Who’s the most underrated player on the Brooklyn Nets?

BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 1, 2018: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 1, 2018: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson /

The Brooklyn Nets are a pretty underrated team this season. Most of the population did not expect the Nets to do much of anything, however the team is overachieving. So, out of all of the underrated players on the Nets, who is the most underrated?

If you want to talk about the most underrated players on the Brooklyn Nets, the conversation starts with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Many expected The Hyphen to be a three-and-D guy, and that is it. But he has been quietly killing it this season.

He currently averages 14.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in 28.3 minutes. Pretty average, if I do say so myself. But, put those numbers in context of his career up to date. RHJ’s career statistical projections look eerily similar to Kawhi Leonard’s.

His scoring is nearly identical to Leonard’s when you compare both players’ third year numbers. In fact, Hollis-Jefferson is scoring more than Leonard in his third year, averaging 2.1 more points. It gets even weirder when you consider that they’re rebounding numbers are also similar.

Leonard averaged 6.2 rebounds per game in his third year in the league. That’s .3 less than Hollis-Jefferson.

The kicker here is PER. Both players had slight decreases going from their rookie season to second year in the league. However they had sharp increases in their third year. Hollis-Jefferson had the more drastic of the two, going from a 13.7 PER to a 18.2.

Of course, that is not to say The Hyphen is on Leonard’s level. All this really says is that Hollis-Jefferson is performing at a level that exceeds where many experts placed him at. And when you play like a basketball playing robot in his first three years in the league, that’s overachieving.

But, Hollis-Jefferson is not the only one balling out on the Nets. Just take a look at Wednesday night’s game against the Timberwolves. The man that came up the biggest, and hit the game-winner, was none other than Spencer Dinwiddie.

Currently in his fourth year in the league, Dinwiddie has gone from a bench warmer to a true commodity. Not only is he hitting game-winners, but he has led the Nets when both Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell succumbed to injury.

It is important to note that prior to his stint on the Nets, Dinwiddie was riding the pine for the Pistons. He averaged 13.3 minutes per game in two years in Detroit before drastically receiving more than 22 per contest with Brooklyn.

The change did more good than harm, which was surprising considering he was only 23 at the time. As a key member of the bench, Dinwiddie averaged 7.3 points per contest and posted the first positive VORP of his career. VORP calculates how valuable a player is over his replacement. And at the end of the 2016-17 season, Dinwiddie posted a .4 VORP.

He has improved leaps and bounds since then. In fact, Dinwiddie is averaging 12.8 points per game and has more than doubled his assist numbers to 6.8 per contest. He’s scored more points so far this season than he did in the entirety of last’s.

And if we bring VORP back up, Dinwiddie has increased his to 1.0. While it does not seem like much, Dinwiddie has proven that he is a lot better than his replacement.

Those two are not the only overachievers on the team. Joe Harris and Caris LeVert have both risen to the occassion. Harris has proved himself to be an excellent three[point shooter and can fire up in an instant. LeVert has been the leader of the second unit and is one of the best passers on the team.

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Even still, DeMarre Carroll is a force on the boards and Tyler Zeller might be the best big man on the team. The fact of the matter is that Nets are doing more with a roster that is not the best on paper.