The playoffs are getting closer by the day. Teams have anywhere from 25?30 games left in the season and we?ve seen enough from everybody to get a grasp of where they rank. For time purposes, only 1?50 have detailed descriptions.
Notable Injury Omissions (With their projected ranking ranges): Kevin Durant (1?10), Stephen Curry (1?10), Klay Thompson (10?25), John Wall (30?50), Jonathan Isaac (40?60), Blake Griffin (20?50).
Missed The Cut: Markelle Fultz, Evan Fournier, Tristan Thompson, Steven Adams, Josh Richardson, Will Barton, Myles Turner, Jerami Grant, Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Wendell Carter Jr., Lonzo Ball, Tim Hardaway Jr., Brook Lopez, Draymond Green, J.J. Redick, Julius Randle, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes, Jonas Valanciunas.
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75. Julius Randle
74. Hassan Whiteside
73. PJ Tucker
72. TJ Warren
71. Robert Covington
70. Myles Turner
69. Clint Capela
68. Aaron Gordon
67. Andrew Wiggins
66. Dillon Brooks
65. DeAndre Ayton
64. John Collins
63. Caris LeVert
62. Jordan Clarkson
61. Jaren Jackson Jr.
60. Derrick Rose
59. Danilo Gallinari
58. Devonte? Graham
57. Buddy Hield
56. Marcus Morris
55. Dennis Schrder
54. Kevin Love
53. Andre Drummond
52. Kelly Oubre Jr.
51. Eric Bledsoe
50. Fred VanVleet
Freddy V?s play is a big part of the reason the Raptors have looked the same despite losing Kawhi Leonard. More credit should be given to he and Kyle Lowry for the defensive job they do on taller guards and wings. 18 and 7 while shooting 40% from three is a statline all sub six-foot guards would dream of.
Stats: 18.0 PPG 3.7 RPG 6.8 APG 1.9 SPG 41.2% FG 39.6% 3FG
49. Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris is a nice player. I?m not one to count someones pockets but? $180 Million??? For he and the Sixers to get to the next level he?ll need to hit threes like he was in LA and maybe get to the line more than 2?3 times a game.
Stats: 19.0 PPG 6.7 RPG 3.0 APG 47.2% FG 36.3% 3FG
48. Kristaps Porzingis
Porzingis is coming along fine. He has games where you quickly remember when he was an early-season MVP candidate during the 2017?18 season and other times he gets into foul trouble, takes bad shots and looks like he?s missing the athleticism he once had. Give him the rest of this season and hopefully and healthy offseason and we?ll be able to see what he really will be going forward.
Stats: 18.4 PPG 9.1 RPG 1.5 APG 41.6% FG 35.0% 3FG
47. Ja Morant
I can?t say I was expecting Ja Morant to be this good, this fast. He?s like a combination of John Wall, Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell wrapped in a wiry 6’3″, 175-pound frame. He has me watching Memphis Grizzlies games which is remarkable considering they just traded their franchise cornerstones in the last year.
Stats: 17.6 PPG 3.5 RPG 7.1 APG 1.0 SPG 49.3% FG 35.8% 3FG
46. Malcolm Brogdon
Brogdon didn?t miss a step as he took on a featured role in Indiana. I was skeptical of his ability to be that main guy but he immediately proved me wrong. He?s become a true floor general and takes the lead for a frisky Pacers team.
Stats: 16.6 PPG 4.7 RPG 7.3 APG 43.8% FG
45. Nikola Vucevic
Vucevic posts the quietest 20?10?4 stat line I can remember. Vuc keeps the Magic from being a bottom-feeder in the East. Without him their performance would be worse than their orange and grey uniforms.
Stats: 19.0 PPG 10.8 RPG 3.7 APG 0.9 BPG 45.8% FG 34.4% 3FG
44. Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine is one of the tougher players to rank. The Bulls don?t have anybody else significant on the roster which forces LaVine to do some things he wouldn?t be able to on a winning team, both positive and negative. However, his talent is undeniable. He?s much more consistent and comfortable out there this year.
Stats: 25.3 PPG 4.8 RPG 4.1 APG 1.4 SPG 44.8% FG 38.5% 3FG
43. Bojan Bogdanovic
Utah is lucky Bojan came to play considering how bad Mike Conley has been this year. He?s a great second or third scoring option and a perfect compliment to what the Jazz like to do.
Stats: 21.0 PPG 4.1 RPG 2.1 APG 45.4% FG 42.5% 3FG
42. Gordon Hayward
Hayward is overshadowed by his All-Star teammates and Jaylen Brown but he?s so important to what they do. He?s probably the best offense initiator on the team and he?s composed, efficient and he rarely makes big mistakes.
Stats: 17.3 PPG 6.7 RPG 4.1 APG 50.4% FG 39.2% 3FG
41. Lou Williams
I don?t think anyone saw Lou Williams being this effective in his thirties. He?s a bucket-getter and one of the best in late-game situations.
Stats: 19.5 PPG 3.1 RPG 5.9 APG 41.2% FG 35.0% 3FG
40. D?Angelo Russell
D-Lo has really blossomed over the last two seasons. He has become lethal from three and gotten to the free throw line with much more regularity this year. It?s going to take having the right pieces around them but KAT and D-Lo is certainly a great start.
Stats: 23.6 PPG 3.7 RPG 6.3 APG 1.0 SPG 43.1% FG 37.9% 3FG
39. CJ McCollum
CJ has been consistently good over the last 5 seasons. Since he?s in the West, he?ll likely never make an All Star team but he?s still one of the most skilled scorers in the game and one of my favorites to watch. I do wonder what he would look like elsewhere, where he could be the primary shot-creator but the Dame-CJ duo is great.
Stats: 21.3 PPG 3.9 RPG 3.8 APG 44.6% FG 38.3% 3FG
38. Spencer Dinwiddie
Spencer Dinwiddie isn?t going to fit with Kyrie-KD-LeVert. I wouldn?t be surprised if he gets moved but his progression over the last few years has been crazy. He?s one of the better guards in the league.
Stats: 21.0 PPG 3.5 RPG 6.6 APG 41.7% FG
37. LaMarcus Aldridge
LA is still going. One of the ?Kings of the Mid-Range? has recently taken that shooting touch to three-point land and it?s worked well for him and the Spurs. He could add a few more years to his career if he can keep hitting threes at a high rate like this.
Stats: 19.1 PPG 7.6 RPG 2.4 APG 1.6 BPG 50.1% FG 40.7% 3FG
36. Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray has recently shown why he garnered the max extension from Denver last year. His biggest struggle is assertiveness and consistency, once he becomes more consistent the Nuggets should be a real threat in the West for years to come.
Stats: 18.9 PPG 3.9 RPG 4.8 APG 1.2 SPG 45.4% FG 34.5% 3FG
35. DeMar DeRozan
The conundrum of DeMar DeRozan. The man is averaging 23 points a night, shooting 53% from the field while rarely ever taking a three. He has mastered the mid-range game and if you?re a fan of footwork and shot-creation like myself, he?s actually very entertaining to watch. He absolutely should take at the very least 2?3 threes a game but he hates that line for some reason.
Stats: 23.0 PPG 5.7 RPG 5.2 APG 53.4% FG
34. Jrue Holiday
Simply put, Jrue hasn?t been able to put the ball in the basket as well as he has in the past few seasons. It?s strange because his USG% has stayed nearly identical to what it has been but everything he does feels forced. Part of it is that he is no longer playing with a player on Anthony Davis? level but it?s also due largely because Gentry and company pushed him to be ?The Guy? when that?s never been his role. Defensively, Jrue still brings it and that?ll keep him high on my list for a long time.
Stats: 19.3 PPG 4.7 RPG 6.5 APG 1.7 SPG 44.1% FG 34.7% 3FG
33. De?Aaron Fox
De?Aaron Fox is now criminally underrated. The Kings have been dysfunctional as ever but Fox is playing the best basketball of his young career. People moved on to Ja Morant, Shai-Gilgeous-Alexander and a few others because of injuries and changes to the roster/coach. Just watch a couple Kings games, thank me later.
Stats: 19.7 PPG 4.2 RPG 7.0 APG 1.5 SPG 46.8% FG
32. Domantas Sabonis
Sabonis? best attribute is that he knows his limitations. He goes 110% all the time and makes up for some of his athletic and wingspan deficiencies.
Stats: 18.3 PPG 12.5 RPG 4.8 APG 54.1% FG
31. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SGA?s pace is remarkable. He plays like a 15-year vet and is one of the craftiest guys in the league. The Thunder have a franchise centerpiece on their hands. The fact that they were able to get him from the Clippers changed the future of their franchise.
Stats: 19.5 PPG 6.1 RPG 3.2 APG 1.2 SPG 46.5% FG 35.0% 3FG
30. Montrezl Harrell
Trezz?s improvement is still jarring to me. His ability to handle the ball and score almost whenever he wants ranks among the best bigs in the world.
Stats: 18.8 PPG 7.1 RPG 1.8 APG 1.1 BPG 57.6% FG
29. Kyle Lowry
This man took charges and flopped in the All Star Game? He makes winning plays but please Kyle, don?t ever do that again.
Stats: 19.6 PPG 4.7 RPG 7.6 APG 1.2 SPG 42.0% FG 35.7% 3FG
28. Jaylen Brown
People sort of gave up on a 22-year-old Jaylen Brown because? Twitter told them to? Whatever reason, Jaylen Brown has come back, made major improvements as a ball-handler and a shot creator, creating one of the scariest wing combos in the league alongside Jayson Tatum.
Stats: 20.2 PPG 6.4 RPG 2.2 APG 1.1 SPG 49.5% FG 38.1% 3FG
27. Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton is a huge part of the Milwaukee Bucks success. He goes relatively unnoticed because of Giannis? spectacular play but he?s essential to them having only 7 losses thus far. He?s putting up 50?44?91 splits at the moment. Basically as efficient as you could dream of.
Stats: 20.4 PPG 6.1 RPG 4.3 APG 1.0 SPG 50.1% FG 43.8% 3FG
26. Chris Paul
The CP3 resurgence has been fun. Paul has proven he?s still a game-changing floor general who can simply take over the game whenever he wants to. The ?middy? is still money and he really has OKC in the playoffs after losing two All-NBA guys.
Stats: 17.4 PPG 5.0 RPG 6.7 APG 1.6 SPG 48.5% FG 36.2% 3FG
25. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is easily one of the best guards in the league and one of the most skilled players ever when healthy. He hasn?t been healthy enough to build a real chemistry with this strange collection of talent but he?s still been good.
Stats: 27.2 PPG 5.2 RPG 6.4 APG 1.4 SPG 47.8% FG 39.4% 3FG
24. Trae Young
It feels like just yesterday that I ran into Trae Young at a Raising Canes in Norman, Oklahoma while visiting the University of Oklahoma. He?s now an All-Star and one of the greatest basketball players to ever live (relatively speaking). If he can become just bad-to-average on defense, he?ll be in the conversation for best guard in the league.
Stats: 29.7 PPG 4.4 RPG 9.2 APG 1.2 SPG 44.3% FG 36.9% 3FG
23. Kemba Walker
I?ve seen Kemba as one of the league?s elite guards for a while but it?s crazy that this is the first year he?s actually been on a good team. His leadership has brought this Celtics team together and that?s not something you can really quantify or explain unless you?ve played a lot of organized basketball. Boston has the most individual offensive firepower in the east, let?s see if Kemba can go on another legendary run.
Stats: 21.8 PPG 4.1 RPG 5.0 APG 1.0 SPG 42.9% FG 38.8% 3FG
22. Brandon Ingram
Brandon Ingram has been great this season and it got him a well-deserved All-Star appearance. Ingram, Williamson and Holiday need to work on complimenting one another, which really starts with Holiday taking a backseat and playing more off ball. Ingram is one of the most talented scorers in the league but I want to see a bit more assertiveness out of him.
Stats: 24.9 PPG 6.4 RPG 4.2 APG 1.0 SPG 47.3% FG 40.0% 3FG
21. Zion Williamson
Well? I think we?ve got one. Zion is looking like THAT GUY. The doesn?t turn 21 for two summers and he?s making guys who are bigger and more established look like this is their first NBA game. He?s going to be an automatic 27+ points a game, health willing (please, please, please) and an all-around menace. Expect him to get into the top 10 by October.
Stats: 22.1 PPG 7.5 RPG 2.2 APG 57.6% FG 36.4% 3FG
20. Devin Booker
Since coming into the league as Kentucky?s ?other guy? he has continually surprised me and this year is no different. Booker is one of the most effective scorers in the league and he responds well to disrespect. Expect him to go on another late-season run to prove just how good he is, regardless of how bad the Suns supporting cast is.
Stats: 26.4 PPG 4.2 RPG 6.3 APG 49.6% FG 35.8% 3FG
19. Karl-Anthony Towns
Is KAT a generational big? Or is he just Kevin Love 2.0? It?s still yet to be seen but the outrageous numbers KAT puts up each night make it hard to ignore him as a great player even when he hadn?t won a game in actual months. Until he fully commits to the defensive end of the court for longer than five games, I can?t put him up there with the best.
Stats: 26.5 PPG 10.8 RPG 4.4 APG 1.2 BPG 50.8% FG 41.2% 3FG
18. Bradley Beal
Part of the reason this list exists is so we can shed light on how good guys like Bradley Beal really are. We?ve gotten to a strange place where we value team success MUCH more than we do the performance of the individual. Don?t get me wrong, you play to win the game but everyone isn?t going to be fortunate enough to win 50 games each year, that shouldn?t completely take them out of getting recognized as an All-Star, which is as individual an accolade that exists in the NBA.
Stats: 29.1 PPG 4.4 RPG 6.2 APG 1.0 SPG 45.4% FG 32.2% 3FG
17. Jayson Tatum
I think Tatum has finally put it all together. The scoring potential has always been there but this year he?s shortened his release, eliminated a lot of the hitch and has taken much better shots. Defensively he plays hard, people don?t think of him in this way but he?s on the short list of wing defenders in the league. Tatum needs to continue being Boston?s best player in order to take them the distance.
Stats: 22.4 PPG 6.9 RPG 2.9 APG 1.4 SPG 44.3% FG 38.2% 3FG
16. Paul George
Paul George has had a rough season. He returned from surgery on both of his shoulders and was pretty effective. Since then, he has taken a backseat to both Lou Williams and Kawhi Leonard and endured an unfortunate hamstring injury. Hopefully he can bounce back because when he?s healthy he?s easily one of the biggest difference makers in the league and he?s necessary for the Clippers championship wishes.
Stats: 21.7 PPG 6.1 RPG 3.9 APG 1.3 SPG 42.6% FG 39.4% 3FG
15. Rudy Gobert
I?ll admit it, ?The Baguette Boy? is good at basketball. Nothing he does is flashy or even overly entertaining but he?s the biggest reason Utah wins so many regular season games. Once he gets attacked in PnR and forced to guard on the perimeter, it gets dicey, which is why he?s at 15 contrary to the people who think he?s a top 10 guy. He has basically maxed out what you can do in basketball without being able to pass, dribble or shoot.
Stats: 15.6 PPG 14.6 RPG 1.5 APG 1.9 BPG 68.9% FG
14. Bam Adebayo
Bam has kept up his elite play all season long. He is already a big-time difference maker on a nightly basis but his potential is immense. As he gets more confident, builds on his guard skills and adds a consistent jumper it might be game over for the opposition.
Stats: 15.8 PPG 10.4 RPG 4.9 APG 1.2 SPG 1.2 BPG 57.9% FG
13. Ben Simmons
I wonder how we would look at Ben Simmons if he was ?marketed? as a power forward or center upon entering the league. We know he?s not going to shoot and it severely limits his ability to be effective against good teams and especially in the playoffs playing alongside Joel Embiid. But, Simmons is one of the most unique guys in the league. He?s my pick for best defender in the league at the moment.
Stats: 16.9 PPG 7.9 RPG 8.3 APG 2.2 SPG 58.4% FG
12. Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler is having a great season despite being anemic from deep (24.8% 3FG). His steady improvements as a playmaker/ball handler have taken his game to the next level. He?s always been an elite defender and tone setter and the combination of those attributes have the Miami Heat overachieving in his first season with the team.
Stats: 20.6 PPG 6.8 RPG 6.1 APG 1.8 SPG 45.7% FG
11. Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell still has his sporadic moments but for the most part he?s been really consistent this season. His maturation as a player has made Utah a more formidable opponent.
Stats: 24.3 PPG 4.3 RPG 4.3 APG 1.1 SPG 45.7% FG 36.3% 3FG
10. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook has quietly put together one of the best 25-game stretches of his NBA career. He hasn?t had the gaudy triple-doubles that once made him one of the league?s most popular players but I could make the argument he?s never been better. He?s cut down on the bad threes and some of the erratic mid-range pull-ups in exchange for some relentless attacks at the rim and smart basketball plays.
Stats: 27.2 PPG 8.0 RPG 7.2 APG 1.6 SPG 46.3% FG
9. Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam?s ascendance into stardom is still so strange to me. It feels like just yesterday Siakam was taking turns getting roasted by LeBron in the ECSF and now he?s an All-Star starter and one of the most versatile and well-rounded players the league has to offer.
Stats:23.5 PPG 7.5 RPG 3.5 APG 1.0 SPG 45.8% FG 36.2% 3FG
8. Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid?s game isn?t malleable, neither is Ben Simmons?. What I mean by that is they are dependent on a specific archetype of players around them to fully unlock their talents. However, Embiid?s talent is undeniable. It?s tough to rank both he and Simmons because of how effective they are without each other and how bad they can look when they play the right team.
Stats: 22.9 PPG 11.9 RPG 3.2 APG 1.4 BPG 46.6% FG
7. Nikola Jokic
Jokic has been spectacular since that sluggish start to the season. He and the Nuggets have regained what they had going last season and largely in part to the play of Nikola Jokic. He?s already one of the best passers the center position has ever had and he puts it on display each night.
Stats: 20.6 PPG 10.2 RPG 6.9 APG 1.2 SPG 51.8% FG 51.8% FG
6. Anthony Davis
I don?t think Anthony Davis gets the credit for being as versatile as he is. He can defend almost anybody in the entire league. He?s an automatic 25?10 and his synergy with LeBron is still growing. AD is definitely in the upper echelon of players in the league, the time is now for him to create a legacy.
Stats: 26.6 PPG 9.2 RPG 3.3 APG 1.6 SPG 2.4 BPG 51.9% FG
5. Damian Lillard
Dame has once again taken his game to another level. He put together one of the most ridiculous 10-game stretches I?ve ever seen a guard have, averaging over 40 points and 9 assists while shooting 50% from the field. Nobody has done that before. Let?s see if Dame can drag Portland into the postseason.
Stats: 29.5 PPG 4.4 RPG 7.9 APG 1.0 SPG 46.0% FG 39.3% 3FG
4. James Harden
There are many flaws to James Harden?s game but that doesn?t take away from his ridiculous skillset. I can?t stand watching him flop and bait his way to 12 free throws a game but he?s putting up 35 a night and that?s amazing. He?s marginally changed the way we play the game, the stepbacks and euro-steps are innovative and he?ll always have those to point to.
Stats: 35.3 PPG 6.5 RPG 7.3 APG 1.6 SPG 1.0 BPG 43.7% FG 35.8% 3FG
3. Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi can pretty much be the best player in the world when he feels like it. There are a lot of nights he doesn?t feel like it and it goes unnoticed because he?s on the Clippers but when it?s time, he can do whatever he wants. Outside of LeBron, there?s nobody I trust more than Kawhi in the playoffs.
Stats: 27.2 PPG 7.5 RPG 5.3 APG 1.8 SPG 46.3% FG 37.4% 3FG
2. LeBron James
The ?Year 17? narrative around LeBron can get annoying sometimes but what he?s doing is remarkable. For LeBron to be in the conversation for best player in the league, this late in his career, is one of his most impressive feats. As the postseason nears closer, there?s no one in the league I?d rather have than LeBron; don?t forget what he did just two seasons ago.
Stats: 25.0 PPG 7.8 RPG 10.8 APG 1.3 SPG 48.9% FG 34.5% 3FG
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis is putting together one of the most ridiculous regular season performances of all time. Part of the reason he?s not getting the attention he deserves is he?s in Milwaukee and his team isn?t particularly ?box office?. In addition, people kind of still view him as a ?Small Forward? which sort of diminishes how he?s perceived since he?s not a real shot creator outside of the paint. Regardless, Giannis deserves his props for possibly having one of the most efficient seasons possible.
Stats: 30.0 PPG 13.5 RPG 5.8 APG 1.1 SPG 1.1 BPG 54.9% FG
Thanks for reading!