Whether we talk about age, ability, or health – nothing lasts forever. That old adage is particularly true for NBA players and their chances in the 2018/2019 season this year.
Careers in sport are a quick turnover, and it’s normal for sports teams to buy and sell players. Here, we will highlight the top 10 stars who may not make it through the next season of the NBA. Will you miss these players once they ultimately retire?
Jahlil Okafor, New Orleans Pelicans
Jahlil Okafor started strong when he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ersin 2015. Since then, he’s faced problems with injuries and a questionable defensive ability. He was subsequently traded to the Brooklyn Jets. He only managed 26 games there and he moved again – this time to the New Orleans Pelicans – where things aren’t looking good for him. Even though this season has been a disaster for the 22-year-old, his youth is still an advantage – if a team will take him.
Elfrid Payton, New Orleans Pelicans
Another Pelicans player, Payton is quickly showing us that he just isn’t as good as he used to be. His performance has been disappointing – a lack of focus and weak shot record have been strongly highlighted during his first season in the NBA. The problem is, who else does the New Orleans Pelicans have? This 24-year-old might be their only option to keep their young players at home to train for future seasons, but who knows at this point?
Henry Ellenson, Detroit Pistons
When a player is 21 years old, it’s a sign he has his entire career ahead of him. Unlike Payton or Okafor, he has failed to show nearly as much confidence in his ability to bounce back if he gets cut. For good reason, too: in 57 games he has only averaged 3.7 points. Ellenson could do well under the continued support of head coach Dwane Casey, but is it a chance the Pistons are willing to take?
Jerryd Bayless, Philadelphia 76ers
Jerryd Bayless has been a firm player on the 76ers for quite a bit now, but who knows what will happen in the future? His $8.6 million contract is coming to its end, and negotiations might fall through if they seek to renew his deal. The odds aren’t exactly in his favor, either. He doesn’t have a defined position on the team and he may get greedy with his costs when it comes round to resigning.
Zach Randolph, Sacramento Kings
Zach Randolph is 37 years old, but it doesn’t mean he has nothing to offer the Sacramento Kings – or any other team for that matter. His salary is a whopping $11.7 million, and it is unclear if a team will be willing to make the trade for an older player. Still, he scores an average of 14.5 points a game, certainly making him valuable. It’s unclear if he will want to retire or if the Kings will want to renew for a few more years.
Pau Gasol, San Antonio Spurs
Pau Gasol still achieves a 10.1 point average, even at 38 years old. Despite his impressive ability, the San Antonia Spurs might benefit more with a youthful field, keeping Gasol on the bench. He has two years left on his contract. WIll they want to shell out another $16 million for a man in his 40s? 2019 is signifying a potential endgame for this older player. Who knows what will happen in the next year?
Jared Dudley, Brooklyn Nets
Jared Dudley may not show his value on the court – with 3.2 points per game – but is invaluable off the court. He’s proven to be somewhat of a mentor for the younger players in the Brooklyn Nets. He’s also is a key player in the locker room offering support. With his experience and wisdom, the Nets might want to keep him for a few more years for moral support and guidance. A $9.5 million renewal might bring fantastic returns in the form of a youthful spirit.
Joakim Noah, New York Knicks
Many people think it’s time for Joakim Noah to depart from the New York Knicks. He still has two years left on his contract worth $37.8 million, so options about his departure are somewhat limited. At 33, his morale has been dipping in recent years and is averaging just 1.7 points a game. He has become dead weight for the players around him and is unlikely to be desired by any other team. Time’s Up for this player.
Iman Shumpert, Sacramento Kings
This whole thing came out as a bit of a mistake. After leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, Shumpert has yet to play a single game for the Sacremento Kings. Out of 14 games last year, it looked like Shumpert was shunned. It appears he can’t shoot, his defense has weakened, and he has problems staying healthy enough to play. At 28, it doesn’t look like many others will want him either. Some teams might shell out a few million for a seasoned player with a track record, but not for him.
Luol Deng, Minnesota Timberwolves
What a shame for Luol Deng. He was sold for an obnoxious four-year deal to the Timberwolves, where he has played a measly 13 minutes in the last year! He’s already 33-years-old, he has 30,000 career minutes already clocked in, but he isn’t getting a chance to add to that. He’s looked washed up from what we’ve seen of him in the last few months. It doesn’t look like he will get a chance to redeem himself, either. He might as well take that fortune and retire once he’s released. It’s been a good run!