Do you remember the summer of 2010? The Toronto Raptors struck gold in the offseason. They acquired a marquee free-agent to pair with Chris Bosh and take the Raptors to the playoffs.
Hedo Turkoglu was acquired by Toronto on a five-year, $54 million deal. After a broken orbital bone, “ball”, and one pizza commercial later, Turkoglu was traded to Phoenix after just one season in Toronto. Every year this same story is told; just with different players and different general managers.
With the NBA celebrating their all-stars this weekend, let’s take a look at the “non-stars”, who are performing well below their high expectations this year.
These players all changed teams this off-season, and its just not working out.
Introducing your 2013-2014 All-Disappointment Team
Point Guard: Jarrett Jack (Cleveland Cavaliers)
2012 – 2013 stats: 12.9 PPG / 3.1 RPG / 5.6 APG / 29.7 MPG
2013 – 2014 stats: 8.5 PPG / 2.6 RPG / 3.6 APG / 25.7 MPG
Last season, Jack was a key piece off the bench for the upstart Golden State Warriors. After being in the discussion for sixth man of the year, and having a great 2013 playoffs (averaged 17.2 PPG), Jack parlayed his season into a four-year, $25 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
My guess was that this signing may have helped Dan Gilbert’s case for firing Chris Grant this season. Jack’s numbers are down across the board this year, and noting the Cavaliers tough season, it’s safe to say he hasn’t been able to provide that same spark he gave Golden State one year ago.
Shooting Guard: O.J Mayo (Milwaukee Bucks)
2012 – 2013 stats: 15.3 PPG / 3.5 RPG / 4.4 APG / 35.5 MPG
2013 – 2014 stats: 12.2 PPG / 2.6 RPG / 2.4 APG / 27.5 MPG
On July 13, 2013, the Milwaukee Bucks signed O.J Mayo to a three-year, $24 million deal. Mayo played well during the 2012 – 2013 season for the Dallas Mavericks and was picked up to play a key role in the Milwaukee Bucks backcourt.
Mayo, who is currently out of action with an illness, now comes off the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks and is playing behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. Any time your highest paid player is playing behind a 19-year-old rookie, chances are he is not living up to expectations.
Small Forward: Josh Smith (Detroit Pistons)
2012 – 2013 stats: 17.5 PPG / 8.4 RPG / 4.2 APG / 1.8 BPG
2013 – 2014 stats: 16.0 PPG / 7.0 RPG / 3.5 APG / 1.4 BPG
This offseason Joe Dumars inked Josh Smith to a four-year, $54 million contract. When Smith has his head in the game, and is playing to his strengths, he is arguably worth the $13.5 million a year he’s earning. Smith is a dynamic talent with multiple skill sets on both ends of the floor.
However, this year has shown us why he is not worth the contract he signed. The Pistons starting small forward has fallen back into his jump shooting ways, as his 3-point attempt rate is at the highest of his career. What makes matters worse is that his 3-point shooting percentage is only at 23%. By the way, let’s not forget to mention that his field goal percentage and blocks per game are also at an all-time low.
Power Forward: Kevin Garnett (Brooklyn Nets)
2012 – 2013 stats: 14.8 PPG / 7.8 RPG / .496 FG% / 19.2 PER
2013 – 2014 stats: 6.9 PPG / 6.8 RPG / .431 FG% / 13.1 PER
Let me be clear; Kevin Garnett is a hall of famer and I would take him on my roster any day of the week. However, when the Brooklyn Nets pulled off a blockbuster trade this offseason to acquire the 37-year-old from Boston, I don’t think they envisioned the rapid decline we have seen this year.
Apart from the rebounding numbers, Garnett has seen significant decrease in production across the board. Originally identified as a key piece and a difference maker against the likes of Indiana and Miami, Garnett has struggled this year to even keep the Brooklyn Nets in the playoff race.
As Garnett is making $12.4 million this season, the Nets must be hoping that the future Hall of Famer can turn it around after the all-star break.
Centre: Andrew Bynum (Cleveland Cavaliers / Indiana Pacers)
2011 – 2012 stats: 18.7 PPG / 11.8 RPG / .558 FG% / 22.9 PER
2013 – 2014 stats: 8.4 PPG / 5.3 RPG /.419 FG% / 15.2 PER
It’s a pretty safe bet that this transaction is another reason former Cavs GM Chris Grant was fired this year. After sitting out the 2012 season due to a knee injury, the Cavaliers signed Bynum to bolster their roster as they looked to make the leap from Eastern Conference bottom feeder, to a playoff team.
By January, the Bynum experiment was over as he was traded to Chicago for Luol Deng. Recently, an article written by Adrian Wojinarowski at Yahoo Sports indicated that prior to his trade, Bynum began to become disruptive in practice by shooting the ball every time he received a pass during a team scrimmage.
Bynum never played a minute for Chicago and was waived and released. He has now signed a deal with the Indiana Pacers for the remainder of the season. My guess is that all will be forgotten this season if he can play a key role in helping knock off Lebron James and the Miami Heat.
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