The NBA's Most Underrated & Underbooked Stars

The NBA’s Most Underrated & Underbooked Stars

Josh Smith, 24, Hawks PF
Joe Johnson may be the face of the Hawks, but without Josh Smith, there is no way the Hawks are 46-26. Smith can do things that most Power Forwards aren't capable of doing on a basketball court. Anyone can score points in the NBA, but there are only a handful of players who can play Defense on a game changing level like the Hawks versatile forward. The only thing Josh Smith can't do on a basketball court is shoot a three, but when you shoot 50.3% from field, you don't need to chuck up 3-pointers to make an impact.

2009-10 Stats: 15.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 2.1 BPG

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3x JOSH HUFF MARCUS SMITH ED REYNOLDS *EAGLES* 2014 RC *3x AUTOGRAPH* AUTO LOT
$6.19
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Josh Smith Rookie Fleer Ultra 2004-05 Platinum Medallion #192 numbered 055 100
$14.99
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04-05 2004-05 Sweet Shot Sweet Spot Signatures Josh Smith Auto RC Autograph
$29.99
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JOSH SMITH RARE ROOKIE GOLD 50 50 LAST NUMBER 2004-05 UPPER DECK R-CLASS RC
$5.00
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2004-2005 Bazooka JOSH SMITH Gold Rookie Card #196
$5.99
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2004 Topps Josh Smith Rookie Card #237
$1.00
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2004-05 Topps Chrome Basketball Josh Smith RC Atlanta Hawks
$0.99
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Josh Smith Autograph Rookie Card Black Diamond Gemography Sale!!
$9.00



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Monta Ellis, 24, Warriors SG
I didn't think it was possible to average 25.5 PPG in the NBA and not get noticed. At the ripe age of 24, Ellis is one of the leagues premier scorers. When you play for the Warriors it's hard to get noticed these days. Many have the perception that the 5th year swing-man is nothing more than a ball hog on a bad team. His 45.1% from the field suggests otherwise, Kobe and Carmelo's Shooting Percentage is around 46%. If you can hit 45% of your shots from the guard position, you should be a bulk shooter. Ellis is also an excellent passer and is becoming a solid defender.

2009-10 Stats: 25.5 PPG, 5.6 APG, 4 RPG, 2.2 SPG

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2005-06 Upper Deck Rookie Slam #108 Monta Ellis Warriors
$1.99
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2005-06 MONTA ELLIS BAZOOKA *ALL ACCESS* ROOKIE JERSEY MILWAUKEE BUCKS WARRIORS
$20.00
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MONTA ELLIS 2005-06 UPPERDECK ROOKIE DEBUT GOLD #149 DALLAS MAVERICK
$0.99
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2005-2006 Upper Deck Trilogy MONTA ELLIS Rookie Card #'d 999
$14.99
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2010-11 Rookies and Stars #85 Monta Ellis - NM-MT
$1.00
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(9) 2005 UPPER DECK ROOKIES SLAM rookie deron williams JOHAN PETRO MONTA ELLIS
$2.25
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2005-06 (BKB) Upper Deck Slam #108 Monta Ellis RC
$1.03
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2013 14 Crusade Monta Ellis Quest silver jersey 20 99
$6.99



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Brook Lopez, 21, Nets C
Yes, the Nets have been the worst team in the league this year and probably one of the worst teams in NBA History. Am I the only one who thinks this team is talented? I simply don't get it, it's almost like they decided to throw the season after the first game! I always find it hard to blame a Center for a teams lack of success. Lopez is putting up some amazing numbers this year, usually 2nd-year, 21-year old post players aren't supposed to be this good so early! It will be interesting to see what happens when they put a team around him.

2009-10 Stats: 19 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.78 BPG

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Brook Lopez Lot of 5 Rookie Cards!!! Good to Near Mint Condition!!!
$0.99
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LEBRON JAMES 2008-09 COSIGNERS CHANGING FACES GOLD BROOK LOPEZ ROOKIE 098 199
$8.99
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Brook Lopez-2008-'09 Upper Deck First Edition #RS-BL ROOKIE NBA All Star SUPER!
$0.99
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2009-10 Panini Season Update Rookie Challenge Brook Lop
$1.00
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2010-11 Rookies and Stars #5 Brook Lopez - NM-MT
$1.00
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2010-11 Rookies and Stars Longevity #5 Brook Lopez - NM-MT
$1.00
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(2) FLEER ALL ROOKIES BROOK LOPEZ JERRYD BAYLESS JASON THOMPSON
$2.25
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BROOK LOPEZ TOPPS ORANGE ROOKIE CARD #ED 1148 1199 BROOKLYN NETS
$0.99



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Rajon Rondo, 24, Celtics PG
The best player on the Celtics is not on the big 3, it's Kentucky Alum Rajon Rondo. Rondo is the entire package, he can shoot, pass, rebound, penetrate, play transition, slow things down and set up an offense, and play Defense as well as any PG in the NBA. What's also impressive is that he's shooting 51% from the Field, point guards usually have the worst shooting percentage in the league. Only post players are supposed to shoot over 50%!

2009-10 Stats: 13.8 PPG, 9.8 APG, 4.5 RPG, 2.39 SPG

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2006-07 Topps Turkey Red #182 Rajon Rondo RC Rookie Card
$9.99
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2006-07 UD EXQUISITE RAJON RONDO PATCH AUTOGRAPH AUTO 225 RC HOT!!!!!
$850.00
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2006-07 Topps Photo Shoot Signature Rajon Rondo Autograph RSA-RR Full Auto
$500.00
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Rajon Rondo 2006 Press Pass Blue Parallel Rookie Card #B26
$7.99
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2006-07 Topps Chrome #201 Rajon Rondo Rookie Card Lot (x4)
$20.00
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2006-07 RAJON RONDO TOPPS #251 ROOKIE RC KENTUCKY WILDCATS BOSTON CELTICS
$9.99
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2006-07 RAJON RONDO FINEST #72 ROOKIE RC BOSTON CELTICS KENTUCKY WILDCATS
$15.00
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Rajon Rondo 2006 Fleer Ultra World Premiere Rookie #226 PSA 10 Gem Mint Only 2!
$14.99



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Russell Westbrook, 21, Thunder PG
It's pretty easy to be overlooked when you play with Kevin Durant. When the Thunder drafted Westbrook with the 4th Pick in 2008 draft, many scratched their heads. GM's around the league felt that he was a Combo Guard that didn't have the instinct to play PG, yet wasn't a good enough shooter to play SG. The Thunder clearly knew something the rest of league didn't. In only his second season in the league, Westbrook is already one of the leagues best all-around Point Guards. Like Rondo, he's has the ability to get a triple-double every time he steps on the court. The only thing he needs to work on is his jump shot, but that should come with experience.

2009-10 Stats: 16.3 PPG, 7.9 APG, 4.9 RPG, 1.4 SPG

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2008 Russell Westbrook Topps Finest Rookie Refractor
$90.00
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2008-09 Topps T51 Murad #174B Russell Westbrook Blue RC Rookie
$4.99
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2008-09 Topps T51 Murad Mini #174A Russell Westbrook Red RC Rookie
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2008-09 Topps T51 Murad Mini #174B Russell Westbrook Blue RC Rookie
$4.99
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2008-09 Topps T51 Murad #174A Russell Westbrook Red RC Rookie
$4.99
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RUSSELL WESTBROOK TOPPS SIGNATURE ROOKIE 2325 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER UCLA BRUINS
$20.00
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RUSSELL WESTBROOK FUSION ROOKIE *SILVER* # 99 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER UCLA BRUINS
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RUSSELL WESTBROOK LEGENDS *BRONZE* ROOKIE 750 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER UCLA BRUINS
$15.00



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David Lee, 26, Knicks C
Who would have thought that David Lee would end up being the best NBA Player from those dominant Florida Gator teams!? He's currently averaging 20-10 and is shooting an astounding 54.7% from the field. Despite all scouting reports, he just keeps getting better. His scoring average has increased all 5 years he has been in the league. I wouldn't think he's gonna get much better, but I thought that 2 years ago. The one knock is that he is a terrible defender, but he plays hard, which suggest it's not a forgone conclusion that he never will become a decent defender.

2009-10 Stats: 20.1 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 3.6 APG, .5 BPG

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05-06 DAVID LEE TOPPS P9 ROOKIE JERSEY 129 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS FLORIDA GATORS
$15.00
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05-06 DAVID LEE LUXURY BOX ROOKIE AUTO 559 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS FLORIDA GATORS
$20.00
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2004-05 FINEST BLACK REFRACTOR #220 DAVID LEE 36 39 RC ROOKIE
$2.53
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David Lee RC auto - 25-06 UD Hardcourt
$20.00
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2005-06 Upper Deck Upper Deck Slam David Lee Rookie Card #97
$1.00
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2010-11 Rookies and Stars #84 David Lee - NM-MT
$1.00
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2005-06 (BKB) Upper Deck Slam #97 David Lee RC
$1.03
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DAVID LEE 2005-06 SP GAME USED ED ROOKIE CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPHED CARD #SIG-DL
$19.95



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Gerald Wallace, 27, Bobcats SF
I still remember when Scouts thought Wallace would be the #1 Pick if he left after his Junior year at Arkansas. After staying for his Senior year, his stock plummeted and he ended up being taken by Kings with the 25th pick in the 2001 Draft. Fast forward to 2010 and Wallace is one of the leagues best all around players. He's explosive, dynamic, and an excellent defender.

2009-10 Stats: 18.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.64 SPG, 1.16 BPG

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2001-02 FLEER ULTRA ROOKIES #176U GERALD WALLACE RC # 950 2222
$0.75
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2013-14 Totally Certified Blue Serial # 49 Lot (3) Mekel Biyombo Gerald Wallace
$6.99
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2010-11 Rookies and Stars Longevity #39 Gerald Wallace - NM-MT
$1.00
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2001-02 (BKB) Stadium Club #124 Gerald Wallace RC
$2.73
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2001-02 (BKB) Topps TCC #140 Gerald Wallace RC
$0.99
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2001-02 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB GERALD WALLACE ROOKIE #124 CELTICS-NETS-BOBCATS-KINGS
$0.49
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2005-06 Topps Finest #105 Gerald Wallace Game-Worn Jersey Card247 299
$0.99
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2005-06 UD SPx WC-RW Kareem Rush & Gerald Wallace Game-Used & Warm-Up Card
$0.99



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Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

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