Basketball is a tall men sports and there’s absolutely no doubt about it, and even though “small ball” is becoming a huge tendency now with the league extremely oriented towards spacing and shooting, elite big men are still something you need to thrive in this league.
Back in the day, it was pretty much a big man league, with pick and roll, post offense and dunking played a huge role in team’s offensive schemes, with guys like Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain dominating most of the scene.
Throughout time, we’ve seen some incredibly gifted centers thrive on NBA hardwoods and crush their opponents, with guys like Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Hakeem Olajuwon probably ringing a lot of bells even for younger basketball fans.
Nonetheless, in this modern basketball era and with the big men getting kind of relegated in some of the team’s offenses, several very mediocre players have made a living by merely setting their foot on their hardwood as a “starter” or barely playing any garbage time off the bench.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 worst big men in the entire Association, for you rookie fantasy players to try and avoid at all costs, as these players shouldn’t even be in the league anymore at this point.
10. Zaza Pachulia
Zaza Pachulia is the prime example of a guy that just piggyback rides his way to the NBA Finals, playing less than 20 minutes a game for the World Champions Golden State Warriors ever since replacing Andrew Bogut as their main player down low.
Pachulia provides nothing but a bully to the Warriors, and that kind of team doesn’t even need a guy with that skillset. If it weren’t for how dominant the Warriors are, Zaza would’ve never won an NBA Championship, and that’s just incredibly sad for other top-tier big men. Over 13 seasons, the Georgian has barely surpassed the 7 points and 6 rebounds averages.
9. Kosta Koufos
For some reason, Kosta Koufos has long time been an NBA starter, even though he provides absolutely nothing in both ends of the floor and isn’t even young, so he takes valuable minutes for prospects that could actually wind up being quite good.
Gladly for basketball fans all over the world, it seems like Koufos is finally going to step down as an NBA starter, as the Sacramento Kings will definitely favor their young big men like Skal Labissiere, Willie-Cauley Stein and Georgios Papagiannis, and they won’t miss those 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds Koufos merely provides.
8. Meyers Leonard
Just like Mike Muscala, Meyers Leonard was once a very interesting prospect to follow, and ever since LaMarcus Aldridge left the Portland Trail Blazers, it looked like he was bound to have a breakout year and take the next step in his young career, with not so bright averages of 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds.
Obviously, that wasn’t nearly what happened, as even before he suffered an injury, he was just horrible in any single regard, struggling to gain and maintain position against other big men and never being able to become a reliable scoring choice from distance, the one aspect of his game that didn’t seem broken before this season.
7. Jakob Poeltl
Jakob Poeltl was a major fluke during his first NBA season as one of the Toronto Raptors’ big men, even losing his rotation spot at some point of the campaign when Serge Ibaka arrived to Canada to try and lead Toronto past the first round of the playoffs.
Poeltl doesn’t have enough range to stretch the floor, nor enough strength to dominate down low, and he’s not pretty good at protecting the rim either, so the sophomore looks more like a salary dump candidate than an NBA player right now, leaving averages of 3.1 points and rebounds through 54 games of his rookie season.
6. Luca Nogueira
Another Toronto Raptor makes our worst big men list, as even though Luca Nogueira looked like a complete stud out of Brazil, he hasn’t even been able to overplay Jakob Poeltl nor Pascal Siakam, and he’s still struggling to look like NBA material at this point.
Nogueira has a lot of defensive upsides and can be a streaky scorer, but he needs to improve and develop his body and basketball IQ if he wants to make it into the Association, as he’s really turnover prone and makes a lot of defensive mistakes merely because of lack of focus or commitment. Through 92 games, he’s merely averaged over 3 points and 3 boards per game so far.
5. Miles Plumlee
The Plumlee brothers are a huge bust, and Marshall Plumlee is the worst of them all, not even being able to be part of the team’s rotation at this stage of his career after being one of the most promising young talents 5 years earlier.
Plumlee sucks on the defensive end and even though he has a very well built physique, he lacks the kind of mindset to actually take a stand and make his presence feel down low, and he should just be cut at this stage of his career with his averages of 5.1 points and 4.7 boards per game.
4. Cole Aldrich
Cole Aldrich got into the league in 2010 and hasn’t been able to average over 15 minutes throughout his career in neither of the 6 franchises he’s ever played for, and he’s going to find it even tougher now that he’s behind Taj Gibson, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng in the Wolves’ rotation.
Aldrich is really soft and weak for a guy his size and let’s face it, he just looks fat and out of place every time he sets foot on an NBA hardwood, and the apparently the Timberwolves just realised that there’s absolutely no reason to keep a 3.5 points, 3.3 rebounds kind of guy on the roster right now, as some rumours state that they’re trying to shop him.
3. Mike Muscala
Not so long ago, it seemed like Mike Muscala could become a Ryan Anderson type of big man that could stretch the floor, but after several NBA seasons, it seems like he won’t even reach the Spencer Hawes status on the lousy Atlanta Hawks.
Muscala hasn’t improved a single bit ever since entering the league, constantly bricking open threes he shouldn’t be taking any more. He doesn’t have any kind of shooting stroke and is terrible guarding opposing big men with range. Besides, his 4.8 points and 2.8 boards per contest are far from impressive.
2. Alexis Ajinca
Alexis Ajinca has to be one of the worst big men in the league, and a guy that tall should at least have any kind of touch of instinct for basketball, but he’s one of the clumsiest, slowest and dumbest players in the entire Association.
Ajinca can’t even look up while running and just looks odd among his peers, being more of an incredibly tall guy than a basketball player. His rebounding is subpar, he’s a terrible and slow defender and other than dunking, his offensive game is pretty much nonexistent, posting mediocre averages of just over 5 points and 5 boards through 8 NBA seasons.
1. Nick Collison
Nick Collison has never been really good at anything at all other than getting into his opponent’s faces and bully his way into any kind of minor brawl that takes place when he’s also on the field (or to be more accurate, on the team’s bench).
Collison has been more of a mentor than a true player, and the Oklahoma City Thunder is set to have a very tough time finding a guy that can take some of Enes Kanter’s minutes, as they can’t expect any kind of production from this subpar veteran that merely averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds the prior campaign.