Top 11 Most Overrated NBA Players Heading into 2011-12 Season
Players like Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and LeBron James garner a tremendous amount of attention, and it is well deserved, since they have met or even exceeded the expectations which have been set for them.
However, there is another group of players in the NBA that receive a tremendous amount of attention and turn out to be all "sizzle and no steak." These players include Ricky Rubio, Rajon Rondo and a bunch of others as well.
Gauging talent in the NBA is an exact science and takes a number of factors into consideration. Figuring out how great or unspectacular players will turn out is no easy task.
These players may even turn out to be good players, but overrating them can be costly for teams who are counting on them to be franchise saviors such as Ricky Rubio for example.
It is much easier to become enamored with a players raw talent, rather than face the facts and realize that he is not a "game changer" or "franchise player" but rather a role player or even a bust waiting to happen.
11. Michael Beasley
The reason Michael Beasley is so low on this list is because he has all the talent in the world and even proved it a bit last season by averaging 19.2 PPG.
However, his character is a major road block in him becoming the extraordinary player that everyone believes he can become.
Many compare him to the next Carmelo Anthony. While he certainly has a tremendous amount of talent that can take him to that level someday, there is a major difference between the two players.
Anthony went through a period of immaturity and grew out of it and is coming into his own under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.
Beasley is caught up in a period of immaturity of his own at the moment. The difference between him and Anthony is, I don't see him growing out of it anytime soon.
He is playing for a team that, with the exception of Kevin Love, is headed no where fast. While they certainly have some promising young players, it will be years before they contend for an NBA title, if they're lucky.
As the losses pile up and Beasley's frustrations mount because of them, it is hard to see him staying motivated.
Bealey's off the court troubles have continued this past summer, as he shoved a fan who was heckling him at the game, granted he did apologize.
However, incidents like these prove that he is a long way off from squelching the character issues that will hinder his ability to take his game to the next level.
10. Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani averages 21.4 PPG and was a No. 1 pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 2006 NBA Draft.
Sounds like pretty good credentials so far, that is until you start observing the rest of his game.
Bargnani is a seven footer who averaged 5.2 RPG and 0.7 BPG last season. Extremely underwhelming numbers for a big man and a No. 1 draft pick.
It isn't like there wasn't a better big man in the draft either, as LaMarcus Aldridge was taken by the Chicago Bulls with their No. 2 draft pick.
Luckily for Bargnani the big man the Raptors drafted in this past draft, Jonas Valanciunas, looks like a tenacious beast in the paint.
If he does turn out to be the enforcer he seems to be, the Raptors may have found the cure to eradicating Bargnani's deficiencies on the defensive end.
While that may help the Raptors, that doesn't help Bargnani's value at all. He'll have a lot to prove if he believes he can be the Raptors main man going forward.
With the emergence of DeMar DeRozan and potential of Valanciunas, it's looking more likely that Bargnani will be the second or even third option on the team in the future.
9. Gilbert Arenas
After initiating a gun battle with a teammate in the locker room it is hard to believe that a player can still be overrated afterwards, in Gilbert Arenas' case though he certainly is.
While he did have a game here and there reminiscent of the hellbent scorer "Agent Zero," Arenas has become a former shell of his former self.
Ironically changing his number to No. 1, he has been anything but. Sadly, his best days look like they are behind him.
Some still believe he can return to the scoring assassin he once was, but at this point the only thing assassin-like about him is the fact that he keeps a gun in his locker.
8. Rashard Lewis
Although he had a couple good seasons in Orlando, his best days were with the Seattle SuperSonics.
Lewis averaged over 20 PPG three seasons in a row and looked to be the next up and coming star in the NBA.
He finished last season averaging 11.4 PPG, not exactly the kind of numbers everyone expected him to post after showing some serious flash in Seattle.
He has basically been relegated to a position as an off the bench scorer for the young and talented Washington Wizards.
The only explanation I can come up with for Lewis' statistical downward spiral is that when the SuperSonics franchise went under, they took his game with them.
It's clear at this point of his career that the flashes of stardom he showed in Seattle is nothing more than a fading memory and that he is extremely overpaid for his current abilities.
7. Vince Carter
Vince Carter defines overrated. Naturally gifted, his accomplishments seemed to be effortless, not because he made the game look easy but because it lacked effort.
Carter was always one of the most talented players on the floor, and always the most selfish. He averaged over 20 PPG in 10 of his 15 seasons and averaged over 25 PPG in four of them.
His ability to score the ball utilizing freakish athleticism forced people to start wondering, "Is he the next Michael Jordan?"
Carter never lived up to those comparisons as Toronto shipping him off to the New Jersey Nets in 2004 for pennies on the dollar, receiving aging veterans and a couple draft picks back for him.
His archive of highlights is vast due to his incredible athletic ability. However, they will be viewed with scorn by diehard NBA fans who look at Carter and see a player who should have become so much more.
6. Trevor Ariza
Admittedly, being a New York Knicks fan I was definitely frustrated when they let Trevor Ariza go for basically nothing.
He has great athleticism and finishes tops in steals every year. His main problem is more what he doesn't bring to the table, rather than what he does. Try everything else for example.
Ariza averages just barely 11 PPG on less than 40 percent shooting from the field, 30 percent shooting from the three-point line, and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
The only other area you could say he does decent in is rebounding where he pulls down 5.4 RPG.
His scoring and shooting percentages should be much better from playing with a point guard of Chris Paul's caliber. As previously mentioned though, he is below average in all of those categories.
He plays 35 minutes per game also, so his production is truly underwhelming and too many overrate him because of his ability to steal the ball.
Unfortunately for him, he is so atrocious in all other aspects of the game that even his defensive ability seems disappointing.
5. Greg Oden
Greg Oden is extremely overrated since he has missed a total of 164 games in two years. That comes out to exactly two full seasons.
For a player striving to become one of the best centers in the NBA, he has a tremendous amount of work to do.
Granted he averaged 11.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 2.3 blocks per game in almost 24 minutes per game in 2009-2010 season, but he also averaged four fouls per game as well in a short 21 games that he played that season.
Oden either has trouble staying on the floor due to foul trouble or injuries, both of which should be of major concern to the Portland Trail Blazers who are looking to re-sign him.
Throw in the fact that he was drafted ahead of Kevin Durant who is quickly becoming the new face of the NBA, and it becomes almost embarrassing how overrated he is.
No one questions his ability to be a defensive force in the middle. The fact that many consider him to be one of the best big men in the NBA proves how few quality centers there are to choose from.
4. Rajon Rondo
Ranked as one of the top point guards in the NBA, Rajon Rondo simply has too many flaws in his game to deserve such high accolades.
Rondo averaged 10.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 11.2 APG along with 2.3 steals per game.
The variety of ways in which he can score is extremely limited, he scores in two ways. He drives the ball to the basket using his explosive speed and athleticism to blow by his opponents, or he shoots a tear drop shot if he cannot take it all the way to the basket.
While the NBA may be devoid of quality big men, it is filled with talented point guards who have a variety of talents.
The one that the most successful ones have in common though is the ability to shoot the ball long range. Not only does Rondo shoot a putrid 23 percent from the three-point line, but he also shoots 57 percent from the free-throw line.
As if those shooting numbers were not bad enough, his efficient 47 percent field goal percentage is misleading also. Since Rondo has the great ability to get to the rim, he has a high shooting percentage from field goal range.
He has no mid-range jump shot and no range on his jumper, so all teams have to do to shut him down is keep him out of the paint or just foul him when he drives and you absolutely cripple his offensive ability.
Rondo currently has a number of offensive weapons to pass the ball to with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. However, "the Boston Three Party" is getting old and will be retiring soon.
It will be interesting to see if Rondo rises to the occasion or falters under pressure when he doesn't have the aforementioned gifted offensive players to pass the ball to.
3. Jeff Green
The Oklahoma City Thunder seemed to be disappointed when Jeff Green was traded for defensive stalwart Kendrick Perkins. However, it doesn't make sense why they would be.
Green averaged decent scoring numbers for them scoring over 15 PPG three times with them, but that was basically his only accomplishment.
He is a classic "tweener," built like a small forward but is more comfortable playing power forward.
The main issue with this however, is that his production is mainly in scoring and he is undersized compared to other power forwards so his defense against them is ineffective.
Moving him to small forward wouldn't work either, since Green tends to be slower than the other small forwards and would then be a liability on the defensive end from that position as well.
The fact that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant looked to him as a leader likely made people give him more respect than he deserved.
Although Kendrick Perkins production with the Oklahoma City Thunder wasn't great, he is likely to make a much bigger impact with them than Green will make with the Boston Celtics.
2. Kris Humphries
While he has gained more notoriety lately for who he married rather than what he has done on the basketball court, he is still being overrated by far too many.
Since Avery Johnson was the first coach to have confidence in him and give him minutes, he came out of the 2010-2011 season posting his first double-double average of 10.1 PPG and 10.4 RPG.
His inability to play solid defense is an issue as well. He has a husky build but stands at only 6'9", which is the height of most small forwards.
Although players like Paul Millsap and David Lee have been able to make a living as undersized power forwards, they are much better scorers than Humphries.
Teams interested in Humphries services should approach with caution, as rebounding is essentially the only major contribution he offers.
Johnson deserves credit for giving him a chance and reaping the reward from it, but the New Jersey Nets would be better off letting him walk.
Especially since another team is likely going to overpay for his services.
1. Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio lands this high on the list for being compared to one of the greatest NBA scorers of all time in Pete Maravich, without ever playing in an NBA game.
The only thing accurate about the comparison is that both players have the floppy haircut and have flashy passing ability.
The main thing separating the two of them, besides the fact that Rubio still has yet to play in the NBA, is the fact that "Pistol" Pete Maravich was an incredible shooter and scorer.
Rubio on the other hand annihilates his teams shooting percentage as his main ability is to create offense for others. When it comes to shooting the ball on his own however, he's unbelievably bad.
His averages in the Eurobasket make Mardy Collins time with the New York Knicks look like he was the second coming of Clyde Frazier.
He averaged 1.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.1 APG on 23 percent shooting. Kind of makes you miss Mardy Collins doesn't it?
As if the numbers weren't bad enough, his body is far from NBA ready. He stands at 6'5", which is a nice size for the point guard position until you throw in the fact that he's 190 lbs. and not very athletic either.
If David Kahn is smart (I know it's a stretch, just work with me) he'll put a call into Mark Cuban, who is very high on Rubio for some reason and try to unload him as quickly as he can.