Top 10 Most Undervalued Players in the NBA
The 10 Most Undervalued Players in the NBA This Season
There’s a crazy thing what happens with salaries in the NBA sometimes.
While some teams try to stockpile expiring contracts – that in most cases are overpaid players on the last year of their deals – some others look to get the best value out of their personnel. Whether it’s due to an organizational policy or simply because the front office knows how to handle the cap boundaries, the truth is that every single team has a different cap scenario for the foreseeable future.
While on some teams there are players who are way overpaid – and plenty of names could be used as examples – in other cases there are guys who simply outplay the value of their current contract. The focus will be on them, and the ones highlighted in this article are the 10 most undervalued players in the league right now.
Players with rookie contracts have been excluded as some top players like Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis obviously outplay the value of their rookie contract since the NBA has strict rules when it comes to the deals a first-year player can receive. The 10 players on this list have received at least one contract aside from their rookie deal in order to qualify for the upcoming slideshow.
In the list there’s a huge variety of players from guys with expiring deals positioning themselves for a huge payday next offseason to seasoned veterans. Eager to find out which players qualify as the 10 most undervalued in the NBA right now? Read on to find out who they are.
10. Mike Conley - Memphis Grizzlies
Mike Conley is the leader on both ends of the court for the Memphis Grizzlies, and he is a great complement for a squad that relies heavily on scoring in the paint to get their points. Conley is a great three-point shooter, one of the best perimeter defenders at his position and an excellent floor general with sick passing and ball-handling skills. The fact that he is only making $8 million this season makes him an absolute bargain.
9. Paul Millsap - Atlanta Hawks
Paul Millsap arrived to the Atlanta Hawks this season after playing for the Utah Jazz last year, and while he makes almost $10 million, he certainly plays like one of the best forwards in the game. He is a tough defender, a reliable scoring option – 17.7 points per game to go along with 8.3 rebounds – and a proven player who can average nearly a double-double on a nightly basis.
8. Ryan Anderson - New Orleans Pelicans
Ryan Anderson signed a four-year, $36 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans this past offseason, and it seems like he will live up to the deal if he’s able to recover from the scary injury he suffered earlier this month. Anderson led his team in scoring with 19.8 points per game and is also near the top in three-pointers made. Considering he is only 25-years-old, he shouldn’t have problems living up to the deal.
7. LaMarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers
All LaMarcus Aldridge has done this season is put up career numbers in points (24.2), assists (2.9) , rebounds (11.6) and free-throw percentage (81.6) while leading the Portland Trail Blazers to a top-four seed in the Western Conference and emerging as the face of the franchise while earning less than $15 million per game. It is one of the biggest deals on this list, but he has certainly outplayed it this year.
6. Andray Blatche - Brooklyn Nets
Andray Blatche’s career took a huge hit after some bad years with the Washington Wizards where he was constantly criticized for his lack of effort, but it seems like he has rebounded quickly. His numbers – 11.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game – are pretty good for a player on a veteran minimum deal, and he has become a key piece off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets.
5. Goran Dragic - Phoenix Suns
The European point-guard has produced in a big way for the surging Phoenix Suns this season. He has emerged as the leader of a team that has turned a few heads in the Western Conference, and his contract appears to be a bargain right now based on his incredible production – 19.4 PPG, 5.9 APG and 21.24 PER – this year.
4. Kyle Lowry - Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry is one of the few pieces that GM Masai Ujiri hasn’t traded yet, and he might be considered a cornerstone for the future of the franchise as his numbers are making a strong case for that. Lowry averages 16.1 points and 7.3 assists per game with a 19.50 PER while making little more than $6 million per year. He should receive a hefty paycheck once the season is over.
3. Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
One of the best – if not the best – PF in the history of the NBA, Tim Duncan is an undervalued asset for the San Antonio Spurs. The veteran took a pay cut to help the team in his new deal that will run for two more seasons after this year is over, and he is certainly overplaying his $10 million contract while being a dominant force for the Spurs on both ends of the floor.
2. Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
A starter in the upcoming All-Star Game, the best three-point shooter in the NBA and one of the best PG in the entire NBA is making less $10 million while playing like an MVP for a contending team. Enough said, right?
1. LeBron James - Miami Heat
LeBron James is undervalued simply because he’s the best player in the world and he doesn’t get paid like that. His averages are insane this season – 26.2 PPG, 6.5 APG, 6.9 RPG and an incredible 28.94 PER – and he is definitely outplaying his contract because he should be the highest paid player in the NBA if contracts were a fair measure of the numbers a player produces.