Coming out of College or overseas to land in the NBA has to be one of the most exciting things that can happen to a young man, as he’ll finally have the chance to fulfill his longtime dreams and play alongside the guys he grew up looking up to.
Nonetheless, making the adjustment to play against the best athletes and defenders in the world can be extremely tough and even painful for some youngsters, and some of them never manage to successfully make the transition after dominating his peers throughout their entire lives.
Over the course of this young season, we’ve seen some rookies play very impressive ball, like Kyle Kuzma, Lauri Markkanen, Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr, although some of their colleagues have been extremely disappointing right out of the gate.
Naturally, some growing pains are expected throughout the first couple of seasons in the Association and the campaign is still pretty young, but still, we’re going to let you know about the 6 rookies that are already looking like busts.
6. Zach Collins
Zach Collins has barely touched the hardwood during his rookie season despite the Portland Trail Blazers not being extremely stacked down low, and he’s shown very little during the preseason and summer league and doesn’t seem ready to make an impact this campaign.
Of course, some coaches are known for being extremely cautious when handing minutes to their rookies, and with the Blazers desperate to make a playoff run, he’s going to have it really tough to get some playing time. Still, you’d definitely expect a lot more out of a 10th overall pick, so that’s not looking quite good for him.
5. Guerschon Yabusele
More than a bust, it just seems like Guerschon Yabusele is going to have to put a lot of work in the gym if he intends to successfully make the adjustment to the National Basketball Association, as he’s looked kind of weak and slow in the early going.
He’s been quite efficient from the court and coach Stevens doesn’t hesitate to throw his rookies into the pit, but he’s going to have to step up big time if he wants to steal some minutes from Theis and Morris, averaging just over 3.5 points and 1.3 boards and being out hustled by his rivals.
4. Luke Kennard
The Detroit Pistons have been desperately looking from some help on the wings since Stanley Johnson’s also looking like a horrid flop, so that’s why they decided to go with Luke Kennard out of the gate as their primary shooting guard off the bench.
Sadly for them, he’s lacking confidence and shooting stroke, and he’s looking way more like a Nik Stauskas than a Kyle Korver at this point. Through 4 matchups, he’s averaging roughly over 4 points in 44% from the field and a terrible 14% from three-point territory.
3. DJ Wilson
We already knew that DJ Wilson was going to have it really tough to find playing time in the crowded rotation of the Milwaukee Bucks, but he hasn’t been able to play even though Greg Monroe has been down with injuries and Kidd doesn’t seem to like John Henson.
Wilson hasn’t been able to stay on the court for more than 4 minutes and even in that very limited sample size, he’s looked nowhere near ready, clumsy, slow and being a huge defensive flaw for the young Bucks, so he’s looking for a very long time in the G-League if you ask me.
2. Terrance Ferguson
If you think of a guy that may lose his starting job with the Oklahoma City Thunder, you’d definitely have to be thinking in Andre Roberson due to his horrible play, but Terrance Ferguson has failed to make some noise and try to force Billy Donovan’s hand to give them a long leash and try to outplay Roberson.
Ferguson was the Thunder’s choice to become their backup shooting guard, but he’s been all over the place in the few minutes he’s gotten so far. The OK3 desperately needs that the team’s bench carries some of the load if they want to make it through the Playoffs, so Ferguson better steps up pretty soon if he doesn’t want to be sent to the doghouse.
1. Markelle Fultz
Markelle Fultz has been the biggest disappointment of the season so far, and it was pretty clear that he shouldn’t have been on the court if he was dealing with a shoulder issue that wouldn’t even let him shoot his free throws like he usually did, struggling in every aspect of the game since making his professional debut.
Fultz is extremely talented and we all hope he can turn things around, but being out indefinitely after just a handful of matchups isn’t a very good sign, especially considering all the bad luck the Sixers have had regarding injuries the past 3 years or so.