What is more important in professional basketball: skill, or potential? Lately, it has become increasingly difficult to tell.
In recent years, NBA front offices have demonstrated an increasing focus on the intangible quality of upside that can be found at varying degrees in young players. Potential has become a major factor in drafting, and it has started to lead to certain young players becoming grossly overrated.
In some cases, fans have started to judge players not by their current production but rather based on what experts predict these young, unproven athletes might be capable of doing should they maximize their potential. The result is a system that can sometimes make an average player be viewed as a star, simply based on his supposed ‘upside.’
This season, five NBA players aged 25 or under have served as prime examples of this phenomenon. Here are the NBA’s most overrated young guns.
All stats accurate as of November 21, 2012.