Most NBA teams don't look for role players in the draft lottery. However, late-first-round picks, second-round picks, and even undrafted free agents often end up playing more minutes than those who were taken in the first couple of spots.
Every single team needs players that are willing to put the body on the line. Those scrappy guys would do whatever it takes to prove their worth and help their team win, regardless of the praise and recognition.
Those players often fly under the radar and don't get the credit they deserve for their contributions. That's why today, we'll honor them by letting you know about the top 5 most underrated players in today's NBA.
The 5 Most Underrated Players In The NBA
5. Joe Ingles
Joe Ingles isn't the most athletic guy on earth but you shouldn't let that fool you. Despite his lack of speed, he's great at positioning himself on defense and can hold his own vs. stronger and faster players night in and night out.
Not only Ingles is a solid defender but he's also one of the best passing forwards in the game. He can score from all three levels and has an elite basketball IQ. He can play on and off the ball and make an impact on every single category.
4. Kyle Kuzma
Kyle Kuzma gets a lot of heat on social media because of his personality. He's outspoken, shares some head-scratching takes, and often talks a big game. That rubs people the wrong way, especially if you play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Then again, that shouldn't keep fans from giving Kuzma his flowers. He's made great strides to become a good defender and he's proven capable of knocking down shots when his name is called upon. He's not nearly half as good as he thinks he is, but he's still pretty good.
3. Fred VanVleet
Fred VanVleet is an example of hard work and resiliency. He went undrafted and kept on grinding. Now, he's an NBA Champion with a huge paycheck and is starting at shooting guard for the Toronto Raptors.
VanVleet doesn't get the credit he deserves for his pesky and suffocating defense. He's also a great shooter, whether if it's pulling up or in catch-and-shoot. His playmaking also goes unnoticed more often than not, but he's one of the most versatile combo guards in the NBA.
2. Malcolm Brogdon
Talking about versatility, we must mention Malcolm Brogdon's name. The former Rookie of the Year isn't a flashy player or a guy that will wow you with his athleticism, but he's a smart player who always makes the right decision and rarely makes a mistake.
Brogdon can play both guard spots, play on and off the ball, and is an outstanding defender. His length allows him to guard multiple spots and he continues to improve as a shooter as well. He's one of the smartest players you'll find out there.
1. Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart has to be the most underrated player in the NBA. People judging for his scoring averages and being such a high draft pick, but he brings way more to the table than just points. He's one of the best and most versatile defenders we've seen in decades.
Despite his size, Smart can guard one through five with ease. He doesn't mind taking a beating and will put his body on the line on every single possession. He's scrappy, tough, and physical, and will get in your face to get the job done. Also, he's improved as a three-point shooter and is a solid playmaker but his biggest traits have to be his leadership and relentlessness.