E’Twaun Moore is a professional basketballer who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans. He’s 29 years old, he’s 6’4”, and he’s a shooting guard/perimeter player. He played college ball at Purdue University, and he was drafted in the second round by the Boston Celtics in 2011. This is worth noting because the 2011 NBA draft is one of the craziest things you’ll ever see in your life.
By my count, there were 19 or so good players in that draft. Minnesota had 3 picks in the draft, and chose none of them. They had TWO chances to draft Jimmy Butler, and did not. Now, they just traded him away.
Isaiah Thomas (you remember him, he’s the guy who the Celtics dumped after his sister died in a car crash, and I.T. played through that and an injured hip to help lead Boston to the Eastern Conference Finals, becoming only the fifth Celtic ever to score 50 points in a postseason game) was the 60th pick in the 2011 draft. He was being considered for MVP contention two seasons ago.
And, then there’s E’Twaun Moore at pick #55. Literally, every team had a chance to draft him. He was a four year starter in college, and he graduated with numerous records in the Big Ten and for Purdue specifically. He was the third highest scorer in Purdue’s history, and only the third player in Big Ten history to have 2000 points, 500 rebounds, and 400 assists. He was drafted as an afterthought. Less than a year later, he was traded.
He eventually found himself in New Orleans after playing for Orlando and Chicago. This season, Moore is averaging 56% from the field while taking 11 shots a game. He’s shooting 49% from three, which is fifth best in the NBA for players who take at least three 3PA per game. Last year, he had a 51 FG% on 10 shots per game, and had a 42.5 3PT% on 3+ 3PA per game, which was 11th best overall (Steph Curry shot 42.3% from three last season).
There are 16 players in the NBA this season who are averaging 30+ minutes per game, and shooting at least 50% from the field. E’Twaun Moore is one of those players.
There are SIX players in the NBA this season who are averaging 31+ MPG and are shooting at least 50 FG%, and at least 30 3PT% (for any average of 3PA, btw). Moore is one of those players. Out of players this season who have played in at least 10 games and average 30 MPG, Moore is 7th in Offensive Rating. The list is Kevin Durant #1, Kyle Lowry, Curry, Dame Lillard, Khris Middleton, CJ McCollum, and then Moore at 115.9. He’s 15th best in Net Rating.
He’s a top 100 player on the ESPN Player Rater, and he’s been more valuable than Julius Randle, Otto Porter, Jr., Kyle Kuzma, LaMarcus Aldridge, Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Wiggins, Lonzo Ball, Gordon Hayward, Russell Westbrook (due to missed games), Brandon Ingram, Jaylen Brown, and Mike D’Antoni’s coaching. ALL of those players listed are owned in at least 70% of ESPN leagues, and many of them are in the 90% ownership range.
E’Twaun Moore is 4.7% owned and was drafted outside the top 120.
This is not a fluke. I wrote about him last year when, as stated above, he was also daaamn good (at shooting, mainly, but he gives you piecemeal counting stats in other categories, too).
Moore is an established player, he came out of that ridiculous 2011 draft and has survived in the NBA despite it (though most other players from 2011 are now gone, or never really arrived to begin with), and he’s been good since he arrived in New Orleans. He’s currently one of the most efficient scorers in the entire NBA (as he was last year), and he’s a proven fantasy commodity.
So, why don’t people own him in fantasy? He’s less than 5% owned, and he’s been a top 100 fantasy player for 13 months now. What gives?
In my humble opinion, I think this has to do with name recognition, and audience size. I doubt many people, even NBA fans, know who E’Twaun Moore is. The Pelicans fan base isn’t the biggest one in the world, and Moore is a quiet player who goes about his job in a methodical manner. His shot is just gorgeous, but it’s almost boring in its smooth perfection. It doesn’t really stand out because it looks like the Aristotelian Ideal of a jimmy: there are no peculiar idiosyncrasies or personal stylings to his shot. It’s just, y’know, what a basketball jump shot is supposed to look like, as if it was the animation of a proper jumper in a basketball instructional video.
E’Twaun scored 31 points against the Timberwolves last night. He scored 30 against the Raptors the game before that. E’Twaun is Elite, and there’s hardly a damn person out there who knows it. I once read a quote that said that E’Twaun Moore was like Tony Allen with a jump shot. That’s probably a dude you should know about.
If you play fantasy basketball, and E’Lite E’Twaun’s available in your league, you had better pick him up, lest the fantasy gods grow angry with you.
And, if you follow the NBA, but haven’t watched a Pelicans game yet this season, do yourself a favor and check one out. You’ll see Moore’s shot, and you’ll smile and nod. “That’s what a goddamn NBA player looks like,” you’ll think to yourself.