Much like any other multi-billion dollar sports conglomerate, the NBA thrives off of its superstars. Its the money-making stars such as LeBron James and Stephen Curry who make the league successful due to their flashy-play and off-court personalities. Amidst the stardom, lies the diamonds in the rough whom remain underappreciated by the casual fan despite their significance to the prosperity of organizations. Today, we shine the spotlight on some of the NBA’s most overlooked players.
7) Justin Holiday – Chicago Bulls
Being the older and less successful brother of former All-Star guard, Jrue Holiday, Justin has bounced around the league in previous seasons as a mere roster filler. For Chicago, Holiday brings tough perimeter defense, grit and grind leadership, and an unexpected, yet reliable shot from behind-the-arc.
6) Dewayne Dedmon – Atlanta Hawks
For a man who started playing organized basketball at the age of 18, Dewayne Dedmon has made quite the career for himself. Dedmon went undrafted in 2013 and bounced around from multiple organizations, but was lucky enough to find himself a role in the best franchise in basketball – the San Antonio Spurs. He solidified himself as a defensive juggernaut and a rebounding presence for San Antonio, which ultimately struck him a lucrative deal with Atlanta; where his game has only improved.
5) Spencer Dinwiddie – Brooklyn Nets
With the unexpected season-ending injury to guard, Jeremy Lin, Spencer Dinwiddie has used his newly-acquired minutes to the full potential. He has averaged right above 11 points and six assists per contest while shooting an incredible 42 percent from three. Brooklyn has struck gold with Dinwiddie and is lucky enough to have him locked in for two years while paying right over one-and-a-half million per year.
4) Gary Harris – Denver Nuggets
Gary Harris is shooting 47.4% from 3 on 5.2 attempts per game. Mr. reliable. #TheGarrison
— Adam Mares (@Adam_Mares) November 21, 2017
When Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic were traded for Doug McDermott in 2014, it quickly became apparent that Chicago had made a huge mistake. Gary Harris has proved himself to the Denver franchise – earning himself a lucrative contract extension – but for the casual fan, Gary Harris may not be a familiar name. Harris has become a strong perimeter defender and has a complete offensive game that complements his superstar teammate Nikola Jokic perfectly. Denver has quickly realized his significance to the team and has signed him long-term to ensure themselves of longevity as a successful team.
3) Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton was regarded as a “throw-in” to the Brandon Knight and Brandon Jennings swap but has proven to be the most successful out of the bunch. He has become one of the NBA’s best role player and is a borderline All-Star, yet somehow fails to receive the media attention he deserves. He is a near 20-point scorer who provides lockdown defense and great perimeter shooting for Milwaukee; the ultimate three-and-D wing.
2) Tobias Harris – Detroit Pistons
Tobias Harris has always shown potential, despite bouncing from team-to-team so early into his career. Harris eventually found himself in Detroit, a place where he has broken out of his shell and is blossoming under Stan Van Gundy. He has improved his three-point percentage drastically (34.7% to 47.1) and is attempting over two more threes per game. He has improved in every major statistical category with the exception of blocks and is a huge component to Detroit’s surprising success.
1) Robert Covington – Philadelphia 76ers
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 15, 2017
Undrafted in 2013, Covington was signed from the Grand Rapids Drive Developmental League team to the Philadelphia 76ers. He has become one of the league’s best perimeter scorers and earned All-Defensive First Team honors in 2017. He has proven to be a crucial factor to this young Philadelphia team and earned himself a lucrative extension as well.
The league is still on! Even though the latest NBA odds at William Hill predicts that the Warriors will dominate the court, who knows? These overlooked players might have the playtime of their lives. As the saying goes, the ball is round.