Head up everybody, this article and was written by Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. The topic of polling players and reading their input on other players around the league is pretty interesting. In total, I believe there were 16 players discussed.
Just to share my insight, out of the 16 players or so discussed on this list, the guys I agree with are: Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Damian Lillard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Smart, Justin Holiday and T.J. McConnell.
With that said, everything below is all Alex Kennedy, Hoops Hype, and the players doing the talking.
Who are the most underrated players in the NBA? We asked a number of individuals from around the league to discuss their underappreciated peers.
Eastern Conference center: “The most underrated player in the NBA is TJ McConnell from the Sixers. If you just look at his stats, they’re never going to jump out at you, but that little f***er is tough. He’s a tough kid. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll just screen this little white boy and lay him out,’ but he fights through every screen. He’s gritty and he doesn’t back down from anyone. It’s hard being a point guard in today’s NBA because you’re going against a star most nights, but he holds his own. He demands respect every single night. If you don’t respect him entering the game, you’ll respect him by the second half.”
Western Conference guard: “Wilson Chandler comes to mind. He is one of the most versatile players in the league. He can guard any position and he’s very skilled. I’ve seen him start at the two and I’ve seen him start at the four, and he’s equally effective at both positions.”
Eastern Conference forward: “I’d have to say James Johnson. He’s so versatile offensively and defensively, and I don’t think he got the credit he deserved this past year. He made a huge difference for Miami and was one of the most impactful players on the team, if not their most impactful.”
Western Conference guard: “Taj Gibson because he’s so good defensively – he can switch, guard on the perimeter and defend in the post. He is efficient on the offensive end too. And he’s very unselfish.”
Eastern Conference guard: “I’d say Gordon Hayward. He’s a quiet guy, he’s white and he played in a smaller market, so he doesn’t get the attention he deserves.”
Former NBA player: “Draymond Green because he does all the things you don’t get credit for in the box score. He makes hustle plays and he moves the ball well, making the pass that leads to a great shot. They’re a totally different team without him, as we saw last year in the playoffs.”
Western Conference forward: “Marcus Smart comes to mind immediately. That dude always competes at a high level and he makes a ton of winning plays.”
Eastern Conference guard: “Justin Holiday is definitely underrated. He’s a very good shooter and a valuable defender.”
Western Conference guard: “It may seem crazy, but I’m going with John Wall. He’s makes an impact on both ends, he is always near the top of the league is assists and he improves his scoring every year. He should’ve been mentioned more in this year’s MVP discussion.”
Eastern Conference guard: “Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is one of the most underrated guys. He’s a very good two-way player who gets overlooked.”
Western Conference forward: “Dame Lillard. Being in a small market, he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves considering the numbers he puts up. He should be a perennial All-Star.”
Eastern Conference center: “I think Tyler Johnson is really underrated. He’s so good at getting to the free-throw line and he really showed a lot of improvement shooting the ball from three-point range this season. His game took a big step forward.”
Eastern Conference guard: “Mike Conley got his payday, but he’s still underrated. He’s a winner and he’s crafty. It’s crazy that he’s never been an All-Star. He’s underrated because plays in a small market and doesn’t have a sexy game. But Mike gets the job every night on both ends of the court.”
Former NBA player: “CJ McCollum is still underrated, in my opinion. He would be a superstar if he had his own team. He definitely should’ve been an All-Star this year, but being in a small market hurts him. It hurts Damian Lillard to an extent too. Put CJ or Dame on, say, the Lakers or the Celtics and they’re superstars.”
Western Conference forward: “I think Marcus Morris is really underrated. He can play multiple positions and he went from being a role player to someone who scores the ball really well. When other players have made that leap, they got more attention. Take Chandler Parsons, for example. When Chandler made big strides, he got a ton of attention and a huge contract. Marcus hasn’t gotten the recognition or the payday that he deserves.”
Eastern Conference guard: “Brad Beal is getting more attention lately, but he’s still underrated. He’s such a good player and he should’ve been an All-Star this season. John Wall gets the majority of the attention there. I get it, John is a superstar; I just think Brad should get more credit too.”
Eastern Conference forward: “Marc Gasol is extremely underrated. He’s not flashy or anything, so he doesn’t get a lot of love. But when you play against him, you see all of the ways he impacts a game and realize he’s very underappreciated.”
Hopefully, you enjoyed this stuff as much as I did. Thanks again to Alex Kennedy and Hoops Hype, this was excellent and I just had to pass it along to my fellow die-hard fans. In the meantime, have fun watching Summer League or taking the time to attend to other life duties.