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Five of the most underrated players in the NBA draft poised to be major steals

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The NBA Draft puts a major spotlight on the lottery picks, and for good reason. But a top-10 pick doesn't always equate to a franchise-changing or All-Star player.

Take Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker, as an example. The gifted scorer who just helped spearhead the Suns' run to the NBA Finals was drafted No. 13 in 2015 after he was the sixth man on John Calipari's talented Kentucky squad. That's not to mention Giannis Antetokounmpo going No. 15 in the 2013 draft or Kawhi Leonard also being picked 15th in the 2011 draft.

Then there are steals like Jimmy Butler (30th in 2011) and Rudy Gobert (27th in 2013) who vastly out-play their late first-round selection. And what about recent MVP Nikola Jokic, who went No. 41 overall in the 2014 draft?

Here's a look at five underrated players in this year's draft who are poised to be major steals for the teams that select them.

Franz Wagner

The projected No. 12 pick, Wagner has a unique skillset as a 6-foot-9 guard with great handle on the perimeter and the ability to knock down treys. His game was tempered a bit at Michigan but in the pros it is poised to fully blossom.

Jalen Johnson

We only got to see Johnson play 13 games at Duke before he called it quits to prepare for the pros. That might've hurt his stock a tad, but the 6-9 forward still got to develop under the tutelage of Mike Krzyzewski, perhaps the greatest teacher in the sport. Expect that foundation to be pivotal as he settles into the NBA. He's projected to go No. 13.

Trey Murphy III

Murphy had an impressive combine and has shot up on draft boards as a major first-round sleeper. The 6-9 forward is a rim-riser who flew under the NCAA radar while playing in Virginia's disciplined system. But much like fellow UVA stars Malcolm Brogdon, Joe Harris and De'Andre Hunter, there's so much more to Murphy than that collegiate sample size. He shot 43% from beyond the arc and is a mature defender. Murphy is forecasted to be the No. 17 pick.

Virginia guard Trey Murphy III hangs on the rim after dunking near Clemson's Aamir Simms during an ACC game last season.
Virginia guard Trey Murphy III hangs on the rim after dunking near Clemson's Aamir Simms during an ACC game last season.

Tre Mann

Mann came into his own during his sophomore season with Florida. What makes him appealing to NBA teams is his ability to play point guard and shooting guard. Mann can make open threes just as well as he can create for others, meaning he can adapt his style based on team personnel. The 6-5 guard is expected to be picked 21st.

Cameron Thomas

Thomas is undersized but perhaps the most gifted scorer in the entire draft. The 6-5 guard averaged 23 points per game at LSU and erupted for a handful of 30-plus scoring nights. Put him on the right team and in the right situation, and his raw bucket-getting skillset can definitely translate to the NBA level. He's projected to be picked 23rd.

Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Five most underrated players in NBA draft poised to be major steals