Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. What do all these guys have in common? They are all superstars who roll in the dough. This piece goes to all those hustling, hard-nosed guys who don't get the credit they deserve. With that I present to you the All NBA Underrated Teams.
At the end of the 2007-2008 season, the Toronto Raptors were left with an ordeal. A point guard ordeal. They had two up and coming stars and realized chemistry would be shaky until one was dealt.
They could either deal fan-favorite, speed demon TJ Ford. Or, they could trade double-double machine Jose Calderon. Ladies and gentlemen, the Raptors made the right choice.
Not only did they bring in veteran Jermaine O'Neal, they gave one of the NBA's smartest players the reigns of their franchise.
Jose Calderon went on to average nearly 13 points, and dished out almost 9 assists per game, good for fourth in the league. Not to mention, this guys scarily automatic at the line. 98%, 'nough said.
With the 26th pick in the 2004 NBA draft, the Sacramento Kings select Kevin Martin out of Western Carolina.
The Kings drafted him to serve as a solid back-up for Doug Christie and hoped he could start when he retired. Well they selected the right man.
By his third season he earned the starting role and doubled his sophomore scoring average from ten to twenty points per game. An ankle injury cut his season short in 2008-2009, but that did not stop him from becoming the face of a fallen franchise, averaging nearly 25 points per game.
In my opinion the most underrated player in the league. Gerald Wallace goes all out night in, and night out, when healthy.
He's one of those guys that you would love to have on your team, like a Shane Battier. A guy that goes hard all the time and never complains. He gave the surprising Charlotte Bobcats 16.6 points, 7.8 boards, and 1.7 steals in 71 games this past season. With Okafor gone, Wallace is posed to be one of, if not the top focus in the Bobcats offense in the 2009-2010 season.
Since being the fourth pick in the 2006 Draft, his name has rarely been talked about. Tyrus Thomas is one of those guys who knows his role, and rarely causes his team trouble.
This past season, he saw a lot of playing time come his way, and hardly disappointed, averaging 11 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. His athleticism is extremely rare, and to many he is considered one of the best athletes ever to step on the court. ABC analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson even said they saw triple double potential in Thomas' career.
Injuries have undoubtedly slown down Chris Kaman's career, but that hasn't stopped him from being one of the most productive, under-the-radar centers in the league. Although he has only started 70 games in six-year career once, he is still considered to be a top six or seven center in this league.
If you need someone to do your dirty work down low, Kaman is your man. He finished second in rebounding in his most notable NBA season, 2007-2008, to Dwight Howard. No shame in that. He saw his minutes drop significantly in '08-'09 due to the arrival of Marcus Camby, and injuries.
But there is no doubt there are many great seasons left under Chris Kaman's belt.
Point Guards-Mario Chalmers, Chris Duhon, Raymond Felton, Mike Bibby (Never been an all-star, really?)
Shooting Guards-Ronnie Brewer, Kelenna Azubuike, Von Wafer
Small Forwards-Al Thornton, Thaddeus Young, Mickael Pietrus
Power Forwards-Luis Scola, Al Jefferson
Centers-Andris Biedrins, Nene
Comment anything on your mind, I'd love to hear it.