The NBA is all about the star players and as they are more pivotal to basketball than any other sport. Football and baseball needs a full team of great players doing different things to become a championship level contender. That is also needed in the NBA but to a far smaller extent. A few top Superstars and a nice supporting cast of role players usually make up a roster of the best teams in the league. The elite teams all have multiple All-Star caliber talents and usually an MVP candidate. Stars have started to unite in recent years to improve their chances at a ring.
Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors has made them the absolute definition of a super team. The Cleveland Cavaliers still have a trio of top names to defend their NBA Championship. Superstars care about winning rather than location and will do anything possible to get a ring in the modern day NBA. The window is open for a short time period for a star to put forth their best years. While many have united in hopes of winning the big one, a few stars are still floundering in less desirable situations. Every team needs star power to improve but it is unfortunate to see the talents go to waste. We’ll look at those stories now with the top fifteen current NBA stars too good for their teams.
15 Dwyane Wade
The most recent story of a Superstar deciding to leave his beloved franchise featured Dwyane Wade packing his bags out of Miami to head to Chicago. Wade will play in his hometown after making the big move away from the Heat organization that drafted him thirteen years ago. The move was done for pride reasons wanting to get paid what he felt he was deserved but it was a bad basketball decision.
14 D’Angelo Russell
Everyone has an opinion on D’Angelo Russell. His rookie season went horribly due to him making the fatal error of recording teammate Nick Young admitting to cheating on fiancé Iggy Azelea and uploading it on Snapchat. Russell was shunned by his Los Angeles Lakers teammates and became an outcast in the locker room. His overall numbers were fine for a rookie season and he actually did show signs of the potential that made him the second overall pick.
13 Nikola Vucevic
The Orlando Magic have struggled for years after rebuilding in the post-Dwight Howard era but are hoping next season will mark their return to the postseason. Nikola Vucevic appeared to be the center of the future putting up impressive numbers each season in Orlando. A bizarre offseason saw the Magic acquire Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo to add into the mix of the front court. Factor in Aaron Gordon and Vucevic will now have to battle for minutes and touches in the paint.
12 Eric Bledsoe
The Phoenix Suns are in disarray, failing to put together a credible team. They are very far away from making the playoffs and will need a few draft picks to pan out before they can once again compete in the West. Eric Bledsoe is the best player on the team and all of the pressure falls on his shoulders due to the lack of talent around him.
11 Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert has only been in the NBA for three seasons but he’s already one of the best defensive big men. The paint presence stops opposing stars from driving in the lane for an easy basket, as they know Gobert will be there to prevent them from scoring in embarrassing fashion. With over two blocks per game in each of the past two seasons, the French native has created a reputation for himself at a young age of 24.
10 John Wall
The Washington Wizards have regressed dramatically over the past season, falling from a potential Eastern Conference contender into a team that didn’t even make the playoffs. John Wall doesn’t deserve any of the blame as he continues to improve every season and is one of the best point guards in the sport. Washington got it right by selecting him first overall in the 2010 NBA Draft and he has rewarded them for their pick.
9 Brook Lopez
In just a matter of seasons, the Brooklyn Nets have gone from considering themselves contenders for the NBA Championship to one of the worst teams in the league. The experiment of bringing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn absolutely failed and left them without any young assets. Brook Lopez has remained the one consistent source of production on the team from their days in New Jersey.
8 Kristaps Porzingis
The New York Knicks finally found some good luck in the 2015 NBA Draft with the selection of Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick. Porzingis achieved instant popularity as a fan favorite in New York and showed potential of becoming a future Superstar. The Knicks once again proved to be one of the worst run franchises in the NBA putting less emphasis on the rookie as the season went on, despite not contending for a playoff spot.
7 Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward is one of the most underrated players in the league at the small forward position and most NBA fans forget he even exists thanks to being on the subpar Utah Jazz. The young man does it all from scoring effectively from all over the court to making the best pass to an open teammate. Hayward even contributes on the defensive end and would break out as a star if he were on a team with a higher profile or a better roster.
6 Jimmy Butler
The Chicago Bulls made the right move by dealing Derrick Rose and keeping Jimmy Butler. The fact that they even considered moving Butler at all showed just how foolish of a franchise they have become. Butler is one of the best two-way players in the league and a definite Superstar in the making. His offensive game improved to an All-Star level this past season and he’s already one of the best defenders in the NBA.
5 Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant’s shocking decision to join the Golden State Warriors and Serge Ibaka being traded has left Russell Westbrook all alone in Oklahoma City. There’s enough talent around him to make the playoffs, but there’s way they’ll be able to contend any time soon unless they can acquire another Superstar to pair with him. Westbrook has developed into one of the best players in the league dominating the point guard position.
4 Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Milwaukee Bucks expected Jabari Parker to become the face of the franchise and their next big Superstar. While he can still put become close to it if he reaches his potential, there’s no doubt Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in Milwaukee right now. The nearly seven-foot-tall Greek athletic beast has the speed and basketball instincts of a point guard. Head coach Jason Kidd expects him to play the position next season and should see his numbers become even more impressive.
3 Anthony Davis
Anyone with an eye for talent can see Anthony Davis has the skills to become the best player in the league. There’s nothing he can’t do. Davis scores in the most efficient of ways, dominates defensively and grabs every loose board. The New Orleans Pelicans locked him up with a massive contract to make him their star of the future after grabbing him with the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
2 Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has been one of the most popular names in the NBA since arriving in 2003. The scoring machine puts up points with utter ease and is a fixture on the All-Star team at this point, winning the starting position via fan vote most years. Anthony has donned the New York Knicks uniform for the past few seasons but the majority of his time there has been wasted.
1 DeMarcus Cousins
The controversy surrounding DeMarcus Cousins revolves around his attitude. Cousins is arguably the best big man in the NBA with dominant offensive numbers. The issue is he loses his cool and has anger management issues far too frequently, but wouldn’t you if you were forced to play on the Sacramento Kings? Nothing about the organization provides stability and that just causes more reason for a player like Cousins to struggle.
No other top star in the NBA needs a change as desperately as Cousins. The big man could be a top contributor on a championship level team but is stuck on a team with no chance at making the playoffs any time soon. Cousins is a rare NBA player to make the All-Star team consistently on a bad team and that just speaks to how great he has played. The career of DeMarcus Cousins will be wasted away unless he gets traded to a team that actually deserves his skills.
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