After the widespread pandemic known as the Coronavirus cut the NBA season short, sports fans have been left without any sports to follow for the first time in recent memory. In lieu of this absence, we decided to take a look at the Top 100 NBA Players based on their stats from the 2019-20 season.
How Rankings are Determined
As always, everyone is entitled to their own opinions about who is more talented than who, and who deserves to be ranked where. We acknowledge this, and because of the impossible task of ranking raw talent, this list is based on a model fair to everyone that considers only objective stats from this season. This keeps players such as Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant from their usual place in the top 10 due to their lack of playing time this season. The weight each stat carries when determining the overall ranking was determined by NBA writers from Overtime Heroics. The weight assigned to each stat is the only subjective part of the list. For a full breakdown of which stats and metrics were included and how important we considered them, check out our calculation breakdown here. Enjoy the NBA Top 100!
NBA Top 100
25. Kyrie Irving
Because this list is based on so many different variables, Irving’s positives outweigh his negatives this season. Despite missing several games due to injury, Irving’s PTS were elite yet again as he held the 8th best average in the league at 27.4 per game. Somewhat surprisingly, his AST% was his second highest ranked stat at 10th in the league. Widely known as a ball dominant scorer, Irving’s improved assist numbers are a big factor in his placement on this list. It should not go without note that Irving was set to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, which would have dropped his stock drastically as time went on. However, this list is based on players’ stats up until the beginning of the hiatus, so Irving managed to slide into the top 25 of the NBA Top 100.
24. Russell Westbrook
Westbrook had a surprisingly stellar season. Many doubted his ability to play alongside the extremely ball-dominant super star, James Harden. Despite the challenge of fitting into a new team, Westbrook found ways to contribute all season. He finished in the top 10 in STL (6th) and PTS (7th) averaging 1.7 and 27.5 respectively. Some might argue that the Brodie should be higher on this list based on his incredible stretch of MVP level play during the season. However, Westbrook grades out at tied for second to last in turnovers per game (along with his counterpart, Harden) and outside the top 500 players in usage rate and fouls per game. Having unreal stats combined with telling negatives has been a staple of Westbrook’s career, and it once again his landed him in the top 25 players this season.
23. Bradley Beal
Based on solely individual stats, the argument can be made the Beal was the non-All Star most deserving of being included in the weekend festivities. His 30.5 points per game ranks second only to James Harden. Not to mention his top 40 ranking in OWS (16th), AST (26th), PER (26th), and AST% (39th). His biggest downfall in this list was his high usage rate on a team that failed to win many games. He also provided subpar defense and rebounding as he is not the type of player that can take over either of these aspects of a game by himself, but rather excels in a team effort.
22. Jayson Tatum
Checking in at number 22 is barely 22 year-old, first time All Star, Jayson Tatum. Admittedly, I personally did not believe in Tatum’s hype in potential in previous seasons. I admit that I was wrong about him. Not only does he rank 17th in scoring, which is the most recognized aspect of his game, he also ranked top 20 in DWS (7th) and STL (19th). His overall excellent play and tendencies of taking over close games late his earned him his ranking in this NBA Top 100. His lesser noted stats include his 2.2 turnovers per game and .562 true shooting percentage.
21. Mitchell Robinson
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises in this section of rankings is Mitchell Robinson. On a team that doesn’t seem to know up from down, Robinson put up elite numbers around the rim. He averaged 2.0 blocks, 8% BLK%, and .726 true shooting, ranking him 7th, 7th, and 8th respectively. He also landed in the top 15 in both offensive rebounds per game (11th) and offensive win shares (14th). His stellar play around the rim was able to negate his poor assist and scoring rates, as well as his high rate of fouls per game (his lowest ranked stat), enough to land him just outside the top 20 statistical players this season. Assuming that he can build his consistency and eventually get a better team around him, keep an eye on this young big man moving forward. He still has room to grow on this list.
20 – 16: Nikola Vucevic, Joel Embiid, Domantas Sabonis, Trae Young, Andre Drummond
20. Nikola Vucevic
Vucevic is an often forgotten force in the league. His improved three point shooting vaulted him to his first All Star appearance last season. However, his TS% was among his lowest rated stats this year, hurting him more than almost anything else. The biggest reason the big man from Orlando made the top 20 cut was his rebounding prowess. He ranked 9th in DRB with 8.6 per game. He also landed in the top 30 in DRB% (22nd) and ORB (27th).
19. Joel Embiid
Another All Star season from Joel Embiid was not enough to overcome his games missed to injury this season. He still put up elite stats, ranking in the top 16 in five different categories including DRB, ORB, and PER. His dominant playstyle on a playoff team solidifies his spot in this NBA Top 100, but his turnover rate and lack of games played keeps him outside of the top 15 this season.
18. Domantas Sabonis
One of the biggest surprises of the season, it should be no surprise to basketball fans at this point that Sabonis ranks as high as he does on this list. Both his defensive and offensive rebounds per game averages outrank Joel Embiid, the big man widely regarded as the best in the league. Sabonis also ranks 9th in DWS and 13th in WS. His stellar play and improvement each season should not be overlooked by anyone, and it most certainly isn’t overlooked in this NBA Top 100.
17. Trae Young
Young is another player that I had my doubts about when he came into the league. Much like Tatum earlier in this list, Young quickly proved me wrong. In fact, his eye for the game and ability to create passing lanes that don’t seem possible have quickly turned him into one of my personal favorites. Creating passing lanes comes with some of the best assist numbers in the league. Young ranks 2nd in both AST (9.3) and AST% (45.6%). He also finished in the top 3 for scoring at 29.6 points per game. The biggest blemish on his roster is his 4.8 turnovers per game, good for dead last in the NBA this season. It also doesn’t help that he has one of the highest usage rates in the league on a below average team.
16. Andre Drummond
Part of one of the biggest mid-season trades, Drummond joined fellow rebounding maestro Kevin Love in Cleveland to finish out the 2020 season. I don’t use the word maestro loosely. Drummond has earned that title with his league best 4.4 offensive rebounds per game and his 2nd best 10.8 defensive rebounds per game. Perhaps one of his most surprising stats this season was his 1.9 steals per game, good for 3rd in the league. His elite defensive and rebounding numbers land him firmly in the top 20, despite his high rate of accumulating turnovers (3.6) and fouls (3.5). He also attempted more threes per game this year than any other season in his career. This in turn dropped his true shooting percent outside of the top 225 players in the league.
15 – 11: Chris Paul, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons, Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler
15. Chris Paul
After being traded from Houston to OKC, CP3 was written off as a locker room vet that would likely be traded to a contender later in the season. Apparently Paul had other plans. Combining with fellow former Clippers Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Paul lead the Thunder to the 5th seed, one better than Houston, at the time the season halted. Leading the league in clutch points was only part of Paul’s high ranking. He finished 9th in WS, 10th in OWS, 11th in STL, and 17th in AST. As should be expected, turnovers per game was his lowest ranked stat, but at 2.2 per game, the turnover numbers were manageable for both OKC’s season and CP3’s ranking.
14. Karl-Anthony Towns
With a new offense in place in Minnesota, Towns was poised to have a huge season. Had it not been for his abundance of injuries, he would have done just that. Towns’ BPM (9th), PER (9th), PTS (11th), DRB (11th) and ORB (20th) all prove to be elite stats. He continues to solidify his place amongst the best centers in the league. If it were not for his 20 or so missed games this season, Towns would likely have found himself in the top 10 on this NBA Top 100 list.
13. Ben Simmons
The counter part to the controversial pairing in Philadelphia, Simmons lands as the highest rated Sixer on this list. Despite this being in part due to Embiid’s injuries, Simmons earned his place on this list in his own right. His 2.1 steals per game ranked 1st in the league, and his 8.2 assists ranked 5th. Those stats alone are among the NBA’s elite. Combine that with his intangible stats such as being top 20 in DWS and WS and you can quickly see how he ended up in the top 15 on this list. His 3.6 turnovers per game and high usage rate were not harmful enough to push him out of the elite company he’s in.
12. Bam Adebayo
Adebayo burst onto the scene this season as one of the most surprising young stars in the league. His consistent, all-around play earned him his first career All Star selection, and it earns him a top 12 rank on this NBA Top 100 list. His consistency was one of his biggest positives as he played in all 65 games for the Heat this season. He also ranked in the top 10 in DWS (5th) and WS (9th). His offensive win shares weren’t far behind at 16th in the league. It’s evident that Adebayo affected winning in nearly every facet of the game. His high turnover average and rate were his only true negatives, but that comes with the territory of being a young playmaker.
11. Jimmy Butler
Checking into the last spot of this section is a second consecutive Miami Heat player, Jimmy Butler. After surprising seasons from several young Heat players, Butler was not required to carry the same load he’s had on past teams. This allowed his efficiency and stellar defense to spearhead his fifth All Star season. Butler ranked 5th in OWS and 8th in total WS. His steals are regarded as his best attribute, and his 1.7 per game were good for 6th in the league. His only true downfalls were his rebounding rate and turnover numbers. Neither were evidently much of a downfall as Jimmy rounds out players 100 – 11.
Keep an eye out for players 10 – 1 of the NBA Top 100, coming soon! I promise there will be some surprises!
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