Holding onto a starting job is one of the most complicated things to do in the NBA, especially if you’re playing on a team that has little aspirations to even reach the postseason as the campaign goes by.
Either because players get traded, because coaches get fired or just because other players outplay starters, starting jobs don’t last forever in the National Basketball Associations, and the team that starts the season can be really different to the one that closes out the year.
This season, we’ve seen some veterans take starting gigs from young players that are very likely to take what should be theirs as the season go by, and today, we’re bound to let you know about the top 6 players that could lose their starting spot at any point this season.
6. George Hill
The veteran point guard has gotten off to a terrible start of the season for the Sacramento Kings, even being forced to be sidelined already, and being yet another veteran bust at the point after Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison and Ty Lawson.
But what puts his job in jeopardy the most is the fact that rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox has actually played extremely well on limited minutes, averaging 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 0.9 steals in almost 40% from the field per 36 minutes so far.
5. Zach Randolph
Hill’s teammate Zach Randolph is also very likely to lose his starting gig at some point of the season, and the fact that he’s even a starter to kick off the year was pretty much surprising considering his age and how crowded the Kings are in the frontcourt.
Obviously, Z-Bo’s number have taken a major dip this campaign, and with the Kings pretty much tanking their way through the season, expect Skal Labissiere to hold onto the starting spot in a couple of months, as the sophomore really broke out after last year’s All-Star break and has played really good so far.
4. Jarrett Jack
The New York Knicks are pretty much on a roll right now thanks to Kristaps Porzingis and his sweet touch from the hardwood, and Jarrett Jack has been the man pulling the strings in the Knickerbockers offense during this run.
Nonetheless, we all know this great run isn’t sustainable and the New York Knicks just don’t have the kind of personnel on their ranks to actually contend, so when everything starts going downhill, expect French rookie Frank Ntilikina to run the team’s offense and have a very long leash, as he’s been showing glances of greatness when it comes to playmaking, although he’s still struggling with his shot.
3. Tyson Chandler
It’s not a secret that the Phoenix Suns have been trying to send Tyson Chandler elsewhere for a very, very long time now and they’re even stalling the Eric Bledsoe trade conversations as they’re keen to include the veteran center in the deal as well.
But, considering how difficult it is to move this kind of contract for a washed out player, expect them to try and expose unrestricted free agent to be Alex Len, as he’s not likely to resign with the team and they need to try and move him as soon as they can.
2. Jerryd Bayless
Jerryd Bayless is a part of the Philadelphia 76ers merely because they need to reach a cap floor, as you know he’s not actually capable of making an impact at his age, especially considering his injury proneness and the fact that they got Ben Simmons successfully running the team’s offense.
So, with TJ McConnell taking the backup point duties and Dario Saric already starting second halfs and when Redick was forced to be time, expect Bayless to just rack up DNP’s as soon as JJ is able to get back on the floor, with Saric taking his spot in the starting 5 and the Sixers going big.
1. Jayson Tatum or Marcus Morris
This one would actually be kind of hard to do, as Jayson Tatum has been incredibly productive and effective, shooting over 48% from the floor and 50% from beyond the arc, as well as 80% from the line and averaging over 14 points and 7 rebounds in 33 minutes.
Thing is, as soon as the Celtics get Morris back, they may be better off shifting Tatum to the bench to lead the second unit in scoring, their bench has struggled to get much going on the offensive end and Tatum’s way more gifted in that regard than Morris is.
Of course, we will leave this position open, because maybe Morris will play only a few games in the starting lineup, and after that Tatum will be the first power forward for the Boston Celtics.