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What one unsung player in the league would you take in a heartbeat and why?

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The NBA is full of players who quietly make important contributions to their team. Which one of those guys would you want on yours?

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Mike DePrisco

Khris Middleton. He’s an elite defender and sharpshooter, and he can defend multiple positions as a 6’8” wing. Middleton is probably top-five at his position but doesn’t get attention due to the large shadow cast by the Greek Freak in Milwaukee.

Greg Cassoli

Gary Harris. I consume enough basketball nerdery (via print and podcast) to think that Harris is getting to the point of being somewhat heralded, but I’m taking him anyway. He’s a very good shooter, who can get to the rim, and at 22, has plenty of room to get even better.

Tim MacLean

This was a difficult question to answer because it’s one of those things where you feel like you’re forgetting someone. But, at the risk of missing an obvious choice, I’ll go with Nicolas Batum.

I’ve always liked Batum’s game, with his ability to make shots or create for teammates on the offensive end while also locking down defensively in spurts thanks to his tremendous length. He’s not the greatest shooter in the world but he’s more than serviceable from beyond the arc.

Batum just kind of does it all on the court, as evidenced by the 5x5 he had a few years ago in Portland, which gives you plenty of options for how you can go about using him.

I’m going to cheat and name a bonus player too: Thomas Robinson. The guy is an incredibly hard worker and has the tenacity to dominate on the boards (averages 12.9 per 36 minutes for his career). It’s sort of shocked me he hasn’t been able to find a permanent home in the NBA. He deserves a real chance from somebody.

Lachlann Marr

I've been a fan of Al Farouq Aminu for a while now. I don't know if he's unsung, but certainly regularly underrated. He's the type of big who is stealthily good on defense and despite some poor shooting numbers he's shown signs of improvement on the offensive end of the floor too. There are problems with his play, for sure, but too often this means people overlook the parts of his game where he excels such as getting into passing lanes and providing weak side help defense - skills that the Celtics have proven can be pivotal.