There are some players in the league that has been slept on in the league. We have seen the season progress with some players not receiving the love they deserve despite putting up similar stats to their peers that have received the bulk of the attention. There is no "I" in the team, which is why some teams are soaring to the top thanks to some of these role players.
From points per game, rebounds, player efficiency, and other intangibles, we have identified those players that are getting swept under the rug. These top-1o players are having underappreciated seasons, which is why they are the most underrated players in the NBA right now.
10. Alex Caruso - Los Angeles Lakers
5.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Caruso isn't on the floor to score points. He is there to fill a role and he is doing so very nicely. Caruso would be a contender for All-Defensive Team if his minutes were up. Per 100 possessions, Caruso has a higher defensive box rating, defensive player efficiency rating, and owns 5.6 rebounds per game, which is a career-high.
Caruso went from being a starter in the playoffs to being a backup this year. He has taken the role change with stride, which has helped his team win many games this season. Caruso has helped bring back memories of Derek Fisher in terms of serving as the same role.
9. TJ McConnell - Indiana Pacers
7.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Speaking of steals, meet the NBA leader in steals. In a contract year, McConnell is having a season that is going to get him paid. Before Indiana, he was a fan-favorite for his hard work while on the court with the 76ers. Indiana is getting a taste of that right now.
McConnell is also having career-highs in assists (6.5), shooting percentage (54.6%), and three-point shooting (31.6%). From a backup point guard, these are very respectable numbers.
8. Larry Nance Jr. - Cleveland Cavaliers
9.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.0 SPG, 1.8 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Before Nance got hurt, he was the league's leader in steals. If he can get his games up to the minimum count, he could be right back up there leading the league again. His points and rebounds are what you would want from a role player, but his ability to help contribute on defense has been undersold.
It's hard to believe that this is his fourth season in Cleveland but here we are. Nance is still developing, so we haven't seen the best years out of him yet. For now, let's appreciate how he has grown on the defensive end.
7. Richaun Holmes - Sacremento Kings
13.9 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.6 BPG
If we said to you that Richaun Holmes could be worth a first-round pick by the middle of the 2020 season, would you have believed us? Holmes is having a career-season and the Kings are hopeful that he can bring in a true asset from a contending team.
Holmes is fresh off a 17-point, 16-rebound game against the Cavaliers, but his potential for double-doubles this year has been a consistent trend. At one point, he was averaging over 70% shooting from the field. For now, his 64.4% shooting is one of the best, which is why we should appreciate his efficiency.
6. Nikola Vucevic - Chicago Bulls
24.6 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.6 BPG
You may not see Vucevic's name at the lot after the Orlando Magic have fallen off the map. We were able to see the stud center at the All-Star break but many don't realize that he is truly the entire Magic offense. His points are five points higher than last season and a career-high. His rebounds are 0.2 from being tied for his career-high.
What's stellar is that averaging double-digit rebounds are not an anomaly for him. He has done so in seven of his last nine seasons. That's the main reason that the Chicago Bulls gave up Otto Porter Jr., Wendell Carter, and two first-round picks. Vucevic is going to be the most hyped center since the days of Joakim Noah, another underrated player during his playing days.
5. Chris Paul - Phoenix Suns
15.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 8.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.3 BPG
We are starting to notice a theme that wherever Chris Paul goes, winning follows. The Suns are the No. 2 teams in the Western Conference, right behind the Utah Jazz. While many believe that the Lakers or Clippers will leave the West as champs, the Suns are slowly moving under the radar as one of the best teams in the NBA.
Paul has helped the Suns become a tough defensive unit and has helped players like Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges progress from last season. His assists total is his highest since his last season with the Clippers. We shouldn't be surprised, but we are given that this is his third team in three seasons.
4. Carmelo Anthony - Portland Trail Blazers
14.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.7 BPG
You look at the numbers, rebounds, and assists, and are probably wondering why is Carmelo Anthony even on this list? First off, you have been spoiled. That's right. Anthony has provided you 30 point games in the past, tough fadeaway shots, and human highlight reel runs. Remember that this was a player that nearly walked away from the league last season before Portland gave him a chance.
Anthony came back and is shooting 41.6% from the field and 38.3% from the three-point range in 25.8 minutes per game. Those are great numbers from your sixth man coming off the bench. The Trail Blazers don't need vintage Melo to compete. They need this version, which is why the Trail Blazers are in the hunt for the No. 3 seed.
3. Andrew Wiggins - Golden State Warriors
17.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG
If Wiggins wasn't drafted No. 1 overall, would we scrutinize him this much? Jabari Parker was drafted right behind him and we barely hear anything about him in the news. Wiggins is averaging his lowest point total since 2017 but is shooting career-highs in field-goal percentage (47.0%), and three-point field goal percentage (37.9%).
Combined with his efficient offensive numbers, he has also improved his defense. He has already tied his career-high with defensive win shares, while his overall defensive player efficient ranking is also career-high. We want so much on offense from Wiggins that we forget that he is playing like a two-way player this season.
2. Malcolm Brogdon - Indiana Pacers
21.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Even though Victor Oladipo is gone, it feels like he hasn't even left because Brogdon has taken the role. Brogdon has always been a solid defender but his numbers are career-highs in points and steals. He has been a solid shooter from the field and free-throw line as well.
In the past two years, many believe that Brogdon's departure might sting the Bucks from winning an NBA championship. The 2017 Rookie of the Year has defied odds ever since being taken with the No. 36 overall pick. From an overall production standpoint, Brogdon is having another great season that has flown under the radar.
1. Jordan Clarkson - Utah Jazz
17.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.2 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Clarkson should win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. His production off the bench has been second to none. His points are career-high, but his free-throw percentage (95.6%) is even more impressive as he leads the entire NBA. It wasn't all that long ago that Clarkson exploded for a 40-point game in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on February 15th.
Great teams have a second unit that can play like the first unit. With Clarkson coming off the bench, teams are struggling to find ways to keep the Jazz from putting on the board as the team is ranked No. 3 in points per game this season.