Top 10 Most Underrated NBA Players of the 2018-19 Season
When determining how good an NBA player really is, most people only look at their stats. A lot of times, we only look at the best players on either the most popular teams or the top contenders. There are also a lot of players who have been looked down upon due to injuries. Others have just been struggling and finally found a place in the league. Some players might have a unique skill or play style that nobody notices. There have also been many overlooked superstars who nobody talks about because he never carried his team to a championship. So, here are the top 10 NBA players who have been underrated. This is mainly based off of my opinions, so my list may be different from others out there.
10) Buddy Hield
Do you remember the trade where the Pelicans traded him, Tyreke Evans, Langston Gallaway, and a few picks for DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi? Do you remember when everyone was saying the Kings got robbed? Well, now it seems like the Pelicans should have just kept their young star because he soon developed into an elite three-point shooter shooting 42 percent from three in the past two seasons. He has also been very sneaky on the rebounding end and became a great playmaker along with De’Aaron Fox. which is the main reason why the Kings are rising. If the Kings make the playoffs next year, they will end their 13-year drought and make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
9) Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris struggled a lot at the start of his career. He was shipped around a lot and was on three different teams before the age of 25. However, after being traded to the Clippers, he finally started to lead his team to an impressive season. He is the biggest reason why the Clippers had such an amazing season. He can run the offense in just about any way possible and can finish with either hand. Unfortunately, he got traded to the 76ers and won't have the same opportunity he did with the Clippers due to how stacked the 76ers are, but he is still putting up great numbers and he does not receive enough credit for how good he really is.
8) John Collins
If I mention John Collins’ name, I feel like you might have never even heard of him. This sophomore NBA player has nearly doubled his scoring this season by averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds. I feel like if he continues to develop his game, he could be a top scoring big man for the years to come. Unfortunately, he was drafted outside of the lottery and was not that hyped coming into the NBA. He also plays for a team nobody really talks about, the Atlanta Hawks.
7) Kyle Kuzma
There has been tons of arguments between who is better between Lonzo and Kuz. He is a perfect fit next to Lebron and is averaging 19 points and 6 rebounds in his second season. The Lakers got lucky here drafting him as the 27th overall pick. He still has improvements to make as a defender and a playmaker, but at the rate his game is developing right now, I see him as being an All Star one day.
6) Domantas Sabonis
Ever since Paul George got traded, the Pacers have been impressive. They seemed better without him. Do you remember when Paul George was traded for Victor Olidipo and Domantas Sabonis? Well, at that time, Domantas was only averaging 5.9 points. So many people thought the Pacers got robbed. However, after being traded, he improved his scoring to 11.6 and 14.1 in the next two seasons. These numbers, along with Victor Olidipo’s improvement, are the reasons why they pushed the Cavs to seven games during the first round of 2018-19 playoffs.
5) Julius Randle
Nobody really talks about Julius Randle, mainly because of how he was never able to help his team win. Randle has never really been on a good team; he has gone from the Lakers to the Pelicans. Neither of those teams are even in the discussion for the playoffs. Randle has been amazing in finishing and getting to the basket. Of all the players averaging over 20 points a game, Randle is the only player who averages less than 30 minutes a game. This proves how effective he really is on the court. If he continues to develop his three-point shooting, he could be an All-Star one day.
4) Pascal Siakam
Siakam has really jumped out this season. He is a key factor for the first NBA Championship for the Toronto Raptors. Even though his shooting is still limited, he can find his way to the basket. He has also developed into a great defender who can guard multiple positions. He has also shooting 36.7 percent from beyond the arc, so his three-point shooting has been developing, which played a huge role in the NBA finals.
3) Luka Doncic
Luka is definitely the most accomplished rookie in NBA history. As a 19-year-old, he averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Those are some great numbers for a rookie as he almost made it to the All Star game. However, he definitely had some doubters when he was drafted behind Deondre Ayton and Marvin Bagley. There was also how the Hawks traded him to the Mavs for Trae Young and another 1st round pick. There has been tons of people wondering how well his skills would translate to the NBA. Luka obviously proved them all wrong and is almost guaranteed to play in the All Star game next season.
2) Robert Covington
Robert Covington went undrafted in 2013. The 76ers then offered him a contract because, at that time, the 76ers wanted to lose to get good picks. Remember, that was before they got Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. This is why everyone wonders how Robert Covington developed into the player he is today. However, he isn’t a shot creator but he frees up other players for an open shot. He also had his struggles in the playoffs but since he is now playing for the Timberwolves, a much worse team. I think he will develop into a great player, if not an All Star.
1) Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin had one of the best rookie careers in NBA history. He was the only rookie to make it to the All Star game that season. He was one of the players who started “lob city” when he played for the Clippers. At 24 years old, he averaged 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. Unfortunately, after a couple of injuries that slowed him down, he missed multiple playoffs, which caused many people to have forgotten him. Eventually, he was traded to the Pistons, a team that doesn’t have a playmaker and already has a big man. The team is a mess but you can still see Blake Griffin putting up big numbers of 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists.
Honorable Mentions: Spencer Dinwiddie, Lou Williams, Carmelo Anthony, Danilo Galinari, Monte Morris, Montrezl Harrell, Khris Middleton, Steph Curry, and Mike Conley.