10 More NBA Players Who Had No Business Playing for These Teams

Most players around the league are far too familiar with playing for a team that they didn’t belong on. Playing for one team your entire career is something that is reserved for the all-time great players, and even then, sometimes things don’t go as planned as they leave to play for a random team.

This is a continuation of the initial ten players I highlighted; if you haven’t read that list yet, then be sure to check it out here.

10 More NBA Players Who Just Look Wrong in Different Jerseys

  1. Andre Iguodala on the Miami Heat

Iguodala is widely recognized for his remarkable performances during his time in Philadelphia and his significant achievement of clinching four NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors, along with being named the Finals MVP for the 2014-15 season. Nevertheless, his stint with the Miami Heat often goes overlooked. While he was a part of the 2019-20 Heat roster that reached the NBA Finals during the unique “bubble” season, their championship aspirations fell short against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Heat sought to surround Jimmy Butler with complementary role players, and given Iguodala’s reputation of predominantly being a role player during his later years with the Warriors, Miami saw him as a valuable addition. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out as expected. Iguodala only appeared in 21 games that season and averaged a mere 4.6 points per game despite logging nearly 20 minutes per game.

Adding to the disappointment, these two years in Miami came between his extended tenure with the Warriors and his eventual return to Golden State. While the Heat were in dire need of assistance that season, Jimmy Butler carried the team for the most part throughout the playoffs. Iguodala, it turned out, wasn’t the solution they were hoping for. In hindsight, it might have been more beneficial if Iguodala had remained with the Warriors for the remainder of his career.

2. Roy Hibbert on the Charlotte Hornets

Roy Hibbert is primarily renowned for his exceptional rim protection and shot-blocking skills during his time with the Indiana Pacers. The era featuring Paul George, Roy Hibbert, and Danny Granger on the Pacers’ roster created many memorable moments. However, once Hibbert departed from Indiana, his effectiveness began to decline.

Hibbert had stints with various teams, including the Lakers and the Nuggets, but his time with the Hornets stands out for a particular reason. His move to the Lakers was somewhat acceptable, as he continued to wear a yellow jersey, a familiar sight for fans, and the Lakers were in dire need of a center. On the other hand, his brief tenure with the Nuggets wasn’t a substantial sample size, with just six games played, and Denver had a crowded center position with notable names like Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic, and Mason Plumlee.

I chose the Hornets for a reason. He joined the 2016 Hornets, a team that only managed to win 36 games that season, led by Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. While Hibbert’s rebounding abilities were still present, they didn’t reach the same level as his peak Indiana days, and his days of averaging two or more blocks per game were long gone. He appeared slower and less effective, and to make matters worse, it was in an era when the Hornets jerseys just looked disgusting.

3. Carmelo Anthony on the Houston Rockets

Carmelo Anthony’s ten-game stint with the Houston Rockets marked the commencement of a tumultuous chapter in his career. He found himself caught in the crosshairs of a struggling Mike D’Antoni offense, essentially becoming a scapegoat for its shortcomings. Subsequently, he was released and faced a challenging year-long period without a team as he couldn’t find a job. This period in Houston raised significant questions about his skill set, shooting prowess, and overall career trajectory. It was an undignified departure for a player of his caliber.

During his time in Houston, Carmelo’s three-point field goal percentage was the lowest it had been since his days with the Denver Nuggets when he primarily operated as a power forward and predominantly played in the paint. Despite this, Anthony still managed to maintain an average of 13.4 points per game. However, what stood out were the numerous open shots he missed in nearly every game, a far cry from the electrifying player fans remembered him as during his time with the New York Knicks.

4. Baron Davis on the Cleveland Cavaliers

I’m not sure how Baron Davis even ended up in the wasteland that was the Cleveland Cavaliers at the time. He had previously enjoyed remarkable seasons with both the New Orleans Hornets and the Golden State Warriors, making his stint with the LeBron-less Cavaliers before Kyrie Irving‘s arrival seem out of place. Although the team’s record might have been significantly better had Davis played more than just 15 games, witnessing his team win only 19 games that season must have been hard for him.

The Cavaliers’ roster at the time was primarily composed of rookies and second-year players, and Davis had limited capable teammates, such as Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams, and Anderson Varejao. Despite the team’s struggles, Davis was still a master at stealing the ball and passed the ball relatively well in his brief time with the Cavaliers. However, his presence on this terrible Cavaliers roster was a situation that many believed should never have occurred.

5. Pau Gasol on the San Antonio Spurs

Everyone remembers Pau Gasol for his pivotal role in creating a basketball dynasty IN Los Angeles alongside Kobe Bryant. Their partnership often made a compelling case for being the league’s best duo during numerous seasons. However, Gasol’s move to the San Antonio Spurs was viewed by some as disrespectful, given the intense Lakers-Spurs rivalry that was a prominent spectacle in the NBA during the early 2010s. It felt as if, almost every year, the Lakers and the Spurs were destined to clash deep into the playoffs. Consequently, leaving the Lakers to join the team that had defeated him and the Lakers on many occasions felt like an unexpected twist.

During each season Gasol spent with the Spurs, his statistics experienced a significant decline. His scoring average went from a robust 12 points and 8 rebounds per game to a modest 4 points and 4 rebounds by the end of his tenure in San Antonio. By his third season with the Spurs, Gasol found himself traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, an unexpected move, and he played in just three games before deciding to retire from the league.

6. Rajon Rondo on the Atlanta Hawks

When discussing Rajon Rondo’s extensive NBA journey, it’s tempting to put him on this list for multiple teams he has played for, given his nine-team career. One could easily point to the Lakers, considering the Celtics and Lakers rivalry, or focus on one-year stints with teams like the Kings, Clippers, or Cavaliers, where he primarily served as a mediocre role player. However, among all the teams Rondo has been a part of, none proved more disappointing than his time with the Atlanta Hawks.

Throughout his career, Rondo had experienced success in various places, whether it was securing his second NBA Finals victory with the Lakers or leading the league in assists while playing for the Kings. However, in Atlanta, things took a sharp downturn, marking the beginning of the end for Rondo. His performance declined significantly, with him averaging just 3.9 points per game. His exceptional passing skills, which had been a hallmark of his career, seemed to vanish into thin air, as he recorded the lowest average of assists per game in his entire 19-year NBA career while with the Atlanta Hawks. He just didn’t fit within the system and got next to no playing time as he was the backup for a sophomore, Trae Young. Everything about Rondo on the Hawks was bad, but I suppose winning a second ruing with the Lakers a few years later help fans forget all about that.

7. Danny Granger on the Miami Heat

Danny Granger should be remembered by most as an Indiana Pacers lifer. His prime years in the NBA were undeniably spent in Indiana, where he appeared to be at home in the iconic yellow and blue Pacers uniform. One of the most memorable aspects of the early 2010s Pacers was their intense rivalry with the Miami Heat. It felt like an annual tradition to witness the Heat, led by prime LeBron James, facing off against the gritty Pacers.

However, fate took an interesting turn when Granger found himself on the very team that had defeated him and the Pacers numerous times in the playoffs. It was the post-LeBron era for the Heat, as LeBron had returned to Cleveland, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were still formidable opponents. After enduring three consecutive playoff losses to the Heat, including two Eastern Conference Finals defeats, it felt surreal to see Danny Granger donning the black and red Heat uniform and playing alongside the very players who had been a source of torment in the past.

Adding to the peculiarity of the situation was the fact that Granger’s playing ability had significantly declined by that point. Despite logging 20 minutes per game, he could only manage to contribute an average of six points and two rebounds per game. It was a stark contrast to his prime years in Indiana, making his stint with the Heat even more memorable, albeit for different reasons.

8. John Wall on the Houston Rockets

This era of Houston Rockets basketball is one that many fans would prefer to forget, as it was marked by significant challenges and a lack of success. This period fell between the end of the Mike D’Antoni era and the start of the Stephen Silas era, creating a sense of transition and uncertainty. It was the season when James Harden played just eight games for the Rockets and requested a trade out of Houston, signaling a turning point for the team.

From that point onwards, things seemed to take a downward spiral, with the Rockets ultimately finishing with the worst record in the entire league, a mere 17 wins to their name. The roster underwent constant changes, with a total of 30 different players being part of the team throughout the season. However, amid the chaos, John Wall managed to have a commendable season.

His offensive production remained strong, averaging 20 points per game, and he continued to excel in distributing the ball. He had some decent talent to work with, including Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., Eric Gordon, and Kelly Olynyk, all of whom averaged over 15 points per game. Wall seemed to be thriving in his post-Wizards career.

Unfortunately, 40 games into the season, Wall suffered a hamstring sprain that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Although he eventually returned two years later and joined the Clippers, the injury had a noticeable impact on his playing style, resulting in some of the lowest statistics in nearly every category in his entire career. Wall’s injury in Houston played a significant role in his decline, particularly considering that speed and quickness had always been crucial elements of his game, and he just never looked like the player he used to be since.

9. Al Horford on the Philadelphia 76ers

The presence of Al Horford on the Philadelphia 76ers raised some eyebrows and appeared somewhat perplexing. In Philadelphia, Horford was a dependable role player and effectively served as Joel Embiid‘s backup. He contributed in various aspects, scoring when necessary, displaying his three-point shooting ability as a big man, and serving as the veteran presence on the team alongside the emerging trio of Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris.

However, the confusion begins with the discrepancy in playing time. Despite being initially acquired to provide depth at the center position behind Joel Embiid, Horford ended up logging more minutes per game than the young and rising Embiid, which seemed unusual.

What truly made this move seem illogical was that Horford had been part of a big three of his own in Boston. Alongside Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, he was expected to be a catalyst in the Celtics’ quest for another championship. Even before the Kyrie and Hayward era, Horford played a pivotal role in the Isiah Thomas and Avery Bradley era Celtics, helping them reach three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. However, the following season, he was traded to Philadelphia, only to be swept in the first round by the very team he had been part of just a year prior.

To compound matters, Horford eventually returned to the Celtics and continued to play a vital role on their roster, particularly during the 2021 NBA Finals against the Warriors. In hindsight, it’s arguable that Horford should never have left Boston, as he has experienced some of the most successful moments of his career with the Celtics.

10. Kyrie Irving on the Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving’s transition to the Boston Celtics in 2017 was seen as an opportunity for him to showcase his leadership and prove that he could lead a team independently, especially after playing alongside LeBron James for an extended period of time. In his initial season with the Celtics, Irving displayed promise, settling into his new home and doing things that only Kyrie could do. However, when the playoffs arrived, Irving was unfortunately sidelined due to injury. Despite his absence, the Celtics managed to make an impressive run and reach the Eastern Conference Finals, although they ultimately fell short against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

At that point, it seemed like there was a bright future ahead for Kyrie Irving and the Celtics. Irving even publicly committed to re-signing with the team following the 2018 season. Well, the 2018 season came and went; the Celtics did not perform as well in the playoffs, exiting in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Disappointingly, Kyrie reversed his earlier commitment and expressed his desire to leave Boston.

In just two seasons, fans started to wonder what might have happened if the Celtics had not traded important pieces like Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder for Irving. These players had played significant roles in the Celtics’ prior success. Irving’s tenure in Boston turned out to be relatively short-lived, and fans realized that the team seemed to be better off without him, especially with emerging talents like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown taking on greater roles and becoming potential superstars in the league. And seeing all the talk about Irving in recent years, it seems as though Boston dogged a bullet.

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