The motivation to construct our lists of the top 50 NBA players derives from ESPN’s top 100 NBA players list which will be linked here for those who have not viewed it already.
In this list, ESPN has some, well, very bold takes on the players ranked and both of us have differing opinions from those at ESPN.
Nonetheless we will start with Mark’s list of his top 50 NBA players:
Here is my list of my top 50 NBA players:
|45.||Jaren Jackson Jr.|
I will provide some commentary regarding my list.
I have struggled to rank KAT, Westbrook, Kyrie, and Beal in their ranking, and it reasonably is the players I have spent the most time thinking about on their order. You can say that Beal should be above each of the other players, that Kyrie is a top talent, etc. I know if I spend more time looking at these rankings, I could change them numerous times.
To me, Zion is not a top 20 player in the NBA but could reach that mark at the season’s end. I have him ranked at 27 because of the small sample size we have seen him play. He has undoubtedly looked fantastic when on the court, besides his defense, but we need to see him play for a longer tenure before I feel comfortable putting him in the top 20.
Paul George at 15 may seem a little high to some, but I still hold onto the fact that he was voted top 3 in MVP two seasons ago and that he is always a great regular season player. In the playoffs, well, he drops off another level, as we have seen during these past playoffs, and if people want to rank him lower than 15, I understand. Just don’t have Zion ranked above him. PG still plays excellent defense.
Sabonis at 38 might be a little high, but he is coming off a season where he was an all-star and is reasonably the team’s best player. At least you can make an argument for that. I can see Sabonis averaging 22-13-5, and that is worthy of being a top 40 player in my eyes. Hopefully, he increases that 3-point percentage as well.
As a note, if Porzingis is entirely healthy, his ranking skyrockets in my list, but of course, injuries have been a common theme in his career, so hopefully, he can stay healthy going into the season.
By the way, DeRozan is a top 50 NBA player and not the 82nd best player in the league.
I also talked to Mark about Middleton vs. Lowry. I have Lowry over Middleton because of his tenure success in the playoffs as Middleton can be shaky during that time. If you also argue Middleton should be above Lowry, like Mark has, I would not necessarily argue because I understand he’s efficient and is a well-rounded player.
Jrue Holiday above Jaylen Brown and CJ McCollum could raise some eyebrows. However, Jrue is a good scorer. He can average 19 or 20. He played point guard for a significant part of his career and passes well. Plus, as we are well fond of, Jrue is one of the best defensive guards in the league. Jaylen is a good scorer and defender, but not near a great passer as Jrue and defender. CJ is a better shooter and scorer, but Jrue does everything else better.
You probably notice that Nurkic is also ranked on this list. When healthy, I believe Nurkic is a top 6 center in the league because he has a great inside game, can shoot mid-ranges, get you, boards, pass a little bit, and get some steals and blocks. Vucevic is a better shooter than Nurkic, but I would much rather have Nurkic as my starting center. Nurkic also plays some decent defense, which Vucevic does as well, and Vucevic gets steals and blocks. Vucevic was an all-star for a reason. I happen to believe Nurkic is better.
The last thing I will discuss is having Kawhi ranked at 2. People will rank him lower because of his performance against the Nuggets recently, but he still had a career year in the regular season. I expect Kawhi to perform better in the regular season and playoffs when the time comes, as he has in the past.
I don’t believe I need to discuss any more of my picks at this moment. However, if you would like to discuss the lists below in the comments or who your top 50 NBA players are, I welcome that.
Feel free to check out the last post I made regarding five books you can purchase for Christmas, although it may be a little late to buy them in time for Christmas.
Stay safe and enjoy the holidays.