We have seen numerous players break out in the ’20/’21 season and solidify their spot in the league. But what about the players that underperformed and failed the expectations people set out for them before the season? Today I will bring you the five players I felt played under their abilities and disappointed. These are by no means bad players or bad seasons for that matter, but just players that were expected to be much better. Here we go.
2020-2021 Stats: 19.3ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.9 apg, 42%FG, 36%3P
When the Celtics lost Kyrie Irving, many people didn’t blink because they thought they would be the same or even better with Kemba Walker. But when you compare the two nowadays, Kyrie is playing some of his best basketball, while Kemba is slowly falling off. He struggled with his efficiency this season and blended in the disappointing season of the Boston Celtics. They have been bounced out in the first round by the Nets, as Kemba’s status in Boston next season will be a question mark. Can he stay healthy and regain some of his old form? We will have to wait and see, but Kemba isn’t getting any younger at 31 years old.
2020-2021 Stats: 21.4ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.5 apg, 45.5%FG, 29.7%3P
Siakam didn’t have a bad season by any means, but he was expected to leap to superstardom this year as the leader of the Raptors. After playing a massive role in winning the 2019 championship, Siakam’s future was looking bright, but he has started to stagnate this season. The most significant drop in his game was in the shooting department, especially from the 3 point line, where Pascal fell to under 30%. The Raptors expect “Spicy P” to take the ropes and lead them into playoff runs, but his Raptors had an awful season and were convincingly out of the playoffs. Hopefully, Siakam and the Raptors can regroup next season and be at the top of the East again.
2020-2021 Stats: 15.1ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.4 apg, 43.9%FG, 36%3P
Don’t get me wrong, Herro has had a fantastic start to his NBA career, slipping to the Heat at the 13th pick and proving to be one of the steals of the 2019 Draft. After a great rookie season, and even better bubble performance in which he played a huge role in the Heat making the Finals, everybody expected big things from Herro this season. He had a similar and solid season by numbers, but after disappearing in the playoffs versus the Bucks, some questions were raised.
Pat Riley and the Heat overpriced Herro’s trade value, especially when it came to the opportunity to grab James Harden. Harden was willing to go to Miami, but Riley had to send a package involving Herro to make it happen. In the end, the Heat went with Herro instead and missed on a superstar in Harden, as Pat wouldn’t budge. When you look at that possible trade, you can’t help but think they would have still been in the playoffs if they got Harden instead of Herro. Maybe it will pay off in the long run, but Herro will need to step up his game next year.
2020-2021 Stats: 12.2ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 40.9%FG, 36.5%3P
The veteran Love is far from his best days, but nobody expected him to fall off so quickly. Considering that just last season, he was a solid 18 and 10 guy; this year has been pretty rough for Love. He missed a lot of time due to injury, but he wasn’t looking like himself when playing. His huge contract still has two years on the table, as that will make it tough to trade Love to another team that could use him in a smaller role. A buyout seems more logical, as that could be the best scenario for both Love and the Cavs next season.
2020-2021 Stats: 11.2ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 36.5%FG, 26.2%3P
Reddish is one of those players that flew under the radar this season, but that is a shame as many fans expected him to make a name for himself in his second season. The talented guard/forward has missed a lot of time this season due to injury, but he didn’t show much improvement when he was playing. Cam showed flashes, but the inconsistency has really kept him from showing his true potential. In addition, his percentages are terrible, especially for the type of scorer he is. Obviously, Reddish is still very young, and he has dealt with tough injuries, so he still has a lot of time to improve and fulfill his potential on the upside.
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