This week ESPN has captured the attention of basketball fans with their annual “NBArank” series where they count down the league’s top 100 players. On Friday, the site released their top five players and it went as the following:
5. Stephen Curry
4. Luka Doncic
3. LeBron James
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
1. Kevin Durant
Doncic finishes inside the top five of the rankings and at number four overall for the second consecutive year. Not bad for a player just entering their fourth season. Tim MacMahon wrote the following about Doncic:
“At 22, Doncic has already established himself as one of the NBA’s elite. He’s been a first-team All-NBA selection the last two seasons, a feat only Kevin Durant has accomplished at such a young age since the ABA-NBA merger. It only seems like a matter of when — and how many times — Doncic wins MVP. He’s finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in the last two MVP votes.”
Other Mavericks in the top 100 include Kristaps Porzingis at number 50 and Tim Hardaway Jr. at number 79. Porzingis’ spot at 50 was a bit of a slip from being ranked 41 overall in 2020 and then no. 34 in 2019. Fresh off a new contract, Hardaway Jr.’s leap into the top 100 for the first time has to be a bit of a feather in the cap for the veteran sharpshooter.
While these rankings are completely arbitrary and no individual ranking should be debated over another, it is worth noting how many of these top 100 players is on each of the other teams the Mavericks will be facing in a loaded Western Conference.
|Utah Jazz – 6||90. Jordan Clarkson, 67. Bojan Bogdanovic, 62. Joe Ingles, 48. Mike Conley, 25. Rudy Gobert, 18. Donovan Mitchell|
|Portland Trail Blazers – 5||100. Normal Powell, 89. Robert Covington, 74. Jusuf Nurkic, 30. CJ McCollum, 8. Damian Lillard|
|Golden State Warriors – 4||*Tie-breaker went to highest ranked player, Steph Curry at 5* 77. Andrew Wiggins, 37. Draymond Green, 32. Klay Thompson, 5. Stephen Curry|
|Denver Nuggets – 4||97. Will Barton, 69. Aaron Gordon, 41. Michael Porter Jr., 6. Nikola Jokic|
|Phoenix Suns- 4||66. Mikal Bridges, 35. Deandre Ayton, 15. Devin Booker, 13. Chris Paul|
|Memphis Grizzlies -4||98. Steven Adams, 78. Dillon Brooks, 71. Jaren Jackson, Jr., 31. Ja Morant|
|Los Angeles Lakers – 3||29. Russell Westbrook, 9. Anthony Davis, 3. LeBron James|
|Dallas Mavericks – 3||79. Tim Hardaway Jr., 50. Kristaps Porzingis, 4. Luka Doncic|
|New Orleans Pelicans – 3||94. Jonas Valanciunas, 26. Brandon Ingram, 23. Zion Williamson|
|Minnesota Timberwolves – 3||63. D’Angelo Russell, 52. Anthony Edwards, 24. Karl-Anthony Towns|
|Sacramento Kings – 3||73. Tyrese Haliburton, 51. Buddy Hield, 34. De’Aaron Fox|
|Houston Rockets – 3||96. Jalen Green, 85. John Wall, 60. Christian Wood|
|Los Angeles Clippers – 1||12. Paul George ***Kawhi Leonard not included because of ACL injury.|
|Oklahoma City Thunder – 1||36. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander|
|San Antonio Spurs – 1||83. Dejounte Murray|
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