In the world of sports, players are constantly having to live up to expectations that are set out by either the team or the fans, and when they fall short of those expectations, they’re looked at as failures even though they’re still performing at an elite level.
Look at the first eight years or so of LeBron James’ career, where he was constantly carrying his teams on his back, but yet, when he’d come up short in the playoffs or in the NBA finals, he’d be looked at as a failure, despite the fact that he was performing at a higher level than almost anyone else in the league.
In fact, some people would argue that LeBron James was completely overrated until he joined fellow All-Stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, and some might’ve even continued to call him overrated if he didn’t win a championship after he returned to Cleveland. Thankfully though, people now appreciate his greatness, and while some might still view Michael Jordan as the greatest player ever, they’re still willing to acknowledge that LeBron James is in the conversation.
We’re just a few days away from the NBA regular season kicking off, which means that fans and executives alike have high expectations from the stars on their team’s roster, however, at least as of right now, some of these expectations are unrealistic, as some players will be completely overrated heading into the upcoming season.
For this list, we’re going to break down who is the most overrated player on every current NBA roster. It’s important to keep in mind that just because someone is being looked at as overrated doesn’t mean that they’re not productive players, it only means that they’re being viewed as better than they really are.
So, with all that in mind, let’s get started!
30: Atlanta Hawks – Kent Bazemore
Aside from rookie Trae Young, Kent Bazemore is looked at as being the best player on the Atlanta Hawks’ roster. Sure, expectations for the Hawks aren’t very high, as they’re in the process of rebuilding, which means that Bazemore probably won’t live up to what everyone is expecting from him. On top of that, his contract is pretty expensive, especially when you consider his talent level, and that he’s never really been an impact player on a winning team. I could definitely see the Hawks moving him at some point during the upcoming year, simply because he just doesn’t fit in with what they’re trying to do.
29: Boston Celtics – Jayson Tatum
After last season, people started talking about Jayson Tatum as if he was going to be the best player in the entire league within the next couple of seasons, however, fans probably need to lower their expectations for him, as his playing time might be reduced during the upcoming year in favor of the returning Gordon Hayward. Sure, the Celtics will likely win the Eastern Conference if they’re able to stay healthy, but due to their depth, Tatum’s minutes could be cut, which might lead people to believe that he’s not going to be the superstar that they think he’s going to turn into.
28: Brooklyn Nets – D’Angelo Russell
While D’Angelo Russell has a ton of physical gifts, he’s definitely not the franchise cornerstone that the Nets’ front office and fans think he is. On top of that, the team he’s playing on is filled with mediocre players and bad contracts, which is going to limit just how effective he can be in the upcoming season. He’s definitely not the type of guy who can carry an entire team on his back, and lead them to the playoffs. If you’re expecting the team to make the playoffs this season, or if you expect D’Angelo Russell to be an All-Star caliber player, then your expectations are definitely too high.
27: Charlotte Hornets – Nicolas Batum
Frenchman Nicolas Batum is pretty much a jack of all trades on the court, but his contract would suggest that he’s an all-around superstar. In short, he isn’t. Moreover, Batum is playing on a team that is essentially going nowhere in the Eastern Conference, and due to the nature of his contract, some might be expecting him to carry the team alongside Kemba Walker. But, I just don’t see it happening. Batum has never been an elite player, and he’s not going to turn into one anytime soon.
26: Chicago Bulls – Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine missed all of last year due to a knee injury, and now that he’s returning to the court with a new, big-money contract, the expectations for the high-flyer are going to be gigantic. Also, players coming off of major knee injuries typically take a while to return to form, so LaVine might not show signs of his old self until late this season, or at the beginning of next season, provided that he doesn’t get hurt again. But for now, expectations are way too high for the ex-T-Wolves shooting guard.
25: Cleveland Cavaliers – Kevin Love
Most fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping that Kevin Love will single-handedly lead the team to the playoffs, and while it’s entirely possible in the Eastern Conference, I don’t think it’s likely. The best years of Love’s career were spent in Minnesota, where he put up great stats on a bad team, and he never made the playoffs until he teamed up with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. Sure, Love could put up some pretty good numbers this year, but that doesn’t mean that he’s back to being one of the league’s elite power forwards because he’ll simply be doing what he did for the T-Wolves, which is putting up good numbers on a bad team.