The most overrated player on every Western Conference NBA team going into the 2022-2023 season

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Last week, I wrote about the most overrated NBA player on each Eastern Conference team going into the upcoming season. After, I promised a part 2 on the Western Conference, and here I am to deliver on that promise. But before I start, I once again want to make clear this is not the list of the worst players on each team, which a lot of people tend to get confused about when reading through lists like these. Now, let’s begin. 

Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton. This offseason there has been a lot of talk about how disrespectful the Suns front office was for, after benching Ayton in Game 7 of the biggest game of the season, not paying him the max extension until they were forced to when he signed an offer sheet with the Pacers. However, I don’t think the Suns were being disrespectful at all. Deandre Ayton is what I like to call “Chris Paul made”, meaning without the Hall of Fame Point guard, Ayton would not post the numbers he does. Almost all of Ayton’s points are wide open layups and dunks off of dimes from CP3. Ayton simply does not have the ability to create his own shot in the post like the elite bigs in the league like Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid do. And, now, he’s overpaid and overrated in Phoenix. 

Memphis Grizzlies: Steven Adams. Now, the average person would probably say the most overrated player on the Grizzlies is their star Point Guard Ja Morant due to how well they played when he was out last season, but I disagree. I think Adams is the choice here. While on paper Adams consistent double digit rebounding numbers look good, he simply is not a winning level big man. He’s a poor defender and can’t step out and guard smaller, quicker players. During this past postseason, we saw him exposed by opponents to the point where he had to be benched. Adams is definitely someone you will not look at so positively once you give him an eye test. 

Golden State Warriors: Donte DiViencenzo. I took the easy route here and selected a newcomer to Golden State rather than selecting someone from last season’s championship core, but I still think this is the right call. DiViencenzo already won a championship in 2021 with the Bucks while injured, and many consider him to be an above average 3&D player in the league that will make the Warriors even more stacked this season, or will he? The young guard lacks IQ and often plays out of control. Despite his 6’4 frame and athleticism he doesn’t have what it takes to play Point Guard, which could harm the Warriors when they want to play him next to Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole , given DiViencenzo is likely too small to play forward. But, who knows, the Warriors development staff is top notch and could help prove me wrong.  

Dallas Mavericks: Reggie Bullock. I mean, what was Reggie Bullock even doing for the Mavs last playoffs? The supposed “sharpshooting” specialist went on streaks of up to 8 misses from downtown in a row. If Bullock was consistent like he was expected to be, the Mavericks could’ve had a shot at competing at the highest level with the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. 

Utah Jazz: The entire team minus Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz cycle occurs every year. Put on a show during the regular season, get a high seed, get set high expectations, fail to meet the expectations, which therefore making you overrated. The only exception to this is Mitchell, who actually plays as well or better in the playoffs as he does in the regular season. Although, Mitchell is in trade rumors so, even the Jazz may not have that going for them soon. 

Denver Nuggets: Micheal Porter Jr. Now look, a lot of Porter Jr’s problems have been due to his bad back that has hindered him every year of his career since college. But, the man got a max extension, played terrible, then got hurt and didn’t play another game the rest of the season. It’s simply unacceptable for someone who some say has the potential to be a mini KD due to his 6’10 frame and ability to score. 

Minnesota Timberwolves: Rudy Gobert. Gobert has won multiple DPOY’s yet he is one of the worst playoff defenders we’ve ever seen. Why? Because he can’t guard the perimeter, which allows 5 shooter lineups to make him look lost. There is no way the Wolves should’ve given up every young piece they had and multiple first round picks to the Jazz for him (I already wrote an article about how bad this trade was, so I’ll leave it at that). 

New Orleans Pelicans: Devonte Graham. Graham quickly went from one of the most improved players 3 seasons ago to one of the least efficient players last season. If you’re a 6’1 guard like Graham is, you have to be able to makeup for your already poor defense by being efficient and scoring through traffic in the paint: Graham does neither of those, and gets saved from slander mainly due to the big names on the Pelicans around him. 

Los Angeles Clippers: John Wall. I cannot believe that on twitter I saw people saying John Wall moved the needle for the Clippers in terms of winning a championship. Are you kidding? Wall hasn’t proved to anyone in 3 years he can stay healthy, and his lack of a consistent 3 point jumper makes him less playable in a 3 point shooting league. Luckily, he’s a low risk for the Clippers, but he’s definitely not the X factor to a ring.

San Antonio Spurs: No one. San Antonio gets no love or hate unless big stars are playing there, so there’s no one overrated by people here. If anything, most of their young core is underrated. 

Los Angeles Lakers: Wenyen Gabriel. It’s time for my favorite team, the Lakers. I could go on and on about how bad Russell Westbrook was/is but, he gets so much slander I can’t consider him “overrated”. So I’ll go with late addition last season Wenyen Gabriel. I don’t see a world where this man deserves a spot on a roster that has LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and maybe in the near future Kyrie Irving. Does he hustle? Yes, and I love that. But, he lacks a 3 point shot, plays out of control sometimes, and is still a raw prospect. The fact that some Laker fans feel he deserves to stay and maybe even get a rotation spot puzzles me. 

Sacramento Kings: Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis is like a Walmart version of MVP Nikola Jokic. He can pass at 7 feet tall, rebound, shoot, but he just doesn’t have that “it” factor. He hasn’t been able to raise a mediocre team to glory yet despite getting All Star nods and being traded for a very high value package last season. But, he’s still young, and has time to develop “it”. 

Portland Trail Blazers: Nobody. I genuinely tried to find a reason to cherry pick and mark a player as overrated but I simply can’t find one. Damian Lillard is a generational talent, Anfernee Simons is one of the better young guards in the league, and the rest of their role players do exactly that, play their role. However, with high expectations coming to a now healthy team this fall, we could see this opinion change quickly. 

Oklahoma City Thunder: Josh Giddey. I know, I’m calling a second year player who dropped multiple triple doubles as a rookie overrated, but allow me to explain. Giddey may have great size and IQ but he lacks one thing any Point Guard in the modern day NBA needs: a jumpshot. Yes, he has all the time in the world to develop one, but I just get the feel there’s too much satisfaction with his game in OKC already. We’ll see how this develops, though. 

Houston Rockets: Jalen Green. Yes, I am going after another soon to be second year player. Green may have insane hops and produce a SportsCenter top 10 highlight every other game, but he isn’t efficient. His shot selection is wild at times and his IQ needs some improvement. Does he, like Giddey, have time to develop these flaws? Yes. But, again, I don’t like the vibe over there in Houston. 

There you have it, every Western Conference team’s most overrated player. I had a lot of fun making these (as weird as that sounds given it’s me critiquing 15 world-class athletes), and I hope you enjoyed reading this 2 part mini-series. Hopefully at the end of the season I get a chance to look back at these opinions and do a follow-up where I see how right or wrong I was. For now, we must see how they play out as the NBA season FA’s you approaches.