The NBA has always been a star-driven league. Many of the stars of the NBA get praised too much, and others do not garner enough attention for the amount of progress they have made with their teams. Stars also get the most blame when their teams fail. Sports media has also fabricated the abilities of some players that play in the NBA today, and this includes players who are not all star players.
These overrated players are often times players who people had high expectations for, and people still hold out some hope that they will reach these expectations. There is also the former star player who many think is still capable of playing at an elite level. Most players whose careers are trending downwards do not pick their game back up to the elite level it once was at. Players who receive big pay days are stamped with big expectations, but some do not live up to their paychecks and it sometimes takes fans a while to realize they were not worthy of that money. There are many other ways that a basketball player can be classified as overrated, and the NBA does have a decent amount of players who fit some of the descriptions mentioned earlier.
These are the 15 most overrated players in the NBA today:
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15 Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis has already been labeled a superstar in the NBA. This mostly has to do with him playing for a big market team in the New York Knicks. If he were on a team in a small market he would not garner all the praise that has been sung in his direction. Porzingis was able to play way over expectations in his rookie season. Many projected him to be the most likely to be a bust of those drafted highly in the 2015 NBA draft, but his shooting ability and put-back jams have gotten maximum coverage. He has had a decent start to his career by averaging 14 points per game. His rebounding numbers are very disappointing for someone who is 7’3, and his team hasn’t been winning.
14 Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson was rewarded with a huge contract in the offseason after essentially holding out from the Cavs in order to get a new deal. His contract resembles that of one of the best big men in the game, but his stat line early in the 2016-17 NBA season does not resemble the numbers of one of the best at his position. Early on this season, Thompson is averaging less than six points a night, and his free throw percentage of 38 percent is one of the lowest in the league. It is understandable that his offensive numbers are not that impressive with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love being on the same team. That does not excuse his performance, and his lack of productions makes it obvious that he is stealing from the Cavs based off of his new contract.
13 Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis has been thought of as a scorer throughout his years in the NBA, but he has not been doing a lot of scoring as of late. His best years came when he played in the Western Conference for the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks. With the Indiana Pacers he is only averaging 12 points a night, which is good from a complimentary player on a team but Ellis is expected to be the second best scorer on the team. During his days on the Dallas Mavericks he averaged 19 points a night, and during his early days on the Warriors he would regularly put up over 20 a night.
Ellis has lost his ability to score in large amounts. The Pacers just hope the rest of the league has not figured out he is not the player he once was.
12 DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan is seen as an elite player in the NBA, but most elite players have a great offensive game. There is no denying that Jordan is an excellent defender and rebounder of the basketball. He grabs over 10 rebounds a night most games and serves as an excellent shot blocker by averaging around two a game and altering many other shots. The weaknesses of his game are very visible to anyone who watches him in just one game.
On offense, he does not score in a variety of ways, and he struggles to shoot free throws. He is lucky when he scores in double figures due to his lack of a jump shot. He is also one of the worst free throw shooters in basketball and has been intentionally fouled by teams on numerous occasions to avoid giving the Clippers an honest possession.
11 Mike Conley
Mike Conley was given the richest contract in NBA history during the 2016 NBA offseason, and that alone gives him the label of overrated. Making around $30 million a year means that you have to produce at an elite level. Conley has not been an elite player since entering the league out of Ohio State, but he has been a fringe all-star. It is tough to even categorize him as a top 10 point guard in the NBA.
Point guard is currently the most stacked position in the NBA, and Conley’s numbers cannot rival those of a Steph Curry or Damian Lillard. Through the first few weeks of the 2015-16 NBA season Conley is putting up good but not great numbers by averaging 18 points and six assists a game.
10 Brandon Knight
Brandon Knight has been slated as point guard who can be a solid starter in the NBA. He currently plays for one of the worst teams in the NBA in the Phoenix Suns, and he cannot even crack the starting lineup. He is only playing 24 minutes a game early on in the 2016-17 NBA season which is eight minutes less than his career average. Eric Bledsoe has gotten the nod to start at the point guard slot for the Suns, but a starting backcourt of Knight and Bledsoe has been executed in the past.
It is obvious that Knight is slowly being phased out in Phoenix. With career averages of 15 points a game and four assists a night he could be trade bait for the Suns, and a team who is need of a point guard could bite come the NBA trade deadline.
9 Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe was once seen as one of the better big man in basketball during his days with the Detroit Pistons, but his career has taken somewhat of an unnoticeable nose dive since he arrived in Milwaukee. He was rewarded with a nice contract when he left the Pistons to join the Bucks. Unfortunately Monroe has not played up to expectations with the Bucks, and his numbers across the boards are down with his new team.
He can’t even manage to play 20 minutes a game early on in the 2016-17 NBA season. This has led to scoring less than 10 points a game, and his seven rebounds a game are also well below his career average. Monroe must improve his play to wear off the overrated label.
8 Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo was drafted with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, and players selected this high have superstar expectations placed on them for their careers. Oladipo was unable to become a star player during his first few seasons with the Orlando Magic. The Magic ultimately traded him away to the Thunder, and they essentially gave up on him ever becoming an all-star caliber player in the NBA. The Thunder are using Oladipo as a secondary option to Russell Westbrook. Oladipo has been rewarded with a large contract extension, and he has been scoring 16 points a night with his new team. He does not provide much more than scoring, and he has not lived up to being the second pick in the draft back in 2013.
7 Rajon Rondo
Rondo has a unique skill in penetrating the basket and then dishing the ball to open teammates for easy scoring opportunities. Rondo has a great amount of talent, and he is worthy of being a starting point guard in the NBA. The problem is that he is not all that good at scoring outside of the paint. He also cannot shoot three pointers well, and his free throw shooting is poor for a guard. The Bulls were supposed to have a 'big three' of stars in Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, and Rajon Rondo.
Early into the season, Rondo is only averaging seven points a game, and his 35 percent field goal percentage is a big reason for his awful scoring numbers so far this season. The Bulls aren't going to be title contenders if Rondo can't improve on those numbers.
6 Jeremy Lin
Remember Linsanity back in the day when Jeremy Lin was a member of the New York Knicks and seemed to be a budding superstar who came out of nowhere? Jeremy Lin finds himself playing in New York once again, but this time he is a member of the Brooklyn Nets. He has actually been scoring at a better rate than he did when he was on the Knicks, but this is more of a result of the Nets being a terrible team with no scorers on it. Lin has not been getting much publicity at all on the Nets compared to his days with the Knicks. Lin will go down as a folklore short time superstar in NBA history, but he has never truly been comparable to an elite basketball player.
5 Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon put on an absolute show during the 2016 NBA All-Star weekend in the slam dunk competition. This has led to him being overrated as a basketball player, and in his NBA career he has not excelled the way many thought he would when he was the fourth pick in the 2014 NBA draft out of Arizona. During his time in college Gordon was an excellent rebounder. With the Orlando Magic he has only averaged five rebounds a game, and a lot of other aspects of his game have fallen flat. He has the perfect body composition to be a stretch four, but he has shot below thirty percent from three all three seasons so far in the NBA. The show he put on during All-Star weekend made the expectations put on him unrealistic.
4 Klay Thompson
Many wondered whose performance would suffer the most on the Warriors with the addition of Kevin Durant. People assumed Draymond Green would take the biggest step back when Durant signed, but Thompson has not played at the level he has been accustomed to the past couple of seasons. Thompson is known as a great shooter. He has benefited from playing alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green all these years, and if he was on another team it is hard to see Thompson being as good a player as he has been over the years.
Early on this season he is shooting only 31 percent from three which is 11 percent lower than last season’s average. Thompson needs to improve over the season, and if he cannot do that he may not get an invite to the All-Star game.
3 Bismack Biyombo
Bismack Biyombo has been a bit of an underachiever since he came into the NBA from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was selected in the lottery of the 2011 NBA draft by Charlotte, and never gave them the production of a lottery selection. He then moved on to the Toronto Raptors for the 2015-16 NBA season. With the Raptors he played at a high level in the 2016 NBA playoffs, and since he was in a contract year his high level of play in the playoffs intrigued many teams around the NBA. He scored a big contract with the Orlando Magic over the summer of 2016.
Early in the 2016-17 season Biyombo again has disappointed only averaging five points and eight rebounds a game, which are low numbers for someone getting paid as much as he is getting.
2 Zach Lavine
Zach Lavine has been highly entertaining to watch over the last two All-Star weekends in the NBA dunk contests. He has emerged victorious in those two competitions, and many just assume that he is an elite NBA player. Lavine still has a ways to go to become an elite player in the league. He has certainly improved each and every season, and his average early in the 2016-17 is 18 points a night which is up from his 10 points a game average as a rookie. Lavine is still overrated in many ways, but he can shed that label very soon if he keeps his production trending up like it has been. If he can make an actual All-Star game instead of just the dunk contest he will be as good as many currently brand him to be.
1 Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose claimed that the New York Knicks had a super team before the regular season started, and so far the Knicks do not look like a super team that will make any noise in the playoffs in 2017. Rose has spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Bulls before joining his new team the Knicks before the start of this season. Injuries have derailed Rose from the MVP player that he used to be, and now he is just a mere image of his former self. He has only averaged 14 points a game early on this season which is 5 points less a game than his career average.
With less explosiveness than he had prior to the injuries, it would be plausible that he would improve his outside shot, but early on in the 2016-17 season Rose is only shooting a horrid 25 percent from three.
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