If you’re going to play in the National Basketball Association, you definitely have to be a top-notch athlete, a standout shooter, a pesky defender or at least a very smart player, but sometimes being in the right place at the right time and luck can also get you real far in this league.
The NBA features the greatest basketball players around the globe on a nightly basis, guys that could simply dominate and smash every single other basketball tournament elsewhere, but that choose to be just average players in the best competition in the world.
Nonetheless, we’re constantly watching some guys plays without being able to figure out how on earth they actually wind up being NBA players and more than that, getting consistent playing time alongside some of the most gifted ballers on earth.
Today, we’ll name the top 10 worst starters in the Association, either because they just flat-out suck, or because they’re still a work in progress and are very likely to improve after a season or two.
10. Skal Labissiere - Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings rookie had a very rough time in the early going, barely seeing some playing time and struggling to prove his value and spending most of the campaign in the Development League.
Gladly for him, he saw a lot of real minutes after the DeMarcus Cousins trade and showed some glances of talent, leaving averages of 17 points, and 9.5 boards on over 50% from the floor and over 37% from beyond the arc per 36 minutes, so let’s hope he can build on that during his sophomore year.
9. Andre Roberson - Oklahoma City Thunder
Andre Roberson is perhaps the worst offensive player in the league, having absolutely no stroke in his shot and struggling to get anything going, at the point that the defense just rather leave him wide open while he constantly bricks open threes.
Of course, he’s an athletic freak and has a lot of hops, but if it wasn’t for his great backcourt defense, he wouldn’t even be in this league at this point, being something like the second coming of Tony Allen with his horrid 26% from downtown.
8. Joe Ingles - Utah Jazz
Joe Ingles seems like a guy you wouldn’t choose to play within your local YMCA, and he just looks odd and slow on both ends of the court, lacking athleticism and creativity and not being particularly good at anything.
In fact, this guy is so slow that he’s called slow-mo Joe, and even though he’s been a streaky shooter from beyond the arc at times, his shot seems broken beyond repair and we just don’t see him lasting much longer in the Association.
7. Evan Fournier - Orlando Magic
Evan Fournier has quietly improved on a yearly basis, but he’s a major defensive liability and mightily struggles against quicker and stronger shooting guards, while not being explosive enough to make a real impact on the offensive end.
Fournier has managed to put together some decent scoring games through his career, but he’s not much more than a shooter and fails to help his team in any other significant stat, shooting just over 40% from the court and 37% from three-point territory over his career, never being able to find consistency and constantly being sent to the doghouse come clutch time.
6. Ramon Sessions - New York Knicks
Ramon Sessions has managed to stay in the NBA for over 9 years despite not being particularly good at anything, being too short and weak to play the shooting guard position, and way too slow and not much of a good playmaker to run any team’s offense.
Playing for 8 different franchises through his NBA stint, Sessions has averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 0.7 steals on 43.6% from the floor and just over 30% from beyond the arc, never averaging more than 27 minutes per game.
5. Taurean Prince - Atlanta Hawks
Taurean Prince didn’t get off to the best of starts of his career this prior campaign with the struggling Atlanta Hawks, but he managed to become a consistent rotation player at the end of the year and even won the starting gig at the three at some point.
Still, his lack of touch from beyond the arc is going to be a huge concern, and he needs to vastly improve his physique if he wants to have any type of advantage against NBA forwards. Still, his per 36 averages of 12.3 points, 5.8 boards, 2 dimes, 1.6 steals and 1 swat per game are encouraging for the future.
4. Paul Zipser - Chicago Bulls
Paul Zipser was yet another really odd pick by the Gar/Pax administration for the Chicago Bulls, coming out of Bayern Munich with no significant talent that made anybody believe that he was actually worthy of a second round pick in the NBA Draft.
Nonetheless, Fred Hoiberg actually found some room for the German over the ladder passages of the season, leaving really mediocre averages of 5.5 points, 2.8 boards and 0.8 assists in 39% from the floor and 33% from distance.
3. Jon Leuer - Detroit Pistons
Jon Leuer has already played for 6 different NBA franchises in the same number of seasons, struggling to prove his value and making everybody wonder why on earth is he even still in the league at this point, being horrid on defense and really mediocre on the offensive end as well.
Leuer has a terrible shooting form and has never shot over 33% from beyond the arc, and he often struggles to contain bigger, stronger frontcourt players, averaging 6.7 points and 4 boards over his career and making the Detroit Pistons one of the softest teams in the paint the prior season.
2. Tony Snell - Milwaukee Bucks
Tony Snell looked like a steal at some point of his Chicago Bulls stint, completely stepping up when Jimmy Butler had to be sidelined with an injury, but not being able to maintain the pace after just a couple of very good games in a row.
Snell is slow and soft on defense and struggles to create his own shot or even hit open jumpers on a consistent basis, and even though he had some pretty decent stints as a role player this prior campaign with the Milwaukee Bucks, he looks like a major flop that has already reached his very low ceiling.
1. Zaza Pachulia - Golden State Warriors
Zaza Pachulia is the ultimate piggyback rider, having a free ticket to the NBA Finals just because he’s lucky enough to play alongside Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, which is something that to this point still amazes me.
The fact that this guy was actually a frontrunner to make the All-Star team is exactly why the fan vote shouldn’t determine any single roster spot in this game, as this guy is clumsy, slow, dumb, bad on both ends of the court and tends to do very dirty plays, like the one that costed Kawhi Leonard his chance to play the Western Conference Finals.