Give us a like and we'll keep you in the loop.

We use cookies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to show you personalized content and targeted ads, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. By browsing our website, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.
The Sports Circle is a place where the world’s most passionate sports fans come together to share stories and earn money while doing what they love most — talking about their favorite sports!

NBA Player Rankings Part 5: 1-10

The NBA offseason is upon us, and I'm going to rank the top 50 players heading into next season. Here are a few things to take into consideration.

1) I am ranking for only the 2018-2019 season. One year potential is taken into consideration, but long term potential is basically ignored. Contracts are ignored as well.

2) I know the playoffs completely overshadow the regular season, but remember it is only a small part of the entire body of work. One playoff series is 4-7 games. The regular season in 82 games. Don't overreact to one four game stretch of bad or good performances.

3) I am using a combination of advanced and simple statistics. The three player-raters I use are BPM (Box Score Plus Minus) from basketball-reference.com, RPM (Real Plus Minus) from ESPN, and PIE (Player Impact Estimate from NBA.com.

I plan to update the rankings throughout summer and the regular season. In case you missed the previous rankings the links are below.

Rank 41-50

Rank 31-40

Rank 21-30

Rank 11-20

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\10) Joel Embiid / C / Philadelphia 76ers / Age 24

63 GP / 22.9 PPG / 3.2 APG / 11.0 RPG / 0.6 SPG / 1.8 BPG

30.8% 3PT% / 48.3% FG% / 76.9% FT% / 57.3% TS%

2.6 BPM / 5.10 RPM / 17.7 PIE

When healthy, Embiid might be the most dominant big man since Shaq. The 76ers were pretty bad offensively, and legitimately terrible when Embiid was off the court. Embiid is the counter to the modern NBA where defenses switch everything. Centers have a hard enough time handling his physicality, good luck putting a wing on him.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\9) Chris Paul / PG / Houston Rockets / Age 33

58 GP / 18.6 PPG / 7.9 APG / 5.4 RPG / 1.7 SPG / 0.2 BPG

38.0% 3PT% / 46.0% FG% / 91.9% FT% / 60.4% TS%

7.1 BPM / 6.99 RPM / 16.6 PIE

Another year, another playoff injury for Chris Paul. It's really too bad, he is consistently one of the best point guards and one of the few that guards opposing point guards. The best two way point guard in the game, could put up way more points but works extremely hard to keep his teammates involved.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\8) Jimmy Butler / Wing / Minnesota Timberwolves / Age 28

59 GP / 22.2 PPG / 4.9 APG / 5.3 RPG / 2.0 SPG / 0.4 BPG

35.0% 3PT% / 47.4% FG% / 85.4% FT% / 59.0% TS%

5.0 BPM / 6.39 RPM / 15.1 PIE

The Timberwolves improved from a 31 win team to a 47 win team basically because of Jimmy Butler. Still one of the best two way wings in the game and one of the few that can maintain a high level of play with Thibbs level minutes.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\7) James Harden / G / Houston Rockets / Age 28

72 GP / 30.4 PPG / 8.8 APG / 5.4 RBG / 1.8 SPG / 0.7 BPG

36.7 3PT% / 44.9% FG% / 85.8% FT% / 61.9% TS%

10.9 BPM / 6.71 RPM / 19.4 PIE

The biggest improvement in Hardens game comes on the defensive end of the floor. He has legitimately improved to the point where he is a GOOD post defender. Having Harden guard big men in the post allows him to conserve energy on defense without being a liability, and he still produces at an insane level on the offensive end of the floor.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\6) Giannis Antetokounmpo / Forward / Milwaukee Bucks / Age 23

75 GP / 26.9 PPG / 4.8 APG / 10.0 RPG / 1.5 SPG / 1.4 BPG

30.7 3PT% / 52.9% FG% / 76.0% FT% / 59.8% TS%

5.8 BPM / 4.23 RPM / 18.6 PIE

Having a respectable jump shot is the only thing keeping Ginnis from being the most unstoppable player in the NBA. Finally being free from Jason Kidd should only help his development. I expect him to be a strong candidate for MVP next season.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\5) Stephen Curry / PG / Golden State Warriors / Age 30

51 GP / 26.4 PPG / 6.1 APG / 5.1 RPG / 1.6 SPG / 0.2 BPG

42.3% 3PT % / 49.5 FG% / 92.1 FT% / 67.5% TS%

8.6 BPM / 6.65 RPM / 16.5 PIE

Is the injury bug coming back? Curry had arguable his most efficient shooting season, but missed time due to injuries. Still maybe the best offensive weapon in the NBA, and defends at an acceptable level.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\4) Kawhi Leonard / F / San Antonio Spurs / Age 26

74 GP / 25.5 PPG / 3.5 APG / 5.8 RPG / 1.8 SPG / 0.7 BPG

38.0% 3PT% / 48.5% FG% / 88.0% FT% / 61.0% TS%

7.9 BPM / 7.08 RPM / 17.4 PIE

All stats from 2016-2017 season

What a strange and unexpected story that developed in San Antonio this past season. However, just one year ago there was a legitimate debate for the second best player in the NBA between Kawhi and Durant. Finished second in MVP voting in 15'-16' and third in 16'-17', just remember that when coming up fake Kawhi trades.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\3) Anthony Davis / PF/C / New Orleans Pelicans / Age 25

75 GP / 28.1 PPG / 2.3 APG / 11.1 RPG / 1.5 SPG / 2.6 BPG

34.0 3PT% / 53.4% FG% / 82.2% FT% / 62.8% TS%

5.2 BPM / 5.50 RPM / 18.8 PIE

Davis played in 75 games back to back season and might have finally shaken the injury prone tag. Vastly improved his three point shooting, and is still a dominant shot blocker. The next step for Davis is carrying his team deeper in the playoffs.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\2) Kevin Durant / F / Golden State Warriors / Age 29

68 GP / 26.4 PPG / 5.4 APG / 6.4 RPG / 0.7 SPG / 1.8 BPG

41.9% 3PT% / 51.6% FG% / 88.9% FT% / 64.0% TS%

5.6 BPM / 3.61 RPM / 16.8 PIE

A 7'0 that can shoot and handle the ball, it's not even fair. Completely unguardable, forcing Durant into a midrange shot is the best defense but he still shoots a ridiculous 49.5% from there. Continuing to improve as a rim protector and passer, the gap between him and LeBron is minuscule.

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

\1) LeBron James / F / Cleveland Cavaliers / Age 33

82 GP / 27.5 PPG / 9.1 APG / 8.6 RPG / 1.4 SPG / 0.9 BPG

34.2% 3PT% / 52.9% FG% / 74.6% FT% / 61.9% TS%

9.6 BPM / 4.96 RPM / 19.1 PIE

Still the best. Led the NBA in minutes and played in all 82 games at age 33. Defense is slipping, but a lot of the can probably be attributed to the fact that he has to do everything on offense. How much longer can he continue to win the battle against Father Time?