Finding consistency in the NBA is one of the most difficult things to achieve, as you need a lot of mental strength as much as you need a strong body in order to find ways to contribute and do your job regardless of the environment that surrounds you.
Either because you get traded, or because you get hurt or just because you’re getting old, an NBA career can come to an end on the blink of an eye, and nobody’s going to give you another chance regardless of how good you were back in the day.
Some players just peak too early and reach their primes a couple of seasons after entering the league, but just can’t live up to the expectations the next campaigns, and wind up merely being rotation players or not playing at all.
Today, we’re going to talk about 10 players whose career completely fell off over the last 5 years after being some of the best ballers or prospects in basketball.
10. Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler was a fierce lockdown defender and an elite rim protector, and a key element in the Dallas Mavericks title run just one year before winning the Defensive Player of the Year on his first season as the New York Knicks starting big man.
Sadly, he’s not even seeing any playing time at all on a rebuilding Phoenix Suns team, and he’s lost most of his physical presence after a couple of seasons, and if he doesn’t get bought out soon, it’s pretty safe to assume that his NBA career is nearly coming to an end.
9. Chandler Parsons
Chandler Parsons signed a huge deal with the Memphis Grizzlies and was called to finally be the shooter the team so desperately needed to play alongside Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Marc Gasol and take that step towards Championship contention.
Nonetheless, constant injuries have kept him in the shelf for most of his Grizzlies career, up to the point where he’s even being booed by his home crowd after some horrid play in both ends of the hardwood, and he’s looking more and more like an ex player despite being just 29 years old.
8. Ty Lawson
Ty Lawson was putting All-Star caliber numbers with the Denver Nuggets and was an extremely talented playmaker and ball handler, but his struggles to stay sober and focus in basketball have him out of the league at this time.
Lawson is still young and he can work his way back to the league as a backup point guard, but his lack of discipline, no shows in practice and DUI incidents make him a very difficult guy to trust despite how talented he is and how he thrives making everybody around him better and get easy shots.
7. Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo was one of the best two-way point guards in the league during his Boston Celtics stint, and one of the most important pieces in their Championship run with his crafty playmaking and lockdown defense before suffering a season-ending injury.
After wandering around and playing for the Kings, Mavs and Bulls, it seems like Rondo has finally settled down with the Pelicans, but the troublemaker is still far behind his former self, looking careless and effortless in the defensive end of the floor, while his shooting stroke seems more and more broke with time.
6. Joakim Noah
Not so long ago, Joakim Noah was one of the most hard-nosed defenders in the league and the ultimate leader of the Chicago Bulls, putting a lot of heart, hustle and great plays in both ends of the floor and even running the team’s offense at times.
Sadly, ever since being traded to the New York Knicks, his career took a major toll, playing at the worst level of his career before suffering an injury and even being suspended. Now, following an altercation with his coach, he’s not going to play once again in the NBA unless he gets bought out.
5. Michael Carter-Williams
Michael Carter-Williams looked like a future All-Star since day one, playing terrific defense, attacking passing lanes, finding the open men and even being a very crafty scorer despite having a broken shot and nonexistent perimeter offensive game.
Sadly, constant injuries and being traded from one place to another have made it quite difficult for MCW to get settled and find his stroke, and even his defense has taken a major downfall despite his huge wingspan and feel for the game, and it seems like the Philadelphia 76ers made the right move after everybody thought they were crazy for parting ways with their Rookie of the Year.
4. Al Jefferson
Al Jefferson had one of the sickest post moves and footwork in the league and was a walking double-double with the Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz and Charlotte Hornets, but ever since joining the Indiana Pacers, he’s barely touching the NBA hardwood despite being still quite capable of putting nice numbers for a contender.
Of course, Big Al is already 33 years old, but his kind of skill set would fit perfect for a team as the Cavs or Spurs, being kind of like their David West, especially considering he has no place on a rebuilding team looking to develop their young players.
3. Brandon Knight
Brandon Knight was one of the league’s rising stars and looked poised for stardom as a standout playmaker and scorer, constantly showing glimpses of his talents while trying to put defenders on their back with his crossovers.
Sadly, after playing the best ball of his young career with the Milwaukee Bucks, he was dealt to Phoenix to try and get some time on a very crowded backcourt committee, up to the point where he was just piling up DNPs, and to make things even worse, he suffered a season-ending injury before the campaign even started, and his future in the league is quite uncertain as he has no value whatsoever right now.
2. Luol Deng
Luol Deng was a scoring machine and one of the best two way small forwards in the league during his Chicago Bulls tenure, but ever since the Windy City team decided it was time to unload his big contract, he hasn’t found a true niche where he can contribute once again.
After spending some time with the Cavs and the Heat, he’s now getting paid big time despite not playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his career has likely come to an end at 32 years old unless he’s bought out by LA.
1. Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose went from being an MVP and the face of the Chicago Bulls to being sent on a salary dump deal and waived by the Utah Jazz, and he’s not even on an NBA roster right now despite being just 29 years old.
Rose was one of the quickest and most gifted athletes in the world, and he was even in the conversation regarding who was the best point guard in the NBA just 5 years ago or so, but constant injuries and reported lack of commitment and mental strength made his career took a huge downfall, and he’s a very hard guy to trust right now if I’m an NBA GM.