the league next summer.