Making it into the NBA is one of the hardest things to accomplish by any players, as just a handful of ballers get the chance to prove their worth to the highest of levels, and even a smaller amount of guys winds up having a long tenure in the Association.
Besides sports, basketball is also about business, so more often than not, GMs and coaches tend to make some hard decisions for the sake of the franchise and it’s future, and sometimes that means parting ways with former key elements of the rotation.
Either because of injuries, changes in the coaching staff, age, the surge of better youngsters, the arrival of better talent or just because the game has changed so much or ballers start hurting their team more than they actually help it, players are constantly getting waived and most of the time their phone doesn’t ring anymore to make a comeback to another team.
Over the course of the last couple of years, we’ve seen some players that used to be starters be waived or stay as free agents with no takers willing to bring them to their teams, and today we’re going to let you know about 10 players that used to start not so long ago but now just seem forgotten.
10. JJ Hickson
Until the 2013-14 campaign, JJ Hickson was actually a walking double-double and very dominant big man for the Denver Nuggets, but ever since, his career took a major downfall despite being just 27 years old.
Now, a couple of seasons after playing his last NBA game with the Washington Wizards, Hickson’s one of those many players at China trying to earn an easy buck as they know they don’t stand a chance back in the Association. Through 7 years, he averaged almost 10 points and 7 rebounds.
9. MarShon Brooks
Not so long ago, MarShon Brooks was considered to be one of the most exciting prospects in the league, at least offensive wise, as the shooting guard was a scoring machine with a lot of upside in both ends of the floor and was a regular starter for the Brooklyn Nets.
Now, he’s not even in the league anymore and he’s trying his luck at China after several failed stints with the Celtics, Warriors and Lakers, leaving career averages of 7.7 points 2.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.6 steals per game in 44% from the floor.
8. Trey Burke
After some outstanding performances for Michigan University during the NCAA’S Final Four, Trey Burke’s Draft stock rose dramatically to the point that he was drafted 9th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who immediately dealt him to the Utah Jazz with hopes of finally landing a top-tier point guard.
Nonetheless, after several ups and downs and Utah relying in Dante Exum and Raul Neto, Burke lost his starting gig and was dealt to the Washington Wizards. Now, he’s trying to make his way back to the NBA playing for the Westchester Knicks, leaving career averages of just over 10 points and 3.6 assists.
7. Roy Hibbert
The Miami Heat looked unstoppable during the big three era featuring LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade until the Indiana Pacers made the most of their X-Factor: Roy Hibbert, a standout rim protector that looked to be the perfect fit against the most dominant team in the Eastern Conference.
Nonetheless, the big man suffered several mental breakdowns during the playoffs and he was never the same player after making it to a couple of All-Stars and an All-Defensive squad, as well as being one of the league’s leaders in blocks. Now, he’s not even on an NBA roster, posting career averages of 10 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 swats per game.
6. Terrence Jones
Before suffering several injuries, Terrence Jones was one of the most solid young big men in the league and was a steady starter for the Houston Rockets. Nonetheless, spending so much time on the sidelines and struggling to develop a shooting stroke from distance, it seems like the NBA has no more room for guys like Jones.
Now, the 25-year-old is leading the way for the Qingdao Eagles at China after failing to make a significant impact for the New Orleans Pelicans or Milwaukee Bucks, but he still has a shot at coming back considering his youth. Through 5 years, he averaged over 10 points and 5 boards on 50% from the floor.
5. Jared Sullinger
Jared Sullinger was one of the most hyped young men in the Association a couple of seasons ago due to his versatility, as he could play in both forward spots or as a center, trying to stretch the floor with his so-called touch from distance.
Sadly, he was never able to actually develop that stroke from beyond the arc despite having the green light to hog three-pointers whenever he wanted, so he was also forced to play in the exile at China after leaving averages of 10.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in 43% from the floor and 27% from three for the Celtics and Raptors.
4. Brandon Jennings
Less than a decade ago, Brandon Jennings was considered to be perhaps the best young point guard in the world, and it was a huge surprise when he decided to skip college to play overseas and prepare for the NBA Draft, being drafted 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jennings was an explosive scorer and a terrific playmaker, but he often struggled to be a consistent shooter despite being a very versatile offensive player. Now, it’s surprising to see him still being a free agent considering how short-handed most teams are at the 1 position. Through his career, he averaged 14.3 points and almost 6 dimes per game with 1.2 steals.
3. Deron Williams
It’s crazy to remember that Deron Williams was actually in the best point guard conversation just about 6 years ago or so when he was the cornerstone of the Utah Jazz as one of the most explosive scorers and playmakers in the world.
Now, after a failed stint at Dallas and not doing much to help the Cleveland Cavaliers in their postseason run, the injury-plagued former All-Star isn’t looking like a guy that’s going back to playing in the league. Over an 11 year span, he averaged 16.3 points and 8 dimes with 1 steal.
2. Monta Ellis
Not so long ago, Monta Ellis demanded a trade out of the Golden State Warriors because he considered himself to be better than Steph Curry. Now, Curry owns a couple of MVP awards and 2 NBA Championships, while Monta can’t even manage to get a 10-day contract on shorthanded teams like the Clippers or Grizzlies.
Monta’s game took a major dip during the last couple of seasons with the Indiana Pacers, but it’s still shocking to not see him play anywhere at age 31. Through 11 seasons, he won the Most Improved Player award and averaged almost 18 points with 3.5 boards, 4.6 dimes and 1.7 steals per game.
1. Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum’s prime came to a very quick ending due to injuries and lack of character and discipline, but he was such a beauty to watch every time he set foot on an NBA hardwood, owning a terrific footwork and being a very dominant rim protector as well.
Sadly, several misconducts and lack of discipline from the two time NBA Champion made him fall apart of team’s rotation with nobody having interest in bringing him back. So, after his successful Lakers tenure, he pretty much vanished. Through 8 years, Andrew Bynum posted averages of 11.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game on 55% from the floor.