Ranking the Top 100 NBA Players Pre-All-Star Break: 100 – 76

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Top 100 NBA players pre-all-star break: 100-76
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

There have been delays, postponements, quarantines, and no fans in attendance, but the NBA has managed to make it to the half-way point of the season: All-Star Weekend. Despite the wildly unusual season, the league has still seen its fair share of star power and outstanding performances. Looking primarily at the numbers, we’ve ranked our Top 100 NBA players so far this season.

While it is understood that numbers don’t always tell the full story, we’ve considered several different stats along with our own version of the eye-test to determine our Top 100 NBA player rankings. While the obvious stats like PPG, APG, RPG, SPG, and BPG are considered, we also looked at their total accumulated stats on the season to form a better picture of who’s been both performing and consistently available. Along with traditional player stats, things like team win percentage, total games played, and a few advanced metrics such as PER, Win Shares, and Box Plus/Minus were considered.

Usage Rate is an interesting metric that we’ve implemented as a tie-breaker of sorts. If two players are averaging very similar stats but one has extremely high usage, the player performing at a similar level with less usage will earn a slight advantage in our Top 100 NBA player rankings, though it is not being used to tank superstars with perennially high usage rates like James Harden, Luka Doncic, or Stephen Curry.

Now that we’ve established an overview of our ranking model, let’s get straight to it.

Rankings

75 – 51 | 50 – 26 | 25 – 11 | 10 – 1

Just Missed the Top 100 NBA Players

Dennis Schroder | Buddy Hield | Terrence Ross | Naz Reid | Evan Fournier | D’Angelo Russell | Ivica Zubac | Marcus Smart | Wendell Carter Jr. | Darius Garland

For one reason or another, none of these players make the final cut in our Top 100 NBA players. More than likely, these players have been sidelined for an extended period of time due to the league’s health and safety protocols or an injury of some sort. In many cases, they also struggled in their first few games back from their respective absences.

Keep in mind that many of the players that did make our Top 100 NBA players list will take a hit in the rankings due to time missed. Their per game stats may prove to be elite, but this list is an attempt to encapsulate total availability and production so far this season.

#100 Brook Lopez

Playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo is the perfect assignment for this shooting big man. Lopez has provided the perfect combination of stretching the floor offensively and defending the paint defensively for the Bucks over the last few seasons. This year, he’s averaging 1.3 BPG and ranks 10th in total blocks on the season with 48. Lopez is also shooting just under 35% from distance, doing just enough to force opposing big men to respect his jump shot while Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton penetrate the paint.

#99 Kevin Huerter

The 22-year-old swingman has made the most of his opportunity at playing time with fellow Atlanta shooting guard, Bogdan Bogdanovic, sidelined for much of this season with an injury. Across 32.1 minutes per game, Huerter is averaging 12.1 PPG, 3.7 APG, 3.6 RPG, and 1.3 SPG while shooting 36.5% from beyond the arc. He also, surprisingly to some, ranks 9th in the NBA in total steals this season, helping to form what has been a formidable defense unit for the Hawks this season.

#98 RJ Barrett

An above-average rookie season has led to an impressive sophomore campaign for Barrett, landing him in our Top 100 NBA players list. He’s been an excellent second fiddle to Julius Randle as the Knicks have surprisingly found themselves firmly planted in the playoff race. The young swingman out of Duke has appeared in all 37 games this season and is averaging 16.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.9 APG with shooting 44.3% from the field and 35.0% from distance. The blemish dragging Barrett’s ranking down the most is his poor free-throw shooting. His 73% free throw shooting ranks 295th out of 492 players considered.

#97 De’Andre Hunter

Another surprising wing player for the Hawks this season, Hunter has shown glimpses of why he was the 4th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Once again, availability has dropped his overall ranking considerably, but his per-game production should not go unnoticed. He’s averaging 17.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 2.2 APG while shooting above 51% from the field. His box plus/minus of 2.5 through 18 games is one of his most impressive stats, landing him in the Top 60 in the league.

#96 Kemba Walker

Walker is the perfect example of a player hurt by lack of availability this season. His per-game totals would have him listed in the next part of this NBA Top 100 players series, but his total stats and advanced numbers tell a different story. Walker has appearing in only 20 games this season and shot just under 39% from the field, both crippling stats in terms of rankings. However, he is still averaging 18.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, and 1.1 SPG, all good for Top 60 in the league this season.

#95 Mitchell Robinson

Robinson, a 22-year-old center, has had more than his fair share of foul trouble in his young career, often keeping him sidelined for extended periods. This is not the case this season. Robinson’s minutes per game are up to 28.8, and he’s averaging 8.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. His BPG is good for 12th in the NBA so far this season. He has a positive box plus/minus and three Win Shares already through 27 games, good for Top 50 in the league. If he can improve upon his 47.8% free throw shooting, Robinson could be a scary force in this league sooner rather than later.

#94 Justin Holiday

Justin Holiday will not be the last Holiday brother on this list. The middle brother has played a key role in the Pacers’ success so far this season, embracing the 3-and-D role. He’s Top 20 in both total 3-pointers made with 89 and total steals with 43. Naturally, Holiday’s ability to play in 35 games this season helps his ranking greatly, but don’t underestimate the impact this 31-year-old wing makes on the court.

#93 Joe Harris

Playing alongside Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant has proven to be the dream scenario for Harris. He’s been making defenders pay all season for choosing to help off of him when his superstar teammates drive. Harris is hitting an astonishing 50.6% of his attempts from deep, totaling an unearthly 126 total 3-pointers made already this season, good for 4th in the NBA. Harris doesn’t do anything else incredibly well, but he’s rarely a negative factor while on the court. His solid rotation minutes combined with elite shooting land him firmly in our Pre-All-Star Break Top 100 NBA players list.

#92 Robert Covington

The 30-year-old forward has found what looks to be a new home in Portland. After essentially serving as Houston’s “center” during their uber-small-ball experiment last season, Covington was able to get back to his more natural PF/SF position. That is until center Jusuf Nurkic went down with a major injury and Covington found himself once again succeeding in spot center minutes. In the process, he entered the Top 10 in steals per game this season with 1.6 SPG, along with averaging 7.9PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 1.2 BPG. The swingman has been the definition of a 3-and-D player over his career, and this season in Portland has been no different.

#91 OG Anunoby

The Jedi, OG Anunoby, has easily been a Top 100 NBA player this season on a per-game basis. His 1.6 SPG lands him in the Top 10 in the league this season, along with averaging 13.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Anunoby is well above league average in every per-game statistic aside from APG. However, appearing in only 23 games this season has dropped his overall ranking considerably.  He ranks outside the Top 100 in every season-long statistic aside from total steals (43rd) and blocks (99th).

#90 Robert Williams

Have the Celtics finally found their answer at Center? Probably not, but Robert Williams is making his case a hard one to argue against. Through 29 games this season, Williams is averaging 6.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks in only 16.1 minutes per game. Even in limited action, Williams has proven to be one of the most dominant young bigs in the league, as is evident by his 72.1% shooting from the field, good for 4th in the league. He also ranks in the Top 15 in PER, impressive for someone consistently playing less than 20 minutes per game.

#89 Draymond Green

Green, once a perennial All-Star, has struggled this season. Plain and simple. However, regardless of his drop-off and horrendous shooting, Green still does a lot of little things well for the Warriors. He’s #6 in the league in APG with 8.6, along with grabbing 6.1 RPG and 1.4 SPG. Unfortunately for the former NBA champion, his advanced statistics have been atrocious this season. He ranks outside the Top 150 in our advanced rankings with a PER below league average and a negative box plus/minus.

#88 Nicolas Batum

Batum has had an unexpected resurgence in his new role with the Clippers. Despite cooling off some as of late, Batum still ranks in the Top 40 in the league in 3P%, hitting at a 43.9% clip. He has embraced his off-ball, undersized power forward role-playing alongside the superstar duo in LA, contributing a well-rounded 9.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 steals (#37 in the NBA) across roughly 29.5 minutes per game. The biggest blemish on his resume is lack of free throw attempts, but that’s not something the Clippers necessarily ask of him.

#87 Al Horford

Continuing the trend of veteran forwards on this Top 100 NBA players ranking, Horford makes an appearance in large part due to his per-game defensive stats. He ranks in the Top 55 in both BPG (51st) with 0.9 and RPG (54th) with 6.7. The best part of Horford’s game has always been his ability to contribute these traditional “big man” stats while also providing assists and shooting, both of which he continues to do this season. He’s averaging 14.0 PPG and 3.5 APG while shooting 35.6% from distance. Horford also ranks in the Top 55 in box plus/minus with 2.7, good for 53rd.

#86 Bobby Portis

Along with Brook Lopez, Portis has provided some much-needed floor spacing for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks this season. He’s shooting a near-league best 50% from behind the arc this season while averaging 10.9 points and 7.1 rebounds across 21.6 minutes per game. His availability has been one of his best abilities this season as well, as he’s played in 36 games for Milwaukee already.

#85 Joe Ingles

“Cool dad” is the most accurate way to describe Joe Ingles, but pretty good at basketball is another fairly accurate description. The seasoned veteran is averaging a well-rounded 11.5 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 3.3 SPG. He is benefiting greatly from the scorching hot run the Jazz have been on lately. Ingles’ most impressive stat so far this season is his 3-point shooting. He’s shooting 46.5% from distance on the season, good for 22nd in the league.

#84 Kelly Oubre Jr.

A horrendous shooting start to the season nearly cost Oubre a spot on our Top 100 NBA player rankings, but he has since turned things around and provided a valuable wing asset to a reloading Warriors squad. On the season, Oubre is still shooting below 33% from distance, but he’s made up for his struggles by averaging a well-rounded 15.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.8 BPG. He’s in the Top 40 in total steals on the season with 39 steals.

#83 TJ McConnell

Timothy John McConnell has snuck his way into the Top 85 of our rankings by stealing the ball from literally everyone. The 28-year-old point guard is leading the league in SPG with 2.0, including a monstrous 10-steal performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers en route to a triple-double with 16 points and 13 assists. McConnell is an incredibly efficient player because he knows and accepts his role: facilitate and defend. He’s doing just that this season, averaging an 18th ranked 6.8 APG along with his absurd steal numbers.

#82 Serge Ibaka

The 31-year-old big man converted his game from a dominant post defender to the ultimate floor-stretching weapon over the course of his career. Now with the Clippers, he’s providing a fair amount of both. He’s shooting 35.6% from beyond the arc, a fair percentage to keep defenses honest, and averaging 1.2 blocks per game, good for 25th in the league. He has also yet to miss a game, allowing his total block numbers to creep into the league’s Top 15.

#81 Victor Oladipo

Oladipo is another player hindered by injuries, not only this season but in the last couple of seasons. His on-court production would have him pushing a Top 50 ranking, especially when considering his 1.5 SPG which is good for 14th in the league. His lack of total stats bogs down his overall ranking some, but he’s still had a productive season with 20 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 4.5 APG across 24 games played. His biggest downfalls are his 39.9% shooting, which is below league average, and his team’s struggles in Houston this year.

#80 Mason Plumlee

Some were shocked at the contract given to Plumlee by Detroit in the off-season, but he’s proving to be a starting-caliber center. Naturally, he’s providing great rebounds numbers at 9.1 per game, but it’s his 3.8 APG as a center that stands out. Plumlee ranks in the Top 20 in RPG and total rebounds, but his all-around production is what makes him a potentially dangerous tool in today’s NBA.

#79 John Wall

Interestingly enough, Oladipo’s backcourt running mate ranks just two spots ahead of him. John Wall is finally back on an NBA court and it’s been a joy to watch him go for 21 PPG, 6 APG, and 3.2 RPG. His high usage rate doesn’t necessarily hurt his ranking, but it doesn’t help the big picture considering he’s been the feature guard on a bad Rockets team this season. Regardless, Wall ranks in the Top 35 in both points and assists per game this season, reminiscent of his glory days in Washington.

#78 Malik Beasley

In what seemed to be a lost season for the Timberwolves in 2020, Beasley found an unexpected rhythm late in the season. He’s carried over the momentum and confidence into 2021, averaging 20.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.5 APF, and 0.8 SPG. Beasley is above league average in every metric considered aside from BPG and total blocks. Once he comes back from his 12-game suspension, look for Beasley to provide consistent minutes and numbers in what looks to be another lost season for Minnesota.

#77 Andrew Wiggins

The former first-round pick has never fully lived up to being a franchise-caliber player, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t contributed to his teams. In his new-found role with Golden State, Wiggins has struggled to find consistent shooting. He’s hitting at 46%, 35%, and 67% from the field, 3-point line, and free throw line respectively, along with posting a -2.1 box plus/minus. Despite some struggles, Wiggins is still putting up 17 PPG and 4.5 RPG and surprisingly ranks 19th in the league in total blocks with 40 on the season.

#76 Ja Morant

The reigning rookie of the year has faced his fair share of sophomore struggles, though I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a slump. Morant has only appeared in 24 games this season, limiting his ceiling in this Top 100 NBA player rankings. While on the court, however, Morant ranks 11th in APG with 7.7, along with putting up 19.8 PPG and 1.0 SPG, both landing him in the Top 80 in the league. Morant’s only below-average stats aside from rebounding and blocking shots is his 3-point shooting. He’s made only 21 triples on 23.3% shooting this season.

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