In the world of sports, players are constantly having to live up to expectations that are set out by either the team or the fans, and when they fall short of those expectations, they're looked at as failures even though they're still performing at an elite level.
Look at the first eight years or so of LeBron James' career, where he was constantly carrying his teams on his back, but yet, when he'd come up short in the playoffs or in the NBA finals, he'd be looked at as a failure, despite the fact that he was performing at a higher level than almost anyone else in the league.
In fact, some people would argue that LeBron James was completely overrated until he joined fellow All-Stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, and some might've even continued to call him overrated if he didn't win a championship after he returned to Cleveland. Thankfully though, people now appreciate his greatness, and while some might still view Michael Jordan as the greatest player ever, they're still willing to acknowledge that LeBron James is in the conversation.
We're just a few days away from the NBA regular season kicking off, which means that fans and executives alike have high expectations from the stars on their team's roster, however, at least as of right now, some of these expectations are unrealistic, as some players will be completely overrated heading into the upcoming season.
For this list, we're going to break down who is the most overrated player on every current NBA roster. It's important to keep in mind that just because someone is being looked at as overrated doesn't mean that they're not productive players, it only means that they're being viewed as better than they really are.
So, with all that in mind, let's get started!
30 Atlanta Hawks - Kent Bazemore
Aside from rookie Trae Young, Kent Bazemore is looked at as being the best player on the Atlanta Hawks' roster. Sure, expectations for the Hawks aren't very high, as they're in the process of rebuilding, which means that Bazemore probably won't live up to what everyone is expecting from him. On top of that, his contract is pretty expensive, especially when you consider his talent level, and that he's never really been an impact player on a winning team. I could definitely see the Hawks moving him at some point during the upcoming year, simply because he just doesn't fit in with what they're trying to do.
29 Boston Celtics - Jayson Tatum
After last season, people started talking about Jayson Tatum as if he was going to be the best player in the entire league within the next couple of seasons, however, fans probably need to lower their expectations for him, as his playing time might be reduced during the upcoming year in favor of the returning Gordon Hayward. Sure, the Celtics will likely win the Eastern Conference if they're able to stay healthy, but due to their depth, Tatum's minutes could be cut, which might lead people to believe that he's not going to be the superstar that they think he's going to turn into.
28 Brooklyn Nets - D'Angelo Russell
While D'Angelo Russell has a ton of physical gifts, he's definitely not the franchise cornerstone that the Nets' front office and fans think he is. On top of that, the team he's playing on is filled with mediocre players and bad contracts, which is going to limit just how effective he can be in the upcoming season. He's definitely not the type of guy who can carry an entire team on his back, and lead them to the playoffs. If you're expecting the team to make the playoffs this season, or if you expect D'Angelo Russell to be an All-Star caliber player, then your expectations are definitely too high.
27 Charlotte Hornets - Nicolas Batum
Frenchman Nicolas Batum is pretty much a jack of all trades on the court, but his contract would suggest that he's an all-around superstar. In short, he isn't. Moreover, Batum is playing on a team that is essentially going nowhere in the Eastern Conference, and due to the nature of his contract, some might be expecting him to carry the team alongside Kemba Walker. But, I just don't see it happening. Batum has never been an elite player, and he's not going to turn into one anytime soon.
26 Chicago Bulls - Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine missed all of last year due to a knee injury, and now that he's returning to the court with a new, big-money contract, the expectations for the high-flyer are going to be gigantic. Also, players coming off of major knee injuries typically take a while to return to form, so LaVine might not show signs of his old self until late this season, or at the beginning of next season, provided that he doesn't get hurt again. But for now, expectations are way too high for the ex-T-Wolves shooting guard.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers - Kevin Love
Most fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping that Kevin Love will single-handedly lead the team to the playoffs, and while it's entirely possible in the Eastern Conference, I don't think it's likely. The best years of Love's career were spent in Minnesota, where he put up great stats on a bad team, and he never made the playoffs until he teamed up with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. Sure, Love could put up some pretty good numbers this year, but that doesn't mean that he's back to being one of the league's elite power forwards because he'll simply be doing what he did for the T-Wolves, which is putting up good numbers on a bad team.
24 Dallas Mavericks - Luka Doncic
There are some pretty high expectations for rookie Luka Doncic heading into the upcoming season. In fact, most people are expecting him to end up being the best player of his draft class, and some are expecting him to achieve that during his rookie season. But, with an aging Dirk Nowitzki, a past his prime Wesley Matthews, and a one-way center in DeAndre Jordan, Doncic is going to have a hard time living up to those expectations, which is going to disappoint a lot of people.
23 Denver Nuggets - Nikola Jokic
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is very talented, however, he seems to disappear during big moments, which isn't a good trait to have if you're being billed as a team's best player. His stats are typically pretty good, which is why people think that he's better than he is. However, as most people already know, stats never tell the entire story, especially when a player is putting up good stats on a fairly mediocre team. We'll see in the upcoming year if Jokic can live up to expectations, but until he's able to perform in big moments, he'll remain one of the most overrated players in the league.
22 Detroit Pistons - Blake Griffin
At one point, former Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin was probably the most exciting player in the entire NBA, but last season was proof that he's no longer the player that he once was. When you combine that with the fact that he's playing for the Detroit Pistons, it's easy to see why he's one of the most overrated players in the entire league. Unless the team is able to move the former All-Star, he'll be with them for the next four years, which isn't good news for Detroit fans.
21 Golden State Warriors - DeMarcus Cousins
Every NBA fan freaked out when the Golden State Warriors signed former All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins during this past off-season, but what many fail to realize is that he might not even suit up for the defending NBA champions this upcoming season, as he's still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. If he does play at all, it'll probably be in a reduced role, as I wouldn't expect him to be out on the floor for more than 20 minutes per game, simply because the Warriors are talented enough to where they don't really need him to be a major contributor.
20 Houston Rockets - Carmelo Anthony
Fans of the Houston Rockets are probably thrilled about the team acquiring former All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, but they're almost certainly going to be disappointed with the team's new addition in the upcoming year. Unfortunately, Carmelo is no longer in his prime, he doesn't play defense, he doesn't pass, and he's not willing to be the team's sixth man despite the fact that he'd be perfect for the role. Perhaps he'll change his ways and not be so stubborn in the 2018-2019 season, but I don't see it happening.
19 Indiana Pacers - Tyreke Evans
Tyreke Evans looks like a fantastic addition to the Indiana Pacers on paper, as the former Kings and Grizzlies guard/forward typically puts up good stats year after year. But one important thing to remember is that he's never been a part of a winning team. Of course, I fully expect the Pacers to be among the elite teams in the Eastern Conference because of Victor Oladipo, however, I think Evans will have very little to do with their success in the upcoming NBA season. Luckily for the Pacers, they signed the former Rookie of the Year to a one-year deal, so they'll be able to let him go if he underperforms this season.
18 Los Angeles Clippers - Lou Williams
You could definitely make the argument that last season was the best season of Lou Williams' entire career, so expectations coming into the upcoming season are definitely high. But, it's going to be hard for the veteran guard to top what he did last season, especially in the much-improved Western Conference. I can see the Clippers looking to move Williams prior to the trade deadline, likely for a younger player or a draft pick. So, if you ask me, Lou Williams is set to have a pretty disappointing year for the Los Angeles Clippers.
17 Los Angeles Lakers - Lonzo Ball
With the addition of LeBron James, expectations for the Los Angeles Lakers will be extremely high this season. In fact, you could argue that anything less than an appearance in the Western Conference Finals will be a huge disappointment. There are also high expectations for second-year player Lonzo Ball, whom many believe is a future superstar in the league. However, I expect him to fall way short of these expectations, not because of his talent, but because of how the roster is structured, and I can definitely see the Lakers looking to move him at some point prior to the trade deadline.
16 Memphis Grizzlies - Mike Conley
Back when the Memphis Grizzlies were actually contenders in the Western Conference, veteran point guard Mike Conley might have been the most underrated player on the team. However, in recent years, you could, and probably should make the argument that he's the most overrated player the Grizzlies have. On top of that, he's had a hard time staying healthy recently, and he's one of the highest paid players in the league. Unfortunately for Memphis fans, the team is in rebuilding mode, so having Conley on the roster doesn't make much sense anymore, but it'd be really hard for the team to trade him due to the nature of his contract.
15 Miami Heat - Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside has done very well for himself ever since he returned to the NBA a few seasons ago, as he's one of the best defensive and rebounding centers in the league today. However, he's a lot like Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons -- a old school center who doesn't really fit in today's game, where the center position essentially doesn't exist anymore. Expectations for Whiteside have been high over the last couple of seasons, and while he's had good years on paper, he and the team never end up doing much in the NBA's post-season.
14 Milwaukee Bucks - Eric Bledsoe
Like with previous entry Andrew Wiggins, Eric Bledsoe has all of the physical tools to be one of the elite two-way players at his position, and while he does, at times, show glimpses of reaching his potential, he's largely fallen short of expectations in each and every season of his entire career. The upcoming year will be a big one for Bledsoe and the Bucks, as most are expecting the team to be one of the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference, but if Bledsoe fails to deliver during the upcoming year, the team could very well underperform, which would be a huge disappointment for the franchise.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves - Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins has all of the physical tools to be one of the NBA's elite two-way players, but during his time in the league, he's shown little signs of improvement each year, and his current contract is pretty much untraceable. When looking at his stats year-by-year, it'd be easy to believe that the former Kansas forward is one of the league's elite forwards, but stats never tell the entire story. Him actually living up to expectations will be vital for the team's future, especially if they want to hold onto Jimmy Butler beyond this season.
12 New Orleans Pelicans - Jrue Holiday
When healthy, Jrue Holiday is one of the most effective point guards in the league, as he's a fantastic two-way player. However, if you look at all the years he's been in the league, you'll see that he's almost never healthy for an extended period of time. What makes it worse is that he's making more money that the team's star Anthony Davis is, which has prohibited the team from bringing any other star players on board via free agency. If Holiday is healthy during the upcoming season, then he'll be pretty valuable to the team, but my guess, which is based on history, is that he'll disappoint yet again as he'll spend a good portion of the year hurt.
11 New York Knicks - Kristaps Porzingis
During last season, Knicks forward/center Kristaps Porzingis suffered a devastating knee injury, as he tore his ACL. Just a few weeks ago, the story going around was that he could miss all of this upcoming season as well, which obviously means that he's not yet fully recovered from blowing out his knee. With that being the case, if he does play, he definitely won't be the same player that he was prior to his knee injury, which will be a major disappointment to the Knicks fans and front office, as they were looking for him to be the savior of the franchise.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder - Russell Westbrook
During his initial triple-double season, fans and executives alike were blinded by Russell Westbrook's numbers, as he was voted as the league's most valuable player. However, while he was still an MVP candidate last season, most people were able to see through the stats and focus on the fact that the All-Star point guard simply doesn't make anyone else around him better because he's constantly worried about his individual stats. It'll probably be no different in the upcoming year, but unless the team is a true championship contender, he probably won't be in the conversation for the league's MVP during the upcoming season
9 Orlando Magic - Jonathan Isaac
During his rookie campaign last season, former lottery pick Jonathan Isaac spent most of the year on the sidelines, as he had trouble staying healthy. Luckily for the franchise, his injury didn't have a major impact, as they're clearly not a contender in the Eastern Conference. However, Magic fans do have pretty high expectations for the former Florida State forward, as they expect him to live up to his potential as soon as the upcoming season begins. But until he's able to prove that he can stay healthy, he'll remain as the most overrated player on the Magic's roster.
8 Philadelphia 76ers - Ben Simmons
Former LSU star Ben Simmons had an incredible rookie year in the NBA, but when the team began post-season play, he was inconsistent, and at times, he completely disappeared from games. Of course, this is to be expected from a rookie in the playoffs, but one of the reasons why he was so ineffective is because he hasn't yet developed a reliable jump shot. So, unless he's done so over the summer, he'll be set to be one of the biggest disappointments of the upcoming season. Also, given his injury history, his health is a major concern in the upcoming year, so expectations might be a little high for the 76ers star.
7 Phoenix Suns - Josh Jackson
With a handful of up-and-coming NBA stars, the future of the Phoenix Suns looks incredibly bright. However, due to the fact that the team's star, Devin Booker, will miss some time this season because of a broken hand, many will be expecting youngsters like Josh Jackson to step up and fill that role, despite the fact that he's clearly not ready to take that spot. Luckily for Suns fans, nobody is expecting the team to be a contender anytime soon, so the fact that Jackson isn't ready to be handed the keys to the team in Booker's absence won't hurt them one bit.
6 Portland Trail Blazers - C.J. McCollum
C.J. McCollum has played at a pretty high level over the last couple of seasons. In fact, he's played at such a high level that some experts believe that the team should trade Damian Lillard, who is essentially the face of the franchise, in favor of handing the keys to the team over to McCollum. However, my belief is that McCollum is playing at a high level because he's being paired with Lillard, and if the team were to send their All-Star point guard elsewhere, then, in my opinion, McCollum would struggle.
5 Sacramento Kings - De'Aaron Fox
De'Aaron Fox had a pretty good rookie campaign last season for the Sacramento Kings, but now that the team has added Marvin Bagley, who many believe will be this year's rookie of the year, the expectations for the team, and for Fox are going to be a lot higher. Historically, the Kings aren't very good at building teams from the ground up, and they're also not the greatest at developing prospects, which has led me to believe that De'Aaron Fox will have a disappointing sophomore season in the NBA.
4 San Antonio Spurs - DeMar DeRozan
Even though he was a vital part in the Toronto Raptors' success in recent years, new San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan has constantly struggled in the NBA's post-season, which is bad news for Spurs fans. To sum it up, if DeRozan struggled in the post-season while he was in the Eastern Conference, he'll have a much tougher time in the Western Conference. Perhaps things will change now that he's being coached by Gregg Popovich, but I don't think it's likely.
3 Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry
Veteran point guard Kyle Lowry has had a fantastic run with the Toronto Raptors, but he's clearly no longer in his prime. What's worse than that is that he has one of the most expensive and untradeable contracts in the entire league. Moreover, even if he was a tradeable asset, most teams probably wouldn't be willing to trade for him, simply because most teams in the league are already set at point guard. Perhaps being paired with Kawhi Leonard will do him some good, but it's pretty clear that he's not the player that he once was.
2 Utah Jazz - Rudy Gobert
While Rudy Gobert could possibly be the best defensive center in the entire league, he's essentially useless on the offensive end, which is a big disadvantage for the team, especially in today's NBA. Luckily for the Jazz, they have a young stud by the name of Donovan Mitchell who will do a lot for them on the offensive end, but will it be enough to make up for Gobert's lack of offensive skill? We'll just have to wait and see.
1 Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal
When he's healthy, Bradley Beal can be a productive player who fits quite nicely alongside All-Star point guard John Wall. However, Beal has failed to stay on the court regularly due to injury ever since he came into the league. Of course, the same can be said for his running mate John Wall, but the difference between the two is that the team needs Wall to be healthy to contend in the Eastern Conference, while Beal isn't necessarily as vital to the team. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see the team try to move him before the trade deadline, as they could probably get a major upgrade on their roster if they moved him to a team like Minnesota, where they could get Jimmy Butler in return.