The NBA Playoffs are raging strong with the Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers still competing for a spot in the NBA Finals, and ultimately, the Larry O’Brien Trophy— but while these four teams are riding high, many have already flamed out in forgettable fashion. This does not even cover the teams that missed the playoffs and play-in tournament entirely.
As fun as it may be to debate who the best player in the game is week-to-week and year-to-year, discussing who is the worst, or most annoying player on every NBA team, is even more; thus, an idea was born.
With the pressure of social media raging strong and the trolls voicing their frustrations with their teams, why not compile a list of the players that the NBA’s fans would send overseas in a heartbeat?
This should be fun.
Atlanta Hawks: Kris Dunn
Dunn was a former fifth-overall draft pick and averaged 1.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in four appearances during this injury-riddled season, largely wasting almost $4.8 million in cap space.
Boston Celtics: Grant Williams
The 22-year-old is a decent G-League-level player who is too small to guard centers and larger forwards, who he is frequently deployed against, and too slow to keep up with wing players— him playing almost 20 minutes per game for a Boston team that its fans thought was a contender is nonsensical.
Brooklyn Nets: Tyler Johnson
Johnson has fallen a long way since Britney Griner famously said “You have mediocre players like Tyler Johnson making almost $20 million a year”; the Nets already brought in Mike James from Russia to play backup minutes as the point guard, and Johnson is surplus to requirement in Brooklyn.
Charlotte Hornets: Bismack Biyombo
Biyombo does not do much besides ferociously grab easy rebounds, miss free throws, and emphatically slam uncontested dunks that he is assisted on. The Hornets would not miss him.
Chicago Bulls: Denzel Valentine
Valentine has shown no growth since being selected 14th-overall four years ago and does not seem to be interested in improving, and is pretty horrible by NBA standards.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Matthew Dellavedova
“Delly” will always be a Cleveland fan-favorite after he unexpectedly gave Steph Curry all he could handle in the 2015 NBA finals, but at 30-years old and after shooting 25% from the field last season, the Aussie would fit in on a new team— out of the country.
Detroit Pistons: Cory Joseph
I am not sure that anyone can justify Cory Joseph being the second-highest-paid player on this horrendous team; if 8.2 points and 3.4 assists are all it takes to make $12.6 million per year, then there are sixth-men worthy of the max contract.
Indiana Pacers: Aaron Holiday
The kid can play a little, but he is shorter than his 6-foot listing and shot 39% from the field in his third season— not good enough.
Miami Heat: Nemanja Bjelica
Bjelica is an okay option as a stretch-four, but at 33-years old, he does not fit Erik Spoelstra’s motion-based system and is too unathletic for the modern game— but not across the pond.
Milwaukee Bucks: Thanasis Antetokounmpo
Is there a reason that Thanasis is in the NBA besides his brother being a two-time MVP? Until concrete evidence is produced, he belongs somewhere overseas.
New York Knicks: Kevin Knox II
The former Kentucky Wildcat was taken ninth in the 2018 draft ahead of Michael Porter Jr., Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Mikal Bridges, and others; with a career-low of 3.9 points and 1.5 rebounds last season after being positioned as the future of the franchise, Knicks fans would enjoy wiping the slate clean.
Orlando Magic: Michael Carter-Williams
MCW had one of the most memorable debuts and won the Rookie of the Year award in 2013-14, but has let the game progress without him. Carter-Williams shot 24.6% from three, and with Markelle Fultz and R.J. Hampton now on the roster, he would land a bigger role somewhere in Europe or Asia.
Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons
Simmons has failed to improve since entering the league in 2016, made 34.2% of his free throws in the playoffs, and is a total liability in close games. With his antics against the Atlanta Hawks, fans were lining up for Simmons to be kicked out the door.
Toronto Raptors: Aron Baynes
The 34-year-old center is a native of New Zealand and clearly on the decline, so why not let him go enjoy the last hurrah closer to home?
Washington Wizards: Davis Bertans
The “Latvian Laser” cost the Wiz $15 million in 2021 and made less than 35% of his threes in the postseason before getting injured. Washington needs a total rebuild, and Bertans should not expect to be a part of it.
Dallas Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis
Porzingis was pried away from the New York Knicks to be the complimentary star next to Luka Doncic, and instead, he has become one of the most hated men in Texas, finishing the 2021 playoffs with a line of 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Denver Nuggets: Will Barton
Barton is in the back-half of his career and has missed large chunks of time in each of the past three seasons with injury. He is a productive but inefficient scorer, and with Michael Porter Jr. looking like the second-best player on the team, Nuggets fans would be smart to want to clear the deck for their young star.
Golden State Warriors: Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins does not fit the Warriors’ system, does not play winning basketball, and does not inspire confidence in the fans; maybe he would have greater success following in the footsteps of players such as Ty Lawson and Brandon Jennings, who were allowed to score at will in China.
Houston Rockets: David Nwaba
It is hard to even keep track of who is on the Rockets’ roster after all of the turnovers they had this season. Nwaba is one of the unlucky few still left on the league’s worst team, so cutting him loose could be a blessing in disguise.
Los Angeles Clippers: Doc Rivers
Kawhi Leonard may be injured, but the entire squad has rallied around Ty Lue and given the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns all they can handle— Clippers fans are probably punching their walls looking back on years past and would like to fire Rivers one more time just to feel better about their misfortunes.
Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma
The easiest decision on the entire list. Next.
Memphis Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson
“Slow-mo” got his nickname by playing at an unusually slow pace on the court, and although he provided sufficient veteran leadership to the young core, he does not necessarily hold a “special” place in the hearts of Memphis fans.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Juancho Hernangomez
He has the most fun name on the list, and he has had one of the least memorable NBA careers.
New Orleans Pelicans: Eric Bledsoe
Bledsoe’s unrivaled athleticism as a young player has left him as he has put on weight and become more ground-bound; this is not a good combination for a player that cannot shoot well, and with Lonzo Ball and Nickeil Alexander-Walker looking like the favored backcourt, it is time for Bledsoe to explore new opportunities.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Mike Muscala
The Thunder are young and have a horde of draft picks at their disposal over the coming years— there is no need to have a replaceable, aging center who has never averaged double-digit points in his career.
Phoenix Suns: Frank Kaminsky
Kaminsky has done an incredible job to survive in the NBA as long as he has, following a terrific college career, though his time is running thin.
Portland Trail Blazers: Derrick Jones Jr.
NBA Twitter fans would be sad to see the highlight machine leave, but he just does not have a developed skill set.
Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III
The Kings chose Bagley with their second pick over Luka Doncic and Trae Young, and he has been in a constant feud with the coaches, ownership, and fans: that is one way to ensure that you will not be missed.
San Antonio Spurs: Trey Lyles
It is hard to stand out as the most boring player on a boring team that plays a boring style, yet Lyles has succeeded.
Utah Jazz: Ersan Ilysova
Ilyasova has had one of the more underrated careers for role players and has provided quality shooting to a few teams, but he is unreliable as a defender and rebounder and cannot be trusted for long stretches as a result.
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