7 NBA Players Flying Under the Radar Every Fan Should Watch

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterNovember 12, 2012

7 NBA Players Flying Under the Radar Every Fan Should Watch

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    NBA stars don't always make their presence known right away.

    Take Kobe Bryant, for instance.

    The Lakers star and future Hall of Famer once rode the bench in L.A. for two seasons before finally earning a starting job. He was a first-round pick, but at 13th overall, didn't carry the fanfare or expectations that a top overall pick would.

    While he certainly didn't enter the league a star, he'll end up leaving it as one of the best ever.

    The following players may not follow the same career path as Kobe, but they are all hidden stars in the making, just like Bryant was.

    While they may not all be household names yet, the following players do deserve your attention.

Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers

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    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 23.4 PER, 18.1 minutes

    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: Third Season

    Bledsoe is the backup point guard for the Clippers currently in his third pro season out of Kentucky.

    An extremely athletic and quick point guard, what sets Bledsoe apart from other young guards are his ability to get to the basket and defensive prowess.

    Now with an expanded role in the Clippers rotation, Bledsoe has responded with career highs in field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage, points and steals.

    His 23.4 PER is higher than that of Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Tony Parker and Deron Williams so far this season.

Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks

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    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 14.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 25.8 PER, 28.0 minutes

    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: Fourth Season

    Teague has gone from developmental backup to star point guard of the Hawks.

    Good for a highlight dunk or two a night, Teague excels at getting to the basket with his quickness and vision on the move.

    So far on the young season, he's shooting an impressive 56.6 percent from the field and 55.6 from the three-point line, despite not having been much of an outside threat thus far in his career.

    Despite a drop in minutes, Teague is averaging career highs in points, assists and steals while possessing the third-highest PER in the league among point guards.

Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

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    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 15.2 PER, 28.6 minutes

    Position: Small Forward

    Experience: Second Season

    Leonard is leading the wave of young Spurs stars and keeping the title window in San Antonio open just a little bit longer.

    A great defender with a nose for steals, Leonard has been compared to a young Shawn Marion with his solid overall game.

    Now a staple in the Spurs starting lineup in just his second season out of San Diego State, Leonard is a hard-working, defensive-minded, rebounding forward that coaches just love.  His free-throw percentage is a spectacular 93.8 percent so far in 2012-13.

Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic

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    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 block, 13.8 PER, 30.7 minutes

    Position: Power Forward/Center

    Experience: Second Season

    An afterthought in the trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers and Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers, Vucevic has had a major impact in Orlando thus far.

    Starting every game for the Magic at both power forward and center, Vucevic is a seven-footer with a great touch and deep range on his jump shots.

    His 18-point, 13-rebound game helped lead the Magic to an early-season win over the Phoenix Suns.  In six games, Vucevic already has three double-doubles, compared to only two in 51 games last season.

    Just 22 years of age, the former USC Trojan has a bright future in Orlando.

Greivis Vasquez, New Orleans Hornets

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    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 9.7 PER, 33.6 minutes

    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: Third Season

    The Hornets are off to a nice 3-2 start to the season thanks in large part to the play of Greivis at point guard.

    As of November 11th, his 8.8 assists per game were good for fourth in the entire NBA.  His 13-point, 10-assist game in a win over the Utah Jazz was the first of three wins in four games for the Hornets.

    A solid defender and great ball-handler, the Hornets can now be patient with the development of rookie Austin Rivers now that they have a solid option at the point in Greivis.

    Anthony Davis may be the sizzle in New Orleans, but Greivis has been the steak in the Hornets' strong start.

Carl Landry, Golden State Warriors

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    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 24.6 PER, 26.7 minutes

    Position: Power Forward

    Experience: Sixth Season

    Landry may be approaching 30, but he's currently enjoying a career year with the Warriors.

    A nice backup and occasional starter during his career, Landry is putting up impressive averages of 21.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per 36 minutes of play this season.

    A creative scorer with a solid mid-range game, Landry is a tough guard for opposing power forwards with his length and tough around the basket.

    His 24.6 PER is higher than fellow power forwards Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol, David Lee and Carlos Boozer.

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

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    2012-13 Stats Per Game: 18.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 31.8 PER, 31.0 minutes per game

    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: Seventh Season

    Lowry is currently transitioning from solid player to star in the NBA.

    While he's slowly being recognized by NBA fans worldwide, Lowry often goes unmentioned when talking about the game's best point guards.

    Currently sidelined by an ankle injury, Lowry has been putting up great stats running a young Raptors squad.  His points, rebounds, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage and steals this season are all career highs. His PER is currently first among all point guards.

    As good as the stats may look now, Lowry's true test will be determined by Toronto's final win/loss record.