Thursday , Sep , 24 , 2009 Oly Sandor

NBA stars who must bounce back in 2010: Bogut-Redd, Ellis, Arenas, Iverson, and McGrady

Is Arenas still a stone-cold assassin or just a shade of his former self?
This is a fair question. After all, Agent Zero has become Agent MIA, suiting up for just 15 games the last two seasons due to injuries. Missing so many games didn’t stop him from talking smack or scoring a lucrative $111 contract, courtesy of the very loyal Washington Wizards …


NBA stars who must bounce back in 2010: Bogut-Redd, Ellis, Arenas, Iverson, and McGradyThey’re under the gun.

With training camps scheduled to open, these ‘five’ NBA players are hoping to resurrect their stalled careers in 2010. The pressure to relive past glory, fulfill their potential, and silence the critics must be great. For them, everything is hedged on the coming season.

On Wednesday, HoopsVibe The Blog hit you with the first in this ‘Listed’ series, where we named five players (#10-6) who must bounce back this year. Today, we announce our top five. As always, read the post, form thoughts, and get at us in the comment box below.

#5) Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd … (Technically, these are two players, but they’re in the same predicament.) 

One was drafted first overall and handed a $68 million extension based mostly on unfulfilled potential. The other is a star shooter, but, after scoring a $93 million contract, should be performing at a higher level.

To be fair, Bogut and Redd missed significant time with injuries. However, small market Milwaukee can’t afford top supporting pieces, so they have to get maximum value from these two players. Bogut and Redd must develop into a dominant inside-outside duo. 

#4) Monta Ellis …

Last summer, the lightning-quick Ellis signed a $66 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. He celebrated his newfound wealth by wrecking his ankle on a moped -the vehicle of choice for teenage boys, not millionaire athletes.

Of course, Ellis, who was in violation of his contract, lied to Warriors’ management, claiming the injury occurred during training. He was caught and then suspended by the team.

Ellis and the organization must stick together, though. After all, Don Nelson has the perfect system for Ellis’ speed, while Golden State could soon need a new franchise player if they move the talented Stephen Jackson.

#3) Gilbert Arenas …

Is Arenas still a stone-cold assassin or just a shade of his former self? 

This is a fair question. After all, Agent Zero has become Agent MIA, suiting up for just 15 games the last two seasons due to injuries. Missing so many games didn’t stop him from talking smack or scoring a lucrative $111 contract, courtesy of the very loyal Washington Wizards.

The pressure is on Arenas to lead the revamped Wizards deep into the playoffs. Along the way, we’ll see if he is still the player who killed the Chicago Bulls with his dramatic playoff buzzer-beater or if he has lost a step.     

#2) Allen Iverson …

In Denver, he was blamed for the Nuggets lacking chemistry. In Detroit, he was blamed for the Pistons imploding, even though he was acquired for his expiring contract. In Memphis, right or wrong, he will be blamed if things sour with the Grizzlies.

Iverson, who waited all summer on ‘a fair contract offer‘,  eventually settled for a one-year, $3.1 million pact from the lowly Grizzlies. Clearly, the past few years have taken its toll. At 34, ‘The Answer’ has to redeem his reputation in 2010 if he wants another NBA contract.

#1) Tracy McGrady …  

For years, McGrady teased us with great regular seasons, but never lead his team past the first round of the playoffs. More recently, his play tailed off due to injury, age, and, quite frankly, apathy.

Then last season hit. McGrady went down with a micro fracture injury and watched his Houston Rockets win that ever elusive playoff series before pushing the world champion Los Angeles Lakers to seven games in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

This summer, many predicted retirement. However, having a front row seat for Houston’s playoff run seemed to light a fire under the former superstar. Reports indicate McGrady has been working out all off-season with world famous trainer Tim Grover in hopes of re-establishing his game in 2010.

Bottom line: what happens next season will determine how ‘T-Mac’ is remembered.

What NBA star needs to bounce back the most in 2010? Well, let us know in the comment box below. Follow Oly’s work on HoopsVibe and Twitter. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.