Growing up in the NBA isn’t something easy to do at all, as making the adjustment to this level and even trying to adapt the game from high school, college or overseas may be extremely tricky for some weakly minded youngsters.
Also, these guys come from being the most hyped, talented and productive players in their respective squads throughout their entire youth career, while they’re merely rotation players at best in the NBA and that’s not something you can easily get used to.
Nobody expects rookies to be productive and dominant out of the gate, but even so, more often than not some highly hyped players wind up being huge disappointments after struggling to prove their worth in the majors.
That becomes even worst when you see players like Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum and Kyle Kuzma, guys that have only been around for half a season but are already looking like All-Stars. On the other hand, we’re going to let you know about the top 5 rookies that have been major busts this season.
5. Malik Monk
Everybody expected Malik Monk to be one of the first guys off the bench for the Charlotte Hornets or even start due to his offensive fire power and ability to create his own shot, but he’s mightily struggled to find some playing time at all.
Monk has been careless with the rock on his hands and has had a lot of offensive breakdowns that make his lack of confidence quite evident, and he’s only managed to average 5.1 points in 33% shooting on barely over 12 minutes per game.
4. Zach Collins
When the Portland Trail Blazers drafted Zach Collins 10th overall out of Gonzaga, most people thought they had finally found that gem that would lock down the paint as they have struggled to find a good big man since Aldridge’s departure.
Nevertheless, he barely saw the hardwood over the first couple of months of the season, and he’s looked way more than just another Meyers Leonard for Rip City. So far, he’s averaged 4.2 points and 4 boards per game in just 36 appearances and 15 minutes a night.
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 Jabari Parker has been down and the Bucks assign him to the Wisconsin Herd of the NBA G League.
Wilson hasn’t been able to stay on the court for more than 18 games (3.3 minutes per game) 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. Jonathan Isaac
Jonathan Isaac actually had a pretty decent start of the season as a very good defensive player for the struggling Orlando Magic, but he hasn’t been able to shake off the ankle injury that has kept him sidelined for most of the campaign.
Isaac has a lot of upsides but seems quite injury prone and Orlando isn’t in a position to compete regardless of if he plays or not. Through the 15 games he played, he averaged 5.3 points and 3.7 boards on barely over 18 minutes per contest.
1. Markelle Fultz
Coming as the 1st overall pick out of Washington, everybody expected Markelle Fultz to be one of the frontrunners to take the Rookie of the Year award home, but he’s only been able to play in 4 games following a shoulder injury that has kept him on the shelves for most of the season.
Fultz only averaged 6 points in 33% shooting and a horrid 50% from the line, but what worries people the most if the fact that that shoulder injury has forced him to change his shooting form and his stroke seem broken beyond repair. We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s quite unlikely that Fultz comes back this year unless he develops his shot and confidence once again.