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Time To Hang It Up: Five NBA Players That Should Retire After The Season

Basketball is a fast-paced game. While the court’s dimensions are smaller than baseball and football fields, there is no room to relax because players must exert effort on offense and defense. NBA’s Advanced Stats reveal that LaMelo Ball trumps other ballers in the distance covered, averaging 2.77 miles per game. Fred VanVleet is not far behind at 2.76.

Therefore, basketball players must be in good condition to render significant minutes. Conversely, injuries are also a dime a dozen because of the extensive regular season. Failing to stay in shape could mean reduced playing time or an abrupt end to their career. But at some point, Father Time wins, no matter how much a player wants to delay the inevitable.

These players have rendered extensive NBA careers but are far from the peak of their capabilities. Sadly, retirement after the 2022-23 season is a strong possibility because they are not steady contributors anymore or hardly step into the court. However, their younger teammates should pick their brains and learn from their limitless wisdom.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Thaddeus Young

Young won the NBA Hustle Award during the 2020-21 season thanks to his accumulated hustle stats like taking screens and diving for loose balls. But that recognition is a nice consolation for a man who nearly averaged a double-double (15.1 points, nine rebounds) for the 2015-16 season with the Brooklyn Nets.

The 16-year veteran has been touted as a do-it-all player on both ends. Unfortunately, his production has significantly dropped in his second season with the Toronto Raptors. He is averaging only 4.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game through March 11. He hasn’t played since, even if he is on the active roster, because of Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl, Chris Boucher, and Precious Achiuwa.


DeAndre Jordan

Jordan was a one-time NBA All-Star and a two-time All-NBA Third Team member. The big man from Texas A&M also made the NBA All-Defensive First Team twice and led the league in rebounds in consecutive years (2014 and 2015). He averaged 12.7 points per game in back-to-back seasons (2015-16, 2016-17) and plucked a career-high 15.2 rebounds per game in 2017-18.

Jordan also swatted away three attempts per game for the New York Knicks during the 2018-19 season, but those numbers are now a distant memory as he plays his 15th NBA season. He is buried deep in the Denver Nuggets rotation, averaging 4.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game. With nothing left to prove, it’s time for him to go.


JaVale McGee

The center from the University of Nevada averaged 12 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2019-20 season. Three years later, he plays spot minutes for the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 4.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.3 assists. The Mavericks are good at the position with Christian Wood and Dwight Powell.

If this is the end of McGee’s NBA career, it has been an excellent run for one of the league’s most glorified role players. It’s easy to forget that he is a three-time NBA champion, but he played his part for those teams.


Goran Dragic

An NBA championship has eluded Dragic since he joined the league in 2008. He might get his hands on the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2023 by signing with the Milwaukee Bucks after getting waived by the Chicago Bulls. Unfortunately, he might have difficulty cracking the point guard rotation because of Jrue Holliday and Jevon Carter.

With his best basketball years behind him, it’s time for Dragic to contemplate retirement. His 2022-23 season averages of 6.2 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game are a far cry from his career highs. Even without the title, he has had an accomplished career. Aside from winning the 2014 NBA Most Improved Player award, he also became a part of the All-NBA Third Team in the same year. The one-time NBA All-Star is also the 2017 FIBA EuroBasket Most Valuable Player.


Derrick Rose

As of writing, Rose has played only 27 games for the New York Knicks in the 2022-23 season. He reached double-digit points in only four games and is averaging 5.6 points per game in his 15th NBA season. Even his 1.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game are low for his standards. During his MVP season, he averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game.

While he brought excitement to the league during his heyday, Rose is only a shell of that explosive player. Besides, the Knicks already have Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, and Miles McBride at point guard. The Memphis alumnus has solid credentials for induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Aside from his MVP award, he is a three-time All-Star, a one-time All-NBA First Team, and the 2009 Rookie of the Year.

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