The NBA is a league of stars, led by LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. These aforementioned superstars not only perform at an elite level during the regular season and playoffs, but they also get recognized by fans and pundits for their stellar performances.
However, there are a bevy of players in the NBA who are very talented that just don’t get the praise they deserve for a variety of reasons.
With that said, let’s take a look at the five most underrated players in the NBA today.
5. John Collins
The Atlanta Hawks may have had the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference in 2019-20, but their future looks bright with Trae Young and John Collins leading the charge. Young made his first All-Star team this season and Collins figures to join in on the festivities sooner rather than later.
The 2019-20 campaign was a tough one for Collins, who only appeared in 41 games due to a PED suspension. However, when he did play, the high-flyer showed superstar potential.
Collins averaged 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists for the Hawks. He’s the ideal pick-and-roll partner for Young, who is already one of the better passers in the NBA despite only being 21 years old.
Once the Hawks start winning games, don’t be surprised if you hear even more from Collins.
4. Derrick Rose
The youngest MVP in NBA history, Derrick Rose’s last two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons have been historic.
In 2018-19 with the Timberwolves, Rose became the first NBA player since 1983 to score at least 917 points in fewer than 1,400 minutes. The former No. 1 overall pick notched 917 points and played a total of 1,392 minutes in 2018-19. He averaged 18.0 points per contest and scored a career-high 50 points against the Utah Jazz on Halloween.
In 2019-20 with the Pistons, Rose put up 18.1 points and 5.6 assists in only 26.0 minutes per game. He also shot an efficient 49.0 percent from the field.
Despite undergoing four knee surgeries since winning MVP in 2011, Rose is still one of the fastest players in the NBA. It’s been great to watch the former Chicago Bulls superstar play at an elite level again after he was almost out of the league in 2017-18.
3. Zach LaVine
The Bulls have been a disaster since trading Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves in 2017. However, at least the franchise was able to acquire Zach LaVine, one of the best young scorers in the NBA.
The two-time Slam Dunk champion is averaging 23.3 points since arriving in Chicago. LaVine is also shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Since the Bulls have been a joke over the past few years, LaVine hasn’t received the national attention he deserves. Nonetheless, there’s no debating that he’s turning into a lethal scorer right before our eyes.
With that said, LaVine should make his first All-Star team in the near future if the Bulls can become relevant again.
2. De’Aaron Fox
Arguably the fastest player in the NBA with the ball in his hands, De’Aaron Fox is putting up 15.9 points and 6.1 assists since getting drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
As all youngsters do, Fox has improved his game year after year. The speedster was putting up All-Star numbers in 2019-20, but he couldn’t get into the game since the Kings were a below-average team.
For Fox to make the All-Star team moving forward, the Kings have to surround the lefty with more talent so that the franchise can win games. After all, Fox’s numbers and talent speak for themselves.
1. Jrue Holiday
One of the best two-way players in the NBA, Jrue Holiday should have more than one All-Star appearance on his résumé.
Holiday can not only run an offense to a T, but he’s also going to lock down the best point guards in the NBA. When the Pelicans swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2018 playoffs, Holiday put the clamps on Blazers superstar Damian Lillard, limiting him to only 35.2 percent shooting from the floor.
Ever since the Pelicans traded Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, all the talk around New Orleans has been about moving Holiday next. However, it would actually make sense for New Orleans VP David Griffin to extend Jrue’s current contract this summer instead of shipping him off.
After all, why on earth would the Pelicans be in a hurry to trade an All-NBA point guard who is a stud on defense?
Before the 2019-20 season got suspended, Holiday was averaging 19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.9 assists for the Pelicans. Once New Orleans starts winning more with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, expect to see Holiday back in the All-Star game.