NBA

NBA Rookie Rankings: 5 underrated guys in this year’s class

Everyone knows about what Luka Doncic is doing this season, but these five NBA rookies probably deserve a little more recognition for that they’re doing.

If you’re tired of reading about Luka Doncic, Deandre Ayton and Jaren Jackson, Jr. then this piece is for you. Instead of focusing on the top five NBA rookies of the week, this article is devoted to five players who aren’t receiving the publicity they deserve.

The vast majority of these guys are playing in either small markets or for teams that aren’t in legitimate playoff contention. Predictably, that forces them to stay under the radar a bit. It’s easy to get lost when your team is headed towards the top of the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.

That doesn’t mean it’s fair. Sometimes guys in those situations are forced to do even more for their teams that players with bigger reputations. Each of the five players we’ll discuss is playing a significantly larger role for their respective teams than most people expected when the year began. Our order is an attempt to list which players are being ignored to the largest degree.

5. Josh Okogie

If Okogie can ever find a consistent jump shot he has a real chance to develop into an above-average NBA starter for a long time. He’s already flashing serious athleticism in his 19 plus minutes per game for the Timberwolves.

The fact that he’s still getting meaningful burn despite having an effective field goal percentage of 41.3 makes it pretty clear he’s doing a lot of little things right for Minnesota. Specifically, Okogie is playing really good individual and team defense. He’s using his quickness and exceptional length to really get out and bother perimeter players he’s matched up against. It’s not hard to imagine him becoming one of the best individual defenders in the league during his career.

Okogie isn’t going to put up big offensive numbers yet, but he’s a key player for the Wolves. Other coaches around the league are definitely taking notice.

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