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NBA Rosters: 3 Underrated Offseason Moves

With training camp recently underway across the league, the season is creeping up on us, NBA fans. And a new season brings new faces to new places. Whether it be in free agency or via trade, players find themselves on new NBA rosters every year, and every offseason, some of the most prevalent storylines are built around those players donning new uniforms.

Sometimes the names that are the biggest game-changers when the season comes around are the ones with a little less hype than those that were highly sought-after.

We saw major roster shifts when stars like Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell (who many thought would be traded to the Knicks) got moved out of Utah this past offseason, and they"ll have a significant impact on their new teams this season, but, who are some under-the-radar players that will thrive in their new homes in the upcoming season?

Also Read: WAY Too Early NBA Awards Predictions

Donte DiVincenzo

The 25-year-old guard is entering just his fifth season in the league and the Warriors found themselves a diamond in the rough.

Just two seasons ago, DiVincenzo was a major contributor on a Milwaukee Bucks team that ended up winning an NBA Championship. The Bucks won that title with DiVincenzo sidelined for a majority of the playoff run, but before going down with an ankle injury, the then 23-year-old was blossoming into one of the more promising two-way players in the league.

Since suffering a torn ligament in his left ankle three games into the 2020-21 NBA playoffs, the Delaware native just hasn"t quite got back his rhythm. He shot just 35.1% from the field and 33.9% from deep in 42 games last season.

After getting moved mid-season to Sacramento, DiVincenzo looked a lot more comfortable as he knocked down 36.8% of his 3PA"s, which would have put him in the 61st percentile of all combo guards on three-point attempts. Not only that, but in his 25 games in Sacramento, he shot 54% on all corner threes, which would have ranked him in the 95th percentile.

So why does DiVincenzo benefit from being on a new roster?

For starters, the Warriors have a hole in the rotation after Gary Payton II left for Portland over the summer, and who"s a better replacement for GP2 than DiVincenzo?

Hint – there isn"t one.

DiVincenzo is a perfect fit for the Warriors" roster and how they want to play. Although he may not get quite as many minutes as he"s used to getting, he"s going to contribute to the Warriors being elite on both ends of the floor.

DiVincenzo"s BBIQ and athleticism will flourish in the Warriors" fast-paced, motion offense and his relentless motor will help suffocate opposing offenses. He is an extremely smart player, who"s a hard-nosed, savvy defender with an under-appreciated offensive skill set.

He"ll have moments where he"ll make Steve Kerr want to pull his hair out but DiVincenzo is a guy who contributes to winning when he"s on the floor. He can contribute in a different way every night – one night he might get hot from outside and score 20-25 points, another night he might hustle down six offensive rebounds and the next night he"ll give the opposing team"s leading scorer fits.

DiVincenzo will fit onto the Warriors roster like a glove and he"ll find himself getting a nice payday come next summer.

Malik Monk

Monk is coming off the most productive season of his career in Los Angeles, averaging almost 14 points per game and 3 assists per game, primarily coming off the bench for the Lakers last season. He has been one of the league"s more underrated spark plugs off the bench the last two seasons and don"t be surprised if Monk takes another step this coming season.

Reunited with his former college teammate De"Aaron Fox, these two explosive guards should make for an entertaining pairing on Sacramento"s roster this season. Monk will likely come off the bench for the Kings, but he should still get starter-level minutes and a number of those should come alongside Fox.

The Kings traded for Domantas Sabonis at the trade deadline last season to build around Fox and the two-time NBA all-star. The duo was extremely productive in their 13 games together last season but there is a glaring deficiency amongst those two – shooting.

Fox"s biggest weakness since he entered the league back in 2017 has been his outside shooting. He"s developed into an extremely comfortable scorer inside the arc, but his three-ball has yet to come around, and Sabonis averages just 1.4 3PA per game for his career.

Unless those numbers change drastically for the better, the NBA roster in California"s capital has to surround them with floor spacers. The NBA roster in Sacramento had the seventh lowest 3P% in the NBA last season. They just didn"t have much shooting on their roster last season.

So, insert Monk. The last two seasons Monk has shot 39.4% on 654 three-point attempts. He"s a legitimate floor spacer whose shooting and athleticism will shine on Sacramento"s roster this season. Sacramento was 12th in bench points per game last season and adding Monk will only make that unit stronger.

Monk"s shot selection leaves a little to be desired at times and he"s struggled to execute defensively thus far in his career (sound familiar, Kings fans?) but playing alongside Fox and Sabonis it shouldn"t be an issue getting clean looks, and head coach Mike Brown is known to be a defensive specialist. Don"t be surprised to see Monk in Sixth Man of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year conversations come April.

Isaiah Hartenstein 

This past summer the Knicks improved their NBA roster when they signed Hartenstein to a two-year 16-million dollar deal in free agency, likely to be the backup for Mitchell Robinson, who they signed to a four-year 60-million dollar deal. But just because he"ll be coming off the bench doesn"t mean he won"t be an important piece on the Knicks roster this season.

Hartenstein is the perfect player for a Tom Thibodeau-led team. If Thibodeau lets Hartenstein and Robinson truly battle it out for the starting center position, don"t be shocked if Hartenstein comes out on top. However, you don"t pay 60-million dollars to have a 24-year-old center come off the bench, and alas, that"ll put Hartenstein on the bench at tip-off.

Hartenstein has a great motor and although his looks may be deceptive, he"s one of the more versatile defenders at the center position in the entire league and a great addition to any NBA roster. He"s a lot quicker and mobile than you initially think when you see him and he"s also one of the best rim protectors in the league.

Hartenstein averaged over a block per game in 17.9 minutes per game last season and opponents consistently struggled to finish at the rim against him. He"s good enough to be a starter in this league and the Knicks will probably have the luxury of bringing him off the bench.

The NBA roster in New York were at the top of the league in pick-and-roll frequency last season but were towards the bottom of the league in pick-and-roll efficiency. The addition of Hartenstein and his ability to facilitate and finish at a high level will not only help the Knicks improve in the pick and roll but his skillset also serves as a nice change of pace compared to the hyper-athletic, lob threat that is Robinson.

Last season, Hartenstein even flashed the ability to stretch the floor. He took just 30 3PA"s last season but he hit 14 of them and shot about one 3PA per game post all-star break. Another offseason of work to go along with the change of scenery may just be what Hartenstein needed to fully unlock himself as a floor spacer.

There are a lot of talented bigs in the Eastern Conference and having quality depth at center will benefit New York over the course of a grueling 82-game schedule. Hartenstein wasn"t the splashiest addition to the Knicks roster but Knicks fans will love him sooner rather than later.

What are your thoughts on these improved NBA rosters? Which NBA roster do you think should have been on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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