Basketball

2022 Preseason Top 100 NBA Players: 60-51

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The NBA season is fast approaching and we’re itching to see who takes the next step in their production next season! For more on our introduction, including honorable mentions, click the 100-81 link below!

Rankings

100-81 | 80-61 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

Top 100 NBA Players in 2022: 60-51

60) Gordon Hayward | 6-7 – F – Charlotte Hornets

Speaking of Hornets benefitting from LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward also saw a notable increase in his scoring and 3-point efficiency last season playing alongside the rookie phenom. Hayward is entering his 12th season after yet another lower-body injury suffered at the end of the 2020 season. Amazingly, Hayward has maintained his production through multiple career injuries, including the devastating ankle injury to open the 2017-18 season. I expect little to no regression from Hayward in what will be his 31-year-old season playing alongside the young and exciting Hornets.

59) Jalen Green | 6-6 – G – Houston Rockets

Green is one of the first major NBA prospects to join the G League Ignite team before entering the draft. In one season with the team, he averaged 17.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 2.8 APG. Now, as the #2 overall pick, Green has high expectations as a “guinea pig” of sorts to see how he performs after taking an alternate route to the league. He’ll have plenty of opportunities to showcase his ability next season on a bottom-feeding Rockets team alongside John Wall and Christian Wood.

58) Dejounte Murray | 6-4 – G – San Antonio Spurs

Murray had an incredibly underrated year in 2020-21. Averages of 15.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 5.4 APG, and 1.5 SPG helped propel the Spurs to the Western Conference play-in game where they narrowly lost to the Memphis Grizzlies. Now, Murray has full reign of the offense with DeRozan being shipped off to Chicago and Patty Mills joining the Nets in Brooklyn. He is the clear leader of a rebuilding Spurs roster and has elite potential with his size and athleticism at the point guard position.

57) Myles Turner | 6-11 – C – Indiana Pacers

Turner is heading into his 7th NBA season after leading the league with an absurd 3.4 BPG last season. He’s always been among the elite shot blockers in the NBA since entering the league in 2015, averaging upwards of two blocks per game on his career. Indiana has a lot of weapons this coming season, freeing up Turner to be a spot-up shooter or lob threat alongside great offensive players like Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and Domantas Sabonis, all while anchoring the defense from the post.

56) Pascal Siakam | 6-9 – F – Toronto Raptors

After being named an All-Star starter in 2019-20, Siakam took a disappointing step back last season. He still put up over 21 points per game but saw his 3P% drop from .359 to .297 over the course of just one season. Siakam has a tremendous opportunity to step up and lead the Raptors with the departure of veteran point guard Kyle Lowry, but the team has also started to form a log jam at the forward position with multiple free agents and rookie acquisitions this offseason. In other words, Siakam’s production this season could go either direction.

55) Clint Capela | 6-10 – C – Atlanta Hawks

Capela emerged as an elite rim-running center while playing alongside James Harden in Houston, and he’s not found a new home in Atlanta alongside Trae Young. Last season, he averaged 15.2 PPG and a league-leading 14.3 RPG while shooting an absurd 59.4% from the field. Capela is the textbook definition of an athletic center tasked with getting rebounds, defending the paint, and finishing lobs at the rim. Atlanta is looking like the new Lob City with Capela redefining Deandre Jordan’s role on that LAC team.

54) Jonas Valanciunas | 6-11 – C – New Orleans Pelicans

Valanciunas has been one of the more underrated centers in the NBA for nine seasons now. He was a walking double-double for the last three seasons in Memphis, averaging 16.4 PPG and 11.7 RPG during his time there. Now he’s been presented a new opportunity to play alongside Zion Williamson in New Orleans. Thankfully, Valanciunas has developed a consistent 3-point shot over the last couple of seasons, shooting 36.8% from distance in 2020-21, leading us to believe he can be successful playing beside the paint-oriented Williamson.

53) Caris LeVert | 6-6 – G/F – Indiana Pacers

After a life-threatening injury scare only found because of a mandatory physical upon being traded to Indiana, LeVert made a miraculous comeback to the court. He proceeded to average 20.7 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 4.6 RPG across 35 starts with the Pacers last season. After a full offseason to recover and become more accustomed to the coaches and players, I expect a breakout season to be in the cards for LeVert.

52) Jerami Grant | 6-8 – F – Detroit Pistons

Grant went from being a bonafide role player to a breakout, fringe All-Star type of player last season. He averaged 22.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.8 APG on a subpar Pistons team. Now, however, he has rookie sensation and #1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Cade Cunningham, coming in to run the offense and make his life easier. I expect another step in the right direction for Grant this season playing alongside a should-be-improved team.

51) Lonzo Ball | 6-6 – G – Chicago Bulls

Ball is set to join his 3rd team in only five seasons this year. Though this should not reflect poorly on Ball’s game. He has struggled at times with his 3-point shot but significantly improved his efficiency over the last couple of seasons in New Orleans. Now, alongside Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, Ball has a golden opportunity to play a facilitator/primary defender role on a playoff-hopeful team.

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