4 Most underrated players on New Orleans Pelicans current roster

Naji Marshall, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Naji Marshall, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Trey Murphy III versus Rockets
Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans. Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

3. Trey Murphy III

Every fan of New Orleans is ecstatic that the Pelicans were able to land Trey Murphy III with the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. But I bet that, if you ask a lot of fans around the league, many of them would have been happier taking someone like Alperen Sengun at the 16th overall pick. And those people would just be flat-out wrong.

Unlike Sengun, Murphy can move laterally and defend at a high level. On top of that, his skills (outside shooting and vertical play-finishing) fit better next to star players than what Sengun brings to the table (post-scoring and on-ball passing).

Speaking of the Houston Rockets, I bet most people around the league would prefer Jalen Green over Murphy. But guess what? That also shouldn’t be the case either. At this point, Murphy is the better overall player (take a look at their scoring efficiency and impact metrics on defense). And like we alluded to when comparing him to Sengun, Murphy’s skillset is better tailored toward high-end teams.

In fact, outside of the 2021 Rookie of the Year Runner Up Evan Mobley, no player in the 2021 class with over 50 NBA games under their belt has a higher Box Plus-Minus than Murphy (1.0).

This isn’t intended to cast an unnecessary stray at Sengun and Green. They are fine players, both of whom I thoroughly enjoy watching. But so far, Murphy has shown to be one of the most winning players of the 2021 NBA Draft Class, and for some reason, few people outside of the Pelicans fanbase really understand that.