Getting into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is a great post career honor and there are several players who are currently playing in the NBA who deserve major consideration when discussing the HOF.
LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant are sure-fire Hall of Famers. There are a number of other current players who are borderline Hall of Famers and then, of course, their players who possess HOF talent but won’t ever get elected.
Here are the look at the 10 most deserving players of the Hall of Fame who will never be enshrined.
Honorable Mention: Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
Ginobili may get into the Hall of Fame, but his NBA career won’t be the main reason. That is not saying he doesn’t deserve to be enshrined.
Ginobili has been terrific for the Spurs throughout his 16-year career. But he doesn’t have HOF numbers. He has only been an all-star twice though he has earned MVP votes three times. Basketball-Reference gives Ginobili a 20% chance of getting into Springfield, Massachusetts, Taj Mahal.
10 Non-Hall of Fame Players
Deron Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers
Williams was one of the best point guards in the league during a six-year span (2006-11) as he was a fantastic distributor who possessed a good mid-range game and was a decent outside shooter. He is an excellent ball-handler. However, injuries and inconsistent play have plagued him the last six years.
Williams has produced four seasons of at least 18 points and 10 assists. The 33-year-old is currently averaging 16.3 points, 8.1 assists as well as 3.1 rebounds and has compiled a shooting slash line of .445/.345/ .822 over his 12-year career. While those numbers might not seem special, Williams showed flashes of brilliance in the past.
Williams went for 57 points against the Charlotte Bobcats (March 4, 2012) and has doled out 21 assists twice. He has finished in the top-10 of the league in assists and assists per game seven times, ranking 19th and 13th in history, respectively, in those categories. He has also produced 275 career double-doubles.
Final Word: The three-time all-star looked like a future Hall of Famer early in his career, however, after struggling the last several seasons there is no chance he will land in Springfield. He is officially given a 9.5% chance of enshrinement. Williams is on the tail end of his career.
Williams has never been a first-team All-NBA selection and has not finished above ninth in MVP voting. He has been named to the All-NBA second team twice though. He also ranks 71st all-time in turnovers.
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Lowry has really improved since being selected with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2006 draft. He has come into his own over the past four seasons.
Lowry has developed into a top-10 point guard, which is a position that is loaded with great players, after spending his first four years in a reserve role. Lowry is a scoring point guard who has relatively recently found his stroke from beyond the arc. He is also a fierce competitor on both ends of the court.
The 6-footer has made three straight all-star appearances and was a third-team All-NBA selection in 2015-16. He ranks 67th all-time in assists per game and 53rd all-time in assist percentage. He also ranks in the top-100 in history in win shares per 48 minutes as value over replacement player.
Lowry is the Raptors all-time leader in triple-doubles and three-point makes. Overall, he has produced 16.6 points, 6.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds a game. His shooting slash line is .424/.364/.799. Lowry has averaged over 20-points a game the last two years.
Final Word: Lowry is 31-years-old and still appears be in the prime of his career. He probably has two or three more years of elite production left. Depending on how he performs the rest of his career, will likely determine how close he gets to becoming a HOF’er. Currently, he is nowhere near that point which is indicated by his 9.6% chance of being enshrined in Springfield.
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
DeRozan is an athletic slasher who thrives in transition and possesses one of the best mid-range games today. He is a high-volume scorer with his ability to get to the free throw line a major aide to keeping his efficiency rating up.
The 6-6 shooting guard has finished in the top-10 of the league in scoring three of the last four years as he ranked in the top-10 in field goal makes (three times) and free throw makes (four times) during that span.
DeRozan is averaging 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 46.7% from the field and 84.2% from the charity stripe for his career. He has averaged 20-plus points in each of his last four seasons and is coming off his most productive campaign of his eight-year career. Last year, DeRozan became the second player in Raptors history to score over 2,000 points in the season and averaged a career-high 27.3 points to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists. He topped the 30-point plateau 32 times and the 40-point mark on eight occasions
Final Word: DeRozan is not a three-point shooter and is turnover prone. Also, he is not a great defender. However, DeRozan is only 27-years old and is just entering the prime of his career so several more years of elite scoring production should significantly improve his Hall of Fame worthiness.
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Love has been unfairly criticized since coming over to the Cleveland Cavaliers and will have a real chance to make a major impact for the Cavs this year with Kyrie Irving no longer around. Love should be the team’s number two option in 2017-18.
Love is a very skilled big man capable of playing either frontcourt position. He is a good scorer and shooter though his tenacity as a rebounder is his best attribute. The 6-10 interior player also is a very good passer, probably the best outlet passer in the game today, and an underrated defender.
Love thrived as the best player in his six years in Minnesota, compiling three seasons of at least 20 points and 12 rebounds a game. He has produced double-digit rebounds and points five times during his nine-year career.
The 2011 Most Improved Player has made four all-star game appearances and is a two-time All-NBA second-team selection. He has finished in the top-10 of the league in scoring (twice), rebounding (six), made field goals (twice) and made three-pointers (once). He led the league in rebounding during the 2010-11 campaign.
Final Word: Love currently has the best chance of the 10 players to actually get enshrined in Springfield as the likelihood of enshrinement is currently at 42.8%. The 2015 NBA champion is coming off his best season with the Cavs last year, racking up 41 double-doubles in 60 games as he finished the season with 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds a game. He also made 2.4 three-pointers a game at a 37.3% clip. The 29-year-old should have several productive seasons left.
Derrick Rose, Cleveland Cavaliers
Rose quickly became a superstar after entering the league in 2008-09, but his career has been derailed by injuries. He has only appeared in 70 games three times in his eight-year career, none since the 2010-11 season.
During his heyday, Rose was an electric scorer due to his athletic ability. He was fantastic in the open court, could get to the hoop at will off the dribble, and finish at the rim a variety of ways. The 29-year-old has always been able to score though he is not a great shooter or distributor. Rose has also struggled on the defensive end and turnovers.
Rose had a bit of resurgence last year with the New York Knicks, averaging 18.0 points along with 4.4 assists while shooting 47.1% from the field. The three-time all-star has produced 19.5 points a game as he has topped the 20-point mark three times.
Final Word: Rose is the only MVP on this list and without the injuries who knows where he would be in terms of being a HOF. As it stands, he is given a 10.5% of being enshrined in Springfield.
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Wall is a top-5 point guard in the game today and perhaps the second best two-way lead guard, behind Chris Paul. Wall is in rare company as the game has turned into point guard driven league as he is more of a traditional point guard who can take over games rather than being a scoring point guard. Some of that may have to do with his inadequacies as a shooter.
The four-time all-star is coming off his best campaign of his seven seasons, averaging 23.1 points along with 10.7 dimes and 4.2 rebounds while shooting a career-best 45.1% from the field. He also compiled 50 double-doubles. Wall scored 30 or more points 11 times, topping the 40 plateau twice, in 2016-17. His 52 points against the Orlando Magic (Dec. 11, 2016) was a career-high.
Wall has compiled three seasons of averaging a double-double. He ranks 77th all-time in assists, 95th in points per game, sixth in assists per game, and 39th in steals per game.
Final Word: The 27-year-old is playing his best basketball as he enters the prime of his career. Right now, he is given a 13.0% chance of reaching Springfield. Expect that number to rise, how much is the question? It is conceivable that Wall ultimately ends up enshrined, but he must have several more seasons like last year and improve his shooting efficiency.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Thompson is arguably the second-best shooter in the game today and one of the top shooters of all-time. However, he is not only a shooter. Thompson is an elite scorer, by and far away the best off the catch, and an outstanding defender.
The three-time all-star has tallied double-figures in each of his six seasons in the NBA, improving his totals every year. He has topped the 20-point plateau three times, averaging 22.3 points while shooting 46.8% from the field and 41.4% from beyond the arc last season.
Thompson poured in 30 or more points nine times last year, which includes an incredible 60 points in 29 minutes of action against Indiana on Dec. 5. He has finished in the top-10 in the league in scoring twice. Thompson ranks 11th all-time in three-point percentage, 73rd in true shooting percentage and 35th ineffective shooting percentage.
Final Word: Thompson will likely have to move on from the Warriors in order to really get the credit he deserves.The biggest case against Thompson is that he really doesn’t do much besides score. Right now, he is given a 5.0% chance at reaching Springfield.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Griffin is an athletic, rugged power forward who is a very good scorer around the rim where shoots 72.8% for his career. The 6-8 power forward is also an excellent passer and a good defender.
Griffin has averaged at least 20 points in six of his seven seasons. In two of those seasons, Griffin produced 20 points and 10 rebounds. The five-time all-star has not averaged double-figure rebounds since his first two seasons of his career.
Griffin is averaging 21.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists for his career. He shoots 51.8% from the field for his career. Griffin has finished in the top-10 of the league in scoring and defensive rebounds three times in his career.
Final Word: The 27-year-old is being given 27.1% chance at becoming a HOF’er. He has received MVP votes three times, finishing third in 2013-14. If Griffin can get back that type of production, he could improve his case. In reality, Griffin is not efficient enough or a good enough rebounder to ever get enshrined.
Tyson Chandler, Phoenix Suns
I know, I Know when you think Hall of Fame, Tyson Chandler’s name is not one of the first that comes to mind -- more like one of the last. But in all honesty, he deserves major consideration.
Chandler has been an excellent rebounder, great defensive player and an efficient shooter throughout his 16-year career. He has averaged double-figure rebounds and points in three of his 16-years in the NBA while averaging double-digit rebounds a total of five times. The 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year averages 8.7 points and 9.4 rebounds while shooting 59.4% from the floor for his career.
Chandler, who twice led the NBA in offensive rebounds, ranks among the top-10 active players in several categories. He also ranks in the top-50 all-time in offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, and effective field goal percentage.
Final Word: Chandler does not score enough to be a Hall of Fame member and has only made one All-Star appearance. He is given less than 1 percent chance of getting enshrined. But his win-share numbers are relatively similar to HOF’ers Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, Nate Thurmond and Wes Unseld.
Rajon Rondo, New Orleans Pelicans
Rondo came into a league as a great distributor, superb ball-handler, and a fantastic defender. He was also seen as a non-factor offensively though he has improved enough as a shooter that defenders can’t completely lay off him.
Rondo has averaged double-figure assists five times and 10 or more points on eight occasions. He led the league in total assists once and was the leader in dimes per games three times. Rondo averages 10.7 points, 8.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 46.3% from the floor.
Final Word: The four-time all-star is given a 38.8% of being enshrined. Rondo has never been a first-team All-League selection, however, he has received votes for MVP. The thing is Rondo doesn’t shoot the ball well enough to be enshrined.