Bleacher Report lists Domantas Sabonis as ‘the most overrated NBA player’

Jul 31, 2023, 3:11 PM

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The NBA offseason is a time of rankings, lists, and the hottest of takes. Unfortunately, Kings center Domantas Sabonis has been caught in the crossfire of one of these lists.

Last week, Bleacher Report released a list “Ranking the Most Overrated NBA Players.” Number one, with a bullet, is our tall King. The list is rounded out by DeMar DeRozan at five, Kawhi Leonard at four, Jonas Valanciunas at three and Dillon Brooks at two.

So, what makes Sabonis overrated? Disregarding the fact that Sabonis — who averaged just under 20 points, a league-leading 12.3 rebounds and a career-high 7.3 assists last season — helped lead the Kings to their first playoff series in nearly 20 years, writer Grant Hughes focuses primarily on the team’s first-round loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Well, start with the fact that he was essentially outplayed by Kevon Looney in the Sacramento Kings’ first-round loss to the Golden State Warriors. That series swung in part on Sabonis’ inability to shoot from the perimeter, put the ball on the floor in space or defend the rim. Those three shortcomings mattered far less during the regular season, when opponents didn’t study up and force the Kings center out of his comfort zone.

Hughes goes on to say that the Warriors have supplied the league with a blueprint on how to guard Sabonis. That, plus this summer’s contract extension, “for a player whose postseason minutes against Golden State coincided with a minus-9.5 net rating.”

If all this writer is focusing on is one playoff series, then it makes sense why someone may consider Domantas Sabonis overrated. Sure Kevon Looney went Super Saiyan when it came to rebounds, but who knows how Sabonis would have played had he not been stomped on the chest or an elbowed in the eye.

But Kings fans and basketball enthusiasts who watched the Beam Team last year know what he brings to the team. The Third Team All-NBA center finished the year with 14 triple-doubles, second behind eventual MVP Nikola Jokic, and league-leading double-doubles (65). He also shot 61% from the field. Wilt Chamberlain is the only other player in league history to have averaged 19-12-7 while shooting 60 percent or higher from the field.

And let’s take away the personal accolades. For the 2022-23 season, Domantas Sabonis ranked in the top five in win shares (12.6, second) and offensive win shares (9.6, second). If anything, our center is underrated with how important he was to last year’s success, because, don’t forget, he played with a fractured thumb since late December.

But hey, it’s the offseason. we all need something to write about.

Sacramento Kings Offseason Schedule

  • August TBD – 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • September TBD – Sacramento Kings training camp begins
  • October TBD – Sacramento Kings preseason begins
  • October TBD – NBA regular season begins

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Bleacher Report lists Domantas Sabonis as ‘the most overrated NBA player’