There are players that get all the hype and media coverage. You all see guys like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and others get all the spotlight when it comes to the best players in the NBA, but who are the league’s most underrated players? Let’s get right into the countdown.
PG: Mike Conley
You can say the NBA all-star voting by fans is biased and it’s stupid, but it’s incredible how Mike Conley didn’t get any recognition for his great season. Both Rajon Rondo and Jeremy Lin had more all-star votes than Mike Conley, and they both had twice the votes Conley did. Let’s take a look at the numbers for a minute.
- Mike Conley: 16.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 44.9% field goal percentage
- Rajon Rondo: 8.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 41.6% field goal percentage, 32.3% free throw percentage
- Jeremy Lin: 10.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 43.2% field goal percentage
Those are all the following players averages on the season. Mike Conley is having a better year than both of them shooting wise, scoring wise, and Rondo has the slight edge in rebounds and assists, when you were called Mr. Triple Double, what do you expect? Mike Conley might be the most underrated player in the entire league.
Honorable Mention: Ty Lawson
SG: DeMar DeRozan
Some have forgotten about DeMar DeRozan, especially because he was sidelined for multiple weeks due to an injury, but Kyle Lowry has been given most of the credit for the Raptors success. A lot of that success that the Raptors have can be traced back to DeRozan.
DeRozan is currently averaging 19 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists this year for the Raptors. While Lou Williams stepped up huge for the Raptors during DeRozan’s absence. DeRozan is certainly now underrated. When people debate the top five shooting guards in the East, I only usually hear about Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, and others. DeRozan may not be the best, but he needs more credit.
Honorable mention: Bradley Beal
SF: Gordon Hayward
Plenty of players get the credit they deserve at the small forward position. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Paul George to just name a few. Hayward has classified himself as a top five small forward in the NBA, and one of the rising stars in the league today. Hayward is currently averaging 19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists this season, which is a career high for Hayward, as he keeps building and building on his scoring average each and every season for the last couple of years.
Hayward has also been a reason why the Utah Jazz have been playing so good as of late, as they have knocked off teams like the Rockets to name one. The Jazz’s 31-38 record could be the best the franchise has season in a while at the end of the season, and Gordon Hayward will be a big reason why that will more than likely happen for them this year.
Honorable Mention: Tobias Harris
PF: Paul Millsap
Since the Atlanta Hawks are having such an amazing year, Millsap is starting to receive some of the credit that he has deserved over the past few years, and last year was a prime example of him not getting enough credit. The Hawks lost their starting center Al Horford last year due to a shoulder injury which kept him out for the season, while the Hawks were playing some of the best basketball in the East and the injury derailed that great play, Millsap was still able to lead the Hawks to the playoffs, and that lead to almost upsetting the one seed Indiana Pacers, as they took the series to seven games.
Millsap is currently averaging 17 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3 assists per game this season for the Hawks as those numbers earned him his 2nd career NBA all-star team. Millsap coming to the Hawks was a surprise for their fans last season, but it’s been a great surprise for them as Paul Millsap is turning into their leader on the Hawks as they hope to make a deep playoff push.
Honorable Mention: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Nikola Vucevic
Most people consider Nikola Vucevic the guy that replaced Dwight Howard in Orlando, and only that as they don’t give enough credit to his great skill set. Vuecvic received a contract extension worth 53 million over four years right before the 2014-2015 NBA season started, and Vuecvic has without a doubt lived up to the big day. He is currently averaging a double-double, with 19.4 points and 11.8 rebounds on the season, which is also good for 39 double-doubles overall this season.
Vucevic is also one of the biggest pieces of the Magic’s future plans clearly, and he’s showed it. He is paired up with great players to do things with, like Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton, who is also the first rookie in quite sometime to record two straight triple-doubles. There are other guys that you can debate that are more underrated than Vucevic, but in my opinion, he is the most underrated.
Honorable Mention: Andre Drummond
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