According to the NBA’s stats, Daniel Theis has the second best net rating in the league. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but as far as I can tell that means he’s the second-best player in the league, after Stephen Curry, who is first in the category. The rest of the top 10 is just players from the Warriors and Bucks; unlike everyone else around him on the list, he is the only representative of his team up there. He is not just the beneficiary of being part of dominant lineups; he is the reason the lineups he appears in are so dominant.
Yeah, that last sentence might be a bit of a reach, but this particular stat for him is really impressing me. Why doesn’t he play more? I’m seeing some DNP’s here on his game log, and I don’t get it, because aside from his fouling problems, he seems like at least a capable rotation bigman. Is he still suffering a nagging foot injury? I try to pay as little attention to the Celtics as possible (still salty from last year’s playoffs), so I don’t know.
But I do know that if the NBA wants to capture the German market after Dirk Nowitzki retires, which is imminent, they need to find another German superstar and make him the face of a franchise. Dennis Schroder was a good candidate, but he’s a tad unlikable. But Theis on the Celtics would be perfect. He just needs to up his scoring volume a lot, stop deferring so much to teammates that aren’t even that good, and keep up his elite net rating (which, now that I think about it, is probably boosted by the fact that he gets to play in end-of-game scrub lineups and dominates them, that and my recent discovery that he had a +50 plus-minus in a single game a few months back), and we’ll have a bigger version of Gordon Hayward ready to step in the void left by the real Gordon Hayward.