NBA: Top 10 disappointing players of 2017
There have been letdowns aplenty throughout 2017 in the NBA. Here, were guide you through the the most disappointing players of the year.
Continuing our look back at 2017 in the NBA, we call out the players who haven’t measured up to expectations. While plenty of these players have age on their side and plenty of time to turn things around, they won’t look back on this stage of their career favorably. Let’s highlight the ten biggest letdowns in the NBA this year.
10. Rajon Rondo
Rondo should be far better than he is. He is an elite passer whose assist numbers should be up there with the league leaders.
They are not.
Rondo has bounced around the league the past couple of years with unsuccessful stints with Dallas and Chicago leaving a sour taste in the mouth. If Rondo returns to his Boston form, then New Orleans fans will have something to cheer about other than their Twin Towers.
9. Austin Rivers
Another season and more disappointment from Austin Rivers. The coach’s son has been a frustrating cornerstone for the LA Clippers over recent years and played a role in the breakup of ‘Lob City’. Doc Rivers persists on giving his son over 30 minutes a night, but how much longer till he repays his fathers’ faith?
8. Josh Jackson
Another lottery pick from this year – Jackson, the number four selection by Phoenix, has struggled to meet expectations so far.
Having split time between the starting rotation and the bench, Jackson just needs time to adjust to the speed and standard of the NBA.
He has shot a woeful 38% from the field (22% from long range), and despite playing solid defense remains a work in progress as the Suns embark on a youth movement.
7. Marquese Chriss
Another young Phoenix Sun who is finding NBA life rather challenging is power forward Marquese Chriss. The eighth pick from the 2016 NBA draft has recently seen a demotion to the bench after a series of lackluster performances and questions raised about his attitude. When things don’t go his way, the 20-year-old shuts down and becomes uninterested in the game.
A trade may be the only solution.
6. Paul George
This one may be controversial.
Going into this season, big things were expected of OKC’s Big 3 of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and George, but after a difficult transition period the Thunder find themselves hovering around the .500 mark and struggling to match it with the best in the West.
A major issue for the team is that George is shooting just a tick over 40% from the field and looks lost late in games. The former Indiana Pacer isn’t the only big name in OKC having trouble late in games, however. In the fourth quarter, OKC have struggled – especially when they trail. Coach Billy Donovan will hope to see improvements before the All-Star Break.
5. Emmanuel Mudiay
It’s fair to say the seventh pick from the 2015 NBA Draft hasn’t lived up to the hype. After being frozen out of the Denver team for the second half of last season, Mudiay has found more playing time in 2017/18, but his struggles remain.
He is still a below-average shooter (under 40% from the field) and turns the ball over too much – only second to Russell Westbrook. These issues need to be fixed if Mudiay is to reach the potential that saw him regarded as a top talent a few years ago.
4. Tristan Thompson
At the start of the December, Thompson was ruled out with a left calf strain. But when he was on the court, it wasn’t too flash. The 6’11″ center has averaged a measly 4.3 points and 4.9 rebounds this campaign, a drop from the 8.1 points and 9.2 rebounds he managed during last season.
3. Lonzo Ball
The LA Lakers don’t trust him down the stretch – it’s as simple as that. The second overall pick from this year’s draft has been benched for the fourth quarter on numerous occasions this season – an ominous sign for the young point guard.
There is no doubt that Ball looks set to be a star of the league for years to come, but for now he is struggling. An average of 9.3 points per game at under 34% shooting is underwhelming, to say the least.
2. Jahlil Okafor
The third overall pick from the 2015 NBA draft needed a change of scenery, and that was exactly what he got when he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets at the start of December. Since averaging 17.8 points and seven rebounds in his rookie season with Philadelphia, things have taken a nose-dive for the former Duke center as he has seen virtually no game-time the past two years.
Hopefully his new situation in Brooklyn changes this. To clarify, I am calling Okafor’s situation a disappointment – not his talent. He has all the tools to be an offensive weapon for any NBA team, and although he lacks skill on the defensive end, Okafor deserves to be treated better than he was in Philly.
1. Markelle Fultz
The 2017 first overall pick has been overshadowed by the 2016 top pick Ben Simmons this season. Simmons has seen most of point guard minutes this season as he has led the 76ers alongside Joel Embiid as Fultz sits out with a shoulder injury.
Having said this, Fultz did not look comfortable on the court before his injury. Changing his shot technique just before the season raised eyebrows, and don’t get us started on his free-throw action.
Who has disappointed the most this year? Comment below!