At the beginning of every NBA season, fans like myself are filled with high expectations for their favorite players and teams. Then whether due to injury, an overpaid free-agent, or a draft pick that busts, there are always a handful of NBA players that are disappointments.
Here are my top five disappointments from this season:
I can’t lie, when I heard Okafor had been traded to the Brooklyn Nets, I was excited to see him get a fresh start.
Sadly Okafor has not done much at all since being traded to the Nets, averaging only 6.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 0.6 bpg. What’s even more alarming is that Okafor is only playing a mere 13 minutes a game with the Nets, who are one of the worst teams in the league. I know he is young, but if he can’t turn it around and produce on the Nets, then his career might be in trouble.
Batum is making $22,434,783 this season and is averaging 12.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.7 apg. I know his contract had more to do with the market, but if you are making that much money you need to have a greater impact on the game. He is only on year two of his five-year, $120 million contract, and is making more than Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, or Kyrie Irving. Batum needs to start putting up some numbers soon, otherwise this is going to look like one of the worst NBA deals out there.
Thomas has been through a lot in the past year, personally and professionally. His sister’s passing, his hip injury, being dealt by the Celtics, drama with the Cavs once he returned, and now being dealt again to the Lakers at the trade deadline. What is most concerning, is that with IT set to be a free agent, he does not look at all like the guy who had a MVP type season last year. Thomas’ defense has always been suspect, but his scoring is down big-time this season. Thomas is averaging 14.1 ppg on an abysmal 36% fg, down from 28.9 ppg last year on 46% fg. Thomas will need to turn it around fast if he wants to get paid this off-season.
By now, everyone has seen the video of Fultz badly missing a free throw. What stuck out most was not Fultz bricking the free throw, but the hitch in his shot. If you haven’t yet, here it is:
This disaster season for the No. 1 pick started with a shoulder injury, and then has been all downhill from there. After coming back from injury, Fultz literally looks like he forgot how to shoot. Many are saying Fultz has the “yips”, as his shooting motion looks nothing like the one he had in college and needs to be reconstructed again. I was excited to see what the core of Fultz, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid could do together this year, so that is what I am the most disappointed about. While many will probably have Fultz as their most disappointing player of this season, he is still only 19 and has through the ceiling potential. I am hoping everyone including Fultz himself can #trusttheprocess, so he can recover from this nightmare.
Leonard has played in just nine games this year due to a quad injury. And per Woj, Leonard’s relationship with the Spurs is reportedly strained, and he has been disconnected from the team. Hey, injuries happen…I am just disappointed in the Leonard situation the most because I was expecting a MVP-like season from him this year. The Spurs have played well this season without him, but to compete with the Warriors and Rockets they will need Leonard back at full strength. It will be great if Leonard can come back after the All-Star break and play the way we all know he can.