These are my top 10 most underrated players in the NBA today. These players are overlooked for a number of different reasons which will be examined here. Feel free to leave a comment below if you disagree with any of the players on my list.
10. OG Anunoby
As a Raptors fan, I watch OG play every game and I find it incredible that he does not get mentioned in these conversations more. OG is arguably the best defender on the best statistically defensive team in the league. He is always tasked with the toughest matchup and every night he proves why. In the 2018 postseason, at age 20, OG guarded LeBron. Over the last couple of years, OG has become one of the most efficient players for the Raptors. This year OG put up 10.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. These may not seem like incredible numbers but as I mentioned before, OG is listed here for his defense, not his offense. He is one of only 13 players in the NBA to average at least 1 block and steal per game. He does this while committing the third fewest fouls among that group, committing just 12 shooting fouls in over 500 defensive matchup possessions. See more about OG's defensive stats at NBA.com. As a Raptors fan, I am excited to see how OG will perform in years to come.
9. Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder is a very underrated player. In the 2 years he has played for the Thunder, Schroder has proved to be a force off the bench for the team. The Thunder's success has surprised many people this year and Schroder has played a part in that. Shroder has really upped his game since last year, averaging 3.5 more points, along with a better 3 point percentage by 0.040 and a better field goal percentage by 0.054. Shroder is definitely a strong candidate for 6th man of the year this year and his numbers show why. He has put up 19 points along with 4.1 assist and 3.7 boards a game. I think Schroder is a terrific player and he definitely deserves more credit for the season that the Thunder are having.
8. Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam is a fantastic player. He has led the Raptors to the 2 seed in the East this year. Siakam was a starter in the all-star game this year, but he is still overlooked. Since entering the league in the 2016-2017 season, Pascal has been on a straight uphill path. He won most improved player last year and has created a debate on whether or not he can win it again this year. Although Kawhi undoubtedly carried the Raptors to their championship last year, Pascal still played a large role. While Pascal is not extremely underrated this year, he is by no means overrated and still deserves a spot on this list. This year Siakam put up 23.6 points, 3.6 assists and 7.5 boards a game. These are great numbers and I believe they are overlooked by most fans and media.
7. Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic is a 29 year old center for the Orlando Magic. He has helped them reach the playoffs in the last 2 years. Vucevic was named an all star in the 2018-2019 season, something that not many people are aware of. I think the reason that people overlook him is because of Orlando's lack of success. The Magic are currently the 8 seed in the east and they were the 7 seed last year. They took an early playoff exit last year and are expected to have the same results this postseason. As mentioned in one of my previous articles, it would be great to see Vucevic traded to a team like the Celtics. On a better roster he would be able to make some more noise and be more of a feared center in the league. This year Vucevic is averaging 19.5 points, 3.7 assist and 11 rebounds a night. These are excellent numbers that would get a lot more attention on a contending team or one in a bigger media market.
6. Boban Bogdanovic
Boban is a 30 year-old small forward for the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are currently sitting at the 4 seed in a stacked West. This is a surprise for some people because the Jazz do not have a true superstar. They have a veteran point guard in Mike Conley, their star player Donovan Mitchell at shooting guard and their defensive powerhouse in Rudy Gobert at Center. Although the Jazz have an all-around balanced roster, almost no one expected them to be in this position this season. Boban has played a large role in this success. He has put up 20.2 points, along with 2.1 assists and 4.1 boards a night. He is also undoubtedly the best shooter on this team, with a .447 field goal percentage alongside a .414 3-point percentage. When you think of the Jazz you immediately picture Gobert and Mitchell, often leaving out Boban. Boban should get more credit for what he has done to help his team this year.
5. Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray is the starting point guard on one of the most underrated teams in the league. The Denver Nuggets are sitting at the 3 seed in the West, but yet never seem to be mentioned in championship contention conversations. I partially understand why, as they have exited early in the playoffs a number of times. Still, they should be in the contender conversations. The Nuggets are led by their star center, Nikola Jokic, but Murray is a crucial part to the team's regular season success. Murray is arguably the second best player on this team and has proven to be a solid point guard in the league. Yet, he is never mentioned in discussions in the top 10 or even top 15 point guards in the league. This year Murray is averaging 18.8 points, 4.8 assist and 3.9 boards a game. These are very good numbers that are often overlooked. Murray is still only 23 years-old, so he has time to develop into an elite point guard, and perhaps a dominant player in the league.
4. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal is a star player on a horrific team. 3 years ago their superstar John Wall signed an absolutely massive contract, leaving almost no space for another star other than Beal. Last year, John Wall suffered a terrible injury and has been out ever since. This has resulted in the Wizards being one of the worst teams in the league. With no other good players on the playing roster, Beal started putting up elite numbers. This season he scored 30.5 points, along with 6.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. Even with these numbers, Beal did not make the all star team this season. People think that Beal is only able to score this much because of the lack of talent on the court alongside him. That is only partially true. If Beal were traded to another team he might not average numbers quite like these, but he would still be a star, just as he was while playing beside Wall, but in his shadow. Beal wants out of D.C. and who can blame him. I have mentioned several times in other articles that I would like to see him go to Dallas. Alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, Beal would prove that he is a star who can help elevate a strong, up-and-coming team to becoming a great one.
3. Kyle Lowry
Lowry is undoubtedly a top point guard in the league. He has helped Toronto’s success this year in a big way and he played a crucial role in their championship last year. Lowry has arguably the best basketball IQ of any current point guard in the sport. He is willing to sacrifice his body on defense and is all around a great team player. In this year’s all star game Lowry took 3 charges, something that no one ever does. He is determined to win and really pumps everyone on his team up. He leads the locker room for the Raptors and is a fan favourite player for the city. Kyle is often considered the 6th or 7th best point guard in the league, however I disagree. I believe he is easily a top 5 point guard and is possibly top 3. With Kawhi gone, this year Lowry has stepped up even in the later stages of his career. He has put up 19.7 points, dished out 7.7 assists and grabbed 4.8 boards a night. When watching Lowry, you can see that he leaves everything on the floor, something not all players do. I think Lowry is an overall great player and he deserves more recognition.
2. Khris Middleton
Middleton is the second best player on the best team in the league. The Milwaukee Bucks currently have the best record in the league and are led by reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Middleton has spent the last few years playing in the shadow of Giannis, although without Middleton it's very unlikely that the Bucks would be as good of a team. Middleton is perfectly happy playing in Giannis shadow, but this does not mean that he should be overlooked. Middleton has made the all-star team the last 2 seasons and his numbers tell you why. This season he has put up 21.1 points, 4.1 assist and 6.2 boards. These are very good numbers that are not talked about often. Middleton is a perfect second option on that Bucks team. He definitely deserves more recognition as without him the Bucks would be a much different team.
1. Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday is definitely the most underrated player in the league. The last time Jrue made an all star appearance was in 2013, which is just silly. He has been snubbed from the all star game the last 3 years while leading a very young Pelicans team to playoff contention. The only other above average player that played a decent amount of games for that team this season was Brandon Ingram. Jrue basically had no help and still managed to carry this team to playoff contention. In his 29 year-old season this year, he has put up 19.6 points, 6.9 assist and 4.9 boards while leading the way on defense. I am excited to see how the Pelicans perform in the future with the young core they have, and how the rest of Jrue’s career will play out.
Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comment section if you guys want me to make a list on my top 10 most overrated players.
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