Fantasy Basketball: Unveiling the 2013-14 All-Bust Team


Throughout the week I have been taking a look at a few guys who have severely disappointed Fantasy Basketball owners.

Now it is time to take that a step further and look at the biggest busts in fantasy basketball this season.

An NBA team dresses 13 players, so that’s how many my All-Bust team will feature.

Jan 21, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio (9) drives during the first half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Many of you may cringe as several of these guys you may have used a high draft pick on or even worse some of these guys may still be on your team.

So without any delay let’s take a look at the team.

Honorable Mentions:

These guys get a nod due to disappointing seasons due to major injuries. Guys like Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Al Horford and Brook Lopez aren’t doing fantasy owners any good after major injuries.

Starting Lineup

PG- Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves

Earlier in the week I examined whether or not there is any hope left for Rubio.  Many felt that his third NBA season could be a breakout one for the Spanish star, but it simply hasn’t happened.

His 35.6 percent field goal percentage and 8.3 points per game average simply offsets the 8.2 assists and 2.7 steal per game he averages.

Rubio continues to struggle with his shot and had been on a slump by shooting just 28.4 percent from the field in his previous 11 games. He needs to improve his shot, or get more points by attacking the basket, to become a bigger real basketball and fantasy impact player.

That’s not likely to happen.

SG- Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers

Many thought Waiters was a potential fantasy sleeper coming into the season after averaging 14.7 points per game a rookie last season.

Instead he has become one of the more frustrating players to own.

The kid has talent, but inconsistencies with his shot have plagued him all year.

He is averaging slightly less points per game (14.4) than he did his rookie season and is shooting worse (40.5 percent) from the floor. The second-year pro should be better but at the end of the day simply doesn’t do enough to help your team in other areas.

SF- Paul Pierce, Brooklyn Nets

How the mighty have fallen.

The Brooklyn Nets were supposed to be a contender this season and that hasn’t happened, but a couple of their veterans are close to becoming fantasy irrelevant, including the future Hall of Famer Pierce.

The draft day trade from Boston hurt his fantasy stock to begin with, but very few expected it to get this bad.

While he has picked it up as of late, Pierce’s 13.0 point per game average is over eight points off his career average. Throw in the fact that he is shooting a near career-low 40.7 percent from the floor and grabbing only 4.8 rebounds per night and you can see why he makes this team.

PF- Josh Smith, Detroit Pistons

Jan 20, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons small forward Josh Smith (6) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Clippers beat the Pistons 112-103. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

I also took a look at Smith’s disappointing season this week. After signing a big contract in Detroit during the offseason, needless to say, Smith has not lived up to expectations, averaging only 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists, his lowest numbers across the board since 2008-09.

Even more disturbing is that Smith is a subscriber to the J.R. Smith (I will get to him later for sure) book of poor shot selection as he continues to chuck up awful and contested shots, resulting in a 40.8 percent field-goal percentage, which is down significantly from the 46 percent he has shot during his career.

Smith is also taking four three’s per game, despite making them at only a 23.9 percent clip.

He has shown some life as of late, but Smith is one of the more disappointing fantasy players of the year.

C- Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn Nets

Similar to Pierce, the trade to Brooklyn hasn’t done much to help KG out as he is averaging a career worst 6.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while only shooting 41.3 percent from the floor.

We knew KG was on the decline and wouldn’t post his career averages of 18.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and a 49.7 field-goal percentage, but very few imagined such a drastic decline.

Sixth Man

J.R. Smith, New York Knicks

I always am leery of a guy who puts up a career year nine years into his NBA career, especially when he does so during a contract year like Smith did last season when he won the Sixth man of the Year award.

Smith is down over six points per game in scoring, from 19.4 to 13.4 per game this season and is grabbing one less rebound (5.8-4.7) per night.

However while his off the court dramatics kill you, that’s nothing compared to how much of a killer his field-goal percentage is.

Smith has always been one to take a ton of bad shots, but last year he shot a respectable 42.2 percent from the floor. This year he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat, making only 36.5 of his attempts from the floor.


Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks

I never got caught into the hype of Shumpert as most Knicks fans do. I just don’t see him ever becoming a well-rounded offensive player.

However I did expect him to emerge a bit this season as the Knicks third option and that hasn’t happened.

Jan 7, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard O.J. Mayo (00) during the game against the Golden State Warriors at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Golden State won 101-80. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Shump is averaging only 7.3 points per game and shooting under 40 percent. Needless to say a lot more was expected from him. Grabbing only five boards per game, he is a guy that just doesn’t help you in other areas either.

Even worse, as long as Raymond Felton is running the point for the Knicks, shot opportunities aren’t likely to come Shumpert’s way as he gets many more attempts when Felton isn’t on the floor.

O.J. Mayo, Milwaukee Bucks

Coming off a season in which he played pretty well in Dallas and playing on the worst team in the NBA, you would think Mayo would have a big year as there would be plenty of opportunities for him to carry the Bucks offense.

He has picked it up lately and is averaging only 12.6 points per game, is shooting under 40 percent from the floor, and is averaging under three rebounds and assists per night.

Needless to say Mayo has been a fantasy bust.

Jeff Green, Boston Celtics

Green makes this list based on expectations. Yes he is averaging 16.2 points per game, but with a strong finish to last season and a re-tooled Boston roster, many felt Green could emerge as a really good fantasy option.

He has decent numbers across the board, but based on his talent he has underachieved a bit.

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

Beal makes the list based on the fact that he can’t stay on the floor with is frustrating enough to fantasy owners.

He is averaging a solid 17.0 points per game, but injuries have limited him and we have seen a huge drop off as of late.

Our Seth Klein took a look at the second-year pro, writing:

At the time of his injury he was averaging 20.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.8 three-pointers and playing a league-leading 40.2 minutes per game.  Since his return though, he’s tailed off tremendously, scoring a pedestrian 14.5 points, to go along with 3.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and just 1.8 threes.  Beal’s playing time has diminished a fair amount as well, with him seeing only 27.9 minutes of court time in those 18 games.

Again Beal’s inclusion doesn’t have as much to do with his performances as it does the fact he can’t stay healthy. You can say the same for Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, but Beal makes the list ahead of Irving because Kyrie’s numbers are a little better when he is out there.

Gerald Wallace, Boston Celtics

Jan 22, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova (7) shoots over Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) during the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

By no means is Wallace a star, but he has still be a serviceable fantasy guy in the past, boasting career averages of 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

You would think he would have had the opportunity to match those numbers on a Celtics’ team with not a whole lot of talent, but despite getting over 22 minutes per night, Wallace is averaging a mere 4.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game and shouldn’t be on anyone’s fantasy roster.

Ersan Ilyasova. Milwaukee Bucks

Ilyasova often shows signs of breaking out, but similar to Mayo you would think he would have a chance to at least put up good individual numbers on a bad Milwaukee team.

Instead, after back-to-back seasons of averaging over 13 points per game, Ilyasova is dropping only nine points per night and grabbing only 5.1 rebounds. That’s down two rebounds per game from last season. He is also shooting only 39.5 percent from the floor, much lower than his career 44.5 percent average and  is struggling big time from the outside, knocking down only 26.1 of his attempts from behind the arc, after back-to-back seasons in which he connected over 44 percent of  the time from long range.

Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors

Finally we get to Valanciunas, quite frankly because I needed another center on this team. That doesn’t take away from the fact that the second-year pro has been a disappointment.

He’s averaging 10.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, which aren’t terrible numbers and are both up from his rookie season.

However much more was expected from him and it is a bit disturbing that his shooting percentages are down across the board.

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