Back with one of my favorite discussions – Role Players Need Love Too. Most role players are only talked about in passing by national media members, that’s why I want to take some time each week to praise these deserving men.
Delon Wright – Washington Wizards
One of the most underrated players in the league, Wright just plays winning ball and it shows up in both the eye test and the advanced stats. Wright has always been known as a defensive stud, which is backed up by his 4.5 DBPM (Defensive Box Plus/Minus). That is an insane number, and paired with his positive offensive output this year, Wright has, statistically (based on BPM), made a similar impact compared to guys like Lauri Markkanen, Julius Randle, Chris Paul, and Darius Garland. The Wizards have the ideal backup point guard right now.
Aaron Nesmith – Indiana Pacers
Nesmith was a lowkey move for the Pacers this past summer, as he was mainly just a throw-in for the Malcolm Brogdon to Boston deal. But he’s been far from a throw-in this season, as he’s been a sniper from 3 point land (35% on high attempts) and playing the 4 spot for the overachieving Pacers. Nesmith knows his role and is quietly developing into an ideal 3&D wing for Indiana. As the Pacers continue to retool their team, I expect Nesmith to shift over to the 3 spot and provide perfect spacing for Haliburton and Mathurin over the next few seasons.
Kyle Anderson – Minnesota Timberwolves
Slo-Mo is just a smart player who knows his strengths and weaknesses when he’s on the floor. And even with his athletic disadvantages, Anderson is a plus on the defensive end with a 2.3 DBPM. Pair the positive defense with great shooting splits of 50/44/75 and you have an ideal stretch 4 in Minnesota. Oh, and Anderson’s ability to handle the ball and initiate is also a game-changer. Look for Slo-Mo to make a huge impact on the Wolves playoff run the rest of the season.