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.
\30) DeMar DeRozan / SG / Toronto Raptors / Age 28
80 GP / 23.0 PPG / 5.2 APG / 3.9 RPG / 1.1 SPG / 0.3 BPG
31.0% 3PT% / 45.6% FG% / 82.5% FT% / 55.5% TS%
1.8 BPM / 1.67 RPM / 13.5 PIE
DeRozan continues to expand his range and now can hit threes at a below average clip which is a drastic improvement. His biggest weakness is that he is an absolutely dreadful defender. His inability to defend anyone on the court makes it much harder for his teammates.
\29) Bradley Beal / SG / Washington Wizards / Age 24
82 GP / 22.6 PPG / 4.5 APG / 4.4 RPG / 1.2 SPG / 0.4 BPG
37.5% 3PT% / 46.0% FG% / 79.1% FT% / 56.4% TS%
1.7 BPM / 1.32 RPM / 12.5 PIE
Beal took over a lot more of the ball handling and playmaking duties with Wall missing a lot of time this past season. Improved his assist but his shooting numbers went down slightly, which is expected with more volume and tougher shots.
\28) LaMarcus Aldridge / PF/C / San Antonio Spurs / Age 32
75 GP / 23.1 PPG / 2.0 APG / 8.5 RPG / 0.5 SPG / 1.2 BPG
29.3% 3PT% / 51.0% FG% / 83.7% FT% / 57.0% TS%
3.3 BPM / 3.24 RPM / 15.9 PIE
Had a surprisingly good season, a year after everyone wrote him off. Carried to Spurs to the playoffs, which is remarkable when you look at their roster. If Kawhi Leonard stays in San Antonio, will he be able to maintain his high level of play being the second option?
\27) Clint Capela / C / Houston Rockets / Age 24
74 GP / 13.9 PPG / 0.9 APG / 10.8 RPG / 0.8 SPG / 1.9 BPG
0.0% 3PT% / 65.2% FG% / 56.0% FT% / 65.0% TS%
3.0 BPM / 2.23 RPM / 15.5 PIE
Capela's year over year improvement has been remarkable, he has turned into a better version of DeAndre Jordan. Extremely good defensively, and has turned into a devastating roll man. Really good agility allows him to defend smaller players on the perimeter.
\26) Kemba Walker / PG / Charlotte Hornets / Age 28
80 GP / 22.1 PPG / 5.6 APG / 3.1 RPG / 1.1 SPG / 0.3 BPG
38.4% 3PT% / 43.1% FG% / 86.4% FT%
3.2 BPM / 3.83 RPM / 13.1 PIE
Kemba Walker is right their with the other point guards, but never gets mentioned. Has defensive issues, but is an elite scorer and can create for his teammates. Playing in Charlotte he doesn't get the recognition that he deserves.
\25) John Wall / PG / Washington Wizards / Age 27
41 GP / 19.4 PPG / 9.6 APG / 3.7 RPG / 1.4 SPG / 1.1 BPG
37.1% 3PT% / 42.0% FG% / 72.6% FT% / 51.5% TS%
-0.2 BPM / 1.06 RPM / 13.0 PIE
Wall had a down season, playing through injuries and eventually missing time. Has developed a semi respectable jumper, and might be one of the hardest players to stop from getting to the rim. Defense is all over, sometimes he looks elite and other times he looks like a disaster.
\24) Karl-Anthony Towns / C / Minnesota Timberwolves / Age 22
82 GP / 21.3 PPG / 2.4 APG / 12.3 RPG / 0.8 SPG / 1.4 BPG
42.1% 3PT% / 54.4% FG% / 85.8% FT% / 64.6% TS%
5.5 BPM / 4.20 RPM / 16.5 PIE
Towns has turned into one of the best offensive centers in the game, and can score effectively from everywhere. Improved defensively, but is still a poor defender. To become a truly elite player he needs to continue to develop on the defensive end of the floor.
\23) Jrue Holiday / Guard / New Orleans Pelicans / Age 28
81 GP / 19.0 PPG / 6.0 APG / 4.5 RPG / 1.5 SPG / 0.8 BPG
33.7% 3PT% / 49.4% FG% / 78.6% FT% / 57.0% TS%
2.1 BPM / 3.76 RPM / 11.8 PIE
This might be too high for Holiday, with last season being basically the first healthy season of his career. One of the better defensive point guards in the NBA. Was an integral part of the Pelicans success keeping their season alive after Boogie Cousins went down.
\22) Kyrie Irving / PG / Boston Celtics / Age 26
60 GP / 24.4 PPG / 5.1 APG / 3.8 RPG / 1.1 SPG / 0.3 BPG
40.8% 3PT% / 49.1% FG% / 88.9% FT% / 61.0% TS%
6.2 BPM / 2.47 RPM / 16.5 PIE
It seems like people are not concerned about Irving’s reoccurring knee injuries, which seems like it should be a major concern. Irving is one of the best scorers in the game, but continues to show no interest in the defensive end of the floor. He has played in 70+ games just three out of six seasons so far, I’m more down on him than most people.
\21) Ben Simmons / PG/Forward / Philadelphia 76ers / Age 21
81 GP / 15.8 PPG / 8.2 APG / 8.1 RPG / 1.7 SPG / 0.9 BPG
0.0% 3PT% / 54.5% FG% / 56.0% FT% / 55.7% TS%
4.6 BPM / 2.68 RPM / 15.4 PIE
He can't shoot. That's his negative. He can do everything else and if he develops a reliable jumper he's a top five player. Defends at a high level, great court vision, clearly makes his teammates better. This might be too low for Simmons, ranked in the 20s seems like his absolute floor.