What is the biggest bust move in the NBA this season?

Joined Jun 2, 2006
Getty Images, US PresswireHedo Turkoglu and Rasheed Wallace made headlines last summer but haven't delivered.

Theonly thing Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard like to do more than reporton the NBA is argue about the NBA. So we decided to combine those twoskills in our weekly One-on-One series, in which they'll debate thehottest topics in the Association.
[h3]Question: Who was the biggest dud of last summer's overhyped moves?[/h3]
RIC BUCHER:There was plenty of hoopla over title contenders making keyacquisitions to fortify their championship hopes, and most, if not all,of the acquisitions have been vastly underwhelming. But the one thatsticks in my craw more than any other is Rasheed Wallace. Maybe it's my own fault for believing Sheed was the perfect PF to reduce the Celtics' dependence on Kevin Garnett. I never thought he'd do a Bonzi Wellsand decide that since he's getting paid a fourth of what he previouslydid, he'll give one-quarter the effort, but that's exactly what itlooks like he's doing.

CHRIS BROUSSARD:Rasheed definitely has been a bust, but I didn't expect a ton from him.He mailed it in last season in Detroit, and while playing for a ringwith great vets would seem to motivate him, at 35, once you've turnedoff the switch, it's hard to turn it back on.

RB:You pointed out exactly why Sheed's performance is unforgivable. Idon't buy the on/off switch argument. If that's the case, Clevelandshouldn't have gone anywhere near Shaq. Sheed has a chance at anotherring, playing alongside one of the most relentless workers in the gamein KG, for an organization as hallowed as the Celtics, and we get this?It doesn't just make Sheed look bad now -- it throws a shadow over hisentire career.

CB:: I'm going with Hedo Turkoglu.He was the most sought-after free agent of the summer and he definitelyhasn't lived up to the five-year, $53 million contract Toronto gavehim. He's not playing great, and the team's barely holding on to aplayoff spot in the weak East. For $10 mil a year, the Raptorsdefinitely expected more.

RB:I'm giving Hedo a pass because (1) he's been injured a good part of theseason; (2) the Raptors have taken him off the ball a lot and made hima complementary player more than he ever was in Orlando; and (3) he'sstill above his career averages in most categories.

CB::Man, remind me to hire you as my excuse maker when I fail to deliver.Hedo has played 63 of 69 games and is averaging nearly 32 minutes anight. Is he sore, hurt, banged up? Maybe. But excusing his subpar playbecause of that is a crock. Last time I spoke with Hedo, even he wasn'tletting himself off that easy. Yes, he does talk about being moved offthe ball, but the Raptors have gone to him plenty of times during thefourth quarter and he hasn't delivered. Hedo grew into a near-star inOrlando, and his points per game and field goal percentage there werehigher every season than what he's doing now. He was supposed to boostToronto to where Atlanta is right now and give Chris Bosh pause about heading elsewhere.

RB:No excuses here; just facts. Turkoglu has played with a broken eyesocket and a sprained ankle this season. Fact. His shots, touches andminutes are all way down. Fact. The same minutes produced the samenumbers three years ago in Orlando. Fact. He struggled after signinghis last big deal in Orlando. Fact. If you want to ignore all that, actas if he's just dogging it and put the Raptors' struggles on him, noproblem.

CB:You want facts? You can't handle the facts! Turkoglu showed up fortraining camp complaining about being fatigued and was given a coupleof weeks off. Whose fault is that? Because you'll probably give anexcuse, I'll answer for you: Hedo's. His battle wasn't against injuriesbut against poor conditioning. Yourblame-it-on-the-in-in-in-in-in-injuries argument is bogus, since Hedo'sworst month of the season came before he fractured his eye socket. Youmentioned Hedo's numbers being similar in his first season in Orlando.Yeah, that Hedo would not have gotten a $53 mil deal either. TheAll-Star-caliber Hedo of the previous two seasons is the Hedo Torontoexpected. Instead, the Raptors got the Hedo who was a ho-hum roleplayer in his early Orlando days.

RB:It just doesn't make sense: A player is less involved in everyimaginable way, but he's at fault for not carrying the load? Whereasthere's nothing wrong with Sheed, other than he's out of shape. All theCeltics need from him is 20 to 25 solid minutes off the bench. A formerAll-Star playing against second units, blocking a few shots and gettinga few timely post-ups would not seem to be an extraordinaryexpectation. Hedo might be disappointing; Sheed is demoralizing.

CB:Sheed is 35 years old and had been on a steady decline for the pastthree seasons. "Former" All-Star is absolutely right. You expected "afew timely post-ups"? Why? Sheed hasn't put in significant work on theblock since 2006 -- and I think I'm being generous with that. ThePistons could have told you he doesn't want to play anymore. And forall your disdain for him, Sheed is not going to keep the Celticsstrapped financially for the next four years. Hedo is 31 and in his10th season. His play might actually get worse as his pay increases.That's the definition of disappointment.

RB:If it's financial commitment you want, I'll take a 31-year-old with afive-year deal over a 35-year-old with a three-year one, especiallywhen the latter is struggling to give me even 20 quality minutes.

CB:Here's my bottom line: The Raptors' failure to play up to theirpotential has more to do with Hedo's underachievement than Boston'sfailures have to do with Sheed's poor play. If you want to blame anyonein Boston, blame Danny Ainge for signing him to a three-year, $19 million deal.

RB:Funny how you fail to mention why Hedo was fatigued -- he played forthe Turkish national team over the summer, a team he carries almost thesame way Dirk Nowitzki carries Germany. You also fail to note thatChris Bosh missed most of training camp, too. The early struggles areeasy to explain -- they've used him as a conventional small forward,which is not what made him All-Starish in Orlando.

CB:Hedo is not using his national team as an excuse, and I didn't mentionBosh's missing training camp because Bosh is delivering. I have noproblem with a player being excused from camp if he gets in shape andplays well. I'm not making excuses for Sheed, either. I'm just sayingthe writing was on the wall with him. With Hedo, everyone (includingmyself) expected more.

RB:Put down the broad brush. I didn't blame Hedo's poor season on sittingout part of the preseason, you did. You said he came into campcomplaining of fatigue without explaining the source of that fatigue.Hedo isn't willfully undercutting the team's system; he's strugglingwith a different role.

CB:No one said or even suggested Hedo was willfully undercutting theRaptors' system. I do think he's trying, but it hasn't worked out. IfHedo had given the Raptors what they expected, they'd be fighting forhome-court advantage in the first round. As it is, they're fighting forthe eighth seed. If Sheed gave Boston what he gave Detroit the past twoseasons, they'd be better, yes, but they wouldn't be ahead of Clevelandin the East.

RB:Sheed isn't just underperforming; he appears to be dragging the teamdown, and for a guy universally advertised as "a great teammate,"that's outrageous. And if the writing was on the wall with him asclearly as you say it was, why did KG and the rest of the Celtics throwthemselves at Sheed's feet to join them?

CB:You're talking about a disappointing role player off the bench with amoderate contract versus a disappointing No. 2 guy with a long and fatcontract. It's pretty obvious which one is more detrimental. Hedo'sdecline is something new.

RB:Hedo is not being used in Toronto the same way he was in Orlando; whywould it be a mystery that he's not as effective? And why would youjump to the conclusion, what with an arduous offseason, a new system,the pressure of a new contract and injuries that Hedo is in decline?Maybe he won't live up to the contract, but in decline?

The difference between the two is that there are plenty of reasonsto believe that Hedo can and will return to his form of the past fewyears. The Raptors acquired him as a building block, not just for aboost this season.

CB:Two of your excuses -- that Hedo has had such a tough adjustment to anew role and that his "arduous" offseason took too much out of him --are easily dismissed by the fact that his best month of the seasonstatistically was his first. On top of that, you've decided he's somentally weak that he's cracking under the pressure of his newcontract. Then you correctly add that he was signed to be a buildingblock, which just makes his subpar play that much more disappointing.You're actually making my argument for me.

Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard are senior writers for ESPN The Magazine.
Joined Dec 6, 2007
Woah, I totally forgot about RJ, I was amazed that they got him and stole Dejuan in the draft. I thought they would be a lot better than they are. RJ is just daydreaming about the offseason so he can shack up with Luke Walton to run their basketball camp together.
Joined Dec 6, 2007
Originally Posted by Do Be Doo

Its true...........IT'S DAMN TRUE!

Haven't seen much Spurs games, is he just not acclimated yet or what? Is he too much of a I need to dominate the ball guy that Pop doesnt like. I mean with TP, Hill, RJ, TD, McDyess and Ginobli, Red Rocket, and Blair off the bench I swear you guys would've gotten 2nd or 3rd

do be doo

Joined Mar 13, 2009
No he just takes more jump shots then taking it to the rim...

Plus Tony is not a pass 1st point guard so that has also affected him...
But He plays better with Manu who has been passing more then in years past...
Joined Jul 15, 2003
I know RJ is a good choice for this, but the Spurs are still a playoff team and in the West at that. Hedo got PAID and hasn't done jack. His team is barely in the playoffs in a weak East. As Bosh said, most teams see the Raptors on the schedule now and figure its a W. I am not looking at stats, I am looking at what the teams are doing, and both have done pretty bad compared to expectations. I don't remember how much RJ got paid but Hedo got a boat load. I guess i am just extremely happy he passed up Portland as I did not want him and thought he would be a bust for that pay.

Who do you all think was the BEST FA signing of the off-season? I would think, although I am a Blazer fan, that Andre Miller was an excellent pickup. What were some other good ones out there?


formerly chillainvillain
Joined Mar 2, 2009
Drafting Thabeet.
Ben Gordon.
Rasheed Wallace.
Richard Jefferson.
Trevor Ariza. (imo)
Joined Jun 22, 2000
Trevor Ariza. (imo)

I don't agree. What did they expect out of him? My guess is that they were hoping his game would grow because he'd get more PT and he'd learn something from Battier. I don't know that we can call this one until Yao's healthy.
Joined Dec 26, 2004
If we are talking "this season" and not just over the summer, then I who have to add the firings of Byron Scott and Lawrence Frank. The Lawrence Frank firing actually looks much worse because he was fired so early and the team still might end up with the worst record in history. At least that fat guy in N.O. can use losing Chris Paul as an excuse.

As for RJ, I still for the life of me cannot see what anyone expected from him.

notorious 858

Joined Jun 11, 2009
Richard Jefferson. Dude has never been a winner on any teams he's played for. Even coming out of college I was not impressed at all with his overall game. Dude is another college player who had crazy hops & good athleticism who shined and played well during March Madness. Other players who fall into this category: Shawn Marion, Kenyon Martin, Stromile Swift, Tyrus Thomas.

2nd has to be the T'Wolves draft choices last year. 3 1st rounds picks and you use 2 of them on PG's when one of them made it clear he wanted no part of thier Franchise and they passed up on guys like Steph Curry & Brandon Jennings
Joined Jan 29, 2007
Everyone saw those two Detroit moves as an failure, IMO.

Good one pointing out the firing of L. Frank. Although hes been a horrible coach in the past, he was def. given the short end of the stick on this one.
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