In a league full of media hype and advertisement personalities, the NBA has never had a problem marketing its athletes to the masses. There is, however, a difference between a player being marketable and a player actually being a stand out within the structure of a game. It is commonplace for NBA players to unjustly be elected to all-star teams, or get a signature shoe contract, or offered an enormous salary. Many times players are rewarded with such benefits because of past achievements or popularity in the sport's culture, but those rewards do not always directly correlate to the players' skill.
Many times an athlete's personality off the court comes in to play when they are being evaluated on their performance as a player. Today we will look at the 20 most overrated basketball players in the NBA this season. These rankings are based on the current statistics the player is producing in combination with the amount of money the player is making, and the amount of attention the media gives to the player.
20 Jamal Crawford
2015-16 averages - 13.7 PPG, 2.2 APG, 1.8 RPG, 40% FG
Jamal Crawford is turning 36 years old this March and is still talked about as an elite scorer and Sixth-Man of the Year candidate. Crawford is averaging his lowest PPG average since the 2002 season, which was his third season in the NBA. He is also only averaging 1.3 converted 3-point shots per game, again, his lowest since 2002. Perhaps it comes down to the big media market he plays in, but Crawford does not deserve the praise he gets at this stage of his career.
19 Mathew Dellavedova
2015-16 averages - 8.1 PPG, 4.8 APG, 2.4 RPG, 41% FG
After becoming an instant media darling in the 2015 NBA Finals, Mathew Dellavedova has remained a player held in high regard within NBA circles. Dellavedova is at best, a decent back-up point guard, but if you listened to some NBA talking heads you would think he is a borderline superstar. His claim to fame, which he is still being rewarded for, came in Game 2 of the NBA Finals last year when he played solid, hard nosed defense on Steph Curry. People fail to remember that Dellavedova was exposed in the last two games of the Finals and has been nothing special this season.
18 Manu Ginobili
2015-16 averages - 10 PPG, 3 APG, 3.3 RPG, 45% FG
Manu Ginobili is 38 years old and has logged as many minutes as any player over the past decade and a half. Ginobili has not only had a long career in the NBA, but he also spent every summer playing with his home National Team. Ginobili is averaging only 19 minutes per game this season, the lowest of his career. Once a great scorer off the bench, Manu is only scoring 10 points a game, the lowest since his rookie season. Ginobili has gone from NBA superstar to now a washed up veteran, looking to capture one more championship ring while playing a small part on a great team.
17 Kenneth Faried
2016 averages - 12.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 55% FG
Kenneth Faried broke onto the scene in 2012 when the Denver Nuggets traded away center Nene to give Faried the bulk of the minutes at center. Faried surprised most other centers with his athleticism and tenacity, but this season he has taken a major step back. Some of the reason for the decline can certainly be explained by the lack of support he is getting in Denver, but there is no question Faried is not the same player that was invited to play for team USA in 2014.
16 LaMarcus Aldridge
2015-16 averages - 16.7 PPG, 1.5 APG, 8.3 RPG, 49% FG
LaMarcus Aldridge was an unstoppable force while he was playing with the Portland Trailblazers. This past offseason he decided to sign with the Spurs for $19.6 million and his numbers have declined across the board. Aldridge is averaging 16.7 points per game, his lowest average since he was a rookie. He is also averaging just under 30 minutes per game, again the lowest average since his rookie season. When trying to explain the decline in his game it is easy to point out that the system in San Antonio does not allow a single player to dominate a game, as he was doing in Portland. There is no denying, however, that his numbers have taken a big step back.
15 Kyle Korver
2015-16 averages - 9.4 PPG, 3.1 APG, 1.8 RPG, 42% FG
Kyle Korver was an all-star last season, and set a career high in his PPG average. This season, however, he has fallen well short of matching any of his career averages. His 9.4 PPG is the third worst of his career. Korver is known for his 3-point shooting accuracy and he has consistently been one of the top 10 three-point shooters in the NBA, this season his 38% from deep ranks him 28th in the league.
14 Danny Green
2015-16 averages - 7.5 PPG, 4 RPG, 1.8 APG, 38% FG
Danny Green signed a 4 year, $45 million contract last off season after having a career year in which he averaged nearly 12 points a game for the Spurs. Green was valued very highly by the rest of the league as well during his free agency last year. He shot 41% from the 3-point line last season, but this season he has fallen all the way to 35%. His slump season this year has been hidden, thanks in large part to the break out season of his teammate Khawi Leonard.
13 Enes Kanter
2015-16 averages - 11.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 55% FG
Enes Kanter was supposed to be the big man that the Oklahoma City Thunder needed to get over the hump and win a title. The Thunder signed Kanter to a contract that is paying him $16.4 million this year, making him the 20th highest paid player in the NBA. His output has been lackluster to say the least. Kanter has been unable to gel with his Thunder teammates thus far and his minutes per game have steadily gone down throughout the season.
12 Lance Stephenson
2015-16 averages - 5.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 49% FG
Lance Stephenson was signed by the Clippers last off season to a contract that pays him $9 million this year. He has already been released by the Clippers and subsequently picked up by the Memphis Grizzlies. That pretty much tells you how much he is producing this season. His off the wall personality has also contributed to his decline in playing time , we all remember Lance blowing into the ear of LeBron James during a playoff game in 2014. Stephenson is only averaging 16 minutes per game while splitting time in Los Angeles and Memphis.
11 Dwyane Wade
2015-16 averages - 18.9 PPG, 4 RPG, 4.7 APG, 45% FG
Dwyane Wade has made his mark as an all time great in NBA history, however he has taken a few strides in the wrong direction this season. Many of his set backs have been due to him getting a little long in the tooth and some injuries as well. His 18.9 PPG is the lowest since his rookie season in 2003 and his 45% FG shooting is the lowest mark he has shot as a pro. Wade is also being paid $20 million this season, making him the 10th highest paid player in the league, his impact on the game does not reflect that of a top 10 player.
10 Anthony Davis
2015-16 averages - 24.1 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.9 APG, 50% FG
Anthony Davis came in to this season as a trendy choice to win the MVP Award. His team proceeded to start 5-15 through the first quarter of the season and Davis struggled mightily. His scoring, assists, blocks, and steals have all gone down from last season, while his turnovers have increased. Davis is still a young player and he will most likely develop into a superstar in the NBA, but at this point people need to pump the breaks on crowning him king of the league just yet.
9 Kevin Love
2016 averages - 15.9 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 42% FG
Kevin Love was a stat stuffer during his time in Minnesota. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers to help LeBron James and Kyrie Irving win championships. To this point Love has been a disappointment to Cavalier fans. He spent most of the playoffs last year on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. Love is still putting up decent numbers this season, but his inability to fit in with the flow of the offense is what is preventing Cleveland from getting where they want to be. Love is also being paid $19.6 million this season and certainly not producing like a max-contract player.
8 Blake Griffin
2015-16 averages - 23.2 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 5 APG, 50% FG
Before this season Blake Griffin was seen as the cornerstone of the Los Angeles Clippers organization. Blake was supposed to help lead the Clippers to NBA glory. This year Blake has had a slew of injuries and a high profile off the court incident in which he repeatedly punched a team trainer in the face. Griffin has only played in 30 games thus far this season and is averaging a career low in offensive rebounding and in steals. The Clippers are 19-7 without Blake this season and there were many rumors that the Clippers were looking to trade him before the trade deadline.
7 Derrick Rose
2015-16 averages - 16.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.8 APG, 41% FG
Derrick Rose was the league MVP in 2011, since then he has steadily declined every season. This year through 48 games Rose is only averaging 16.5 points per game, the lowest average of his career, except for the 2014 season when he only played 10 games due to injury. Rose has had many injury problems, which are major contributors to his decline, but Rose himself admits that he is less confident in his abilities and more tentative to play his normally fast paced aggressive style. Rose is making $20 million this season, ranking him as the 9th highest paid player in the league. He is still riding the MVP season of 2011 and his abilities just do not justify him being paid as one of the top 10 highest players in the NBA.
6 Dwight Howard
2015-16 averages - 14.6 PPG, 12 RPG, 1.5 APG, 61% FG
Dwight Howard is a one of a kind athlete, standing 6-foot-11 with the frame of a body builder and athleticism of an Olympian. Howard should be a man among boys in the NBA, which he was early in his career. The Houston Rockets, however, are paying him $22.3 million this season which is the 5th largest salary in the NBA. Howard is averaging a career low in points per game this season, which has helped the Rockets fall from a heavy NBA finals contender to fighting to just make the playoffs.
5 Carmelo Anthony
2015-16 averages - 21.4 PPG, 8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 42% FG
Carmelo Anthony has been an elite scorer in the NBA for over a decade. Melo was also once regarded as a rival to LeBron James early on in their careers, as they both came into the NBA in the famous 2003 draft class. Anthony has not had the levels of success many of those from his draft class have had. In his 6th season with his hometown New York Knicks, Carmelo is putting up his second lowest points per game average, with just 21.4 PPG, while also shooting his worst career FG %.
4 DeAndre Jordan
2015-16 averages - 12.1 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 1.1 APG 69% FG
DeAndre Jordan has had some of the most amazing highlight dunks in NBA history. He also has played with the best traditional point guard in the NBA, so that helps. Jordan is making $19.7 million this season in the first year of a four-year contract he signed with the Clippers last summer. Jordan has become such a liability in late situations that Doc Rivers started taking him out during the late stages of the game. DeAndre attempts nearly eight free-throws a game, he is only able to connect on 42% of them. With teammate Blake Griffin being sidelined by injuries this season, DeAndre has had a lot more opportunity to shine, yet his impact has remained the same.
3 James Harden
2015-16 averages - 28.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 7 APG, 43% FG
James Harden is the kind of player that can fill up a stat sheet yet still be a net negative on his team. At first glance it seems that James Harden is an elite, MVP candidate type player, but when you look deeper into his game it becomes clear that he has selfish tendencies and often hinders his teams ability to get wins. Harden is attempting 20 shots per game this season, which is seven more than his career average. Harden is also infamous for his lack of effort on the defensive end of the floor.
Recent reports also imply Harden was responsible for his coach Kevin McHale being fired earlier this season. Reports are also surfacing that Harden has requested to the team to trade fellow star Dwight Howard.
2 Joe Johnson
2015-16 averages - 11.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.1 APG, 40% FG
Joe Johnson is the 2nd highest paid player in the NBA this season. Johnson was also released from the Brooklyn Nets this week. His 11.8 PPG and 40% FG shooting rank second worst in his career. Johnson was once a very good player in the NBA and he was able to parlay a couple very good seasons into an enormous contract, which in turn ruined his teams' ability to content for championships. Johnson is now a free agent and will likely be picked up by a contending team for a title run.
1 Kobe Bryant
2015-16 averages - 17.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, 35% FG
Kobe Bryant is a first ballot Hall of Famer. His career resume speaks for itself, but this season Kobe has not been anything close to what his career numbers represent. Kobe's 35% FG shooting is the lowest in his 19 year career. Kobe is averaging his lowest PPG since 1997 when he was 19 years old. Bryant also makes $25 million this season, more than any other player in the NBA. The Lakers are arguably the worst team in the league right now as well, yet Kobe was voted to be a starter in the all-star game. We all understand the legacy and greatness of Kobe Bryant but we must also acknowledge that the time of Kobe being an effective player has come and gone.
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