Mavericks: Jalen Brunson is one of the most underrated players in the NBA
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks drafted Jalen Brunson with a second-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. It will forever be the night they traded up to secure Luka Doncic, but Brunson has been one of the best players in the class. He ranks 11th in win shares and 12th in career value over replacement player despite being selected 33rd overall.
The average NBA fan may not even know Jalen Brunson. His father played nine seasons in the league and has coached for four different NBA teams. Brunson was the starting point guard on two national championship teams at Villanova, so some fans may recognize him more for that. The 24-year-old is having a breakout third NBA season that is making him one of the most underrated players in the NBA.
Here is a closer look at Brunson’s game and why Mavs fans should be excited about his future.
Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson is one of the most underrated players
Brunson averages 12.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.3 3-pointers made in 24.5 minutes per game. He is shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 41.4 percent on his threes. JB has an effective field goal percentage of 60.1 which ranks 20th in the NBA.
Breaking the numbers down further, Brunson is shooting 72.2 percent in the restricted area and 55.3 percent on mid-range jumpers according to NBA Stats. Both figures are elite. Zach Lowe wrote a fantastic piece (subscription required) on how the 24-year-old is mixing touch and ability to create space to produce elite percentages.
Coach Rick Carlisle has closed games with Brunson on the floor this season. His offensive contributions forced his hand. JB has knocked down some key shots during the team’s recent hot stretch too. The 6’1 guard is a winner that continues to improve his game. It will be interesting to see if he can work his way into more playing time as the season progresses.
Jalen Brunson is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. Casual fans may not know his name, but he has been a key piece for the Dallas Mavericks this season. Keep an eye on where JB goes from here.