These Five NBA Players Are On The Wrong Teams 

One of the most important things a player needs to succeed in the NBA is the right environment. Only the elite of the elite can reach their potential regardless of the situation. For most players the right team, role, and opportunities lead to success.

Right now in the NBA there are players on teams who would be better served if they found different situations.

5. Cameron Johnson, Brooklyn Nets

The 27-year-old is your prototypical 3 and D player. He shoots 41 percent from behind the arc on six attempts per game, and at 6 feet 9 he is a versatile, plus defender who can switch and play in isolation.

The Nets are a middle-of-the-road team in the play-in range of the Eastern Conference. They have good players like Johnson but lack needle-moving elite players. They could trade for someone like Donovan Mitchell, but there’s no guarantee he’ll sign long term.

Johnson has a lot of value for contending teams with draft capital. Hello, Oklahoma City Thunder. Los Angeles Lakers, are you here? It’s unlikely Johnson will be the right age if and when the Nets start rebuilding. Move him now and keep that rebuild going.

4. Tyus Jones, Washington Wizards

Jones spent the last four seasons as Ja Morant’s backup with the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s now on the Wizards, one of the worst teams in the league, who are not trying to win games. Why the Wizards acquired him makes no sense, but here we are.

Jones is an excellent connector and organizer on offense and a 42 percent three-point shooter. He had the “best backup PG” crown for the last two seasons. The Minnesota Timberwolves could use him to spell 36-year-old Mike Conley. The Phoenix Suns desperately need a backup point guard.

3. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

It seems odd to say that KAT doesn’t belong on a team that is in first place in the Western Conference, but here we are. The Wolves have KAT and emerging superstar Anthony Edwards and are somehow only the 17th-best offense in the league. They’re in first place because of their No. 1 ranked defense, which KAT is a part of.

KAT is averaging 21 points per game on 50/40/89 shooting splits. But he could be doing so much more on offense. Add in the fact that come the playoffs the two-big lineup with KAT and Rudy Gobert will have some advantages but also challenges when teams go small.

The Wolves are Edwards’ team now, and KAT would generate a nice return in a trade package. Many teams could use a floor-spacing big man. The Orlando Magic have the league’s No. 2 defense and 24th-ranked offense. A frontline of Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and KAT would be very interesting.

2. Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

With the recent trade of OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks, the writing is on the wall. It is rebuild around Scottie Barnes time in the North. That means two-time All-NBA and two-time All-Star Siakam is the next domino to drop.

At 29 years old Siakam, is in his prime and should not be a part of a rebuild. He’s a versatile forward who can operate as a primary ballhandler or secondary ballhandler, either position in the pick and roll and can score on the interior as well as outside. Though his three-point shot has deserted him this season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder could use a power forward who can score on the interior next to their rookie spacing center in Chet Holmgren. Siakam and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be an excellent pick and roll combination too.

1. Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz

A team that starts Jordan Clarkson and Colin Sexton is not trying to win basketball games. Such is the case with the Utah Jazz. CEO Danny Ainge is on the Sam Presti plan, acquire as much draft capital and young talent as possible so you can keep your job for as long as possible.

That leaves the 26-year-old All-Star Markkanen as the odd man out. When this team is ready to compete he will be in the late stage of his prime or possibly coming out of it. He’s averaging 23 points and eight rebounds per game on 48/37/86 shooting. He is a matchup nightmare for opponents and when engaged can use his size to be an effective defender.

After this season he only has next year partially guaranteed on his current deal. He’ll be looking for a long-term deal in the $30 million to $35 million per year range, possibly higher. Ainge won’t pay that. Could the Memphis Grizzlies or New York Knicks land the 7-foot sharpshooter?

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