Throughout the NBA season and postseason, the majority of the praise has been given to the superstars of the league. But, there is an overabundance of low-key players who have played extremely well while playing roles off the bench. Many of them have played well enough to put them in the conversation for a starting role whether it be on their current team or another team. Here are the guys who most deserve starting roles.
Rozier has been a key player for the Celtics ever since he was drafted back in 2015. When Kyrie Irving was lost to injury, there was legitimate concern whether or not Rozier could play up to Irving’s level. Rozier’s play in this year playoffs has been tremendous, way outpacing his career averages with 17.1 PTS, 5.8 AST, 5.4 REB. He even earned the nickname “Scary Terry” with his outstanding play. The numbers are good enough to at least earn him starters minutes, and being able to play outstanding with the pressure on him only helps him.
Covington’s play this past season was a significant reason why the Sixers finished the regular season as the three seed in the Eastern Conference. He’s a fantastic 3-pt shooter who has tremendous ability in working off-the ball and cut to the rim. Averaging 13 points per game with a career high 30-pt percentage as well as 5 rebounds per game is well deserving of a minute increase. Not to mention he doesn’t slack off at the defensive end of the court, using his 2 STL/game as evidence for this. He plays well working off two ball dominant stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but we don’t know just how good he could be being a top scoring option.
Randle’s fantastic play this season most likely pushes him out of Los Angeles this offseason. Playing well while being looked upon as the backup to Kyle Kuzma, Randle made some big time plays. He showed an ability to put the ball in the basket, averaging 16 PPG. He defends the perimeter extremely well for somebody of his size. Some of his success may be attributed to the skill of Lonzo Ball, but I believe if he is placed with a half-decent PG he can still be successful. He deserves the opportunity to play a significant somewhere in this league.
The undrafted backup PG has come a long way in his lone NBA season. His stellar play can be seen as a testament to how well the entire Raptors bench played all season long. His play is one of the major reasons why the Raptors were able to capture the one seed in the Eastern Conference. He does everything you can ask for as a point guard, clocking in at about 20 minutes a game. He shoots incredibly efficiently, pushing 50% from the field and 40% from 3-pt land. Anybody who shoots this efficiently deserves the opportunity to see if his percentage can be maintained with more minutes. He could be even better than a solid point guard.
The knock on Aminu is that he never has played up to the level of being the no.8 pick in the NBA draft. Because of this, Aminu never has really gotten a fair shot at starting, but he has consistently made an enormous impact on the court. In the Trail Blazers embarrassing sweep to the Pelicans, Aminu played absolutely outstanding. In the series, he averaged 17.3 points and 9 rebounds on a team that could just not get anything going outside of him. Not only that, but he consistently plays well in his few playoff appearances outside of this year. Throughout his eight NBA years, he’s been used as a part-time starter by many teams. There’s no telling when he could make an impact as a full-time starter from now on.