Mt top 100 players list isn’t necessarily for the current season. I take that into account but also how truly effective and talented I consider each player to be.
100. Jeremy Lamb (CHA – SG): I think it’s about time Lamb made his way on this list. He probably deserves more credit than he gets since K.W. 15 generates all the talk and attention.
99. Tim Hardaway (DAL – SG/SF): Hardaway takes a lot of pride in being one of the league’s most notable pure scorers. He is a high-volume shooter though, usually having to attempt more shots than other top scorers.
98. Jonas Valanciunas (MEM – C):
97. J.J. Redick (PHI – SG): Redick demands full attention from the defense even when shooting poorly. He has made a career out of spacing the floor for All-Stars like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
96. Will Barton (DEN – SG/SF): Barton brings instant offense when stepping on the floor. He has excelled in a sixth-man role in recent years.
95. Terrence Ross (ORL – SG/SF): Ross’ ability to create shots for himself gets overlooked sometimes. I think he could realistically average 20 points if given the opportunity.
94. Trevor Ariza (WSH – SF): The veteran lockdown defender is now in his second stint with the nation’s capital, where he enjoyed a couple years of his prime.
93. Marcus Morris (BOS – F): A fierce defender and highly capable mid-range scorer, Morris tends to get hidden behind all the talent in Boston.93.
92. Serge Ibaka (TOR – PF/C): Ibaka has been revitalized with such a strong supporting cast, that he is perhaps part of to surround Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry. He doesn’t have the same athleticism anymore but makes up for that with his ability to defend the perimeter.
91. Robert Covington (MIN – SF): Covington is moving on to Minneapolis after stringing together four relatively strong years in Philly. He can burn the defense if left open from the perimeter but is most notably a significant defensive presence.
90. Bogdan Bogdanovic (SAC – SG): Bogdanovic averages over both 19 points and five assists per 36 minutes. He is a knockdown shooter but also uses an aggressive mentality to create offense.
89. Joe Ingles (UTA – SF): The Australian forward earned his respect after becoming a vital part of Utah’s unanticipated success in 2017-18. Ingles is a perfect representation of the team’s gritty style of play.
88. Montrezl Harrell (LAC – PF): Harrell is supremely productive whenever he’s on the floor. He records his fair share of points and rebounds in limited playing time.
87. Danilo Gallinari (LAC – F): Gallinari has managed to stick around through a few major injuries over the years and is still well-known as one of the purest shooters around the league.
86. Paul Millsap (DEN – PF): Millsap has battled his fair share of health concerns over the past few years. His time as an All-Star caliber player has likely come to an end. He is now more of a sound rotation player on a team with strong depth.
85. Enes Kanter (POR – C): Kanter is commonly seen as a defensive liability, which costs him valuable playing time. However, his sweet touch around the rim makes him useful on the offensive end.
84. Brandon Ingram (LAL – F): Ingram still leaves a lot to be desired on both ends of the floor. He can erupt at any given time but seems too passive at times. Whether or not he has a future with LeBron James and the Lakers remains to be seen.
83. Nikola Mirotic (MIL – PF): Mirotic is one of the most difficult stretch big men to match up with. He is a brilliant jump shooter and can become scorching hot when he gets in a rhythm.
82. Dennis Schroder (OKC – PG): Schroder has found new life playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. He looks more like his old self now that he doesn’t have an overload of responsibility on his hands.
81. Ricky Rubio (UTA – PG): Rubio is another valid example of better numbers not necessarily translating to better results. His assists were down (5.3 compared to 9.1 the previous year), but he operated smoothly in Utah’s more conservative approach.
80. Marvin Bagley (SAC – PF/C): Bagley is showing flashes of potential greatness in every game. He utilizes his athleticism and long wingspan to be a steady post presence.
79. Andrew Wiggins (MIN – SG/SF): Jimmy Butler has departed Minnesota, which means Wiggins’ time to shine is now or never. Wiggins is only 23 years old but you can only be patient for so long. Time is ticking.
78. Evan Fournier (ORL – SG): Fournier has not been in the most favorable situations during his time with Orlando. Better than most role players but not quite an All-Star, Fournier should continue producing relatively well on an individual basis.
77. Bojan Bogdanovic (IND – SG): The sharpshooter out of Bosnia should not be slept on. Taking high-percentage outside jumpers isn’t easy but he manages it (40.2% 3P last season).
76. Eric Gordon (HOU – SG): The reigning sixth man of the year has attempted over eight 3-pointers per game each of the last three seasons. Gordon continues to thrive in Coach Mike Dantoni’s free-flowing offense.
75. Lonzo Ball (LAL – G): Ball’s outside shot hasn’t looked much better with LeBron James due to their questionable fit together. The Lakers’ organization must ultimately determine if he’s in its future plans.
74. Goran Dragic (MIA – PG): Dragic has been the main reason for the Heat staying relevant post-LeBron James era. He has utilized his talents better than expected while uplifting his mediocre supporting casts.
73. Domantas Sabonis (IND – PF/C): Sabonis is a stretch big that produces well on a per-minute basis. He is quietly one of the league’s most dangerous mid-range shooters and stays active on the boards.
72. Myles Turner (IND – C): Defensively, Turner is ahead of the curb for 22 years old. Offensively, he is patient and lets the game come to him. He must take the next step up in order for the Pacers to get serious about contending in the East.
71. DeAndre Jordan (NYK – C): D.J. signed with the Mavs three years after spurning them to re-sign with the Clippers three years ago. That hasn’t gone particularly well thus far as Dallas is already looking for other options.
70. Harrison Barnes (SAC – F): The emergence of rookie Luke Doncic has given Barnes someone to lean on. He was previously an under-qualified first option but can now settle into a more fitting role with the team.
69. Kyle Kuzma (LAL – F): Being in L.A. helps, but the attention Kuzma received last year was well-deserved. Selecting him 27th in the 2017 draft was probably a steal for the Lake Show.
68. Otto Porter (CHI – SF): Porter has blossomed into a dead-eye shooter the past couple years, shooting nearly 44 percent from the perimeter. His respectable defensive skill-set also gets overlooked at times.
67. Lauri Markkanen (CHI – PF/C): Markkanen had a feel-it-out type rookie season. His play was largely hot-and-cold, but he certainly showed promising upside as a versatile big man known to stretch the defense.
66. Spencer Dinwiddie (BKN – PG): A second-round pick in 2014, Dinwiddie’s value and production have skyrocketed over the past couple seasons. He should be in line for a generous payday this offseason.
65. Jusuf Nurkic (POR – C): Nurkic found new life after his first full season with Portland. He agreed to stay put on a 4-year/$48-million contract over the summer. Consider that a team-friendly deal given its already-hectic financial situation.
64. Gary Harris (DEN – SG): Harris’ recent extension makes a top-10 earning shooting guard this season. His stellar shooting percentages (combined 49.3% FG, 40.8% 3P over last two years) helped convince Denver he was worth the gamble.
63. Gordon Hayward (BOS – SG/SF): Hayward does not need to run the offense in order to shine. His playing time is sure to be monitored after a devastating leg injury on opening night last year. Boston’s main priority should be getting Hayward ready for the playoffs.
62. Zach LaVine (CHI – SG): Chicago decided to keep LaVine around last summer, matching a 4-year/$80-million offer sheet. The risk seems to have paid off as he looks to be topping 20 points per game in effortless fashion.
61. T.J. Warren (PHX – SF): Warren almost exclusively scored points by getting to the rim until this year. His drastically improved jump shot allows him to carry significant weight even with Phoenix’s depth at the wing positions.
60. Aaron Gordon (ORL – F): Gordon is an extraordinary athlete with tremendous upside. Although he remains an erratic shooter, the 23-year-old has done an admirable job fine-tuning his perimeter game to go with his strong defensive skill-set.
59. Caris LeVert (BKN – SG/SF): LeVert is making noise as one of the league’s most improved players. Should he overcome his injury concerns, LeVert could become a model point forward within the next few years.
58. D’Angelo Russell (BKN – G): Russell has a lot of room to grow especially in regards to his consistency. He gets the job done though as a reliable floor manager on a steadily improving team.
57. Pascal Siakam (TOR – F): Siakam is kind of like the unsung hero for the Raptors. He does everything fairly well and can defend multiple positions.
56. Jaylen Brown (BOS – SF): Brown entered his rookie season as a more immediate impact player than many assumed. Brown doesn’t have the same offensive consistency with Hayward back. That might not matter as much come playoff time.
55. Malcolm Brogdon (MIL – G): Brogdon falls on the other end of the spectrum compared to some – stats are not an indicator of how important he is to the team. You can usually trust him to make the right play when it matters most.
54. John Collins (ATL – PF/C): Collins, 19th overall pick in 2017, is looking like a straight up steal for Atlanta. He is a more-than-adequate stretch big and stays persistent on the glass.
53. Julius Randle (NOR – PF/C): Randle has followed up his L.A tenure with more firepower playing beside Anthony Davis. He is almost undeniable when driving to the hole because of his combined strength and agility.
52. Deandre Ayton (PHX – C): Ayton has plenty of time to develop into a more well-rounded center. The easy buckets have come early. He should become a stronger defensive force as he learns the game with time.
51. Jamal Murray (DEN – SG): Murray is a frustratingly quick player that can score from anywhere on the floor. He shot 45 percent last year, which isn’t bad at all considering he has tendencies of a high-volume shooter.
50. De’Aaron Fox (SAC – PG): Fox is rapidly making his way up this list. He has tremendous foot speed and does serious damage in the open floor. He also shows promise as a scrappy defender.
49. Lou Williams (LAC – SG): Lou Will has sure not disappeared as an isolation-heavy player prepared to get buckets at anytime. He has to be in the conversation when talking about players you want taking the last shot – even with guys such as KD and Irving.
48. Josh Richardson (MIA – SG/SF): Miami views J-Rich as an extremely prized asset and even hesitated to include him in a deal for Jimmy Butler. It’s easy to see why – he is the exact type of all-around presence every coach dreams of.
47. Steven Adams (OKC – C): Adams has established himself as a staple in the franchise thanks to developing great chemistry with Russell Westbrook since day one. His rebounding is a given and he has expanded his offensive regime as well.
46. Buddy Hield (SAC – SG): The former Oklahoma Sooner standout has established himself as one of the league’s most lethal perimeter threats. He’s also added other important dimensions to his game.
45. Jayson Tatum (BOS – F): Here is why we can be so sure about Tatum: Even with all the talent he has around him, he pretty much finds a way to impact every game and take control of possessions. He might not have a ceiling as of today.
44. Eric Bledsoe (MIL – G): Now that he’s been relatively healthy, Bledsoe’s two-way presence is imperative to Milwaukee’s success thus far. As good as he is handling the ball, he has also adjusted well to playing off the ball with Greek Freak running the point.
43. Donovan Mitchell (UTA – G): Mitchell’s sophomore season has been similar to his rookie campaign – he is averaging over 20 points per game. His team, however, had a slow start and could use some of his heroics.
42. Kevin Love (CLE – PF): Love could potentially be an acceptable first option when healthy. The problem here is that he hasn’t been able to stay on the court the last few years. The Cavs re-upped him on a large deal over the summer but he remains a popular trade topic to discuss.
41. Al Horford (BOS – PF/C): Horford makes winning basketball plays – plain and simple. He is far from the best athlete but constantly outsmarts opponents when the situation calls for him. Horford can only help the team’s execution on both ends of the floor.
40. Clint Capela (HOU – C): Capela makes players think twice about attacking the rim with his game-changing interior defense. He is up to 17 points per game and even shows flashes of creating for himself instead of just feeding off CP3/Harden.
39. Tobias Harris (PHI – F): The veteran swingman does not have great agility but his length makes him an average defender. Harris has a smooth pull-up jumper in traffic and it’s kept the Clippers afloat thus far.
38. Nikola Vucevic (ORL – C): Vucevic has flown somewhat under the radar despite being an established offensive player that can face-up or score from the post. He has suddenly bounced back this season as the team’s clear-cut best player.
37. Mike Conley (MEM – PG): Conley absolutely needs to be mentioned with some of the league’s top point guards. What he does for this Grizzlies team each year cannot go unnoticed. True floor general.
36. Andre Drummond (DET – C): Drummond is widely-known as the league’s most dominant player on the glass. Offense doesn’t always come easy beside Griffin but he manages (over 16 PPG).
35. Draymond Green (GST – PF): Let’s hypothetically say Draymond took Giannis Antetokounmpo’s spot on Milwaukee or Damian Lillard’s spot on Portland. Nobody truly knows how well he would ultimately produce – but he would clearly have to look for his own shot more often.
34. C.J. McCollum (POR – G): The combo guard is electric on the offensive end and can become unconscious when getting in a rhythm. Portland is showing patience in keeping the backcourt together despite disappointing postseason results.
33. Kyle Lowry (TOR – PG): Lowry exhibits first-class leadership as a veteran floor general his teammates can look up to. It took him a while to reach his full potential but he did – he isn’t a superstar but competes with that level because of his extraordinary all-around skill-set and sky high IQ.
32. Luka Doncic (DAL – G/SF): Doncic has already silenced any doubt surrounding his status as a foreign player drafted in the top five. He can surely enjoy a long and successful career with the right pieces around him.
31. Marc Gasol (TOR – C): Gasol’s shooting percentage is down but that doesn’t lower his value much. At almost 33 years old, he’s still an elite rim protector and also creates offense with ease.
30. Kristaps Porzingis (DAL – PF/C): New York will have to remain patient as K.P. recovers from season-ending ACL surgery. The team hopes to soon build a solid foundation around the 7-foot-2 phenom out of Latvia.
29. Khris Middleton (MIL – SG/SF): Middleton was in the same company as LeBron, Durant, Harden, Westbrook and Greek Freak, averaging 20 PTS/5 REB/4 AST, in the 2017-18 season. He has blossomed into a multi-faceted player, not showing much vulnerability in any one area.
28. Devin Booker (PHX – SG): Booker has established himself as an undeniable scoring threat in just three years. He is a phenomenal shooter from just about anywhere; that is something we call “in-the-gym” range. He and rookie center Ayton could eventually become one of the NBA’s top dynamic duos.
27. DeMarcus Cousins (GST – C): The 2018-19 season is more of a test run for Cousins. Teams were unwilling to pay him market value after a potential career-altering achilles injury. Cousins cannot pad his stats as usual this year but has the opportunity to prove himself as a team-first player in a winning culture.
26. DeMar DeRozan (SAN – SG): DeRozan’s usage as a playmaker has increased in a new system. It seems as though he doesn’t force the same amount of shots in a Spurs uniform.
25. Rudy Gobert (UTA – C): Gobert’s stellar post defense has helped Utah become a challenging Western Conference competitor. “The Stifle Tower” also operates with rare endurance for a 7-footer.
24. Jrue Holiday (NOR – G): Holiday continues to build off a breakout season in 2017-18. He is very efficient on both ends of the floor, especially on offense where he makes difficult shots look easy.
23. LaMarcus Aldridge (SAN – PF/C): Aldridge took it upon himself to help a Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs team maintain playoff status and legitimacy. Now he forms a dynamic duo with DeRozan to lead an otherwise average team.
22. Chris Paul (HOU – PG): Paul seems to get injured at the worst possible times (but it’s all part of the game). At 33 years old, he may never see another glaring opportunity to compete in the NBA Finals. All in all, CP3 has always exemplified what a true point guard should be.
21. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN – C): K.A.T. has averaged at least 18 points and 10.5 rebounds in each of his three years. He has never missed a game, which may partly be due to his lack of physicality down low. Towns’ offensive prowess is reminiscent of Kevin Garnett’s days in Minnesota. His defense, however, needs some work.
20. Ben Simmons (PHI – F): The 6-foot-10 point forward is a rare breed who seems destined for greatness. He can take over a game in such peculiar fashion, without even having to attempt a shot outside the paint. He should, however, start to develop a more potent jump shot in due time.
19. Bradley Beal (WSH – SG): Beal is in a prime position to become an elite player now that Wall has been lost for the season due to injury. His shooting ability is a given but he also displays sound playmaking skills.
18. Victor Oladipo (IND – SG): A fresh start in Indiana allowed the former second-overall pick to break out of his shell. Oladipo always had a tireless work ethic but used it to anchor the team’s defense in 2017-18. His offensive game also rose to new heights.
17. Jimmy Butler (PHI – SG/SF): A change of scenery seems to be imminent for Butler, who started his career as a defensive workhorse. Not only did he keep that label, but he has grown into a multi-dimensional point forward. Jimmy Buckets was the epitome of “hard work beats talent,” until he became that talent.
16. Nikola Jokic (DEN – C): The Joker (18.5 PTS, 10.7 REB, 6.1 AST) is not a walking triple-double like Russell Westbrook but he is as close as it gets. His multi-dimensional offensive game is a representation of how the league is evolving. He just needs to translate that into more wins for the Nuggets.
15. Blake Griffin (DET – PF): Griffin, now almost 30 years old, has a heavy workload from game to game and needs to be a superstar for the Pistons to be a playoff-caliber team.
14. Kemba Walker (CHA – PG): One could argue the 28-year-old point guard is an overachiever from an individual standpoint. He has never been surrounded by an adequate supporting cast and still finds ways to carry his team to victory in overly-demanding situations.
13. Klay Thompson (GST – SG): The upcoming free agent could have a monumental decision in his hands at the season’s conclusion. Despite being overshadowed by Steph Curry and Kevin Durant at times, Thompson (career 42% 3-point shooter) draws well-deserved attention as one of the strongest two-way players in the game.
12. Damian Lillard (POR – PG): One of few stars to play at a mid-major college, Lillard is one of the most clutch players in the league on a yearly basis. He regularly makes contested jump shots look simple. “Big game” Dame cannot dwell on last year’s first-round sweep. Individually, there is not much more he can do for his team.
11. Paul George (OKC – SG/SF): The Thunder retained George this summer on a whopping 4-year/$137 million deal. PG-13 boasts the fourth highest defensive rating among active players. OKC’s team defense leaned heavily on him last year. However, Westbrook must allow George to become more involved offensively in the 4th quarter.
10. Joel Embiid (PHI – C): Embiid often had his way with more experienced big men last season. His conditioning finally seemed up to par after some questioned whether he would become the next Greg Oden. Should he maintain stable health, Embiid could be an Eastern Conference nightmare for years to come.
9. Russell Westbrook (OKC – PG): Westbrook’s triple-double heroics should not totally define him as a player. Impossible is usually not an ideal word choice…but guarding him 1-on-1 is impossible. Russ does not second-guess himself but does make questionable decisions in pivotal moments of the game.
8. Kyrie Irving (BOS – PG): Whereas most guards these days use athleticism to convert in the paint, Irving uses dazzling ball-handling skills and tops that off with crafty below-the-rim moves. Kyrie must utilize his surrounding talent similar to the way Steph Curry does with the Warriors.
7. James Harden (HOU – G): Defenders are well-aware that Harden will dribble on and on. Some of them probably know his entire offensive regime. That, however, will not stop him from putting the defender on skates. Harden separates himself from other gifted scorers by consistently controlling the tempo.
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL – F): The Greek Freak is signed through the 2020-21 season. However, there is no such thing as loyalty these days. Milwaukee has finally gained legitimacy as a real threat to Eastern Conference opponents.
5. Kawhi Leonard (TOR – SF): I might worry about how a player in his situation would return the following year. Not Leonard, though. His suffocating defense is going nowhere – it is part of his DNA. He does not resemble the flash of a Westbrook, Harden or Irving. However, Kawhi finds a way to effectively facilitate the offense.
4. Stephen Curry (GST – PG): What if K.D. never became a Warrior? Curry has the flexibility to do serious damage both on and off the ball. The same cannot be said for Harden at times. As I previously mentioned, a player’s perspective situation should be largely taken into account.
3. Anthony Davis (NOR – PF/C): I’m not having any of the chatter regarding who the NBA’s third-best player is. Big men are often tuned out of the game these days. Davis, on the other hand, combines the skill and athleticism in order to take matters into his own hands. He can hold down the paint (career 2.4 BPG) but also switch onto guards.
2. Kevin Durant (GST – F): K.D. is shooting over 50 percent from the field for his seventh straight year. He is also posting his best scoring numbers as a Warrior. We know he has Curry, Thompson, Cousins, etc. At the end of the day, however, Durant has to be the guy.
1. LeBron James (LAL – F): LBJ has battled through nonstop contact throughout his 15-year career but somehow remains resistant to long-term injury…until recently dealing with groin issues that have kept him out a few weeks. The Lakers have fallen out of the playoffs ever since.