The Most Disappointing NBA Players This Season

Pre-season expectations can mean more than actual in-season performance on the court. We’re breaking down the most disappointing players this season, who have really let us down. Apologies in advance.

This is a photo of Carmelo Anthony, taken from the back
Image via Getty/Noah Graham


This is a photo of Carmelo Anthony, taken from the back

The beginning of every NBA season brings a broad swath of expectations for both individual players and collective teams. Those expectations carry quite a bit of weight, and to an extent can matter much  more than objective success. If you’re exceeding expectations, you’re doing great. If you’re not quite getting there, you might be the target of endless Twitter roasting, and sometimes even more severe consequences.


These expectations are why the Cavs, despite being 31-22 and No. 3 in the East, were in a state of disarray and panic before basically doing a full-on rebuild in two hours at the deadline. But the Sixers, who are just hanging on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference at .500, are one of the feel-good stories of this NBA season.

Other expectations are salary driven. Someone making several millions dollars a year is to be counted on as a star, and anything short of that puts a major albatross around your name. The NBA has created a ton of these albatross situations with all of the ridiculous contracts being thrown around to random players that nobody has ever heard of. Like, why is Bismack Biyombo the highest-paid player on the Magic? He doesn’t even start!

This season, there have been plenty of disappointments to go around — both from the start of the season and from salaries. From sidelined superstars, to rookie disappointments, to players who can’t seem to grow, to big-contract busts, the NBA is filled with players who have consistently missed the mark all year. To be fair, every NBA season brings us  several examples of this — usually with the Knicks. Some teams have had several players come up short of expectations, which has inevitably affected their final records.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the biggest disappointments in the Association this year.

19. Markelle Fultz

Image of Markelle Fultz

18. Gordon Hayward

Image of Gordon Hayward

17. Kawhi Leonard

Image of Kawhi Leonard

16. Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

15. Eric Bledsoe

Image of Eric Bledsoe

2017-18 stats: 17.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 4.3 APG, 2.1 SPG

What we expected: Not tweeting himself off a team

And in just one tweet, Bledsoe was out of Phoenix. He may be playing fairly well with the Bucks, but the Suns have to be disappointed that one of their few good players tweeted his way off the team. While he denied that this tweet was about his situation with the Suns, its correlation with the firing of head coach Earl Watson didn’t make his denials look particularly convincing.

14. Brook Lopez

Image of Brook Lopez

13. Nerlens Noel

Image of Nerlens Noel

12. Bismack Biyombo

Image of Bismack Biyombo

11. Nicolas Batum

Image of Nicolas Batum

10. Dwyane Wade

Image of Dwyane Wade

9. Dragan Bender

Image of Dragan Bender

8. Luol Deng

Image of Luol Deng

7. Joakim Noah

Image of Joakim Noah

6. Jae Crowder

Image of Jae Crowder

5. George Hill

Image of George Hill

4. Jahlil Okafor

Image of Jahlil Okafor

3. Derrick Rose

Image of Derrick Rose

2. Chandler Parsons

most overpaid nba players chandler parsons

1. Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

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