Everybody needs to pitch in and do their job if you want to have a successful team in the Association, so you definitely need team and role players willing to sacrifice their stats and do what’s best for the franchise if you intend to make it in this league.
Basketball is a team effort and even though the biggest stars get most of the highlights due to their outstanding performance, those working men behind them also need to be extremely credited for all the hard work they put on a nightly basis.
When all the team is committed and willing to outhustle their rivals, things usually work out perfectly for those franchises. Today, we’re going to give some recognition to the guys that deserve it the most, the best role players in the league.
10. Shaun Livingston
Shaun Livingston carries one of the greatest stories in the world behind his back, as he went from suffering one of the most cringe-worthy injuries we’ve ever seen and almost losing his leg to becoming an NBA Champion.
Livingston is a huge factor off the Warriors bench with his ability to guard multiple positions due to his length and wingspan, while also being a very good playmaker and a master of low post offense that always makes the most of his matchups.
9. Patty Mills
Patty Mills has pretty much outplayed every single substitute point guard in Gregg Popovich’s team for the last couple of years, and he even decided to stay put at San Antonio despite having the chance to get paid a lot of cash this season as a free agent.
Mills has provided an instant boost off the bench for the San Antonio Spurs ever since holding onto the backup point guard gig, and he forms one of the most prolific and productive second unit backcourts alongside Manu Ginobili.
8. TJ Warren
TJ Warren is quietly rounding up as a very solid role player although he doesn’t get enough recognition because he shares the team with Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender, and he recently had a killer game that led the Suns to the W.
Warren is one of the few players actually capable of making an impact on defense in the Suns squad and he’s beginning to be a consistent scorer as well, and he’s only going to get better once the young Suns figure things out.
7. Evan Fournier
Evan Fournier is finally flourishing as a prolific scorer and he’s one of the main reasons why the Orlando Magic have gotten off to such a terrific start of the campaign, shooting lights out while also chipping in some support stats like assists and steals.
Even if Fournier’s scoring is likely not going to be as high throughout the full season, he’s showing a lot of improvement in other aspects of his game like defense, being way more willing to put his body on the line this season.
6. Trevor Ariza
Ariza’s one of the most hardworking and silent best players in the Association, always being a huge threat in the wings for opposing forwards with his ability to tip the rock right out of their fingers and knock down threes.
Trevor has always quietly averaged double-digit scoring with a couple of makes from beyond the arc and steals, and he’s the kind of guy that’s not afraid to take a huge charge to prevent other guys from scoring, being the best 3 and D role player in the league besides Danny Green.
5. Robin Lopez
Despite Robin Lopez’ being the “bad” Lopez brother, he’s quietly been way more productive and durable than Brook, although he’s obviously not nearly half as gifted in the offensive end as his brother.
Lopez is always a good source of rebounding and can even contribute with scoring in the lower teens, and he’s not afraid to get in anybody’s face when it comes to putting his body in jeopardy, and hopefully the Bulls can find a team where he can actually contribute to winning.
4. Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon finally had a breakout year the prior campaign where he was the Three-Point Champion and the Sixth Man of the Year, becoming one of the main pieces in the Houston Rockets core under Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense.
The three-point specialist has really come together as a complete player overall, also being able to run the offense at times and aggressively attack the rack, opening space for James Harden as a very suitable complement for the Beard.
3. Lou Williams
Lou Williams will always be a huge defensive liability, but he’s also one of the best pure scorers in the league, being able to score at will against top-tier defenders like he was just messing around in the backyard of his house.
Sweet Lou is pretty much a walking bucket and he’s also been extremely effective off the bench throughout the last passages of his career, being so gifted in the offensive end with his ability to finish through contact and make defenders go mad with his crafty crossovers.
2. Dwyane Wade
It’s kind of odd and surprising to see Dwyane Wade and role player in the same sentence, but yes, he’s a top-notch role player now in his new era as the main guy off the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench after his failed Chicago Bulls stint.
Wade demanded to play off the bench knowing that it would be better for the team, and even though it hasn’t shown so far, it’s just a matter of time before James and the Flash turn things around and go back to their old dominant form.
1. Andre Iguodala
And the best role player in the league right now definitely has to be Andre Iguodala, a guy that embraced a substitute role despite still being young and being one of the primary scorers of his Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets squads.
Iguodala has been a major defensive factor ever since joining the Golden State Warriors, even winning 1 Finals MVP with the Dubs. Besides, he’s also shown a lot of good playmaking abilities at the Bay, and he didn’t hesitate to extend his stay there despite averaging career lows in points per game.