Basketball

Ranking the Top 100 NBA Players Pre-All-Star Break: 75 – 51

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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 taken several different stats into consideration 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.

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.

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

Rankings

100-76 | 50-26 | 25 – 11 | 10 – 1

#75 Enes Kanter

Kanter is another player that has made the best out of a tough situation with teammates’ injuries. Once Jusuf Nurkic went down with an injury, Kanter stepped up in a big way averaging 11.9 PPG and 11.9 RPG. His rebounds per-game average and season total are both ranked #4 in the league, an unexpected accomplishment for the Turkish big man. He’s one of the better offensive rebounders in the league, and he’s making the most of his 26.3 MPG across 35 games played this season.

#74 Delon Wright

A depleted Pistons squad has provided an excellent opportunity for Delon Wright to showcase his abilities. The 28-year-old guard had bounced around between several NBA teams before making some noise with the Mavericks last season. Now, he ranks in the Top 20 in SPG with 1.4, along with averaging 10.7 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 4.6 RPG. He’s one of few players so far in our Top 100 NBA players to post both a Win Share and box plus/minus of at least 2.5.

#73 Michael Porter Jr.

The Nuggets have found a gem in Michael Porter Jr. The up-and-coming forward is known to be a scoring machine, and he’s shown plenty capable of that this season averaging 14.6 points in only 28.6 minutes of action. Porter has also managed to round out his game more this season by averaging 7.0 RPG and 1.1 BPG. He’s also been notably efficient, shooting 50-40-75 splits on a relatively low 19.5% usage rate. If he continues to improve his free throw shooting and finds the opportunity to play 30+ minutes per game, Porter’s position on this list will improve drastically.

#72 Montrezl Harrell

Among the league leaders in games played, Harrell is living up to his reputation of being an “iron man” of sorts. In his first season with the Lakers, Harrell is averaging 13.8 PPG and 6.4 RPG while shooting 62.6% from the field. He ranks in the Top 15 in the league in Win Shares, which can be partially credited to the Lakers’ success this season as well. Since Anthony Davis has been out with injury, Harrell has seen his role diminish slightly since he’s not a defensive anchor, but his offensive firepower usually makes up for his weaknesses.

#71 Jonas Valanciunas

Perhaps the most underrated big man in the league is once again putting up a fantastic yet quiet season. His per-game stats rank much higher than #70, but his time missed drops his season-long resume. Valanciunas’s 11.3 RPG rank 9th in the league. He’s also in the Top 15% of the league with a PER of 20.2. His poor FT% is the worst part of his resume, sitting at 75.6% or 251st in the NBA.

#70 PJ Washington

With 1.2 blocks per game, Washington ranks 25th in the league this season despite playing less than 30 minutes per game. The 22-year-old big man struggled to make his presence felt at times in his rookie campaign, but his game is hard to ignore in this his sophomore campaign. He’s averaging 12.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 1.1 SPG, a versatile and well-rounded stat line for a developing big man.

#69 Thaddeus Young

The 32-year-old forward has turned back the clock this season. Young has always been one of the most under-appreciated players in the league, but this season he’s taken his game to a new level. His 12.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG are nice, but not extraordinary for a big man of his talent. It’s his 4.4 APG and 1.4 SPG that make him a fringe-star level talent this season in Chicago. In fact, he ranks in the Top 20 in the league in both SPG and total steals this season. His poor FT% and lack of a 3-point shot hurt his overall resume, but make no mistake about the talent Young possesses.

#68 Harrison Barnes

After being traded from the Warriors to make room for Kevin Durant, Barnes struggled to find consistent production. This season in Sacramento however, Barnes is averaging 16.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, and 0.8 SPG on an absurd 35.7 minutes a night. His efficiency has been top tier as well, shooting 49%, 39%, and 83% from the field, 3-point line, and free throw line respectively. Barnes ranks in the Top 30 in the league in total free throws made this season with 128.

#67 Norman Powell

The recent shooting success of Norman Powell is only rivaled by shooters like Steph Curry and Dame Lillard. While averaging 18.4 PPG, Powell is shooting 48.8% from the floor, 43.8% from 3-point range, and 89.9% from the free-throw line. The 27-year-old wing player is quietly pushing his way closer to the elusive 50-40-90 club while also averaging over a steal per game. Powell has quickly become one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA.

#66 Lonzo Ball

After another slump to start the season, Ball has found his rhythm once again. He’s putting up 14.5 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.2 RPG, and 1.3 SPG on 39% shooting from distance. Ball ranks 14th in total 3-pointers made with 99 and 18th in total steals with 43 on the season. The worst part of Ball’s resume is still getting to the free-throw line and converting once he’s there. He’s hitting at a subpar 77.5% clip and only has 31 total free throws this year.

#65 Kristaps Porzingis

Despite missing several games this season, Porzingis’s per-game stats have been impossible to ignore. He’s averaging 20.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 0.4 steals per game across 30.1 minutes of action. His percentages are not elite but combined with the sheer volume of stats, they’re good enough to land him in the Top 50 on a per-game basis. Porzingis has only played 20 games this season, limiting his ceiling on this Top 100 NBA player ranking.

#64 Kyle Anderson

Kyle “Slow-mo” Anderson is once again providing consistent production for a playoff-hopeful team. He’s averaging 13.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.5 APG, and 1.2 SPG which ranks 37th in the league. Anderson’s impact on the court goes beyond that stat sheet as he is a very cerebral player capable of making a difference without the ball in his hands all the time. His box plus/minus of 2.8 is good for Top 50 in the league.

#63 Jordan Clarkson

Clarkson is making his case for the 6th man of the year award hard to ignore. He’s averaging a league-best 17.9 points per game off the bench, which is also good for 58th in the NBA overall. Clarkson’s ranking benefits greatly from his team’s success, but he’s also been a major reason behind that success. He ranks 8th in the league in 3-pointers made with 114 on 37% shooting across 36 games this season.

#62 Richaun Holmes

The Kings seem to have found their center for the near future, opting to ride with Holmes provides rather than playing newly acquired veteran center, Hassan Whiteside. Holmes is blocking 1.5 shots per game for a total of 48 blocks this season, ranking him 12th and 10th respectively. Along with his interior defensive presence, Holmes is averaging 13.0 PPG and 8.3 RPG, solid production considering he’s the 4th-5th option on a struggling team.

#61 Tyrese Haliburton

The 12th pick in this year’s NBA draft has more than surpassed his draft position. If it weren’t for the potential superstar in Charlotte, Haliburton would be the best player in the draft this season. Despite missing several games this season, Haliburton is averaging 13.2 PPG, 5.4 APG, 3.6 RPG, and 1.4 SPG. His steal numbers have been elite already this season, ranking 17th in per-game steals and 21st in total steals. The 20-year-old combo-guard is also shooting 43.3% from long range this season, good for Top 45 in the league.

#60 Collin Sexton

Sexton puts up a lot of points and a lot of assists, but that’s usually the extent of his production. On a struggling Cavaliers team, Sexton is averaging 24.1 points and 4.5 assists per game, but he’s doing so on 48.7% FG shooting and 36.4 minutes per game which ranks 5th in the league. He’s starting to round out the peripherals of his game, averaging 1.2 steals and 2.6 rebounds, but Sexton’s got some room for improvement before he climbs much higher on our Top 100 NBA players list.

#59 Andre Drummond

Despite currently wasting away on the bench waiting for Cleveland to find a trade partner, Drummond has played in 25 games this season and put up Top 50 per-game numbers. He’s averaging 17.5 PPG and 13.5 RPG, good for 2nd in the league. Drummond’s biggest value comes on the defensive side of the ball. Though he may not be an ultra-impactful defender, he does put up elite defensive stats. His 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game land him at 7th and 25th in the league respectively.

#58 Mikal Bridges

The 24-year-old swingman is putting his shooting capabilities on full display this season. After an incredibly hot start to the season, Bridges has “cooled off” to average 42% from 3-point range. He’s also averaging 13.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 0.7 SPG, and 0.9 BPG to go along with a Top 20 Win Share total of 4.2. Bridges is the perfect example of a top-tier role player benefiting greatly from his team’s overall success, as the Suns have claimed a Top 2 seed in the West with their .686-win percentage.

#57 Dejounte Murray

Murray looks to be the Spurs’ point guard of the future. In 32 games played this season, he’s averaging 15.8 PPG, 7 RPG, 5.4 APG, and 1.6 SPG. His steal numbers rank 7th (per game) and 6th (total) in the NBA this season, making his case for 1st Team All-Defense hard to ignore. Murray struggles slightly with efficiency, hitting only 32% of his 3-point attempts and 46% of his shot attempts overall, well-rounded game plants him firmly in our Top 100 NBA player rankings.

#56 Jrue Holiday

Holiday has missed several games due to health and safety protocols this season, but his per-game stats would only see him ranked five spots higher at 51st. The 30-year-old veteran has transitioned seamlessly into the Bucks’ 3rd option this season, averaging 15.3 points, 5.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game. He ranks 4th in the league in SPG and 8th in total steals with 47 on the season. Jrue is above average in every stat category this season other than total free throws made, but even then, he has 36 compared to the league average of 37.1 made free throws.

#55 Mike Conley

The first time All-Star had to wait 14 years to see his name appear on All-Star Sunday, but Conley is no stranger to producing top-tier numbers. The Utah Jazz point guard is averaging 16.1 PPG, 5.7 APG, 3.5 RPG, and 1.4 SPG this season while shooting 44% from the field and 42% from behind the arc. It doesn’t hurt his resume that his team is currently sitting with the best record in the NBA.

#54 Russell Westbrook

Once an elite talent in the NBA, Westbrook may have finally lost a step. His aggressive play-style and never-stop mentality require a certain level of physical ability that the 32-year-old guard no longer possesses. Still, he ranks 2nd in APG with 9.8 this season, along with averaging 20.3 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 1.1 SPG. On paper, those seem like elite stats, but the supporting stats say otherwise. Westbrook is below league average in FG%, 3P%, and FT%, shooting at .428-.294-.583 splits. He also has 0 Win Shares on the season, ranking 396th out of 492 players considered.

#53 Deandre Ayton

The Suns’ rising center is showing why he was the #1 overall pick in 2018. He’s averaging 14.5 PPG, 11.4 RPG (8th in the league), and 1.1 BPG on the season. Ayton has been readily available all season as well, playing in 35 games already this season and ranking 7th in total rebounds with 400. Much like Mikal Bridges, Ayton’s position in this Top 100 NBA player ranking is also aided by the Suns’ .686-win percentage.

#52 CJ McCollum

On a per-game basis, McCollum ranks in our Top 35 this season. Unfortunately, we can’t justify that high of a ranking for someone who has appeared in only 13 games. Before going down with an injury, the Blazers’ shooting guard was averaging 26.7 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.9 RPG, and 1.3 SPG on .473-.441-.844 shooting splits. The only per-game stat that McCollum didn’t meet the league average in was blocked shots, something that’s not generally asked of the 6’3 shooting guard. He also has the 10th highest PER in the league this season at 26.4.

#51 Devin Booker

Booker just misses our Top 50 cut, but it’s easy to tell that we’re starting to get into the elite players. On the season, Booker averages 24.9 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 3.6 RPG. The points Booker provides are great, even Top 20 great, but that’s the only notably great part of his game this season. He ranks outside the Top 60 in APG, outside the Top 100 in SPG, and outside the Top 200 in RPG, BPG, and 3P%. The Suns’ success helps his resume, but it’s hard for him to move up further in a ranking based around all-around production with such poor stats surrounding his scoring totals.

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