Following the 2017-18 NBA season, where the Golden State Warriors claimed their second straight NBA title, the league was shaken up by several big offseason signings. While it looked as though LeBron James' move to the Los Angeles Lakers was going to be the biggest blockbuster move this summer, the Golden State Warriors flipped the script and announced their signing of DeMarcus Cousins. Throughout the course of this offseason, more and more players have shaken up the league by switching teams, including Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, and Isaiah Thomas to name just a few. Heading into the upcoming season, the possibility for the unexpected is extremely high as dark horse teams such as the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers look to make a statement.
Going into the 2018-19 NBA season, basketball fans have continued to question what team stands a chance of defeating the Golden State Warriors, and putting an end to their championship streak. While some teams have shaken things up with massive roster changes such as the Lakers signing LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and Lance Stephenson, other championship contenders have bolstered their existing roster like the Houston Rockets, with moves such as signing Carmelo Anthony, and Michael Carter-Williams.
In this article we're counting down the least effective player on every NBA roster, using +/- ratings on NBA.com to analyze players' efficiency, as well as the size of their contracts in regards to the team's overall budget. Players also must have played in a minimum of 15 games in the prior season in order to be considered. Get ready for the countdown based on last season's standings.
30 Atlanta Hawks - Taurean Prince
Last season, the Atlanta Hawks finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, going 24-58. During the course of that season, Taurean Prince played in all 82 games, and averaged 14.1 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds per game. While he had a solid field goal percentage last season, averaging over 40% from the field, his +/- rating for the season ended as a -4.5, the second lowest on the team, likely due to his average of 2.5 turnovers a game.
Following last season however, the Hawks decided to pick-up their team option on Prince, with his contract rising to $2,526,840 this season before he has a player option next season.
29 Boston Celtics - Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe is a seasoned NBA veteran, playing eight seasons in the league, mostly with the Detroit Pistons before landing on the Boston Celtics last year prior to their deep Eastern Conference playoff run.
While Monroe averaged 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in just 19 minutes-per-game with the Celtics, turnovers have been a bit of a problem for Monroe throughout his career.
Given his average of 1.8 turnovers-per-game last season, his +/- rating for the season dropped to -4.2. While Monroe has proven himself to be a reliable big-man off the bench, the Celtics appear to be noncommittal as they signed him to a one-year contract prior to the trade deadline last season.
28 Brooklyn Nets - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Last season was Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's third with the Brooklyn Nets, finishing the season with the second lowest +/- average of his career. Averaging 28 minutes per game, Hollis-Jefferson showed an improvement last season as he improved his points per-game from 8.7 to 13. Despite that, he finished the season with a -2.7 +/- rating.
While he could very well prove himself to be a very good asset for the Brooklyn Nets, the upcoming season will be Hollis-Jefferson's chance to show further improvement from last season.
27 Charlotte Hornets - Marvin Williams
Last season was Marvin Williams's 12th in the league, where he played in 78 games for the Charlotte Hornets. Williams three-point shooting percentage has proved to be the silver lining in an otherwise lackluster statistical lineup last season, averaging just 9 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game.
While he averaged one of the highest +/- ratings on the team with 0.9, his statistics showed a significant drop from the previous season. With a $14 million salary this season, Williams will certainly look to improve from last season.
26 Chicago Bulls - Cameron Payne
After bringing Cameron Payne over to the Chicago Bulls, the front office notoriously was quoted as saying that it was obvious within the first couple practices that Payne couldn't play at the NBA level. Since then Payne has seemed to struggle within coach Fred Hoiberg's offense.
Although he has shown improvements in his shooting and passing, the Bulls front office has continued to put their faith in Payne rather than moving on to other options at point guard.
Averaging 23 minutes per game, Payne averaged just 8.8 points per game along with 4.5 assists per game.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers - Jordan Clarkson
Jordan Clarkson played just 28 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season after playing the majority of the season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Upon joining the Cavaliers, Clarkson contributed a solid 12.6 points-per-game but just 1.7 assists-per-game in 22.6 minutes-per-game. In addition, he averaged 1.1 turnovers-per-game, struggling to facilitate the ball as a point guard option for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While Clarkson has proven his ability to score since joining the league in 2014, his lack of assists could make the Cavaliers consider looking for a more 'true point guard'.
24 Dallas Mavericks - Maxi Kleber
The 2017-18 season was Maxi Kleber's first, entering into the league after playing professionally in Germany since 2009, before then going undrafted in the 2014 draft. In 2017, prior to signing with the Dallas Mavericks, Kleber won a 'Most Effective Player' award in Europe. After signing a contract with the Mavericks, however, Kleber averaged just 16.8 minutes a game but contributed just 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
A 6'11 power forward, Kleber will be forced to prove himself this season before entering into the free agency this coming offseason.
23 Denver Nuggets - Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson is one of the most seasoned veterans in the entire NBA. Playing in the league since 2001, Jefferson's career has seen him win an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers before then joining the Denver Nuggets after considering retirement.
After playing in just 20 games last season, at 38 years old, fans have expressed serious doubts about Jefferson's ability to help lead the Nuggets to a championship.
Fortunately for the Nuggets, Jefferson is on a one-year contract from the Atlanta Hawks. With that being said, expect the Nuggets to move forward without Jefferson following this season.
22 Detroit Pistons - Stanley Johnson
The 2017-18 season saw Stanley Johnson average ten extra minutes per-game from the previous season, however, the 6'7 forward averaged 8.7 points-per-game to go along with 3 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, he also averaged 1.1 turnovers per game, finishing the season with a -0.9 +/- rating. Ahead of his qualifying offer for over $5 million next season, Johnson will receive $3.9 million this season from the Detroit Pistons. After three seasons in the league, Johnson could very well see further improvements next season, however, only time will tell if he will remain an asset in Detroit's rebuild.
21 Golden State Warriors - Quinn Cook
Quinn Cook joined the NBA in 2016 after going undrafted out of Duke. At 6'2, Cook split time between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans his rookie season, playing in just 14 games. Despite that, Cook saw increased minutes this past season, going from averaging 13.4 minutes-per-game to 22.4 minutes-per-game last season. While he saw his points-per-game average increase from 5.6 points-per-game to 9.5 points-per-game, he averaged just 2.7 assists-per-game to go along with 1 turnover-per-game.
This brought his +/- rating for the season down to -1.2, one of the lowest on the Warriors. While the team certainly isn't exactly lacking in any areas, a long-term commitment on Cook is certainly up in the air at this point.
20 Houston Rockets - Bobby Brown
Bobby Brown has played the last two seasons with the Houston Rockets. After going undrafted, Brown joined the Sacramento Kings in 2008, before hopping around to various teams the next two seasons. In 2016, Brown rejoined the NBA when he was signed to the Houston Rockets.
Over the course of the last two seasons, he has been unable to put it all together, averaging just 2.5 points in both seasons, to go along with 0.6 assists per game and 0.4 rebounds.
While his contract is just over $1 million per-year, every contract counts as the Rockets are looking to dethrone the Golden State Warriors in the West.
19 Indiana Pacers - Corey Joseph
Corey Joseph proved to be a reliable point guard off the bench for the Indiana Pacers last season after spending the previous two seasons playing for the Toronto Raptors. In his first season with the Pacers, Joseph averaged 27 minutes-per-game, but only scored 7.9 points, and dished out 3.2 assists-per-game. Unfortunately, he also averaged 1.1 turnovers per game, bringing his +/- rating for the season down to -0.6.
While Joseph was a reliable option off the bench, his drop in statistics despite an increase in minutes could be a warning sign for the Pacers as they look to rebuild. On a one-year contract, it will be interesting to see how Joseph performs early in this season.
18 Los Angeles Clippers - Milos Teodosic
The 2017-18 season was Teodosic's first in the league at the age of 31, joining the NBA after playing professionally in Serbia since 2004. After a successful EuroLeague career that saw him win the MVP in 2010 before winning a Euro League MVP in 2016, Teodosic joined the Los Angeles Clippers last season, where he averaged just 9.5 points and 4.6 assists for 25 minutes per game.
Unfortunately for Teodosic, he averaged 2.2 turnovers per game, significantly lowering his +/- rating for the season.
Entering into his sophomore year, Teodosic will certainly look to improve on last season.
17 Los Angeles Lakers - Andrew Bogut
During the course of his 13 year NBA career, Andrew Bogut won an NBA championship in 2015. Since then, Bogut has seen a decline in his stats, contributing just 1.6 points per game to go along with 3.4 rebounds per game. Fortunately for the Los Angeles Lakers, they aren't paying out much of their salary cap on Bogut.
After playing in just 23 games last season, Bogut will certainly look to get back into a rhythm this season as the Lakers look to take over the Western Conference.
16 Memphis Grizzlies - Kobi Simmons
The 2017-18 season was Kobi Simmons rookie season. Over the course of the season, Simmons averaged 20 minutes per game, but only averaged 6 points per game to go along with 2.1 assists per game and 1.6 turnovers per game. Simmons +/- rating for the season was a -6.7. Fortunately for the Grizzlies, Simmons was on his Rookie contract after going undrafted from Arizona. Going into the 2018-19 season however, he is on the second end of a two-way contract, and enters into the season looking to prove himself and earn a long-term contract with the Grizzlies following this season.
15 Miami Heat - Derrick Jones Jr.
The 6'7 Miami Heat guard Derrick Jones Jr played in just 14 games for the Miami Heat last season after joining the team from the Phoenix Suns. Last season on both teams, Jones Jr. combined for 12.3 minutes-per-game but averaged just 3.1 points per game to go along with just .5 assists-per-game.
The season saw Jones Jr.'s averages drop from the previous season, where he spent his rookie season with the Phoenix Suns.
Currently on a two-year, $1.5 million contract, Jones Jr. will look to pick up more minutes this season once again.
14 Milwaukee Bucks - Tony Snell
Last season saw Tony Snell and the Milwaukee Bucks reach a 4-year deal worth $46 million. The contract came as a surprise to many given Snell's statistical decline over the past few seasons. Last season saw a drop from 8.5 points-per-game to 6.9 points per game. In addition, Snell's rebounding averages dropped from 3.1 rebounds-per-game to 1.9 rebounds-per-game.
While it seems that the Bucks are committed to Snell long-term, they may want to consider changing course depending on his performance this season.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves - Nemanja Bjelica
At 27 years old, Nemanja Bjelica entered the NBA in 2015 with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Currently a 30-year-old on a 3-year $20 million contract, Bjelica saw an increase in minutes last season, but averaged just .6 more points per game than the prior season, and .3 more rebounds per game. This brought his +/- for the season to just 0.1.
With his contract taking up a considerable amount of the Minnesota Timberwolves cap-space, they may want to consider moving on, however, it appears that managing coach Tom Thibodeau is committed to Bjelica long-term.
12 New Orleans Pelicans - DeAndre Liggins
DeAndre Liggins joined the New Orleans Pelicans at the end of the 2017-18 season after playing the first half of the season for the Milwaukee Bucks. This followed the same pattern of the 2016-17 season, where Liggins jumped from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Dallas Mavericks, where he played just one game.
Despite being in the league since 2011, Liggins hasn't been able to average more than 3 points per game in a season throughout his entire career.
Fortunately for the Pelicans, he is on a short-term contract.
11 New York Knicks - Emmanuel Mudiay
Last season, Emmanuel Mudiay averaged 19 minutes per game, however in that time, he contributed just 8.8 points per-game to go along with 2.6 rebounds per game. Unfortunately for Mudiay, turnovers proved to be a bit of a problem last season as he averaged nearly 2 turnovers per game, finishing the season with a -4.2 +/- rating, the second-lowest his professional career.
While the Knicks will pay Mudiay just $4.2 million this season, he will have a $5.7 million qualifying offer next season. While Mudiay's stats last season were average, he will look for increased minutes this season.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder - Patrick Patterson
Patrick Patterson played in all 82 games in the 2017-18 season, averaging 15.5 minutes-per-game. Despite that, he averaged just 3.9 points-per-game to go along with just 2.4 rebounds-per-game. Given his minutes, Patterson finished the season with just a -0.9 +/- rating.
Surprisingly, despite his lackluster performance last season, the Thunder seem to be committed to Patterson long-term as they agreed to a three-year $16.4 million contract.
Only time will tell if Patterson's performance improves, or if the Thunder will look to trade him before the deadline as they look to make a deep Western Conference playoff run.
9 Orlando Magic - Bismack Biyombo
Last season, Bismack Biyombo had one of the least productive seasons of his career, finishing with a -5.2 +/- rating to go along with 5.7 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game. Biyombo's -5.2 efficiency rating was the lowest on the team, and after seven years in the league, Biyombo's efficiency rating significantly dropping from the previous season could force the Magic to look to dump Biyombo's massive $17 million contract.
Going into the 2018-19 season, Biyombo certainly will be looking to prove himself and justify his large contract going forward.
8 Philadelphia 76ers - Jerryd Bayless
Jarryd Bayless is an NBA veteran, playing in the league since 2010, where he was drafted as the 11th overall pick. This past season, despite averaging 23 minutes per game in 39 NBA games, the guard averaged just 7.9 points-per-game to go along with 1.4 assists per game.
In addition, Bayless averaged 1.2 turnover-per-game, bringing his +/- for the season to -1.8, while he has had better seasons in the past than the 2017-18 season, the young 76ers team may want to consider looking to give minutes to another guard as they look to make a deep run in the Eastern Conference once again.
7 Phoenix Suns - Josh Jackson
The 2017-18 season was Josh Jackson's rookie season. As a rookie, Jackson showed promise on the Suns, averaging 13.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Despite that, Jackson averaged 1.9 turnovers per game, and finished the season with one of the lowest +/- ratings on the team.
Heading into the 2018-19 season, Jackson's sophomore year will see him paid $6 million, before the Suns have a team option for the two following years.
This season will be a big one for Jackson, who will look to prove himself in his second season in the league.
6 Portland Trail Blazers - Evan Turner
Evan Turner has been a reliable guard since joining the league in 2010, proving himself to be an efficient scorer. Last season, Turner played 25.7 minutes-per-game but averaged just 8.2 points-per-game to go along with 3.1 rebounds-per-game and 2.2 assists-per-game.
While Turner's stats were considerably low for how many minutes he played, he also averaged 1.3 turnovers-per-game, bringing his +/- for the season to -0.6, the second lowest on the Trail Blazers. Given his nearly $18 million a year contract, and the Trail Blazers quest for a Western Conference title, they may want to consider unloading Turner's massive contract.
5 Sacramento Kings - Garrett Temple
The 2017-18 season was Garrett Temple's second with the Sacramento Kings after playing on various teams over the past 9 seasons. Last season he averaged 24 minutes per game, but only averaged 8.4 points per game to go along with 2.3 rebounds per game.
At the end of the season, Temple finished with a +/- rating of -4.1, one of the lowest on the Kings roster.
With an $8 million salary this season and no guaranteed contract, Temple will be looking to secure himself a long-term contract as he becomes a free agent following this season.
4 San Antonio Spurs - Joffrey Lauvergne
Joining the San Antonio Spurs after splitting the 2016-17 season between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls, Joffrey Lauvergne averaged just 9.7 minutes per game last season, picking up just 4.1 points-per-game and 3.1 rebounds-per-game to go along with a +/- rating of -1.2.
This marked a slight improvement in Lauvergne's stats from the prior season, but after four seasons in the league, no team seems willing to commit to him long term. With Lauvergne on a one-year contract, the Spurs may want to consider parting ways with Lauvergne after this season depending on whether or not his stats improve from last season.
3 Toronto Raptors - Norman Powell
Norman Powell has spent his entire three-season career with the Toronto Raptors, where he was drafted to in the 2015 draft. Since joining the team, Powell has continued to pick up increased minutes, averaging 15.2 last season, but only averaging 5.5 points-per-game and 1.3 assists-per-game.
While Powell is a good option coming off the bench, he will be making $9.3 million this season as part of a large multi-year deal with the team.
Given his minutes-per-game, and lack of scoring and passing efficiency in regards to his contract size, the Raptors team could benefit from looking to give another guard minutes depending on how Powell plays early in this season prior to the trade deadline.
2 Utah Jazz - Ekpe Udoh
At 31 years old, Ekpe Udoh's best years may very well be behind him. Last season, Udoh averaged 12.9 minutes per game, but scored just 2.6 points-per-game to go along with 2.4 rebounds per game. While Udoh still proved to be a solid role player off the bench, his $3.36 million salary does make him a bit of a liability given his minutes on a Jazz team that looks poised to make another deep Western Conference playoff run. While last season was Udoh's first back in the league since the 2014-15 season, the Jazz may very well want to look to replace him with a young prospect depending on his stats early this season.
1 Washington Wizards - Tim Frazier
Last season, Tim Frazier averaged 14 minutes per game but saw a significant drop in his points-per-game as he averaged just 3, to go along with 3.3 assists per game. In comparison, the prior season he averaged 7 points per game and 5.2 assists per game. This season, Frazier could very well see an increase in minutes at the point guard position.
With a -1.3 and -1.4 +/- rating for the last two seasons, another drop in performance could very well see the Wizards part ways with Frazier this season, or this upcoming offseason.