What is one of the greatest parts of being a sports fan? Debate. We all love to argue about topics such as who the best players in the league are, modern players vs. older players, and who is overrated or underrated. These debates become even more fun in the offseason when there are no games being played and fans need something to talk about. As a general sports fan, I have noticed that the aforementioned debates tend to revolve around the NBA more than any other sport. I am not exactly sure why this is the case, but its perhaps because basketball is probably the number one team sport where an individual can dominate and single-handedly win a game. This leads to instances where players can become over-hyped and overrated.
It is hard to use the word overrated with professional NBA players, since they are all the top players in the world, but remember this is a relative comparison. So what makes an NBA player overrated in relation to this article? Well, they can be over-hyped in a numerous amount of ways, including but not limited to their contract status (not enough production based on the dollars they are earning), their team vastly over-hypes him, they are a media darling, inflated stats, durability, and of course, winning (or lack thereof). For the purposes of this article, we will focus on each NBA team's most overrated player heading into 2016-17.
30 Atlanta Hawks - Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard has always been the ultimate tease. Do not get me wrong, he had some dominant seasons in Orlando, but I always waited for him to take his game to that next level and become a true superstar. This never happened and now Howard's best days are clearly behind him, yet he is still making max money in Atlanta. Howard is still a good defender and rebounder, although he is not what he once was either. The same can be said about Howard on the offensive end, as he does not offer nearly as much as he once did. Let us not forget his woeful free-throw shooting, which can easily help other teams ruin Atlanta's offensive flow.
29 Boston Celtics - Al Horford
Al Horford is a good player. He can shoot, play defense, is a great passer, and can set very good screens. Many people also rave about Horford as a teammate. So why is he on this overrated list? It can all be seen in the financials. Horford recently signed a contract that would make people think he is a great player when in reality he is a good player. Four years and $113 million for a 30-year-old power forward is too much money. Now, if the Celtics are able to land a superstar in the next two years alongside Horford and Isiah Thomas, his contract numbers are irrelevant, as the Celtics will be instant contenders and Horford can be a number three option like he seems suited to be.
28 Brooklyn Nets - Jeremy Lin
27 Charlotte Hornets - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
26 Chicago Bulls - Rajon Rondo
25 Cleveland Cavaliers - Kevin Love
24 Dallas Mavericks - Harrison Barnes
23 Denver Nuggets - Danilo Gallinari
22 Detroit Pistons - Reggie Jackson
Reggie Jackson certainly has talent, but his defense and lack of offensive efficiency make him overrated. This is especially true considering he is being paid a boatload of money by Detroit for the next several years to be their top point guard. Yes, I also know that this past season was the first time the Pistons made the playoffs in several years with Jackson running the show. However, I attribute most of this to the brilliance of Stan Van Gundy and other players on the team such as Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Tobias Harris (yes, I know he was a late season addition).
21 Golden State Warriors - Stephen Curry
20 Houston Rockets - Eric Gordon
19 Indiana Pacers - Jeff Teague
18 Los Angeles Clippers - DeAndre Jordan
I know DeAndre Jordan is a very, very good defensive player, but I still include him on this list because of his offensive limitations. We all know Jordan is a very poor free throw shooter. There have been games where he has cost his team with his inability to hit free throws. He also does not have that many post moves down low, and scores most of his points off of put backs or alley oops. Additionally, unlike the modern NBA center, he cannot step out of the paint to knock down a jumper. Therefore, he is crowding the offensive end for players like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
17 Los Angeles Lakers - Lou Williams
16 Memphis Grizzlies - Chandler Parsons
15 Miami Heat - Hassan Whiteside
14 Milwaukeee Bucks - Matthew Dellavedova
13 Minnesota Timberwolves - Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio is fun to watch and there is no denying that. You can always see glimpses of why he was chosen 5th overall in the 2009 draft. He plays a fast-paced style and loves to get his teammates involved, but overall, he is very one-dimensional. Yes, he is one of the better passers in the league, but he is a pretty poor jump shooter by NBA standards, and especially a point guard's standards. To his credit, it looks like he has improved his jumper a little bit, but it still does not appear to be where it needs to be for the Timberwolves to take the next step.
12 New Orleans Pelicans - Omer Asik
11 New York Knicks - Carmelo Anthony
One of the harder decisions on this list. You could make a case for Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah to be on this list, but I am going to go with Carmelo Anthony. We all know Melo is probably one of the greatest scorers in recent NBA history. So is it fair to criticize him because he has not won a ring? Probably not, but remember he is the one that forced a trade to the New York Knicks when he was on a pretty good Denver team. If he really wanted to go to the Knicks, he could have waited for free agency instead of forcing the team to trade all of it's assets to get him.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder - Enes Kanter
9 Orlando Magic - Jeff Green
There were definitely a couple of candidates to choose from on the Orlando Magic, but in the end Jeff Green was chosen for the most overrated. The Los Angeles Clippers traded for Green last season, in the hopes of legitimizing their contender status. It was clear the Clippers needed another legitimate scoring threat with Blake Griffin injured, and Green could not step up to be what many people have been waiting for him to be his whole career. Green had one of his lowest scoring careers last year, averaging around 12 points per game with a low shooting percentage of .431 percent.
8 Philadelphia 76ers - Joel Embiid
7 Phoenix Suns - Tyson Chandler
6 Portland Trail Blazers - Evan Turner
5 Sacramento Kings - Rudy Gay
4 San Antonio Spurs - Danny Green
3 Toronto Raptors - DeMarre Carroll
2 Utah Jazz - Joe Johnson
1 Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal
I have been waiting for Bradley Beal to take his game to another level. This has not happened and as a result, it is time to put Beal on the overrated list. Do not get me wrong, Beal still has the potential to reach these heavy expectations, as he is just 23 years of age. No one is doubting his shooting ability, or talent in general, either. Yet, there is so much to be desired when you watch him play because he has not consistently performed at this all-star level we expect and have seen on some occasions. This also makes his five-year contract worth around $130 million seem like just too much. He needs to vastly step up his game to meet the expectations of that contract. For Beal, the best place to start is by taking care of his nagging injuries. He has missed many games over his four-year career and needs to change that to meet the expectations of his contract.
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