Playing for a winning team in the NBA isn't guaranteed. As a result, a lot of players have had more losses than wins in their careers.
Some of the top active players who have been in the league for a long time are yet to make it to the playoffs. That's because their franchises have struggled to build contending teams. The list includes the likes of Zach LaVine and De'Aaron Fox, among others. Until last season, a player of Devin Booker's caliber had also not featured in the playoffs.
It took the Phoenix Suns a long time before they built a playoff-contending team. It was worth the wait, though, as they not only qualified for the playoffs, but they also made a Finals appearance.
Nevertheless, Booker is among 18 players with over 300 NBA games to have a winning percentage under 40. On that note, here's a look at the top five on the list:
#5 Wayne Ellington - 37.3%
Wayne Ellington has been in the NBA for 12 seasons. He has earned a reputation for being one of the best long-range shooters in the league over the years. But he hasn't had much collective success in his career, though, because most of the teams he played for weren't playoff-contending ones.
He has played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, LA Lakers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons. Ellington has made three trips to the postseason. The first was with the Mavs in 2013, the second with the Heat in 2018 and the third with the Pistons in 2019. Unfortunately, he never got past the first round with any team.
Ellington has a win percentage of over 50% with just three teams, the Grizzlies (26-14), Mavericks (22-21) and the Heat (87-77) during his career.
Throughout his 727-game career, the 33-year old has been on the winning team just 271 times. His winning percentage could improve this year, as Ellington will be playing for the championship-contending LA Lakers.
#4 Richaun Holmes - 34.4%
After a slow start to his NBA career, Richaun Holmes is quickly turning into one of the most impactful big men in the league. The 37th pick in the 2015 draft started his stint in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. But the Sixers were far from the perennial playoff contenders back then.
Holmes recorded just seven wins in his rookie season out of the 51 games he played, and 16 wins in his sophomore year. His best campaign with the team was during the 2018-19 campaign, when he won 30 of 48 games. He was injured towards the end of the regular season, but returned to make his NBA playoffs debut.
It remains the only playoff appearance of his career to date. Holmes has played for the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings since then. Both were lottery teams when he played for them. His NBA win-loss record in that stretch is 61-114. Overall, Holmes' win/loss record stands at 114-217.
#3 D'Angelo Russell - 34.3%
D'Angelo Russell has been part of several rebuilding teams since his NBA debut. It started with the LA Lakers, followed by the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers were one of the most dismal teams in the NBA when they drafted Russell #2 overall in 2015. They failed to qualify for the playoffs in both seasons Russell played for them. The point guard won just 38 of 103 games with the 17-time champions.
Russell got traded to the Nets in his third season. They were in a rebuild too at the time, which only exacerbated his win/loss record. His overall record with the team was 58-71. Nonetheless, he made his debut playoff appearance with the Nets in his final season with them in 2019.
Russell moved to the Golden State Warriors as part of a sign-and-trade deal that saw Kevin Durant go the other way, before the 2019-20 campaign. He could have had the best season of his career. Nut the Warriors had an injury-plagued campaign, with Stephen Curry playing just five games and Klay Thompson out for the season. Russell endured an 8-28 record with the team.
He was traded mid-season to the Minnesota Timberwolves, another team that was rebuilding. So far, has played 54 games with them, losing 35 times. His overall record stands at 123-236.
#2 Larry Nance Jr. - 32%
Larry Nance Jr. started his NBA career with the LA Lakers in 2015. He played for the team till the 2017-18 campaign, enduring a 52-116 record. The Lakers were a lottery team back then, and had one of the worst records in the NBA.
Nance moved to the Cavs midseason during the 2017-18 campaign. He made the playoffs in his first season with the side, and has a 60-122 record with the team since joining them. The Cavs have had the worst record in the league over the last three seasons. Overall, Nance has a 112-238 record in his NBA career.
#1 Zach LaVine - 31.9%
Zach LaVine is among the best players in the league not to have made his NBA playoffs debut yet. LaVine started his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014. T'Wolves never finished higher than 13th during LaVine's stint with the team. He was a long way away from becoming the star he has become today.
LaVine had a 60-146 record with Minnesota overall. He then moved to the Chicago Bulls ahead of the 2017-18 NBA season. The Bulls were also under a rebuild during his initial years there. LaVine came close to qualifying for the postseason last year when the Bulls finished as the 11th seed. But they narrowly failed to make the play-in tournament.
Zach LaVine has had a 71-134 win/loss record with the Bulls so far. He has a solid team around him this time, though, and could make the playoffs in 2021-22. His overall win percentage of 31.9% is also likely to improve.