In the NBA, a player that is underrated can easily become overrated and a player that is overrated can easily become underrated depending on the stage of their careers, the situations that they are in, and even how large their contracts are. A player may be overvalued on one team, but with a little change of scenery and they could become the missing link to another team’s championship.
Take for example Boris Diaw. The Big Croissant was wasting way when he was in Charlotte playing for the former Bobcats. He was gaining weight rapidly and it was evident that his passion for the game had all but dissipated. But after being bought out by the Bobcats, Diaw was born again when he was moved to the championship caliber San Antonio Spurs. In fact, Diaw’s dormant talent even blew the Spurs coaching staff away when he started practicing with them mid-season. When Diaw signed his 5-year deal worth $45 million, he was clearly overrated, but when he arrived in San Antonio, he was the hidden weapon that they unleashed to win their first championship in seven years. And just like that, Diaw moved from being under appreciated to greatly appreciated.
But the narrative does not always play out that way. More often than not, players get grossly overpaid by ambitious general managers who incorrectly gauge their potential. Some contracts may only last for one year, but other contracts can go as long as five years. So, a player may be worth the money during the first couple of years, but who is to say whether or not they will still be worth it during the latter years?
Below is a list of the most overrated players in the NBA today. This list is not based upon their career performance or their legacy, but it is strictly based upon the expectations of them this year and how they are failing to live up to those expectations today.
*All stats are taken from ESPN.com and are correct as of March 11th, 2015.
20 Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs
19 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Charlotte Hornets
18 Deron Williams – Brooklyn Nets
17 Carmelo Anthony – New York Knicks
16 Dwight Howard – Houston Rockets
15 Rajon Rondo – Dallas Mavericks
14 Kenneth Faried – Denver Nuggets
13 Derrick Favors – Utah Jazz
12 Brook Lopez – Brooklyn Nets
11 Jonas Valanciunas – Toronto Raptors
10 Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards
9 Roy Hibbert – Indiana Pacers
8 Isaiah Thomas – Boston Celtics
7 Nicolas Batum – Portland Trailblazers
6 Ricky Rubio – Minnesota Timberwolves
5 Michael Carter-Williams – Milwuakee Bucks
4 Lance Stephenson – Charlotte Hornets
3 Reggie Jackson – Detroit Pistons
2 Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls
1 Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
Before Kobe called it quits this season, he was averaging 22.3 points per game, 5.6 assists per game, and 5.7 rebounds per game. Those are MVP like numbers, but all of these numbers were inflated by playing on one of the worst teams in the NBA. Furthermore, Kobe was only shooting 37.3% from the field and 29.3% from 3-point land. Last but not least, Kobe averaged 3.7 turnovers per game, which shows that he was forcing the game too much instead of letting the game come to him.
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