It’s that time of year, and my top 100 NBA players ranking is back for the 2020-21 season! Last year, I did this ranking over at Prime Time Sports Talk, but it comes to Overtime Heroics for 2020. The 2019 ranking next to every player’s name is my ranking from last year at Prime Time Sports Talk. The ESPN ranking is from their ranking of each player on their 2020 edition. This series will come in four parts: 100-71, 70-41, 40-11, and the top ten. Let’s get straight into part two with players ranked from 70-41!
*The only player who was kept off this list due to injury is Klay Thompson, who will likely miss all of 2020-21.
Check out players ranked from 100-71 here!
70. OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors
2019: NR | ESPN: 68
OG Anunoby had enormous shoes to fill last season after Kawhi Leonard departed for Los Angeles. For the most part, he did a great job filling in, as he put up career numbers across the board. His best moment came during game three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where he hit a buzzer-beater to prevent his team from falling behind 3-0.
69. P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets
2019: 85 | ESPN: 72
While P.J. Tucker only averaged 6.9 ppg last season, his value goes way beyond the stat sheets. After the team traded Clint Capela, the 6’5″ Tucker was asked to fill in at center, where he did a solid job. He fits in perfectly next to James Harden as well, due to his ability to drain corner threes. Any contender should want Tucker if he becomes available in a trade.
68. Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
2019: 37 | ESPN: NR
While Lou Williams had a down year in 2019-20, he is definitely still deserving of being in the top 100. He remains arguably the best sixth man in the NBA as he recorded 18.2 ppg and 5.6 apg off the bench last year. His defense has fallen off, and he’s undoubtedly past his prime, but Sweet Lou is still a pivotal contributor to this Clippers team.
67. Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards
2019: NR | ESPN: 61
Davis Bertans made the Spurs regret trading him last season. In 54 games, Bertans established himself as one of the best three-point shooters in the league, knocking down 42.4% of his threes on 8.7 attempts per game. The Wizards rewarded Bertans with a 5 yr 80M deal in free agency, hoping to help bring them back to the playoffs.
66. Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks
2019: NR | ESPN: NR
The highest player on my list not ranked by ESPN, Donte DiVincenzo had a breakout season at age 23 last year. While his offensive numbers won’t jump out, it’s his defense that earns him this ranking on my list. Looking at the analytics, DiVincenzo is one of the best defenders in the NBA at the small forward position, recording a 2.4 DBPM, 101 DRtg, while only recording 1.7 fouls per game. In year three, he should only continue to improve.
65. Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Lakers
2019: 40 | ESPN: 72
Montrezl Harrell had a tremendous regular season with the Clippers last year and earned the Sixth Man of the Year award. Defensively, he needs to improve as he got exposed at times during the playoffs. However, his scoring and rebounding ability are enough to help any team, and it will be interesting to see how he plays with the Lakers this season.
64. Serge Ibaka, Los Angeles Clippers
2019: NR | ESPN: 66
Now at age 31, Serge Ibaka only seems to be getting better, as he joins the Clippers for this season. Last year with Toronto, Ibaka played a vital role off the bench, averaging 15.4 ppg and 8.2 rpg. Ibaka will likely play the Montrezl Harrell role for this team, with more upside as a shooter and defender.
63. Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
2019: 53 | ESPN: 64
While the Cavaliers don’t get much national media attention, Kevin Love remains a solid forward for this team. Ideally, Love will get traded to a contender soon as he’s currently putting up empty numbers on a rebuilding squad. Last year, he averaged 17.6 ppg and 9.8 rpg on 45.0% from the field and 37.4% from three in 56 games.
62. Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz
2019: 48 | ESPN: 73
In his first year with the Jazz, Bojan Bogdanovic had arguably the best year of his career, putting up 20.2 ppg and shooting 41.4% from deep. Bogdanovic is supremely underrated and fits in perfectly next to Donovan Mitchell as a sharpshooter. He struggles on the defensive end at times, however, recording a -1.5 DBPM last year.
61. Lonzo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans
2019: 82 | ESPN: 54
Outside of his ability to shoot free throws, Lonzo Ball improved every aspect of his game with the Pelicans last season. His three-point mechanics are much better, and he shot 37.5% from deep last year. Defensively, he’s an above-average on-ball defender along the perimeter. However, he needs to become more aggressive to take that next leap forward when driving to the rim and drawing fouls.
60. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
2019: 24 | ESPN: 44
Of all the players affected by teammates’ injuries, Draymond Green is at the top of the list. Green fits perfectly next to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, but struggled mightily when they were out. He’s still an elite defender, but at age 30, Green’s best seasons are in all likelihood behind him.
59. LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
2019: 23 | ESPN: 95
While LaMarcus Aldridge is no longer the all-star that he once was, he’s certainly better than the NBA’s 95th best player. He’s still one of the best post players in the league and has added a three-point shot. Last year, he shot 38.9% from deep on 3.0 attempts per game. At age 35, Aldridge still has a few years left in the tank.
58. Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets
2019: 78 | ESPN: 45
Gordon Hayward had a solid rebound in 2019-20, after struggling to return from injury in 2018-19. Regardless, the Charlotte Hornets overpaid for his talents after giving him a 4 yr 120M deal. Hayward has proven that he can’t stay healthy and will likely never make another all-star game. However, the Charlotte Hornets are now watchable for the first time in a while.
57. Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors
2019: NR | ESPN: 40
Coming off the best season of his career, Fred VanVleet returned to Toronto on a 4 yr 85M deal. VanVleet has established himself as the best undrafted player in the NBA after he averaged 17.6 ppg and 6.6 apg last season. Defensively, he’s much improved as well, posting a 1.4 DBPM in 2019-20, well above league-average.
56. Goran Dragic, Miami Heat
2019: NR | ESPN: 58
After a down year in 2018-19, Goran Dragic was able to reverse his career trajectory and played a crucial role in getting the Heat to the Finals. Unfortunately, he suffered a foot injury in game one, but he played some of the best basketball of his career in the Eastern Conference Finals. At age 34, Dragic still has a few years left in the tank.
55. DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
2019: 43 | ESPN: 82
Not sure why ESPN decided to disrespect players on the Spurs, but DeMar DeRozan is certainly better than the 82nd player. San Antonio gets overlooked by almost every other team in the west, but DeRozan still averaged 22.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 5.6 apg last season. His inability to shoot threes holds him back a bit, but DeRozan is still an elite shooter.
54. Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles Lakers
2019: NR | ESPN: 79
A supremely underrated two-way player, Dennis Schroder should be a perfect fit next to LeBron James in Los Angeles. Coming off the bench for OKC, Schroder had a great year in 2019-20, putting up 18.9 ppg on 46.9% from the field and 38.5% from deep. Schroder’s value goes way beyond the stat sheet as he finished 11th last year on ESPN’s real-plus minus analytics among point guards.
53. Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers
2019: 65 | ESPN: 39
In his first year with the Pacers, Malcolm Brogdon fit in perfectly, putting up career-high numbers across the board. His three-point numbers dropped; however, he established himself as one of the best facilitators in the NBA, finishing 11th in assists per game. At age 28, Brogdon is in the prime of his career and should play a key role in getting Indiana back to the playoffs.
52. John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
2019: 35 | ESPN: 84
John Collins had a disappointing year in 2019-20, headlined by a 25 game suspension for PEDs. However, in the 41 games he appeared in, he played at a very high level, averaging 21.6 ppg and 10.1 rpg on 58.3% from the field and 40.1% from deep. His defense needs a lot of work, but with his extreme athleticism and improved jumper, he’ll play a key role in getting Atlanta back to the playoffs this season.
51. Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers
2019: NR | ESPN: 53
Coming back from a brutal broken leg injury, Jusuf Nurkic returned to form in the bubble for the Trail Blazers. Nurkic has always been a great defender, but has improved considerably as a shooter and rebounder. Now fully healthy and further removed from his injury, Nurkic could be in for a massive season in 2020-21.
50. Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers
2019: 36 | ESPN: 57
Tobias Harris shouldn’t have gotten a 5 yr 180M deal in free agency. He isn’t good enough to earn a deal that big. However, he’s still a great third option for the 76ers. After early season struggles, Harris was able to turn it around, putting up 19.6 ppg and 6.7 rpg last season. Reunited with Doc Rivers, it will be interesting to see if Harris can return to his 2018-19 form this season.
49. Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets
2019: 81 | ESPN: 49
At age 27, Spencer Dinwiddie has only continued getting better as he enters the prime of his career. Filling in as the starting point when Kyrie Irving got hurt, Dinwiddie recorded 20.6 ppg and 6.8 apg on 41.5% from the field last year. With Kyrie Irving back, Dinwiddie projects to be a top candidate to win Sixth Man of the Year heading into this season.
48. T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers
2019: NR | ESPN: 63
Of everyone whose stock improved in the NBA bubble, T.J. Warren is right there at the top of the list. Headlined by his 53 point performance against the 76ers, Warren averaged 19.8 ppg on 53.6% from the field and 40.3% from deep last season. A once horrendous defender, Warren has improved on the other end of the floor, now league-average for his position.
47. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
2019: 54 | ESPN: 52
The 2018 first overall pick, Deandre Ayton doesn’t get a ton of national attention but plays his role well for the Suns. Ayton is more of a 2000s center, as most of his offensive game comes from the paint and he doesn’t shoot many threes. Despite missing 25 games due to PEDs, Ayton put up substantial numbers of 18.2 ppg and 11.2 rpg last season.
46. D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves
2019: 32 | ESPN: 69
After a breakout season in 2018-19 with Brooklyn, D’Angelo Russell struggled to adjust with the Warriors. However, he got traded at the deadline, reuniting with his close friend Karl-Anthony Towns. Russell is excellent at creating his own looks and can score from all three levels. Now that he’s adjusted to Minnesota, he should be in line for a bounce-back season.
45. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies
2019: 71 | ESPN: 43
Prior to suffering a torn Meniscus in the bubble, Jaren Jackson Jr. was having an outstanding sophomore season. A great athlete at a 6’11” frame, JJJ can do everything well for Memphis on both ends of the floor. He needs to improve as a rebounder, but he’s already established himself as an elite defender. With Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies have a bright future.
44. Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
2019: 42 | ESPN: 42
Nikola Vucevic is essentially stuck in the trap of being an above-average center, but not good enough to make an all-star team. It’s on par with the rest of an organization that has made the playoffs a low seed in back-to-back years. It would be nice for Vucevic to get traded to a contender because he won’t get attention or have much team success in Orlando.
43. Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards
2019: 33 | ESPN: 36
If there is one thing that I have pushed the most throughout my NBA writing career, it’s that Russell Westbrook is overrated and not a winner. Last season proved all of that. Sure, triple-doubles are visually pleasing, but it doesn’t translate to winning games. The Wizards are going to be watchable for the first time in a while, and Westbrook will likely put up big numbers, but don’t expect any playoff success from that team.
42. Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
2019: 13 | ESPN: 48
Kemba Walker didn’t necessarily have a bad season in his first year with Boston. Instead, Walker took a back seat as Jayson Tatum took the league by storm in the second half of the year. More than anything, it shows Walker’s extraordinary leadership qualities. Unfortunately, he’s going to miss some time with a knee issue but should help try to bring Boston back to the NBA Finals come playoff time.
41. CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
2019: 22 | ESPN: 27
ESPN seems to overrate CJ McCollum every year, but he still had a solid season in 2019-20 for Portland. Next to Damian Lillard, McCollum averaged 22.2 ppg on 45.1% from the field and 37.9% from deep. However, his defense was the worst of his career last season. Hopefully, with the addition of Robert Covington, there won’t be as much pressure on McCollum on the floor’s defensive end.
Stay tuned for part three of my top 100 NBA players for the 2020-21 NBA season coming soon!
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