There are various players, scattered on many rosters, that would do better in another atmosphere. Many players are stuck in unfavorable circumstances - deemed as incapable of reaching full potential. This phenomenon has been relevant since the NBA began.
If players were able to have more autonomy in choosing what team they end up playing for, the league would be insane. Unsuccessful athletes would flock to the best teams, and superstars would come together. If you did not like when LeBron and Bosh went to the Heat in 2010, then try to imagine a significant proportion of NBA teams with multiple superstars. This would leave many cities stuck with horrible players, which would not help them in any regard, considering the NBA draft would be meaningless. As a result of this hypothetical situation, bad teams would never become any good, or they rarely would progress, and good teams would stay good large amounts of time. Players would choose where to play based on other roster depth and city atmosphere. The best stars would flock to Los Angeles, Miami, and Orlando - leaving cities like Indianapolis with a bad franchise.
This list encompasses some of the league's best talent - players who would prosper if they were in another situation. Here are 15 NBA players who would be better on a different team.
15 Kemba Walker
Kemba is stuck on a just below average Hornets team, currently sitting well below .500 in the Eastern Conference and out of a playoff spot. This season, he is playing an average of 45 minutes per game, scoring 22.8 PPG. Kemba does not have much help in Charlotte, currently mostly passing the ball to Michael-Kidd Gilchrist or Nicholas Batum. If he went to another team, he would see his value go up significantly. Though he is the clear #1 guy with the Hornets, if he was on a team that could actually effectively compete in the playoffs, he would have more value. He is currently on a four year, $48 million contract, which will be at its close in two seasons - unless he opts out of his agreement. It would be great for the NBA if Walker relocated on another team; he would get the opportunity to compete at a high level.
14 Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio has been with Minnesota since he entered the NBA in 2011. He is having a good season, averaging 10.9 PPG and 8.9 APG. He is known for his passing abilities, as evident from his double-double average. The Wolves are going nowhere any time in the near future. Currently 12th in the Western Conference, they do have potential but are not ready to become a real contender. They have Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, two athletes who have already made an impact in the NBA. Rubio is a veteran player, who has been playing professional basketball since 2005 with DKV Joventut Badalona.
He is no amateur to the NBA either, now in his sixth season in Minnesota. A change of scenery would do the guard well and help him progress his career to the level he can get to. He has been a solid guard since his rookie season, but simply has not elevated his game to new heights.
13 Rodney Hood
Hood is doing well with the Jazz, averaging a solid 13.1 PPG. This is a number that could be up. Hood is on a Utah team that is playing at the top of their game, currently in fourth place in the Western Conference. Hood has been paired with two athletic big men, Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward. Though both players are beneficial to his development as a young athlete, Hood has enough skill to go to another team and make a nice improvement. If he were to go to another team, it is possible that he could be recognized as the number two guy.
For example, in Philadelphia, Rodney Hood would be an integral part of the team's offense. The 76ers need some guards. They have an abundance of tall players and could use some speed (though Hood is 6-foot-7). He is a lanky shooting guard who can be clutch from the perimeter. The 76ers should go after him.
12 Reggie Jackson
Jackson is averaging a steady 14.9 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 2.2 RPG this NBA season. The Pistons are hovering near a playoff spot, competing with the Heat and Bulls for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Pistons have some potential, but obviously Jackson has began to develop into a prominent guard. At 6-foot-3, he is very mobile on the court. He is currently paired with Andre Drummond and Tobias Harris - two athletic big men who have the ability to take control of a game down low. Though it would be nice to see Reggie Jackson build a playoff contending team in Detroit, it would be interesting to see him transition to a more consistent offense.
He could be a starting guard for various teams and would be a fantastic addition for the athleticism of many rosters. The Pistons are not in a great position to get a lot of draft picks, and therefore, will not be getting any big time rookies in the near future.
11 Mike Conley
Many scouts could not have envisioned Mike Conley would be so dominant in the NBA. Conley is averaging 20 PPG an 6.3 APG to possibly lead his team to a playoff spot. The Grizzlies are battling for a playoff spot with the Thunder, and may be able to catch the Clippers as well. He just signed a monster deal with the Grizzlies, the greatest salary an NBA player has ever made. Conley will make an insane $153 million in a five year span. Obviously, he would be crazy to opt out of this contract. But if he should do so, his star power would grow.
On another team, he would have a legitimate opportunity to win a championship. The Grizzlies have talent, mostly in Marc Gasol and Conley, but they need some more star power. Considering the money he is making, he would be dumb to opt out of this contract. But once he has made his fair share of cash, it might be time for him to re-think a team transition.
10 Julius Randle
Since his successful career with the controversial John Calipari, at the University of Kentucky, Randle has asserted himself as a versatile big man. In the NBA, he has continued to be a threat down low or at the perimeter. The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 13 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 0.5 BPG per game. He is one of the Lakers' best options right now, considering other big men have not worked out for them - Roy Hibbert to name one. In the last 10 games, he has shot a solid .447% from the field.
I would like to see Randle make an immediate impact on another NBA team. The Lakers are beginning to do what the 76ers did, have done, and will do for a couple more years. They are the worst team in the Western Conference. It is too bad to see young athletes, like Randle, be stuck in a bad situation. He may love living in Los Angeles, as many athletes do, but the Lakers are not going anywhere anytime soon. He should try to leave the team and go to a team where he can up his numbers and play in more meaningful games.
9 Greg Monroe
Monroe has been a good addition to the Bucks roster. He is averaging 11.8 PPG this season and making $16.41 million a year - on a three year contract. Some argue he was better suited to remain a Piston, but this is not totally proven yet. I think Greg Monroe has had some good parts of his career, and of course some not so good. This is evident from his $35,000 punch at Nick Young recently versus the Lakers.
Monroe might be better suited for another roster. Though he is averaging solid numbers, I don't buy into the Bucks being the best fit for his talents. The Bucks will likely make the playoffs, but won't go very far. They will most likely face a tough Celtics or Wizards team this postseason, a matchup that would put their success to the test. Monroe might get paid big this offseason, or next, but he should consider the idea of leaving Milwaukee.
8 Dario Saric
Saric has been very productive in Philadelphia. Being a 76ers fan myself, as painful as it has been, I am taught to trust the process. He is on a $2 million contract currently putting up 12.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG. Sixers fans have been pleased with his performance thus far. With Ben Simmons nursing an injury, it has been great for the team to get extra help. Saric should consider the idea of going to another team, and though I wouldn't want that to happen, realistically, he has proven himself as a very good player.
I could see him being a great sixth man and future star on a good team. A couple teams that should totally go after his services should be the Cavaliers, Celtics, and Bulls. All of these teams would put Saric in a position to still be a top notch contributor, but they would give him the opportunity to succeed.
7 Evan Fournier
Fournier has continued his upward trend of success in the 2016-17 NBA season. He is currently averaging 16.9 PPG, 3.1 APG, and 3.2 RPG. The Magic are having another dreadful season, sitting at 14th in the Eastern Conference. Fournier has established himself as a reliable option for Orlando. They do not have much star power currently - so he has made himself a viable shooter. In the last 10 games, he has shot .440% from the perimeter, a respectable shooting percentage by any measure. He is currently on a five-year, $17 million per year contract. He brings height, athleticism, and strength to the basketball court.
On a team that has a chance of going somewhere in the playoffs, or at least TO the playoffs, he would be good sixth man/role player. If he remains on the Magic, he will continue to make good money, but he will be stuck in unfavorable circumstances.
6 Buddy Hield
When you think of Buddy Hield, you most surely think of his legendary career with Oklahoma. In college, he was an absolute threat from the perimeter, a player who could basically score from anywhere on the court . He is unfortunately not utilized to his full potential with the Kings. He is second on the depth chart behind Aaron Afflalo, a veteran guard who spent a large portion of his career with the Pistons. The Kings do not have much talent. They rely heavily on Tyreke Evans and Rudy Gay - two players who are past their prime (more so Rudy Gay).
Hield has more potential than Sacramento can offer him. He can make a more substantial impact on an NBA roster than he is now. If he were to go to say, the Philadelphia 76ers, Hinkie would find a way to implement him into the offense.
5 Rudy Gobert
NBA fans have taken note of what Gobert has been doing lately. In Utah, he is averaging 13.2 points per game, 12.8 rebounds per game, and 2.6 blocks per game. Scouts could not have predicted the high level of play he has shown down low. The Jazz are doing solid right now, sitting at fourth in the Western Conference. Gobert has the help of Hayward and Rodney Hood, two athletes who have been proven time and time again. I would be interested to see if Gobert would consider leaving Utah.
Though the Jazz are obviously a "contending team", realistically, it's hard to see them getting past the second round. Gobert would be great for the Lakers, a team that is slowly coping with the retirement of the legendary Kobe Bryant. The Clippers would also appreciate his services. Chris Paul would be favorable company to Gobert.
4 Damian Lillard
This guy needs to go elsewhere. Though the Trail Blazers are not having the worst season, their sub.500 record has them out of a playoff spot. Lillard has emerged as an unbelievably athletic and versatile guard. He is averaging MVP numbers, currently at 26.8 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 4.8 RPG. He is a multi-combo guard who would prosper on another team - one that has a legitimate chance of winning a championship. This is not to say that he is having a bad season; it is quite the opposite this year.
He is currently on a five year, $139 million contract. The Blazers guard is making good money. It would behoove him to consider the idea of leaving the team and going to a championship contending roster: somewhere where his athleticism will be utilized at a consistent level. He is obviously the star in Portland, but if he had another superstar athlete with him, I would consider that team to be a championship contender.
3 Devin Booker
Booker is stuck in a very bad situation with the Suns. Though they may get some good talent in the future, it is unfortunate that he is on a team that is 14th in the Western Conference. He is averaging 20.9 PPG this season, 3.1 RPG, and 3.2 APG. He is also playing big minutes in Phoenix - usually getting in around 45 minutes per game. He has little help and must rely on himself for a large portion of games. The Suns lack depth and rely on Bledsoe and Booker for significant production. He has been struggling with some injuries lately, but overall, is having a pretty healthy year. Booker needs to leave this team.
His circumstance is very unfavorable, a situation most NBA players would resent having to take part in. Various teams could use his services, including Detroit, Memphis, Houston, or even Golden State. It is too bad that Devin is on the Suns, but he will surely get paid a large sum of money soon enough and move on to a better situation.
2 Andrew Wiggins
The Timberwolves currently sit at 12th in the west, something Minnesota natives are not too happy about - especially with the talent they have. They have done a fantastic job of stockpiling draft packs, getting college basketball talent such as Towns, Wiggins, Dunn, and Dieng. Though it might be wise for Wiggins to stay in Minnesota and wait for the potential culmination of the roster's talent, he would better his career by getting ahead of the game. Wiggins should sign somewhere to be on a championship contending team, like Houston. It can't be unbelievably fun living in Minnesota, especially considering the team hasn't been very good for some time.
Wiggins is currently on a cheap salary, being paid a rookie wage on a three year option. When he becomes a free agent, he will be extremely hot commodity and his hometown Toronto Raptors are reportedly already preparing for when that day comes.
1 Draymond Green
The Warriors are a championship contending team and by no means is Draymond having a bad season. He is almost averaging a triple double, raking in 10.3 PPG, 8.1 APG, and 7.2 APG. He is kind of stuck in a team that is loaded with talent, including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Andre Iguodala. In an ever changing NBA landscape, in which players frequently move cities, Green would profit from going elsewhere. Not only that, but he will see a major increase in statistic upward trend. He is only scoring a minimal 10.3 points per game because he is combined with some of the game's best talent in the Bay Area. Though it is fun to remain on a successful team, as it should be, he should truly consider relocating to another city - one where he is the star of its basketball team.
The Rockets would be a fantastic option for Draymond, a team where he would receive a lot of attention. Another option could be Boston, where Celtics fans would love his presence.