It’s amazing what an expanded role can do for an NBA player. Just take James Harden for example—after being traded to the Houston Rockets by the Oklahoma City Thunder at the beginning of the season, Harden has absolutely exploded, increasing his scoring average by over eight points compared to last season while making a strong All-Star bid.
While Harden was fortunate enough to land in a perfect situation in order to take his career to the next level, not all young players are so lucky. With the incredible pool of talent present in today’s NBA but only so many rotation spots available on each team, many young players struggle to earn the minutes they need to capitalize on their potential, no matter how talented they might be.
The NBA is a highly dynamic league, and each year several breakout players arrive on the scene to break into basketball’s elite class. Yet there are equally as many players who stay glued to the pine, unable to break out simply due to a lack of opportunity. So who are the NBA’s most stifled young talents?
Note: These rankings are not necessarily based on talent, but rather which players are most held back by their respective teams.
All stats accurate as of December 22, 2012.