NBA Players Who Will Never Be the Superstars They Were Meant To Be
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
We attempt to identify superstars prior to their arrival on the NBA stage.
Perceived natural ability is a driver for most predictions. Productivity on the prep level is as well for others.
What's often lost, however, is the combination of other things that have to break right for an NBA player to become the superstar they were meant to be.
Fit on the team that drafts them is critical, for example. Health is obviously also paramount.
Regardless, every NBA player is still ultimately measured with respect to what they were predicted to become.
Or, more directly, where they were selected in the NBA draft.
Those players taken within the top five picks are supposed to be superstars. That doesn't always happen, however, for a variety of reasons discussed within this slideshow.
Phoenix Suns' Michael Beasley
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Michael Beasley is playing for his third team since being drafted second overall by the Miami Heat in 2008. He's in his fifth NBA season and is still only 23 years old.
Beasley averaged as many as 19 points two seasons ago. Last season that number dipped to only 11.
This year he is on that same pace, with 11.4 points on 37.4 percent shooting through Thursday.
At times in his career, Beasley has gone beyond demonstrating "superstar potential" and actually played like one.
Yet, he's always lacked the consistency needed to play that way for any length of time.
Beasley will never become an NBA superstar as a result of that inconsistency. Despite that, he will always be a threat to score 25 when you least expect it every time he steps onto an NBA floor.
Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams
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Some people thought that Derrick Williams should've been drafted ahead of Kyrie Irving.
Those people don't think that anymore.
Being forced to share power forward duties with an All-NBA player in Kevin Love hasn't helped Williams' chances so far though, to be fair.
Regardless, he's averaged just under nine points and five rebounds through his first 80 games in the NBA.
But at only 21 years old, it's still very early for Williams, and it seems his worst-case scenario is being a productive role player for the next 10 NBA seasons.
It doesn't appear likely, however, that he'll ever become that superstar his second overall selection in 2011 would suggest.
Boston Celtics' Jeff Green
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Jeff Green was selected fifth overall in 2007 by the Boston Celtics.
He began to slowly emerge as a potential superstar with the Oklahoma City Thunder in support of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook after being traded there to begin his career.
Then the Celtics reinvested in Green by trading Kendrick Perkins to get him back.
Due primarily to health reasons, Green may never actually maximize the superstar potential he's demonstrated in flashes.
What he has instead become is an NBA player who can average nine points and three rebounds off the bench in 21 minutes per game.
He also has that ability to still score as many as 19 on any given night, too.
Utah Jazz's Enes Kanter
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Like Derrick Williams, it's still early for Enes Kanter. He's 20 years old.
Also like Williams, Kanter was drafted by a Utah Jazz team stockpiled with talent at his position. And thus far, he's gotten lost in that Jazz frontcourt led by Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap.
He did score 18 points in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in November, but overall, his production has been scarce. Kanter is averaging 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 86 career games as of Thursday.
He could still develop into a double-double player at some point in his career for sure, just not a superstar.
At least not one worthy of the third overall pick in 2011.
Oklahoma City Thunder's Hasheem Thabeet
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Hasheem Thabeet has found a new home after signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder in July, and he is settling into a supportive role on their front line off the bench.
He's on his fourth team since being drafted second overall in 2009 by the Memphis Grizzlies.
This season, however, he is earning almost twice as many minutes (12.6 per game) as he did last year.
Thabeet will not be that shot-blocking superstar it appeared he would be coming out of college, but he could still become a solid role player for many years to come.
He's a 7'3" big man who's only 25 years old.