Most Pointless Player on Every NBA Team
An NBA game only has so many minutes to go around. That leaves a whole pool of underutilized talent and awkward fits on the professional level. Teams snatch up young and old as contingency to fill their bench, but their impact on the season is normally irrelevant.
They sit on the bench and you wonder why they're in the building. They practice their craft merely to earn a paycheck. They are the most pointless players in the NBA.
Let's take a look at each team's ugly duckling. The list is organized alphabetically by team.
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Atlanta Hawks- Devin Harris
While Harris is in the last year of his contract, the former Utah point guard will struggle to get to play for his next one. There isn't much playing time to go around with Atlanta’s group of guards.
The Hawks won’t want to misstep the growth of Jeff Teague, who enters his third season. Harris comes in on the heels of Atlanta signing of Lou Williams, who also likes to have the ball in his hands. What makes matters worse, Harris has never had to play off the ball much in his career.
His newest team does not sound like an ideal situation.
Boston Celtics- Fab Melo
The Boston Celtics management had to sit at home and watch the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder battle for NBA supremacy in the Finals. After watching the leagues two most athletic teams in the championship, how do they respond?
They got bigger and slower. Fab Melo represents the center of that movement.
It may be early to pick on a player who hasn’t had a lick of NBA experience, but Melo has been pegged as a defensive big body who is raw offensively. Doesn’t the 24th ranked scoring team in the league need points? These two sounds like a marriage made for the D-League.
Charlotte Bobcats- Matt Carroll
Wait, Matt Carroll is still in the NBA?
(Checks Rotoworld for contract information)
(…thinking about something positive to say next)
…Well, at least his contract is expiring next year?
Chicago Bulls- Vladimir Radmanovic
The Bulls’ “Bench Mob” was disbanded this offseason and I could pick most of their replacements Chicago brought in for this list. I’ll go with Radmanovic, who hasn’t been useful NBA big since the Clinton administration.
He’s almost 7 feet tall and has never been an avid rebounder. His top skill, three point shooting, is detrimental to his team’s success when they are not going in. Most importantly, his skill set, or lack thereof, doesn’t seem to fit with the no-nonsense defensive tactics of Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau.
New team, new bench for Radmanovic.
Cleveland Cavaliers- Luke Walton
Doesn’t it feel like Luke Walton has used up his “son of famous NBA player” card long enough?
It was fun in Los Angeles when Walton was the darling of the Laker bench, going out with models and whatnot. In Cleveland, he looks plain silly.
That roster doesn’t have much going for it at the small forward position, but don’t bet on Walton to lend a helping hand. He’s another veteran who hasn’t played meaningful minutes in years. There’s an obvious reason why he shouldn't be on an NBA roster.
Dallas Mavericks- Vince Carter
The Mavs are looking to revamp their roster with some youth; Vinsanity has not been keeping up with time time. He's lost those famous hops and without them he’s just your run of the mill 35-yeard old guard. His name is the only thing keeping him in Dallas.
Carter is the definition of a glamour guard: doesn’t like to rebound, avoids the lane as much as possible, and doesn’t give a lick on defense. At 35, he's not looking to change his ways.
Boy, did Mark Cuban and Co. go Vinsane with that signing.
Denver Nuggets- Kosta Koufos
The center prospect from Ohio State is still a prospect, and not much else. Koufos is a perfect example of a top recruit who should have stayed in school.
Now that the Denver Nuggets have Javale McGee signed long-term, there's no minutes available for the third year center. He could've been big man on campus in Columbus, now he will sit for the majority of 82 nights this fall. Fun stuff.
Detroit Pistons- Charlie Villanueva
Only a couple years ago, Villaneuva, along with Ben Gordon, were the pieces that were supposed to keep the Detroit dynasty alive. He and Gordon, frankly, didn't live up to the bill. Villanueva averaged seven points and three rebounds last year making a cool seven million.
While the rest of Detroit tries to move on, Villanueva's contract is still on the books for next year. Good for him, ugly for the Pistons.
Golden State Warriors- Andris Biedrins
Might as well call Andris Biedrins a sunk cost- ten million dollars the Warriors will not be utilizing with Andrew Bogut in town.
The Warriors also brought in three bigs over 6'10" or taller the last couple years to compete with Biedrins, inclduing bogut and second-rounder Festus Ezeli. With his numbers declining at alarming rates, safe to say San Francisco's team will take a longer look at younger options for playing time.
Once thought to be a double double machine, Biedrins has fallen out of the rotation faster than MySpace. His eight year in Golden State may be his last.
Houston Rockets- Patrick Patterson
Patterson's inclusion is not necessarily a product of his play. He has become the odd man out on a Rockets team that has become a Club Med for forwards. In the NBA Draft two months ago, Rockets GM Daryl Morey selected two more forwards, Royce White and Terrence Jones, to already go along with Peterson, Chandler Parsons and Marcus Morris.
The third year forward was thought to be a rotating piece alongside ex-franchise centerpiece Yao Ming. What a difference two years make.
Out with the old, in with the new. Patterson sure feels like used goods by now; it is unlikely his roster spot in Houston will last.
Indiana Pacers- Miles Plumlee
It may be unfair to knock on players before they play their first NBA game, but blame the Pacers for wasting their first round pick on a Duke product they could've gotten with their second selection.
Plumlee is a banger-type, but it is unknown whether he has an NBA body to stick around in the league. Giving him a guaranteed contract is suspect, especially when they're throwing a max contract to Roy Hibbert to play big time minutes. Now with Ian Mahinmi in the fold, there's no room for Plumlee other than the end of the bench.
I call it as I see it: In this past year's draft, Indiana missed an opportunity to get a contributing player.
Los Angeles Clippers- Ronny Turiaf
Sure, Ronny Turiaf was a fantastic towel-wave for the Miami Heat. Over one million dollars for his towel-waving though? Los Angeles, you've been jobbed. Clipper fans are still waiting to see if they got Punked.
Now playing for France in the Olympics, Turiaf has reaffirmed one thought: (cue Dennis Green) He is who he thought he was!
Los Angeles Lakers- Andrew Goudelock
Lakers fans know about Goudelock from his early season minutes last season when the Laker backcourt was emptier than the Indian cupboard.
Now the Lake Show added Steve Nash, but the guard who can't shoot 40 percent still has a roster spot. Must be another Luke Walton experiment.
Memphis Grizzlies- Josh Selby
The co-MVP of the Summer League certainly has game. Though, it doesn't look like he has a stable home in Memphis.
Even after letting OJ Mayo sign with Dallas, the Grizzlies have an abundance of guards on their roster, including new draftee Tony Wroten Jr.
I'm actually rooting for Josh Selby to find a real home in the NBA. He never got a fair shake at Kansas, and has yet to have one on his professional team. It just won't be happening in Memphis.
Miami Heat-Dexter Pittman
In his two years in the NBA, Pittman is known for throwing elbows. After that, there's not much to tell.
As far as this writer is concerned, a 7’1” big man who can only average less than five rebounds a game in summer league has no place on an NBA bench. Pittman 4.3 rebound average was behind the likes of Adam Morrison and Klay Thompson. No, this is not a misprint.
The D-League would do a lot of good for this young big.
Milwaukee Bucks- Ekpe Udoh
Udoh was yet another Golden State big hopeful, only for the plans to be scrapped last March in the Andrew Bogut trade.
It seems as Udoh is in another rough situation in Milwaukee, where they have a ton of forwards vying for playing time at a few spots. The Bucks just signed Ersan Ilysova to a 45 million dollar deal, so Udoh has lost out on minutes even before he puts on a Bucks uniform.
The third-year forward out of Baylor needs a team that will allow him to develop his game and get some minutes doing it. Milwaukee has too many frontcourt players to enlist his services much longer.
Minnesota Timberwolves- Jose Juan Barea
David Kahn and his T-Wolves love their international players, with Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, among others playing prominent roles. The signing of Barea, though, was an example of the GM misevaluating his roster.
He thought they needed a change of pace guard in Barea, but they already had a similar-pace player in Rubio. Plus, the two guards are a defensive liability on the floor together. Talk about a conundrum for Rick Adelman.
Looking at what Barea did for Dallas in their championship run, his talents could be better served elsewhere.
Brooklyn Nets- Jerry Stackhouse
Either "Stack" came out of retirement, or Brooklyn must have mistaken him for somebody else. This isn't your 2002 Jerry Stackhouse. Fast forward ten years later, he's a 17-year veteran's veteran. Of he comes into a competitive game this season, I'll be surprised.
Jay-Z must've lost a bet and had to give him a contract. Don't try to convince me otherwise.
New Orleans Hornets- Xavier Henry
Another tragic case of the young player who left school too early, Henry is another raw talent that needs playing time to improve his game. The second-year forward, unfortunately, couldn't even get on the floor when the Hornets were down multiple guards last season.
The Kansas product has a ton of work to do if he wants to get a new contract from an NBA franchise. Once his rookie deal runs out, it's not looking too promising.
New York Knicks- Jason Kidd
The Knicks gave a 39 year old man nine million dollars to play point guard for three years. Let that sink in.
Wasn't last year supposed to be Jason Kidd's swan song? He had just won an NBA championship contributing three pointers and playing smart enough defense to stay on the court.
Last season, though, he avoided the paint at all costs, and that three point shooting was non-existant. Am I missing something here, James Dolan?
Oh wait, James Dolan signed him. It all makes sense now.
Oklahoma City Thunder- Hasheem Thabeet
The Oklahoma City Thunder are so enriched with young talent, they can pick up projects like Thabeet and hope the low risk turns into high reward.
The former Connecticut star has hit an all-time low, and it doesn't seem that he has the motivation to justify his number two selection. Money in the bank will do that to you.
Thabeet was passed on by multiple teams because he's still so raw after three years in the league. I'm not buying a resurgence.
Orlando Magic- Hedo Turkoglu
Turkoglu made some money in Toronto because of his play in Orlando alongside Dwight Howard. The Magic thought they could rekindle the magic with a reunion, but taking on the Turk's contract has only gotten them diminishing returns.
The 12-year veteran is a shell of his former self; his field goal percentage has fluctuated more than a seesaw. While Orlando is unsure whether they'll play out Dwight Howard's contract, they will have to play out Turkoglu's.
Philadelphia 76ers- Kwame Brown
The Sixers were looking for some size and signed Brown for six million over two years. They obviously had not looked as his resume.
The former number one selection has played on six teams in eleven years and has never averaged more than ten points or rebounds. In fact, coaches would never let him on the floor long enough to average those numbers.
The Sixers thought they were trying to contend in the Eastern Conference. In signing Brown, it doesn't look like they were thinking at all.
Phoenix Suns- Sebastian Telfair
One of the faces of the "high school straight to NBA" era, Telfair has hopped around NBA teams like how people take the bus. He has been unable to find a steady team situation; it did not get much better this offseason in Phoenix.
Telfair thought he would have a shot at a starting role with the Sun's lack of floor generals. Little did he know, his team had other plans.They acquired Goran Dragic from free agency ad drafted promising rookie Kendall Marshall. Being an NBA mainstay thus far in his career, Telfair will be continuing that trend from the bench.
Portland Trail Blazers- Sasha Pavlovic
Pavlovic played cleanup duty in Boston, and it was suspected he would just head back abroad where he would get significant minutes. Then the Portland Trail Blazers dropped out of the sky with a one-year deal. As if there were any suitors.
Pavlovic hasn't had playing time since playing alongside LeBron James in Cleveland. Without him, he has been unable to show his coaches why he should be on the floor.
He's probably hates LeBron for leaving Cleveland too.
Sacramento Kings- John Salmons
Serving as one of the only veteran presences on the Kings, Salmons role has been significantly diminished with a glut of wing players on the roster. Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, among others, are younger options the Kings will prefer to play over Salmons to see what they have.
They know what they get out of the Miami product: he barely shoots 30 percent from three. A guard who can't shoot from deep in this league is a tough sell to coaches.
Still a talented player, yet pointless on the Kings roster.
San Antonio Spurs- Patrick Mills
San Antonio, unsurprisingly, is one of the harder teams to find anything wrong with their roster. Patty Mills, the Australian sensation, can light in up in international play, but he does not have much going for him competing on this Spurs roster.
San Antonio already has a rotation of 1 guards with Tony Parker and Gary Neal. The same Gary Neal, don't forget, who the Spurs didn't mind trading George Hill to let loose.
Playing for the Spurs organization as its perks, but there's playing for them and there's sitting bench from them.
Toronto Raptors- Jose Calderon
Calderon still has some use in the Association, but his time is up in Toronto.
The acquisition of Kyle Lowry renders him a backup guard. Also, under head coach Dwayne Casey, the Raptors are trying to establish a defensive identity. Calderon's paltry defensive skills don't exactly fit the bill.
Things are about to get chippy in Raptorland. With his expensive contract, Toronto will be searching to move him elsewhere.
Utah Jazz- Raja Bell
"Raja Bell is still on the Jazz? Did he sign a lifetime contract?" - my first thought when I saw Bell on the Utah roster.
When he was checking Kobe Bryant in the Western finals five years ago, Bell was acknowledged as one of the hardest-working defenders in the NBA. Today, though, His inclusion on the Jazz merely provides a veteran presence for the team, nothing more.
Utah has so much young talent on their roster, especially young wings such as Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward, it would be a waste to play the 35 year old with player development in mind.
Washington Wizards- Jan Vesely
After one year of Jan Vesely in the NBA, he's known more for his lady friend on draft day than his play in a Wizards uniform.
That's probably because Vesely had some growing pains entering the league, only averaging four points and four rebounds in eighteen minutes. While that entire Washington squad was a mess last season, being able to dunk as his one skill will not get him playing time elsewhere.
Now with Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal in the fold, the Wizards second-year player has his work cut out for him.
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