Every NBA Team’s Most Underrated Player Right Now

Every NBA Team's Most Underrated Player

Mike Conley Grizzlies
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Die-hard NBA fans know and appreciate every successful player in the league. Casual fans, however, don't always give the recognition to players who deserve it. The role players, the "glue guys", the small-market stars, they all fall under the same category: underrated. Here is a list of the most underrated players on each team heading into the 2014-2015 NBA season.

Atlanta Hawks-Jeff Teague

Jeff Teague
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Atlanta Hawks-Jeff Teague

Jeff Teague
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Teague has always been relatively solid, but last year he stepped his game up to a new level average almost 17 points and 8 assists. If he can continue that upswing, the Hawks should be right back in the playoffs next season.

Boston Celtics-Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger
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Boston Celtics-Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger
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Sullinger is a coach’s favorite kind of player. He works his tail off every day, knows his role and plays it to perfection. He’s got a big body and knows how to use it, but he also has great touch. He can stretch the floor out to 20 feet or so and has post moves over both shoulders. He has a knack for knowing where the ball is going off the rim on a miss, which makes him a fantastic rebounder.

Brooklyn Nets-Mirza Teletovic

Mirza Teletovic
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Brooklyn Nets-Mirza Teletovic

Mirza Teletovic
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Teletovic is a stretch-4 with confidence, a great combination if your a Nets fan. He’s never met a shot he didn’t like, and the way he shoots the ball, he always has the green light. Not a great defender, but causes serious matchup problems on the offensive end. Once he hits a few from downtown, his pump fake becomes irresistible and his handles are underrated as well. A very solid offensive threat in any situation.

Charlotte Hornets-Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson
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Charlotte Hornets-Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson
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Jefferson is by far the best player on the Hornets, but is still underrated to the casual NBA fan which is a true shame. He averaged 21 points and almost 11 rebounds last season while shooting over 50% from the field. Jefferson is a threat every time he touches the ball and can play with his back to the basket or face up. A true old-school big man and a must-watch come basketball season.

Chicago Bulls-Mike Dunleavy

Mike Dunleavy
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Chicago Bulls-Mike Dunleavy

Mike Dunleavy
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Dunleavy has had himself a hell of a career. He is finally on a contender and will contribute heavily to the Bulls’ success next season. He is a constant threat from behind the arc, but is grossly underrated as a playmaker and passer. His defense is also underrated. Dunleavy is 6-foot-9 and knows team defense better than most players in the league. He is great at taking charges, as most Duke products are. Dunleavy shows up ready to every game.

Cleveland Cavaliers-Anderson Varajeo

Anderson Varajeo
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Cleveland Cavaliers-Anderson Varajeo

Anderson Varajeo
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There’s a reason LeBron James said he was excited to come back and play with Varajeo. Every perimeter player in the league would. Varajeo sets tremendous screens, eats up the offensive glass for extra possessions for his teammates and is a great rim protector on defense. Sound like a guy you’d like to play with? Me too.

Dallas Mavericks-Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis
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Dallas Mavericks-Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis
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Ellis is one of the best penetrating guards the NBA has to offer. Once he gets into the paint, he is one of the most acrobatic and ambidextrous players I’ve ever seen. He averaged almost 20 points a game last season with Dallas and has become less flashy and more efficient as his career has gone on. Ellis is an underrated passer with a great feel for the game on offense. A treat to watch for any basketball fan.

Denver Nuggets-Randy Foye

Randy Foye
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Denver Nuggets-Randy Foye

Randy Foye
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His offensive efficiency leaves plenty to be desired, but Foye’s intangibles make him as valuable as he is. He’s a guard tweener who can play the point, but also guard the off-guard position. His basketball IQ is excellent which makes him reliable in late game situations. His free throw shooting is also solid, another trait that earns him crunch time minutes.

Detroit Pistons-Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe
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Detroit Pistons-Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe
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While Monroe is still in contract negotiations, all signs point to him returning to the Motor City. He averaged 15 points, nine rebounds last season and shot almost 50%. Another big man who can play with his back to the basket, but is also comfortable facing up. If he does stay, the pairing of him and Andre Drummond will cause headaches for front lines across the league.

Golden State Warriors-David Lee

David Lee
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Golden State Warriors-David Lee

David Lee
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Lee is a two-time All-Star, but probably should have more appearances. Last season, he logged his 92nd straight double-double, an incredible feat. As soon as he walks on the court, you’re pretty much guaranteed 18 points with eight or nine rebounds. He does get bit by the injury bug quite a bit, but when healthy, he’s a guy that every team would love to have.

Houston Rockets-Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones
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Houston Rockets-Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones
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It’s pretty amazing that Jones is only 22 years old. He more than doubled his production last season, a trend that I expect to continue. He is the perfect role-playing forward to play next to James Harden and Dwight Howard. Jones is an very strong, explosive athlete with pretty soft touch with both hands. He could be a star on many other teams but I think he and Howard will be a gruesome duo for years to come.

Indiana Pacers-Luis Scola

Luis Scola
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Indiana Pacers-Luis Scola

Luis Scola
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Scola has played on three different teams and has been productive with each of them. His minutes and stats were down last season but whenever the Pacers needed a run, they’d call Scola’s number and he would produce. He is the classic European big man with a sweet shooting stroke and great passing skills.

Los Angeles Clippers-Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford
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Los Angeles Clippers-Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford
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Crawford is a two-time Sixth Man Of The Year award winner making him the most decorated person on this list, but trust me, he is underrated. All 29 other teams would love to have Crawford filling it up for them. He is instant offense as soon as he laces up his shoes. He’s got three 50 point+ games with three different teams. Crawford is happy playing his role on the Clippers even though his star could be much greater somewhere else.

Los Angeles Lakers-Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill
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Los Angeles Lakers-Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill
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Hill is no star, but he brings much needed energy off the Lakers bench. He is long and athletic with a knack for blocking shots. He is a quality rebounder. Hill has had some monster double-doubles against some of the NBA's best big men in recent years and comes ready to play every game. While his scoring is a bit inconsistent, his defense and rebounding don't take games off.

Memphis Grizzlies-Mike Conley

Mike Conley
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Memphis Grizzlies-Mike Conley

Mike Conley
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Conley is coming off a career year, but Memphis has yet to get over the hump. They’ve been one of the best teams in the Western Conference for a few years now and Conley has been a big part of it. He has a very mature, calm demeanor about him and his play reflects that perfectly. The lefty is a quality shooter from distance and can finish with both hands around the rim. He is definitely one of the most underrated point guards in the league.

Miami Heat-Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh
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Miami Heat-Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh
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Yes, Bosh was a member of “The Big Three,” but he was the least praised of that group in the Heat’s four-year run. Now, Bosh is the guy down in Miami. LeBron is gone and Wade’s play is declining rapidly. I think Bosh will get back to his great numbers that he put up while with the Raptors. He fell in love with the three-ball a bit too much last season, but I think he will be able to show his full repertoire more in the upcoming season.

Milwaukee Bucks-Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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Milwaukee Bucks-Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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Sanders may be the best shot blocker in the NBA. He had an injury plagued season last year, but I fully expect him to continue to break out in 2014-15. He is remarkably long and has great timing. The Bucks should be much improved and the return of Sanders will be a big part of that improvement.

Minnesota Timberwolves-Corey Brewer

Corey Brewer
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Minnesota Timberwolves-Corey Brewer

Corey Brewer
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Brewer is very long at 6’9” and it shows with his offensive game. When Brewer gets out in transition, he is nearly unstoppable. He has shown the ability to explode offensively. He scored 51 points in a win over the Rockets last season. A player that thrives off confidence, Brewer should have a career year this season after a quality 2013-14 with Minnesota.

New Orleans Pelicans-Omer Asik

Omer Asik
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New Orleans Pelicans-Omer Asik

Omer Asik
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When New Orleans acquired Asik, it put the league on notice. He is one of the better rim protectors in basketball and being paired with Anthony Davis will shut down the paint for the Pelicans. In his first few years in the league, Asik’s offensive game was awful, but his hands and strength with the ball have both improved. He will be huge for New Orleans this season.

New York Knicks-Jose Calderon

Jose Calderon
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New York Knicks-Jose Calderon

Jose Calderon
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Calderon made a name for himself playing with the Raptors, a feat that not many people can claim. He has been rock solid since day one in the NBA. His stats don’t jump off the page at you, but his consistency and cool-headedness will make the Knicks a better team. He’s an above-average three point shooter and an excellent free throw shooter. Calderon will shine under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.

Oklahoma City Thunder-Nick Collison

Nick Collison
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Oklahoma City Thunder-Nick Collison

Nick Collison
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Career averages of six points and six rebounds per game hardly tell the story of Nick Collison’s career. He is the definition of “right place, right time” and that is not by luck. Collison has one of the highest basketball IQs in the NBA. His team defense, screen setting, hustle and rebounding give the Thunder a huge boost whenever he checks in the game.

Orlando Magic-Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic
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Orlando Magic-Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic
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A lot of casual fans probably haven’t heard of Vucevic, but they should keep an eye on him this season. He averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds last season with the Magic, while shooting over 50% from the field. He’s a true seven-footer and at age 23, he’s a long way from being a finished product.

Philadelphia 76ers-Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young
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Philadelphia 76ers-Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young
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Young, a seven-year veteran, has improved each of those seven seasons. He came into the league as a hyper-athletic tweener full of highlight plays, but he has grown into his body and become a very good pro player. He averaged almost 18 points per game last season, a career high, and was by far the best player on the Sixers. For his sake, I hope he is traded to a contender so he can put his honed skills on display in the playoffs.

Phoenix Suns-Miles Plumlee

Miles Plumlee
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Phoenix Suns-Miles Plumlee

Miles Plumlee
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Miles Plumlee always seemed like a “dirty work” kind of player during his college career. He set solid screens, knew his role and played it well. Last season, Plumlee proved that theory completely false. His footwork is superb and he has some of the best post moves in the league. He will average a double-double this season with the rising Suns.

Portland Trail Blazers-Wes Matthews

Wes Matthews
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Portland Trail Blazers-Wes Matthews

Wes Matthews
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Matthews isn’t a breakout player like most on this list. He has been performing well his entire career. He did average career highs last year in points and rebounds, but not by much. This Marquette product provides much needed floor spacing for Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge with his long-range shooting and if his steady career is any indication, that’s not changing anytime soon.

Sacramento Kings-Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson
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Sacramento Kings-Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson
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Thompson was overrated when he was drafted twelfth in 2008 out of Rider. Since then, he has been much forgotten and I’m not quite sure why. In limited minutes, he provides a ton of production for the Kings. He is an athletic big with decent ball skills and provides the Kings with a nice compliment to the bruising DeMarcus Cousins.

San Antonio Spurs-Patty Mills

Patty Mills
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San Antonio Spurs-Patty Mills

Patty Mills
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We all saw Mills light it up from deep during the Finals, but he’s been doing so throughout his five year career. San Antonio is the absolute perfect system for him to play in, and provides a nice change of pace from the slashing Tony Parker. Mills shot over 40% from distance last season and was a huge part of the Spurs championship run.

Toronto Raptors-Amir Johnson

Amir Johnson
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Toronto Raptors-Amir Johnson

Amir Johnson
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He was coined as “the next Amare Stoudemire” when drafted. He hasn’t quite lived up to that potential, but he has improved his game tremendously. Johnson was a big part of Toronto’s postseason run last season and should be an even bigger piece next year. He shot over 56% last season, fifth best in the NBA.

Utah Jazz-Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter
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Utah Jazz-Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter
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Kanter was the third overall pick in 2011. Then and now, most casual fans have never heard of him. While he’s not been a star, he's shown great development. He averaged career highs in almost all categories last season and at just 22 years old, his prime is years away. Kanter is a beast of a man standing 6’11” and weighing 250 pounds. Once he grows into his body and develops his offensive awareness, he will be a valuable piece to the Jazz puzzle.

Washington Wizards-Andre Miller

Andre Miller
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Washington Wizards-Andre Miller

Andre Miller
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Have you ever gone to the local gym for some pickup hoops and seen the old guy who everyone clowns on until he gets the ball in his hands? That’s Andre Miller. He’s not tall, he’s not fast, he’s not a great shooter, but he gets the job done. Miller has been a huge part of the Wizards' ascension and will continue to be because his game is ageless.

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