Without a doubt, the NBA has some of the most exciting players in league history. Almost every player has some form of offensive talent, and the free-scoring style of play has led to extreme excitement for fans and media alike. With the 2021-2022 season underway, superstar players are slowly getting back to their best form.
However, there are some star players who have been overrated by many fans and media because of their ability to stuff the stat sheet or produce note-worthy highlights. The aim of the game is to win and produce at a high level, things that not ever All-Star or former All-Star does at this point. Here are the ten most overrated players in the league, taking into account their predicted impact on the game in the 2022 season.
10. John Wall
John Wall is one of the biggest names on the trade market right now because the point guard is extremely quick and has a ton of experience under his belt. As a member of the Washington Wizards for the first 9 years of his career, Wall made 5 All-Star Teams and the All-NBA Team in 2017. At one point, especially in 2017, Wall averaged 23.1 PPG and 10.7 APG while staking his claim as a top-5 point guard in the NBA.
After missing the entire 2020 season, Wall was traded to the Rockets last year and put up solid numbers at 20.6 PPG and 6.9 APG in 32.2 MPG. But those numbers overshadow the major part about John Wall as a starting point guard: he is not efficient and will never stay healthy. Wall appeared in only 40 games and shot 40.4% from the field, indicating that he simply cannot maintain health long enough to return to All-Star form at 31 years old.
9. Kevin Love
Kevin Love’s name is still quite big in the league because the 5-time All-Star and former NBA champion made the Team USA squad in the Olympics. Gregg Popovich and the coaching staff were betting on Love nailing 40% of his threes and also being the rebound machine he used to be, but that simply isn’t the case anymore. At 33 years old, Kevin Love is nothing more than a role player.
But for some reason, Love’s name is always in trade rumors. If it wasn’t for his gigantic salary, Love would have been traded a few times over the past few years. Averaging 12.2 PPG and 7.4 RPG in only 25 games is simply unacceptable for a player making max dollars, and the big man will likely never be a double-double machine ever again. But a contender will still be on the market for an experienced veteran, a role Love can fill at this stage.
8. Kemba Walker
The Boston Celtics gave up on Kemba Walker, but the New York Knicks didn’t. The point guard only averaged 19.3 PPG in 43 games, on below-average efficiency (42.0%). Walker could not stay healthy despite making max money and was not an impact player for the Celtics when he was on the court. As far as the Celtics were concerned, Kemba’s knees were shot for good.
But the Knicks snatched the 4-time All-Star up, signing him up after the Oklahoma City Thunder bought him out. With Walker on the squad, the Knicks feel like they have added the perfect sidekick to All-Star Julius Randle. But that isn’t the case, because even if Walker is capable of going off for 30 points in a single game, he cannot stay healthy enough to make it consistent. The former Hornets star is 31 years old and beaten up pretty bad, so until Walker can prove he can return to All-Star form, he is, unfortunately, an overrated player.
7. Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins can score quite well, defend, and be an athletic option on the fast break. But the 2015 Rookie of the Year lacks a couple of key components to a wingman with incredible potential: desire to be great. Wiggins has God-given gifts that he can use to be a dominant two-way player, but at nearly 27 years old, it seems like he will never reach that level.
Jimmy Butler left the Minnesota Timberwolves because he did not believe in Wiggins’ desire to be great, something that unfortunately remains true until today. Wiggins averaged 18.6 PPG last year with the Warriors, but his all-around play has not improved much besides his defense. Based on what Wiggins can bring, he is falling well short so far in his career.
6. Draymond Green
While Draymond Green should never be called “Mr. Triple-Single” because of his inability to put up big stats, his impact is waning at the latter stages of his career. A former All-Star and All-NBA performer, Green will likely never return to that level. He only averaged 7.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 8.9 APG as a member of the Warriors last year. His assist numbers were staggering, but he is simply not fit to be a 2nd or 3rd option on a playoff team.
Green’s impact comes when he is focusing on defense and playmaking when Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are healthy, but that is not enough for him to earn max dollars at nearly 32 years old. Draymond is an excellent defender, but he is not a game-changer at this point.
5. Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon is an exceptional athlete who can score as a versatile forward, but he is not an All-Star talent. The 6’8” forward averaged 12.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG last year, subpar numbers for an athletic player in his 7th season. Gordon should be a double-double threat at this stage but has not shown anything spectacular other than his dunking ability.
The Denver Nuggets will still stick with Gordon long-term because his potential is there. As an explosive forward with size and speed, he can legitimately be an effective two-way star in the league. But until now, it has not happened. Gordon is only 26 years old and has plenty of time to show his worth, but he will not move the needle in the 2022 season if things stay the same.
4. Tobias Harris
Criticism has been mainly aimed at Ben Simmons for the Philadelphia 76ers’ lack of championship success, but some of the fingers have to be pointed at Tobias Harris. The 29-year old forward is one of the highest-paid players in the NBA, yet has shown he cannot do more than play like a 3rd option. Last year, Harris averaged 19.5 PPG while appearing in 62 games. In the playoffs, he upped his numbers to 21.8 PPG but hardly had any memorable performances.
Harris is a consistent shooter from mid-range and the three-point line, but he is not exactly a lockdown defender and has averaged under 7.0 RPG the past 2 seasons. In order to maximize Joel Embiid’s ability to dominate a game, Harris needs to up his scoring because max money should mean superstar impact which the forward does not bring.
3. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is a spectacular scorer and one of the best offensive point guards of all time. Not to mention, the former NBA champion is worthy of being recognized as a top-75 player ever. But Irving is also an overrated player because he struggles to stay on the county (whether it is health or off-court issues) and is not exactly a dominant all-around player.
The Brooklyn Nets are considered the favorite to come out of the East without Kyrie Irving, mainly because he is not as good as Kevin Durant or James Harden. If one of the other two stars were injured, nobody will place the Nets ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks as the best team in the conference. But Irving’s lack of appearances for the team (less than 70 games for 4 straight years) is a major issue, something that is starting to affect his legacy.
2. Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons is a special player because he brings an all-around impact similar to what a young LeBron James did. But there are a few glaring inefficiencies that make that comparison laughable at this point: shooting and mental intangibles. LeBron James was bashed for being “not clutch” for years, but that never stopped The King from attacking the basket and looking to score. Ben Simmons, at many points last year, looked scared to score.
That is simply unacceptable for an All-Star player, someone who is making max money and generates hype on and off the court. Simmons seems to not want criticism and lacks that hunger to be great, attributes attached to him by legends of the game including Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley. Until Simmons steps up to the plate, he will be considered grossly overrated.
1. Russell Westbrook
Only Russell Westbrook can average a triple-double 4 out of the last 5 seasons and be considered overrated. He is truly that polarizing because his stats scream top-10 player in the game but his impact certainly doesn’t. Westbrook has been blamed for chasing rebounds and using his athletic gifts to stuff the stat sheet, things that may or may not be true.
But the major criticism of Westbrook has been the player’s inability to find success in the postseason without Kevin Durant. Since the 4-time scoring champion left his side, Westbrook has played with some great players including James Harden, Paul George, and Bradley Beal. Westbrook has a very poor 8-21 playoffs record without Kevin Durant, an unfortunate stat that truly represents the future Hall of Famer is overrated as a superstar point guard.