Sports Illustrated came out with its annual Top 100 NBA players list earlier this week. Let’s take a look at some early surprises on this list.
Sports Illustrated is continuing to publish its Top 100 NBA players heading into the 2018 NBA season. SI’s Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney have published from No. 100 to No. 31, so let’s take a look at some early surprises on the list.
The first surprise is with Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan, who’s ranked at No. 36. His ranking last year was a motivational tool for him and although the playoffs were difficult, he improved in several areas last season. There are some names ahead of him, including the Bucks’ Khris Middleton, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside and the Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge, who it could be argued are not as good as DeRozan heading into the 2018 season.
Tristan Thompson being ranked at No. 52 is another surprise, he could be ranked lower, just based on the offensive output he brings to the Cavaliers. Right behind him is Otto Porter Jr., Nuggets’ Gary Harris, 76ers’ J.J. Redick, all players who could arguably be ranked ahead of Thompson.
Some notable veteran players that are ranked low include Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki, who finds himself at No. 71 and Bulls’ Dwyane Wade, who’s at No. 74. Even at this advanced phase of their careers, they could be ranked higher on this list.
Sports Illustrated will come out with the top 30 names later this week. The most notable names to watch will be where LeBron James is ranked (either No. 1 or No. 2?). Where Russell Westbrook and James Harden rank compared to Stephen Curry will be another huge debate. Regardless of where these four players are ranked, there will always be a debate among NBA fans of where they truly belong.
NBA players always try to find the slightest disrespect as motivation heading into the next season. I’m sure that this list from SI will be easy to use as a chip on their shoulder. Let’s keep our eyes open for the top 30 names later this week.