The Hoopstuff LVP Awards
The Ten Least Valuable Players of the Year
Dwight Howard- Orlando Magic (Gold)
- How can a top MVP candidate become the league’s least valuable player? Well actually it is quite simple in this case, as Howard completely sold out his team, questioned his teammates and wanted to fire the coach, all while holding the team hostage with trade demands and a seemingly daily back and forth on whether he wanted to stay in Orlando. It is absolutely inconceivable that an NBA superstar and a team’s franchise player would cause so many problems to a team that has done everything to help you become a better basketball player and human being, since drafting you as an 18 year old. I did not think it was possible, but Howard may have stolen the crown of most hated NBA superstar away from Lebron James. Shameful.
Rashard Lewis: Washington Wizards (Silver)
- Rashard Lewis is on this list for one very simply reason, he was the league’s second highest paid player this season and averaged a pathetic 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game on 38.5 percent shooting. Well that was $21,136,630 down the drain.
Amare Stoudemire- NY Knicks (Bronze)
- Stoudemire has had an absolutely dreadful regular season and the postseason has been just as bad, as his team just lost in the first round in five games and the fact that he lost a fight to a fire hydrant case. Stoudemire posted his worst numbers since his rookie year and he seems to be declining at the ripe age of 28. Even more telling was the Knicks’ record without him, as the team was much better with Stoudemire out with injury. Stoudemire has suffered a tragedy this year, as his brother was tragically killed in a car crash, which has without a doubt hurt his focus this year, but there were some obvious signs of decline on the court and it seems that his prime has come and gone. With 3 years and over 60 million guaranteed dollars left on his contract, he is virtually untradable, so the Knicks should pray for a bounce back year.
The Rest of the Worst
Tyrus Thomas- Charlotte Bobcats
- To be fair, every single Bobcat player should be on this list as they just finished with the worst record in NBA history, but singling out the best of the worst on the team was quite easy. The Bobcats signed Thomas to a lucrative 5 year contract worth over 40 million dollars two years ago and he found himself constantly in and out of the starting lineup and often completely out of the rotation. The fact that he was often deemed to not be good enough to play on the worst team in league history, says a lot about the player
Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon- Detroit Pistons
- How much does Joe Dumars regret his summer of 2009? Probably a lot. Looking to rebuild and loaded with cap space, the Pistons were ready to make a huge splash in free agency, but sadly this was one of the worst free agent summers in years. Now three years have past and both players have disappointed mightily. The two players combined to make over 19 million dollars and together scored 19.5 points and grabbed 6 rebounds a game. Pathetic. Villanueva was actually completely out of the rotation for the majority of the season and Gordon’s time was also sporadic, as he played less than 27 minutes per game, despite being the team’s highest compensated player. Expect one of these players to be amnestied this summer, as they have both been disappointments for the Pistons.
John Salmons and Jimmer Fredette
- Yet another duo. The Kings decided to trade the 7th pick in last year’s draft and Beno Udrih for John Salmons and the 10th Pick. For some reason the Kings took a worse contract and a lower pick in the deal and both pieces failed miserably this year. John Salmons played his way out of the rotation and when he actually played, he was awful. He has a great chance of getting waived via amnesty in the off-season. Not to pile on Fredette, but he was thoroughly beaten out by the final pick in the draft for a spot in the rotation, which is unacceptable for a lottery pick. The problem is that Fredette was simply overrated. Right now his best role on the Kings seems to be as a scoring guard off the bench, as he does not have the size to be a shooting guard, or the skills to be a point guard. He is small in stature and not a great athlete and will need to develop better point guard skills if he ever hopes to be a starter in the NBA. A .361 percentage from three is nothing to sneer at, but more is expected than that from a top ten pick. Fredette does have time to turn it all around and make up for his disappointment rookie year, but Salmons looks like a fringe rotation player and still has three years and over 20 million left on his contract. What a horrible trade.
Wesley Johnson- Minnesota Timberwolves
- The Timberwolves needed nothing more than a quality shooting guard and Johnson, the number four pick in the NBA Draft just one year ago, couldn’t even be that, despite starting 63 games. He has been given every chance possible over the last two years, but has shown no signs of improving. He seems to be the very definition of average as he is a mediocre athlete, defender, shooter, scorer, ball-handler, distributor and talent. A top five pick that has showed no signs of progress after two years, looks like a blown draft choice.
JaValle McGee- Denver Nuggets/ Washington Wizards
- To be fair, McGee actually showed a lot of promise in the playoffs, but he at times was third on the depth chart for the Nuggets, after being traded from Washington. Talent is not the problem with McGee, it is his ridiculously low basketball IQ and horrible court awareness. Most NBA towel boys have a better feel for the game than him. In Washington he was seen making boneheaded plays on a weekly basis and actually became somewhat of a joke in NBA circles. His ridiculous contract demands have done him no favors and he may have cost himself more money than any player over the course of the season. If he had stayed in Washington for the remainder of the year and put up his normal solid numbers, he would have made 8-10 million a year over 4-5 years, but he will now be lucky to get anything more than a two-three year contract in the range of 5-7 million a year. After four years in the NBA, with little improvement, it is doubtful he will ever truly get “it.”