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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2004 05 SP Authentic Josh Smith AUTO autograph Rookie RC # 1499 #171
$6.59
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(A31) 04-05 Josh Smith UD TRILOGY #AF-JS RC AUTOFOCUS CRYSTAL Auto #D 16 25 RARE
$39.95
3313191106074040 1 Image
2005 Black Diamond Diamond Cuts Josh Smith rookie card RARE!
$0.99
2516481741024040 1 Image
JOSH SMITH (4 Card SP RC LOT) Topps Chrome, Bowman GOLD +(every 3rd item's FREE)
$7.99
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JOSH SMITH 52 Count lot Rookie Auto Patch PSA 10 Serial #d RC - SEE PICS
$149.99
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2004 05 BOWMAN AND TOPPS LUXURY BOX&LUXURY BOX 300 ROOKIES JOSH SMITH
$1.00
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JOSH SMITH 2004-2005 TOPPS #237 ROOKIE CARD
$1.99
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JOSH SMITH 2004-2005 BOWMAN CHROME #133 ROOKIE CARD
$2.99



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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 Bowman Draft Pick Auto Monta Ellis #161 PSA 10 Rookie Warriors
$74.95
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MONTA ELLIS 2005-06 UPPER DECK UD ULTIMATE AUTOGRAPH RC 250 AUTO BGS 9.5
$145.00
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2005-06 Topps Style 1952 Monta Ellis RC Blue Refractor 103 149 Gem !
$6.99
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Monta Ellis Autographed Rookie Card Lot of 7 Rare Dallas Mavericks Refractor 1 1
$100.00
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2009-10 Rookies & Stars Longevity Ruby Monta Ellis 250
$1.88
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2005-06 Topps Chrome Rookie Card Monta Ellis
$1.49
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2005-06 Fleer Greats Of The Game MONTA ELLIS Auto RC Rookie #d 99
$150.00
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2013-14 PINNACLE #129 MONTA ELLIS DALLAS MAVERICKS
$0.75



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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 (4 Card Lot) Bowman RC, Gold Bonus Shots 249, Stars of NBA BROOKLYN
$3.99
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2008-09 Topps Brook Lopez RC Photo Shoot Auto Red Ink
$39.00
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Brook Lopez 2008-09 Fleer Basketball 86-87 Rookies Card Lot (6) New Jersey Nets
$0.99
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(A5) 08-09 Brook Lopez Topps Chrome #230 Auto REFRACTOR RC #D 141 245
$34.95
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2008-09 Topps Co-Signers Changing Faces RC Lebron James Brook Lopez 899
$5.99
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2009-10 Panini Basketball Artist Proof Parallel 199 Brook Lopez
$0.99
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BROOK LOPEZ 2008 TOPPS CHROME GMA GEM- MT 10 ROOKIE CARD #190
$5.00
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6 Brooklyn Nets Court Kings LOT - Williams Jersey + Brook Lopez + Pierce+Plumlee
$1.99



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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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RAJON RONDO 2006-07 TOPPS CHROME ROOKIE LOT BOSTON CELTICS RARE
$3.99
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2005 Finest Rajon Rondo Green Xfractor #53 79 PSA 10 Rookie
$85.00
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Rajon Rondo 2006-2007 06-07 Fleer Rookie Card #217
$6.97
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Rajon Rondo 2006-2007 06-07 Topps FINEST Rookie Card #72
$4.97
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2006 TOPPS RAJON RONDO ROOKIE CARD #251,MINT
$3.99
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2006-07 Topps #251 Rajon Rondo Rookie Card x6 (RC Lot) CELTICS
$4.99
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2006 07 FLEER RAJON RONDO RC #217,NR MT MT
$2.99
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RAJON RONDO 2006-07 FLEER ROOKIE CARD #217 BOSTON CELTICS
$0.99



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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 Press Pass Prime Time Players Refractor Russell Westbrook rookie card, UCLA
$0.99
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2008-09 TOPPS HARDWOOD #104 RUSSELL WESTBROOK AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE RC #52 69 THUNDER
$89.95
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Russell Westbrook Thunder 08-09 Fleer Retro Rc Lot of 4 Mint Rookies # 86R-166
$14.99
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2008-09 Topps Chrome Russell Westbrook Orange Refractor Parallel Rookie RC # 499
$129.99
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2008-09 Fleer Russell Westbrook rookie 86-87 Version RC #86r-166
$0.75
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2008-09 Topps Murad RC #174 Russell Westbrook THUNDER
$3.99
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2010-11 Rookies and Stars Jersey Russell Westbrook 299 THUNDER
$3.99
3110949354734040 1 Image
2008 09 Fleer #166 1986 87 Russell Westbrook RC SP MINT
$0.99



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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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2005-06 Upper Deck #137 David Lee RC
$0.99
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(B73) 2005-06 David Lee Topps 52 Style #153 GOLD REFRACTOR RC #D 15 25
$29.95
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David Lee 05-06 Topps Chrome RC card number 180
$10.00
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2005 Press Pass David Lee Game-Used Jersey Rookie Card 156 Of 600 Orange Swath
$10.00
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20 PTS 10 REB All Day 05-06 SPx David Lee Rookie RC AUTO JERSEY Warriors 1499
$14.49
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DAVID LEE 2005-06 GREATS OF THE GAME ROOKIE GOLD AUTO 25 SP BV $125
$20.99
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DAVID LEE 2005-2006 TOPPS #250 ROOKIE CARD
$1.99
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DAVID LEE 2005-2006 UPPER DECK SLAM #97 ROOKIE CARD
$1.99



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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 SPx Gerald Wallace Rookie Jersey Auto 291 800
$2.00
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2001-02 Topps Chrome Refractor RC Gerald Wallace #152 CELTICS
$3.99
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2001-02 Topps Chrome Refractor RC Gerald Wallace #152 CELTICS
$3.99
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GERALD WALLACE 2001-02 TOPPS PRISTINE ROOKIE CARD #104
$0.99
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2001-2002 UPPER DECK HONOR ROLL GERALD WALLACE ROOKIE CARD # 2499
$1.99
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GERALD WALLACE 2001-02 U.D.HONOR ROLL ROOKIE CARD + 2009-10 BOWMAN ERROR CARD ++
$0.99
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Gerald Wallace 2512 3250 Rookie Great Futures Kings
$3.00
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2001-02 (BKB) Topps Heritage #157 Gerald Wallace RC
$0.99



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Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

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