The current decade of basketball action has seen some massive changes in the NBA. 2010 started with the Los Angeles Lakers winning their most recent and Kobe Bryant’s final NBA Championship. The following offseason launched the era of LeBron James when he joined the Miami Heat to form a big three with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. James has been the face of the league since that moment with stints in Miami, Cleveland, and now Los Angeles. The Golden State Warriors super-team also formed with Stephen Curry becoming a mega-star for the NBA. Kevin Durant felt like jumping on the bandwagon to make the Warriors arguably the most talented team ever. Each team has tried to put together big moves but not all work out.
There are quite a few players that ended up becoming overrated due to things either not working out in the long run or their accomplishments not being as impressive as one would have assumed. We will look at some of the players for each franchise that ended up becoming overrated in the grand scheme of things. Fans either wanted more from them or gave them too much love that bolstered their reputations. Find out just which player is the one chosen from your team when it comes to this list. These are the most overrated players from each NBA team since 2010.
30 Atlanta Hawks: DeMarre Carroll
The Atlanta Hawks had a few good seasons this decade that ultimately ended in disappointing playoff departures. Atlanta’s best season came when they won 60 games and finished with the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks once had a lineup of Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll that impressed the NBA world. Carroll left in free agency to join the Toronto Raptors, but his play wasn’t good enough to live up to the contract he signed. The solid play of Carroll was taken to another level in Atlanta for a short time that made him overrated when leaving.
29 Boston Celtics: Kendrick Perkins
The Boston Celtics were the top team of the Eastern Conference to start the decade before LeBron James made his move to start the dominance of his teams. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo lost the NBA Finals in 2010 to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Many pundits believed an injury to Kendrick Perkins may have changed things. Celtics fans were upset when the team traded away Perkins. The fan base hyped up the big man to be significantly better than he was. Perkins would become a huge bust for every team he played for that required him to do more than just defend.
28 Brooklyn Nets: Deron Williams
The biggest move by the Nets when moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn was landing Deron Williams via trade. Williams was expected to become the face of the franchise and turn them into a contender. Brooklyn made more trades to acquire Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett.
Those other trades were worse decisions, but they never would have happened without adding Williams. Deron's play did see him make a couple of All-Star teams for the Nets, but he was never the player that was advertised when joining the roster.
27 Charlotte Hornets: Nicolas Batum
One of the biggest moves made by the Charlotte Hornets over the past decade was adding Nicolas Batum. The move featured them paying him star-caliber money to become the secondary star on the team to give Kemba Walker some help.
Batum regressed from his time with the Portland Trail Blazers and failed to make an impact. Charlotte is still hoping to get more out of him. Unfortunately, the label of overrated certainly fits him given how much the team expected him to improve them, but he instead became a regretful addition to the roster.
26 Chicago Bulls: Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah was once viewed as a potential superstar for the Chicago Bulls, but his offensive game never matched that. Chicago believed that a healthy combination of Derrick Rose and Noah may have been enough to win an NBA Championship.
Rose can fault injuries for his downfall, but Noah, even if his injuries are taken out of the equation, regressed and was never as good as many pundits wanted to believe. Noah could play strong defense. However, the lack of scoring prevented him from truly earning that superstar label during his time on the Bulls.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers: J.R. Smith
The 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers squad will always be remembered fondly by the fan base for delivering arguably the most impressive NBA Championship in sports history. J.R. Smith was the fourth most important player on that team, but he was distantly behind LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love.
We still overrated Smith for his contributions to that team even though he did do a good job. Smith is best as a role player that doesn’t have to make big decisions and can rely on others setting him up. No one wants to trade for him entering 2019 due to the awful contract he got based on his prior success.
24 Dallas Mavericks: Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes was one of the bigger names to sign with the Dallas Mavericks in free agency. Dallas spent many offseason summers trying to attract huge names. Most passed on them for bigger markets. Barnes signing after Kevin Durant took his spot on the Golden State Warriors felt like a big addition for the Mavericks.
Barnes' run in Dallas, however, just exposed him as being an overrated player. Barnes was the fourth or fifth best player for a great system in Golden State, but things went poorly when he tried to be the best player on a team. Both will likely move on when his contract expires after the disappointing run.
23 Denver Nuggets: Kenneth Faried
There have been quite a few players on the Denver Nuggets to earn an overrated tag from the first half of the 2010s. Kenneth Faried stands out as the player that was supposed to become a bigger star. The numbers of Faried in his early seasons of success showed great potential.
Denver would find disappointment when Faried started to regress and play poorly despite having a large contract. Faried has fallen to a lower-tier player struggling to make a rotation. Nuggets fans still feel the pain from his lack of success.
22 Detroit Pistons: Reggie Jackson
The Detroit Pistons were very happy when they pulled off a trade to land Reggie Jackson from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jackson looked promising coming off the bench as a sixth man for OKC, but he believed he could be a superstar and wanted to start.
Detroit added Jackson and built him up to be their point guard of the future. Despite starting in the lineup for a few years now, Jackson is rightfully viewed as a below-average starting point guard. The Pistons biggest weakness is not having someone that can run their offense these days, as Jackson is a highly overrated guard.
21 Golden State Warriors: David Lee
It is easy to forget that the start of the 2010s featured the Golden State Warriors adding David Lee as their big superstar. Lee joined Golden State during the 2010 offseason with the hopes of him becoming the superstar as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson progressed.
The rise of Draymond Green would see Steve Kerr make a drastic move of sending Lee to the bench in his first year as coach. Lee’s defense and overall play was not anywhere near what his contract indicated. He was lucky to get a ring for the 2015 NBA Championship Warriors squad as he fell out of the league shortly after.
20 Houston Rockets: Dwight Howard
The Houston Rockets believed they had a new superstar duo when signing Dwight Howard to pair with James Harden. Howard was coming off his one season with the Los Angeles Lakers and still was considered the best big man in the league.
Houston would see Howard underperform and take a step back. Despite making a few All-Star teams during his time with the Rockets, Howard struggled to play at a superstar level. Houston didn’t get to the next level in the West until they traded Dwight and developed Clint Capela as their new center.
19 Indiana Pacers: Roy Hibbert
The Indiana Pacers had a short window to contend in the Eastern Conference as the biggest threat to LeBron James’ Miami Heat squad. Paul George was their superstar, but Roy Hibbert was viewed as close to him after reaching All-Star status.
Pacers fans believed Hibbert would become their big man of the future, but his career fell apart within a few seasons. Hibbert was never as good as most believe when looking back at his numbers. The overrated status turned into unplayable, as he was out of the league faster than expected.
18 Los Angeles Clippers: DeAndre Jordan
Many pundits viewed the Los Angeles Clippers as a team with three All-Stars. The Clippers were supposed to become the next force in the Western Conference, but they were usurped by the Golden State Warriors.
DeAndre Jordan stands out as the player that was most overrated from the team. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin found success outside of Los Angeles, but Jordan fell apart without his two better teammates. Jordan has become an afterthought in the league for the Dallas Mavericks and will have to find another new NBA home soon.
17 Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram
This may be a harsh choice so soon in his career, but Brandon Ingram has disappointed since joining the Los Angeles Lakers as a lottery pick. The expectation of Ingram was to emerge into a superstar or at least a difference-maker.
Most pundits expected Ingram to step up as the second option for the Lakers this season next to LeBron James. Ingram has instead regressed and needs to figure out a way to break out. The fact that he can’t improve playing alongside the best player of the generation is not a good look for Ingram.
16 Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley
Mike Conley had one of the luckiest breaks in NBA history when his free agency coincided with the salary cap rising. The Memphis Grizzlies paid him a massive contract to re-sign due to the changes. Conley had the biggest contract in NBA history for a few months.
The overall play of Conley is impressive, but he’s nowhere near the superstar level indicated by his contract. Memphis is struggling to rebuild with Conley on the books. The Grizzlies banked on him improving into a bigger superstar, but he’s yet to make an All-Star appearance in his career.
15 Miami Heat: Dion Waiters
The end of the James/Wade/Bosh era for the Miami Heat has featured them struggling to find the right pieces to contend. One of the more interesting players to join the roster was controversial guard Dion Waiters. An impressive first season with Miami landed him a very nice contract extension.
Waiters has yet to live up to that contract with a combination of injuries and poor play hurting him. Heat management likely regrets the move since Waiters has never stepped up consistently outside of that one short run for them.
14 Milwaukee Bucks: Brandon Jennings
Brandon Jennings' numbers looked impressive to start the 2010s for the Milwaukee Bucks. Jennings scored with high points per game averages, but the poor shooting percentage was a huge problem.
The points for Jennings came with too many shots taken. Jennings’ style of play hurt the Bucks by not involving his teammates to add to the team play. Milwaukee improved after losing Jennings and he has been unable to find an NBA home. Jennings was overrated at his best and no longer fits into the NBA landscape.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves: Andrew Wiggins
There is a lot of time for Andrew Wiggins to change the perception, but he has become one of the most overrated players in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Wiggins with the top overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but they traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.
Wiggins was supposed to become the next superstar of the league. Pundits wanted him and Karl-Anthony Towns to become this era’s Kobe and Shaq. Towns plays great basketball, but Wiggins is nowhere near All-Star level and is becoming a disliked player by the fan base.
12 New Orleans Pelicans: Eric Gordon
Former NBA Commissioner stepped in by blocking a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers by the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans. The trade would be turned down in favor of a ‘better’ deal that allowed New Orleans to land hopeful future superstar Eric Gordon.
It ended up looking like a bad decision since Gordon did not fulfill the expectations the league had for him. The Lakers deal looked better on paper when thinking about it today. Gordon has become a very good role player, but the prior hopes of becoming a superstar made him an overrated player in Pelicans history.
11 New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony played well for the New York Knicks, but he was overrated compared to what everyone expected of him. Many pundits believed the Knicks would become contenders with the core of Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler.
Anthony could not take his game to the next level like some of his peers could. LeBron James, Chris Paul, and many others made their teammates better. Anthony could only improve his own game and the Knicks would only win one playoff series during his time there. The legacy of Melo in New York is that he was overrated.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder: Serge Ibaka
Many pundits believed the core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka could have become a dynasty of young stars. Three of those players have gone on to win MVP Awards. Ibaka is a very good player, but he just doesn’t compare to the other three.
Oklahoma City sadly chose to keep Ibaka over Harden as their third superstar. They traded Harden to the Houston Rockets in what became an embarrassing one-sided trade. Ibaka would never become an All-Star level player and got traded after the Thunder failed in the playoffs during the final Durant season there.
9 Orlando Magic: Jameer Nelson
NBA fans might easily forget that the Orlando Magic were in the NBA Finals ten years ago in 2009. The new decade started with Orlando believing they were close to an NBA Championship, with Dwight Howard leading them.
Jameer Nelson was arguably the second most valuable player of that roster due to the other starters primarily being past their prime. The lack of options aside from Howard made fans and analysts overrated Nelson. He was never towards the top of his position at any point in his career.
8 Philadelphia 76ers: Jahlil Okafor
The Philadelphia 76ers have had mixed results during their tanking years at the NBA Draft. Top picks include Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons turning the franchise around for the better. Markelle Fultz and Nerlens Noel stand out as negative picks.
The worst of them all was Duke prospect, Jahlil Okafor. Philadelphia started to bench Okafor after he disappointed them. Fans viewed it as being unfair and demanded the team "free" Okafor to thrive elsewhere. Poor runs with the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans have shown he was overrated all along, never mind his injury woes.
7 Phoenix Suns: Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe was once viewed as the player the Phoenix Suns wanted to make the face of their franchise. The early seasons of Bledsoe impressed with the Los Angeles Clippers, but he was a backup due to Chris Paul joining that team and leading them to contention.
Phoenix signed Bledsoe, with the intent to build around him. Bledsoe's numbers were solid, but he did not help them win at all. In fact, the franchise fell lower and lower before he demanded a trade one season ago. Bledsoe was highly overrated for the Suns and is better for the Milwaukee Bucks today as their third option.
6 Portland Trail Blazers: Wesley Matthews
The start of the 2010s featured the Portland Trail Blazers having a very respected starting lineup. Talents like Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez, and Wesley Matthews all played well together, but the team would break up, with everyone leaving, aside from Lillard.
Matthews looked like a very good starter at the shooting guard position during his best seasons in Portland. However, he was the benefit of being on a team that allowed him to get open outside shots. Matthews has fallen lower and lower in the NBA pecking order throughout the years for good reason.
5 Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins
Many pundits in the NBA blamed the Sacramento Kings for not finding a way to win with DeMarcus Cousins. The team currently looks ready to improve with their young pieces, and Cousins flopped with the New Orleans Pelicans.
New Orleans did not start winning last season until Cousins was out with an injury. The return to the NBA will see Cousins with the Golden State Warriors as their fifth-best player. However, he proved he could not be the best player on a winning team during his time in Sacramento.
4 San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker
San Antonio Spurs fans will be upset at the accusations of Tony Parker being overrated, but his play started diminishing at the start of the decade. Parker started to fall lower and lower in the point guard pecking order with names like Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, and many others passing him.
Even in his prime, Parker was never the player that easily dominated the game. San Antonio found most success when Parker was the second, third or even fourth option. A few disappointing playoff exits came early with Parker struggling. The past 2010s era of Parker was certainly overrated due to past success.
3 Toronto Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors have been a playoff threat for most the decade, but they always fall short. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are the two top players associated with the Raptors in this era. Jonas Valanciunas was the third option for most of the run until the team switched things up.
Toronto expected Valanciunas to become a credible third option, but he instead stopped improving at the rate they expected. Valanciunas remained a secondary role player and the Raptors had no other options when Lowry or DeRozan struggled in the postseason. Toronto has a better team now, with Valanciunas as a sixth man off the bench rather than their third option.
2 Utah Jazz: Dante Exum
Dante Exum was drafted above talents like Marcus Smart, Julius Randle, and Zach LaVine by the Utah Jazz. The athletic ability of Exum tempted the Jazz into believing he had superstar potential. Exum was hyped by Utah fans entering the league.
A combination of disappointing play and injuries prevented Exum from doing anything of note to break out. The Jazz would strike gold with Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell emerging into stars. Exum is still on the roster as a bench piece to prove his prior hype was overrated.
1 Washington Wizards: Otto Porter Jr.
The Washington Wizards are in a poor spot, falling lower in the Eastern Conference pecking order while having three players under max contracts. John Wall and Bradley Beal played good enough to get their contracts as perennial All-Stars, so it’s hard to argue that.
The player that stands out as the overrated one in the trio is Otto Porter Jr. It was the Brooklyn Nets that forced the Wizards' hand by offering Porter a max contract when they wanted to take the chance on the young talent. Washington believed they were contending and matched the offer. Porter isn’t bad by any means, but he’ll never hit the All-Star potential the Wizards expected from him.