2019/20 NBA Season: Biggest Busts So Far
With the NBA season in full swing, there have been many surprises and disappointments through a little over a month of basketball games.
I’m here to tell you about the five biggest busts of the NBA season so far.
Here are the high-profile teams and players who have had bad starts to the year.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Since LeBron James entered the league, there hasn’t been a player with more hype surrounding his name than No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson.
The Pelicans traded away All-Star Anthony Davis and got a huge return, including players like Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart, and a few future draft picks, and they signed JJ Redick to help build around shooting guard Jrue Holiday.
With or without Williamson, the Pelicans should not be a team in second-to-last place in the Western Conference.
Well, they are. And it looks like it’s going to be another long season for the Pelicans.
With Williamson already dealing with injuries so early in his career, it is a cause for concern.
The question that raises eyebrows: Is he closer to becoming the next Greg Oden than a future MVP?
Only time will tell.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
One storyline that headlined the offseason was the pairing of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn.
We all know Durant would miss the 2019-20 season due to an Achilles injury suffered in an NBA Finals run with the Golden State Warriors last season, so he gets a free pass, but the drama surrounding Irving has been the storyline for the Nets this year.
If the season were to end today, the Nets wouldn’t even be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
Irving leads the Nets, averaging 28.5 points per game to go along with 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per contest.
However, he has missed nine games and the Nets have a .500 record and don’t look anything like a playoff team.
Will Irving get healthy? Or are the Nets just throwing away the season already and looking to rebound next year with Durant and Irving together on the court?
Luke Walton, Sacramento Kings
Head coach Luke Walton was supposed to take over the Sacramento Kings and turn them into a playoff caliber team in the 2019-20 season.
Well, so far, the Kings have been the furthest thing from playoff worthy.
With a young nucleus featuring Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III and Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Kings are currently three games below .500 as of Dec. 3.
Fox has only played in nine of 19 games, Bagley III has missed all but one game and the Kings are losing.
Sacramento began the season losing five in a row and since then, have been inconsistent.
Will the Kings turn it around? Or will we have to wait another year before we talk about Sacramento and playoffs in the same sentence?
Golden State Warriors
With Klay Thompson out for the entire season and Steph Curry suffering an injury four games into the year, there was no doubt about it the Warriors would struggle to win some basketball games this season.
However, I don’t think anybody thought that the Warriors would be this bad. And by this bad, I mean literally the worst team in the entire NBA.
Yes, the Golden State Warriors are dead last in the Western Conference and they have the league’s worst record.
Guys like Eric Paschall, a Villanova alum, and Glenn Robinson III have been key pieces for the Warriors this season, paired with the always durable Draymond Green.
With that lineup, the Warriors are definitely not making the playoffs in the loaded West ,but I don’t think anybody thought Golden State would be this bad… but they are.
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
Point guard Mike Conley was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Utah Jazz in the offseason with hopes of a rejuvenation to his career.
That’s exactly why the Jazz traded for him. They believed he was a missing ingredient to a championship caliber squad.
Conley has been everything but that. Through 21 games, he is averaging 13.9 points per game, which is fourth on the team behind the likes of Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert, he is averaging 4.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per contest as well.
To put this in perspective, last year - his final year with the Grizzlies - his averages were 21.1 points, 6.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Luckily for Utah’s sake, they are currently a playoff team in the West behind the driving force of Gobert and Mitchell.
However, if Utah wants to take it to the next level, they need Conley to play like the old version of Mike Conley, and not just old Mike Conley.
By Dan Canova