Everyone knows the NBA rookies Chet Holmgren or Victor Wembanyama, but what about the underrated ones? This year’s draft has been crazy where a ton of players who are being valuable contributors are going under the radar. Other than the big two, we’ve seen others having underrated NBA rookie seasons so far as well (Jacquez Jr., Whitmore, Podziemski).
Let’s get into some of the top underrated NBA rookies this season so far…
Dereck Lively II, C, Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks finally have a center of the future to look forward to. Dereck Lively has proven to be an efficient finisher around the rim for the Mavericks so far. If not for a few missing games, he’d be leading the league in field goal percentage (74.2%).
He’s been a great pick-and-roll partner for Luka Doncic. He’s averaging 8.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG and averaging 14 and 12 when he plays over 30 minutes in a game. Being as efficient as he’s been and an above average defender, he’s been a great pick by the Mavericks so far.
Bilal Coulibaly, SF, Washington Wizards
Everyone knew that Coulibaly would be a project coming into the league. One thing he already has though… is elite defensive instincts. At 6’7 he has an insane 7’2 wingspan, allowing him to be a pest in passing lanes and guarding the perimeter. He’s shown flashes of improving his offensive game, but his defense is what will stick no matter what.
In a league of volatile offense, having a defender like Coulibaly will do wonders for the Wizards in the future.
Jordan Hawkins, SG, New Orleans Pelicans
A player that isn’t talked about enough, Hawkins has been a valuable contributor off the bench for the Pelicans. He’s averaging nearly 11 points per game as a rookie while shooting nearly 40% from three. He’s a pure sharpshooter that can come in and light it up from the perimeter.
He showed this recently, scoring 34 in a game vs the Mavericks helping the Pelicans get a 118-108 win over Dallas:
He’s giving the Pelicans another shooter they’ve needed and potentially a player that can take over for McCollum eventually.
Duop Reath, C, Portland Trailblazers
Although Reath went undrafted 5 years ago, he is finally making his rookie debut in the NBA this season. The 27-year-old rookie has been impressive and one of the underrated bright spots for the Trail Blazers this season.
Reath has been averaging 12 PPG and nearly 7 RPG as a starter, showing flashes of being a contributor in the NBA. What’s really impressed me is his shooting ability, shooting over 37% from three on nearly 4 attempts per game. I’m not saying Reath will ever be a star or anything, but more than capable of being a valuable rotational center for the Blazers for the future.
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/ 4 weeks ago
Everyone knows the NBA rookies Chet Holmgren or Victor Wembanyama, but what about the...