#1 on this list may not be that “under-the-radar,” but John Collins gets little recognition for how good he is. We didn’t get to see him much this year (thanks to his drug use suspension) and we won’t get to see him in Orlando, but just remember: this 22-year-old is an aggressive big in the epicenter of the Hawks’ plans moving forward.
Can a #1 pick be underrated? Deandre Ayton also faced a drug-use suspension from the NBA this year and he is often overshadowed by Luka and Trae from his draft class. Numbers don’t lie, though... this sophomore is one of the best stat-producing bigs already.
Don’t forget about John Wall. A few years back, he averaged 10+ assists for 3 straight seasons. The injuries that have plagued him recently have removed his name from point guard conversations but apparently he is “110%” and “itching to return.” You love to hear that.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander felt like a massive downgrade from Paul George, but now he is the unquestioned future of the OKC Thunder. His combination of craftiness and length makes for an elite modern guard. He has the Point God, Chris Paul, as a mentor and it’s only a matter of time before Billy Donovan hands SGA the keys to the system.
D’angelo Russell had a wild year. Following a brief stint in the Bay Area, Dloading was traded to the Minnesota T-Wolves to team up with his BFF Karl-Anthony Towns. He will be given the ball often and there’s a high chance that he returns to his All-Star form in coming years.
It all changed when Fred VanVleet became a father. If this Drake lookalike can dominate Game 6 of the NBA Finals vs. the Warriors, he can easily thrive as a top point guard in this league. With Kyle Lowry aging away, FVV looks to be the primary ball-handler in the North for years to come.
Christian Wood is one of fantasy basketball’s best kept secrets. The media didn’t get a chance to catch onto the Christian Wood hype before the NBA season was postponed, but he was averaging 22.3 points per game over the final 15 games leading up to the NBA shutdown. He’s a top breakout candidate for next year, and one of the few bright spots in Detroit.
You probably remember Collin Sexton’s help-defense chopping feet, but did you remember that he averaged more than 20 points this year? Young Bull seems really settled into the NBA - he’s rewatched every game this year twice already and you can expect him to come out firing next year.
Coby White had an up-and-down rookie season but his potential is huge. He memorably scored 101 points over 3 games in February. After starting the season in a three-way time split, Coby White looks to have won the PG role in Chicago moving forward.
Duncan Robinson is perfect for category leagues because he is absolutely elite at 1 thing: shooting. The former D3 player set multiple Miami Heat 3-pt records in just his rookie season and showed a ton of promise. Dbo will have the green light from Spoelstra for years to come and is one of the best young shooters in the league.