The 2021 NBA playoffs follow a season that was one of if not the most turbulent and unpredictable seasons to date. Still, with it, we have been blessed with the chance to witness numerous young emerging stars such as Devin Booker, Ja Morant, Julius Randle, and Trae Young make their playoffs debut. With some of the league’s brightest young stars shining on the biggest stage of their career, it got me thinking; Who are some of the top players in the league that has yet to make a playoff appearance?
Most teams are on different timelines, and we can’t always expect a young budding star to help lead a team to the playoffs as soon as they enter the league like Dywane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Damian Lillard were able to, and more recently, Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell.
With some of the league’s young stars thriving in the NBA playoffs, who are some of the league’s top players that have yet to make a postseason appearance?
Morant made the playoffs in his sophomore campaign after barely missing the postseason his rookie year, while Young played for tanking team and did not cross the threshold until his third season. It took both Booker and Randle over five seasons to finally reach the playoffs. Even the newly-minted 2021 NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic, didn’t make his first postseason berth until his fourth year in the NBA. The list of star players who didn’t lead their team to the playoffs right away goes on and on, but I think you get the point.
I can’t help but fantasize about how they would perform under the bright lights and in a playoff atmosphere. Will the moment prove to be too big for them like it did for Randle and so many others before him? Or will they rise to the occasion like Doncic, Young, Morant, Mitchell, etc.? Without further ado, here are my top five players without a playoff appearance.