Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook even the best players a bit and not realize just how excellent they really are.
Now to be underrated, you don’t have to be a benchwarmer that has been kept secret from everyone for a whole season. Sometimes underrated players are hidden in plain sight, all-stars who we never knew had MVP level talent. Without further adieu, here is our 2019 NBA All-Underrated Team…
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Lillard showed us in the playoffs why we need to respect him as one of the ten best players in the NBA. Forever overlooked due to his limited exposure playing for a team in the Pacific Northwest, Lillard’s single handed destruction of the Oklahoma City Thunder led us to realize just how incredible Dame really is. While he struggled through a nagging injury during the conference finals, the fact that he and C.J McCollum were able to carry their team that far is a feat in it’s own right.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
I don’t even want to hear it from you Devin Booker fans. Beal easily won about 15 games for the woeful Wizards by himself, playing excellent on both ends of the court all season long. Although he was the last pick in the all-star draft, Beal is far from a fringe all star as a player. Few players possess his offensive creativity and shot making abilities, as we saw him break free from the shadow of John Wall this season. Beal proved himself to be an elite shooting guard this season, and he should continue to improve if the Wizards can improve their roster next season.
Caris Levert, Brooklyn Nets
Levert was one of the key cogs in the Nets playoff run this season, as he really matured offensively, becoming an elite scorer in transition. The fact that he was able to recover from a traumatic lower leg injury in time to come back for the playoffs (and play at a high level) is a testament to his toughness and ability to overcome adversity. I expect big things from Levert next season, especially if Brooklyn is able to reel in a superstar on the free agent market.
Julius Randle, New Orleans Pelicans
Randle enjoyed a career year for New Orleans last season, becoming a more consistent double-double threat and learning how to space the floor as a shooter. Randle was a key reason why the Lakers front office began to come under fire, as they had deemed him to be q replaceable commodity last offseason, leading to his signing with New Orleans. I believe there is a good chance the team trades Randle this offseason, not because of his performance but rather due to the impending selection of power forward Zion Williamson in June’s NBA Draft. If the team does intend to trade Randle, I anticipate them getting a decent package of picks in the exchange.
Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
Always known as an above average offensive center, Vucevic was a great offensive center this past season. With numbers parallel to DeMarcus Cousins at his peak, Vucevic flew under the radar despite being an all star this season. An impending free agent, Vucevic is as deserving of a max contract as anyone available. It’s not like elite centers grow on trees.