Every off-season teams acquire new talent, rebuild or stay with the status quo. While it always helps to infuse a failing team with talent it’s not always possible, or sometimes it just doesn’t pay off.
The following players are stars in the eyes of many fans, but are also apart of a select group who I believe will be apart of this years disappointments not necessarily from a statistical standpoint, there may be a felon and a couple of DUI’s waiting for some of these players as well.
Hope you enjoy the show and of course discussion comments and critiques are ALWAYS welcomed in this space.
I have made it no secret that I think the Raptors have overpaid for a player that has yet to hit 43% of his field goals since entering the league. For fifty-three million I need to be assured that I am getting a player that can be a franchise building block. Turkoglu (30) is not someone who you build a team around, he’s definitely more of a complementary piece.
While fans in Toronto are lauding the actions of GM Bryan Colangelo, I can guarantee that within a couple of years they will look back and realize that this season was the beginning of the abyss that the Raptors will fall into. Sound the alarm, and let’s see how Colangelo will get himself out of this one.
Projected 2010 Stats: 15.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 5.1rpg
While this is not a ‘worse-paid player’ list, with the top two selections it could certainly lean that way. Ben Gordon turned down a 50 Million offer from the Chicago Bulls last year, and scrambled when he didn’t get a significant offer from any team. The following year Pistons GM Joe Dumars decided that Ben was a 55 million player.
I can personally let you know as a Die-Hard Chicago Bulls fan that Ben will score in bunches and when he is on, he is almost unstoppable, however the blown defensive assignments, the lack of defensive consciousness will be the Pistons undoing throughout various games this year.
Joe Dumars was a decorated player and is an outstanding General Manager however lavishing almost 100 million between Gordon and Charlie V. is an atrocity that will not be soon forgotten soon in the motor city.
Projected 2010 stats: 16.5 ppg, 2.1apg, 1.9 rpg
Shaq has long since been a thorn in many peoples side (normally the ones that play defense) however there has been a decline in the big fella’s game since he won it all with Miami. With a brief stopover in Phoenix, Shaq is supposed to be the final piece of a puzzle that will catapult the Cavs into the NBA finals.
I do not subscribe to that theory. Shaq is a declining player and is another big body (and 6 fouls) to throw at Dwight Howard in a seven-game series. If Cavs fans are expecting the Shaq that was a contributor in Miami they’ll be lucky to receive the Shaq that was in Miami the year after the championship.
O’Neal is in such decline I strongly disagree with the potential trade of the ‘Big Z’ (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) as Anderson Varejao is not a full time center, and there is no one on the Cavs roster that would ably fill that position.
Without question the gamble that this team has made is in a almost 40-year old with a questionable track record of health, this of course equals yet another disappointment for Cleveland sports fans.
Projected 2010 Stats: 13.9ppg, 3.2apg, 8.7rpg
Griffin makes the list simply because of the team and coach he’ll be playing for. Frankly at this point I cannot imagine why or how Mike Dunleavy has some how managed to acquire both positions is a mystery right up there with the location of Osama Bin Laden.
Griffin had a dominate year in the NCAA where he overwhelmed opponents with his size strength and athleticism. In the NBA where he will be matched with similar and better players I feel that he will not be the dominate rookie that he is being hyped up to be. (As of today it’s been announced that Griffin will start the year coming off the bench).
Griffin plays on an extremely veteran team, and Dunleavy known for sticking with his vets will not give Griffin a chance to make an impact. So for those expecting great things from Griffin it may yet still happen it just wont be this year. (Also no ROY for him either, if everyone stays healthy).
Projected 2010 Stats: 11.4ppg, 6.4rpg, 2.1apg
Oden is going to be the next great center in the NBA. Or at least that was the prognosis when Oden was drafted a couple of years ago. Now 2 injury-plagued uninspiring years later I can’t exactly understand what the hype was all about, frankly I think that the Blazers have yet again taken another ‘Sam Bowie’ instead of the ‘Michael Jordan’ that was available.
Oden is not a bad player at least he hasn’t gotten that dreaded ‘bust’ label attached to him yet. I just don’t think that he is someone who you could build a team around.
This will be his most critical year yet regarding his development. He however is likely to get injured or disappoint again, have you seen him in games? He’s a foul machine and often misses defensive assignments that would make Jose Calderon blush. This year something has got to ‘give’ for Oden not to be a complete write off.
Projected 2010 Stats: 7.9 ppg, 6.5rpg, 0.9apg
Kevin Garnett - Boston Celtics
His knee injury will not allow him to play as he once did, the decline is inevitable for this once proud warrior.
Allen Iverson\Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies
With the addition of these two dominate on the ball players, the small steps of success the Grizzlies made last year will seem like a distant memory with the pending confrontation between teammates and management.
Ron Artest – LA Lakers
The thought of Ron Artest in LA for an entire year without getting into ANY trouble is about as far fetched as Kanye West and Chris Brown appearing in Taylor Swift featuring Rhinanna song. Ron should have a decent year on the court though.
Rashard Lewis\Vince Carter
It is never a good idea to put two disinterested minimum effort guys together on the same team. The only benefit I can see in this partnership is the ability for Carter to accidentally take some of those ‘helpers’ Rashard has been caught using last year, perhaps he’ll actually stay healthy and productive for an entire year.
Tracy McGrady – Houston Rockets
Here is the ultimate poster-boy for disappointment. I truly hope that McGrady comes back this year however the refrain he has been narrating has been eerily similar to past years coming off of injury. I’ve known Tim Grover to work some miracles before but McGrady hasn’t been healthy since his first year in Orlando. Perhaps this is karma for breaking up the superstar tandem of Carter and McGrady so many years ago?