NBA Rankings: A Player From Every Team Who No Longer Belongs in the League

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2011

NBA Rankings: A Player From Every Team Who No Longer Belongs in the League

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Brett Favre, Michael Jordan and Wade Boggs, there are instances in every sport in which players have overstayed their welcome, came back from a retirement, or just stuck around too long.

    It seems like there are a huge amount of those guys in the NBA, and with an endless stream of uber-athletic youths knocking on the door, some guys just won't be able to hold on for much longer.

    Some are plagued by injury, some are not living up to their hype, some are dull, boring, or bad players, and some are just older than dirt, but every team has a guy that just shouldn't be there.

    They are taking a roster space from a guy who is paying his dues in the D-League or working his way through Europe, and they have no business clinging to that spot.

    These players either need to retire, be sent down to the D-League, or give European (or if you're Antoine Walker, Mexican) basketball a shot.

    So, here I have a player from every team that needs to either vacate their spot on a team, or be evicted, because watching them play, or sit on the bench, is just painful.

Atlanta Hawks, Jason Collins

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Jason Collins has never been an exceptionally good big man, but this season he is just awful.

    Collins nearly has as many fouls as he has points, and he is a liability on both offense and defense. The only thing keeping him in the league is the fact that he is a seven-footer.

    The big man out of Stanford is actually having one of the best shooting seasons of his career, shooting 49 percent, but based on his track record, that can be chalked up as a fluke.

    Oh, and this is not the final Collins twin to appear on this list, so be warned Jarron, I'm coming for you.

Boston Celtics, Delonte West

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Delonte West can still produce at a relatively high level when a team needs him, but the baggage that comes along with him may be too much to justify his presence on any team.

    While on the Cavs, West was arrested for guns charges in Maryland, frequently battled with bipolar disorder and may have, ahem, spent an evening or two with Gloria James, LeBron's lovely mother.

    If the story about Delonte and LeBron's mom is true, and it is one that I am believing more and more as the days pass, then it is possible that he is responsible for the Cavs downfall against the Celtics, and part of the reason for James' departure.

    West has played in only five games this season, and there is no telling when he is going to come back.

Charlotte Bobcats, DeSagana Diop

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    DeSagana Diop is easily one of the most whack players of the past decade.

    He fools teams with his height, and once he signs a contract, he gets fat and lazy, leading to endless frustration.

    Ask the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted him back in 1999 with the promise that he would be a great big man as the years went along. He promptly ballooned to nearly 350 pounds and frustrated an endless number of Clevelanders.

    He then went to Dallas, where Mark Cuban overpaid him as he is known to do with lazy big men, and got fat again.

    Now he is on Charlotte and is barely playing anymore. Let's do everyone a favor and get him out of the league before someone else falls for his nonsense.

Chicago Bulls, Brian Scalabrine

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The only value that Brian Scalabrine holds at this point is as a good luck charm.

    He has played for three championship caliber teams to this point, the early 2000s New Jersey Nets, the 2008 Boston Celtics and now the 2010-11 Chicago Bulls.

    He has become the equivalent of a victory cigar, in that when he is in the game, the score is undoubtedly lopsided and his team is either up by 20 or down by 20.

    Scalabrine is taking a roster spot away from a promising young D-Leaguer or a guy working his way through the European circuit and nothing else.

Cleveland Cavaliers, Ryan Hollins

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    There were many ways that I could have gone with this pick, but I whittled it down to Alonzo Gee and Ryan Hollins.

    I had the fact that Alonzo Gee has been waived by both the New Jersey Nets and San Antonio Spurs this season alone in mind for this decision, but I still went with Hollins.

    If you were putting together a list of the softest players in the NBA, Ryan Hollins would, without a doubt, have to be included in that list.

    I am 6-3 and I'm convinced that I could pretty easily back him down and at least put up a decent shot on him, and if he tried to foul me, it would be a weak little karate chop instead of an actual wrap-up foul.

    The difference between him and other soft players in the NBA, however, is that most of the other exceptionally soft players have some part of their game to make up for it, like Chris Bosh with his shooting or Pau Gasol and his inside game.

    Hollins is just big and soft, and nothing else.

Dallas Mavericks, Brian Cardinal

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Brian Cardinal is 33 years old and just passed the 2,000 point threshold for his career this season, what a superb career he has put together thus far.

    Cardinal is a mediocre three-point shooter, a terrible rebounder, a bad ball-handler and a below-average defender.

    What's worse, he has started four games this season for the Dallas Mavericks in place of the injured Caron Butler. Please excuse me while I vomit.

Denver Nuggets, Anthony Carter

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Anthony Carter is merely filling a roster spot at this point.

    Carter has been in the league since 1999 and seemingly hasn't improved at all since then.

    He broke into the league and averaged 6.3 points over 79 games and did better than that only twice throughout his 12-year career.

    There has to be a guy in the D-Leage, or just walking around the streets of Denver for that matter, who could take his place with little or no decrease in production.

Detriot Pistons, Ben Wallace

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    This one hurts me the most, as he has been one of my favorite unorthodox players in any sport during my lifetime, but the time has come for the big guy to retire.

    He has shown that he still has something left in the tank, as he scored a career-high 23 points earlier this season, but he just hasn't been the same Ben Wallace for the past few seasons now.

    It's just no fun to watch the greatest defender of an era toil away his final basketball minutes on a terrible team like these Detroit Pistons.

Golden State Warriors, Dan Gadzuric

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Imagine my surprise when striding about the Internet I realized that Dan Gadzuric was still in the league.

    Now, imagine my utter shock when I realized that he has started four games for the Warriors this season.

    He came into the league back in 2002 as a big Dutch guy who couldn't really rebound, but could score from time to time and block a shot here and there.

    Well, at this point he struggles to get more than four points in any given game, is an even worse rebounders and couldn't swat a wingless fly.

Houston Rockets, Yao Ming

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    This is the most conditional person on the list.

    I am completely convinced that Yao could come back next year and put up 15 points and nine rebounds a game while playing around 25 minutes a game.

    The only problem, however, is whether the lower half of his body is completely shot.

    If he can come back and stay healthy, then by all means let him stay, but if he spends another season under the knife, then it may be time to hang up the size-18 sneakers.

Indiana Pacers, Jeff Foster

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Jeff Foster is a lot of things, but something he is not any more, is a good basketball player.

    Foster is a big man who is progressively getting slower, not jumping as high, and seems to be giving less effort.

    He had an injury-plagued year last season and has seen his numbers diminish steadily since 2005.

    It's definitely time for the big Texan to hang up the jersey for good.

Los Angeles Clippers, Jaron Collins

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    Yea, there are a whole zero pictures of Jarron Collins on the Clippers.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Told you I was comin' for ya, Jarron.

    In 23 games this season, Collins has played 157 minutes and scored only 17 points while rebounding only 17 balls, I'd say he's pretty well past any kind of potential he may have once had.

    Collins battled injuries in each of the past two seasons, but has steadily declined since 2003, his third season in the league.

    He has been unable to stay healthy, as he has played more than 75 games only thrice in his career, and has played 50 or fewer four times.

Los Angeles Lakers, Luke Walton

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    I would like to know what he calls this move, that way I can credit him with it when I use it next time I play basketball.Harry How/Getty Images

    Much of the season last year, I recall Luke Walton in a suit on the Lakers sidelines with a clipboard in his hands.

    For some reason, I must have thought that the Lakers seamlessly transitioned him to an assistant coaching position without anybody noticing.

    Lo and behold, however, Walton is back in a uni this season and pumping out two-point games like a madman.

    Walton needs to give up the jersey for a suit and give a go at coaching, where he seems to be in a more natural position.

Memphis Grizzlies, Hasheem Thabeet

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Hasheem Thabeet is a guy that has had disappointment written all over him since college.

    He was a big psuedo-phenom at Uconn, so there was some amount of hype behind him. However, whenever he went up against an NBA caliber center, like Roy Hibbert at Georgetown, he would get absolutely manhandled and looked like a giant, lanky child balling against a real man.

    The man is soft, at least as soft as Gasol there, and probably closer to Ryan Hollins, whom I had a go at a few slides back.

    Regardless, the Grizzlies drafted him 2nd overall in 2009 and one trip to the D-League later he is back on the court, but he probably needs to go back.

     

Miami Heat, Juwan Howard/Erick Dampier

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    I can understand why the Heat wanted to bring in Juwan Howard. They fancied a veteran who could stilll put up decent numbers.

    The only problem is that Howard hasn't put up decent numbers since 2006 and moves nearly as slow as Shaquille O'Neal does these days.

    You can almost hear hear his bones crack when he runs the floor and it's a wonder why no arthritis medicine has contacted him to be a spokesman yet.

    With some older players, their better days are a few years behind them, but with Howard, his better days are a decade behind him.

    After making $12 million for scoring 328 points, grabbing 400 boards and blocking 77 shots a year ago for the Dallas Mavericks, I figured Dampier was happy with the outrageous amount of money that he has made over the course of his decent career.

    Just in case you're wondering, that's $36,500 per point, $30,000 per rebound or $156,000 per block, depending on which way you want to calculate it.

    Nonetheless, the old guy came back for another fistful of dollars from the Heat in exchange for incredibly uninspiring basketball.

Milwaukee Bucks, Michael Redd

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Michael Redd seems to have had more injury problems than Samuel L. Jackson's character in "Unbreakable" up to this point in his career.

    He's now 30, although he seems closer to 50 and the likelihood that he could pull together another injury-free season seems highly unlikely.

    The former Buckeye still has the ability to knock down a three with relative ease, but if he can't stay on a court with any kind of consistency, then there is no reason to think many teams would want him.

Minnesota Timberwolves, Kosta Koufos

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Let me put out my non-basketball centered beef with Koufos first. His given first name is Konstantine. For what reason, when you have a name as amazing as Konstantine would you shorten it to Kosta.

    Kosta just sounds strange, Konstantine sounds like he's about to go fight a lion after he gets done playing basketball.

    Anyway, Koufos is soft, a bad defender and a bad scorer for his size. He dominates in the D-League and then comes to the NBA and struggles mightily. Maybe Europe or another trip to the D-League would be good for him.

New Jersey Nets, Troy Murphy

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    He's the white guy who's not Chris Bosh right here.Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Troy Murphy's main purpose in the league now seems to be to make trades for better player work financially.

    He was traded in August to the Nets as a part of the Trevor Ariza/Courtney Lee/Darren Collison trade, and has been only talked about this year in terms of a Carmelo Anthony trade.

    The team said a few weeks ago that he wasn't going to be rejoining the team, but he also isn't going to be bought out, so he is getting paid to sit at home.

New Orleans Hornets, DJ Mbenga

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    DJ, or Didier Mbenga if you please, is easily one of the most disappointing non-white seven-footers of the past decade.

    The Congolese big man has only scored more than 100 points in a season once in his seven-year career and has never played in more than 50 games in a single season.

    He can't block shots as well as he should be able to, he can't score with any consistency and he can't grab enough rebounds to make playing him worthwhile.

New York Knicks, Timofey Mozgov

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    I think that Mozgov could turn into something of a good basketball player, but inserting him directly into the NBA hasn't seemed to have work out yet.

    In over 300 minutes this season, Mozgov has only scored 88 points and grabbed only 67 boards, plus he was absolutely posterized by Blake Griffin earlier in the year..

    It's definitely too early to bail on the Mozgov ship, but it's not too early to send him to the D-League.

Oklahoma City Thunder, Byron Mullens

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The best thing about BJ Mullens is the sixth-grader trash 'stache he rocks that makes Larry Bird's classic blond caterpillar-like mustache look absolutely lumberjackian.

    Mullens has 29 points in two seasons and a trip to the D-League under his belt.

    The only way to get anything out of him at this point is to send him back to the D-League, give him one more chance in the NBA and then ship him to a team hurting for height before they realize that he is worthless and ship him out of the league.

Orlando Magic, White Chocolate

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    This one is a bit of a cheap pick, considering the Magic waived him earlier this month, but when I realized Jason Williams was still in the league, my jaw dropped.

    I don't remember hearing anything about White Chocolate over the past five seasons and maybe even longer.

    Then I saw that the dude played in all 82 games for the Magic last season, and did so in a very below-average way.

Philadelphia 76ers, Tony Battie

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Tony Battie has always been a player who just seems to be on a team to fill the ninth or tenth slot on a team.

    From time to time, he came up with a decent season and some good games now and then, but he has never been anything special.

    A year ago he played in only 15 games and this season he has played in 27, while averaging only 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Once again, nothing special.

    The thing that really puzzles me is what general manager says to themselves, "You know who would really help our team come together? Tony Battie."

    Somebody fire whoever it was that hired Battie, and then fire Battie himself.

Phoenix Suns, Josh Childress

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    A few years back, Childress signed a stunning $20 million contract to play basketball in Europe for three years, and now he's back a much richer man.

    He came back this year and started off pretty good, but went downhill from there.

    His scoring is decent, otherwise he hasn't been that good this season.

    Childress is a well below-average defender, rebounder, passer and ball-handler, and may have a few years left at this rate, but not anything great if he doesn't improve.

Portland Trail Blazers, The Teams Doctors

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    For the past two seasons, it seems that the ballers in Portland have been through more surgeries than the rest of the league combined.

    Either the Trail Blazers are extraordinarily unlucky or they have Dr. Hartman from "Family Guy" as the team's only physician.

    In this season alone, five players have undergone some form of knee surgery, and have been deemed out for an extended period of time.

Sacramento Kings, Darnell Jackson

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    To answer your question, yes, the only action picture of Darnell Jackson is of him trying to block Sun Yue back in 2009.Harry How/Getty Images

    In four games in the D-League, Darnell Jackson scored 106 points. In 109 games in the NBA, he has scored only 213 points.

    Jackson is an atrocious rebounder for his size, and is a bad defender with a below average offensive game.

    There has to be another guy somewhere out there in the D-League who can get a shot at some reps in the NBA over Jackson.

San Antonio Spurs, Chris Quinn

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Quinn probably would have benefited from time over in Europe or down in the D-League, but for some reason went straight into the NBA after four years at Notre Dame.

    However, for his four year NBA career, Quinn has been relatively invisible.

    He has been the 11th man on a bad Sacramento Kings team while scoring two points a game.

    He can spot up and drain a three with relative consistency, but the other holes in his game keep him from seeing much playing time.

Toronto Raptors, Solomon Alabi

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Here we have a seven-foot rookie who would benefit much more from a trip to the D-League or Europe than riding some pine.

    Solomon Alabi could turn into a decent center and a good draft pick by the Raptors, but his talent is raw, and playing him at the NBA level would be reckless.

    Still, they have him as their last option at center, as a result, Alabi has played in only seven games this season for a total of 31 minutes and two points.

    Alabi needs to be out of the league for the time being, and it would be for his own good.

Utah Jazz, Ronnie Price

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    I think he may be doing the funky chicken as the halftime show in this picture, but I cant be sure.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Ronnie Price's career started slow, had a slow middle, and is dragging out to a very slow ending.

    Price had a career high of 4.3 points per game a season ago, and is back down to 3.3 per game this season, so it's not like he is contributing much, or showing much promise for the future.

    He is a way below-average offensive player and a slightly below-average defender, so there has to be somebody out there that could pull off the job better.

Washington Wizards, Hamady Ndiaye

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    It seems obvious at this point in the season that the high-flying seven-footer isn't going to see much action this season, but the Wizards refuse to keep him anywhere but buried on their bench.

    The big man out of Rutgers has seen action in four games this season, totaling an appalling 12 minutes and three points.

    Ndiaye could turn into something good with proper training and grooming, but having him on the bench for a full season will do little to help him advance as a player.

    Sending him to the D-League would at least get him some playing time against some good basketball players and make it so he is doing something other than warming up when a game is scheduled.