The NBA will always have players who either get overrated by the media, fans or are made famous through internet memes such as Alex Caruso. These players are not always bad, but they are definitely not as good as they are made out to be.
The NBA’s Most Overrated Players
5 – Zion Williamson
This is likely not entirely fair. Zion Williamson has not played an NBA game, but he has been talked about like he is the second coming of LeBron James. Williamson is not remotely the same player as James. He more closely resembles Blake Griffin but 6’6” and more guard skills. Williamson can hardly shoot, he moves awkwardly and is injury prone.
Williamson played one single NBA Summer League game before getting injured, and he was also hurt in the preseason. Let’s also not forget his college injuries also. Williamson’s stats were 23 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, which is incredible. At the same time, should a 6’6” power forward with no jump shot and being a decent passer really be hyped to the level that James was coming into the NBA?
4 – Kristaps Porzingizis
Similar to Williamson, this does not seem fair to Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis is coming off missing 21 months from a torn ACL, so if this is him being rusty, that is understandable.
The concern for Porzingis is severe, and he just was paid $157 million from the Dallas Mavericks this summer after they traded Dennis Smith, two first-round picks, Deandre Jordan, and Wesley Matthews, both of whom were past their primes, to the New York Knicks for him.
Currently, Porzingis averages 18 points and 9 rebounds on 40 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from three. These are solid numbers, but for the contract he is getting, Dallas will need to see more out of him. This might not happen, as historically, Porzingis slows down around the month of December and stops putting up crazy numbers. Maybe in Dallas, he can turn this around and work his way off this list.
3 – Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine
Lauri Markkanen was thought to be the franchise player for the Chicago Bulls after averaging 15 points and 7.5 rebounds in his rookie year. Since then, Markkanen played 52 games his second season, where he averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds. Now, Markkanen is back averaging 15 and 7 on a 13.3 PER, which is below the league average of 15.0
Zach LaVine is averaging 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, which are great numbers. LaVine’s problem is that he is an abysmal defender, and his percentages are not good. LaVine is shooting 40 percent from the field. The field-goal percentage is a career-low for the fifth year shooting guard. The Bulls do not look like a playoff team despite the fact that their franchise duo are in their fifth and third years respectively. This is not a franchise duo, so the Bulls better hope that Coby White can save them.
2 – Al Horford
When Al Horford signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, they instantly became the favorites to go to the NBA finals out of the east. That may have been a little hasty. Horford averages 14 points and 7 rebounds per game. The 76ers did not think this through, as they paid the 33-year-old center $109 million over four years. On top of this, Horford can no longer play power forward. Maybe 76ers General Manager Elton Brand forgot, but his franchise player Joel Embiid plays center.
This was a harmful waste of money that came off of as Philadelphia desperate to not lose strength when Jimmy Butler left for the Miami Heat. The train of thought that led to this move doesn’t make sense, but it happened, and now they are stuck with a washed-up center who everyone still seems to believe will be the help Philadelphia needs to get to the NBA finals.
1 – Kyrie Irving
As said at the beginning of this, this does not mean Kyrie Irving is a bad player. Irving is also not an NBA superstar. He is famous for hitting “The Shot” in Game 7 of the NBA Finals back in 2016. Irving also currently averages 28 points and 7 assists. At the end of the day, though, he puts up empty stats. This has been something we saw out of him since he got to the NBA. He could never lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to the playoffs before James returned with Kevin Love, he was a locker room hazard in Boston and has already caused trouble in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Nets are currently 9-8. It would be shocking to see Brooklyn miss the playoffs. But it would also be surprising to see them even make the second round. Last year, Irving was torched by Eric Bledsoe, and put up awful numbers, refusing to pass to his teammates. The Nets do not have the team that last year’s Celtics did, and Irving will feel no need to pass to the young guys. His ego gets in the way of him being a superstar, but he is still treated like he is on a similar level to James Harden, Anthony Davis, and even Steph Curry to a degree. The media treatment of Irving makes him the NBA’s weirdest player, also the NBA’s most overrated player.
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