NBA's 2019-20' MAP (Most Average Player)
This season we saw the major hardware of the NBA given out to players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Montrezl Harrell, and Brandon Ingram. But there is one award the NBA does not give out and it is an award centred around mediocrity, The Most Average Player Award, or the MAP. The MAP is not someone whose name will show up on an all-star ballot, but what these players may lack in star power is met with the talent of consistency and poise.
These players show their value to their respective teams by maintaining averages that will keep their team competitive while not ruffling the feathers of teammates, coaches, or their fanbase. The MAP is determined by finding the average of all NBA players in the five major statistical categories (points, rebound, assists, steals, and blocks) and seeing whose numbers closest resemble their moderate stats.
The Most Average Player award started as a Reddit thread from a few years ago by stat loving NBA nerds such as myself, and has also been included in an article by ClutchPoints but after the turbulence of the NBA this season the crown was not placed on the 2019-2020 MAP.
I took to the stats boards on NBA.com and crunched the numbers myself of the 262 players who qualified for the five major stat categories, as well as games played. After wading through the sea of numbers, the average statline was found to be 11.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 0.4 BPG. Now the only process that remained was finding the players who fit the bill of these mundane statistical requirements.
To qualify for the award the players must be within one-point/rebound/assist/steal/block of the average player stat line. With this in mind there were seven players who exemplified the word average and here are this year's MAP nominees…
7. OG Anunoby
This nominee may come as a surprise to some, but the young OG just barely fits the criteria of an average player veering dangerously close to an above average stat line. OG is known for his spectacular defense, stone cold demeanor, and an unselfish style of play and with these traits his impact on his team cannot be measured accurately by just numbers.
While remaining a third scoring option at best on his current Raptors squad, his numbers likely won't be skyrocketing anytime soon, but his play has steadily improved each season. So look for Anunoby to break away from the average player criteria and move closer to stardom this upcoming season.
Source: Michael Reaves/Getty Images
6. Tyler Herro
If you paid any attention to the NBA Playoffs this season this nominee may come as a shock to you. The self appointed “bucket”, Tyler Herro put up great stats as a rookie who was viewed by many as just a simple spot up shooter. The former 13th overall pick showed an overflowing sense of self-confidence taking and making big shots down the stretch of close games all season long and for the Heat.
The bubble did wonders for Herro's game as his numbers start to jump after entering the playoffs. With improvements in PPG, APG, and RPG, Herro looks like he is on the precipice of becoming a special player in the association, but as far as his rookie year goes he was just average.
Source: Erik Drost
5. Cedi Osman
By the end of his third NBA season, the Turkish youngster Osman took a step backwards in terms of his production as his numbers dwindled in comparison to his 2018-2019 campaign. Osman, while still fairly raw in terms of his game, doesn't have much in the way of help in Cleveland as the influx of bigs and ball dominant guards leave him to fend for himself when it comes to getting his own.
Osman still possesses some upside, but it’s likely he will be an average player for the majority of his career. A front runner for MAP award races for years to come.
Source: Getty Images
4. PJ Washington
Another member of the 2019 rookie class makes an appearance on the MAP, but this time it’s the big man from Charlotte. Washington put together a strong rookie campaign overall, but he hit his peak early in the season and his productivity dropped as the year progressed. With great athletic ability and a shooting stroke to match, Pistol PJ is looking to add onto his All-Rookie Team honours from this past season and take his game to the next level.
Source: John McCoy/Getty Images
3. Damion Lee
The man who wants to be known as more than just Steph Currys brother in-law is making strides towards doing so by falling short of the MAP award this year. Lee benefited heavily from the Warriors league worst play as he was able to find ample minutes and was also able to assert himself on the offensive side of the ball.
Lee came into the league on a two-way contract, but the 28-year old two-guard has shown he can be serviceable in the association when given the green light by his coaching staff. With the return of Curry, Klay, Draymond, and the addition of the potential 2nd pick in the draft, Lee’s numbers are set to drop, but look for him to provide valuable minutes off the bench next season.
Source: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
2. Glenn Robinson III
Former dunk contest champion (if you don't remember the year he won dont worry you didn't miss much), Glenn Robinson just barely bested his former Warrior teammate Damion Lee in terms of averageness, but did so with a completely different skill set. Robinson is a great rim runner and uses his athleticism and size to play above average defence while being strong enough to run efficient pick and roll situations.
Robinson has the build and the skills to be a great NBA player, but he just hasn't seemed to be able to put it all together in consecutive seasons. While this year was an average at best season, don't let Robinson slip under your radar in the coming seasons ahead.
Source: Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images
1. DeAndre Hunter
Hunter currently doesn't have a designated NBA nickname at this point in his career but it could become Mr. Average incredibly soon. This year's recipient of the MAP award put up near identical numbers to the league average only over a half point difference in one category (blocks per game). Hunter is the former fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft and he was taken based on his defensive prowess and athletic ability.
Hunter is exceptionally raw at this point in time but has shown flashes of potential this year in Atlanta. While his jump shot and playmaking ability may not be there yet, his ability to protect the rim and rise above the defence and finish at the rim is already at an elite level. Hunter shows much promise for his future and could be a key piece in the Atlanta Hawks rebuild currently happening.
A few years from now we could be looking at an all-star that just happened to be the most average player in the league at one point in time.