You know the drill, we’re on part 7 on my top 100 NBA players list. Let’s continue the list, shall we?
40 Carmelo Anthony—New York—SF/PF: Entering his 15th, Carmelo definitely isn’t in his prime anymore but he can still score with the best of them. He’s never averaged below 20 points per game and he won’t do it again this year. If Carmelo can try more on defense, he could be someone a contending team (the Rockets) would really want to get for a title run.
39 Kemba Walker—Charlotte—PG: Kemba last year established himself as an elite scorer. While he could always score but he never didn’t efficiently. Last year, Walker shot career bests from the floor, the three, and from the line. At age 27, Walker is just entering his prime and is expected to be an All-Star candidate for years to come.
38 Mike Conley Jr.—Memphis—PG: Mike Conley Jr. has been one of the more consistent guards over the last five years. Like Kemba, Conley Jr. also had his career season last year. He posted career highs in points per game, field goal, and three point percentages. It is remarkable that he hasn’t made an All-Star appearance yet, but I think he will soon.
37 Paul Millsap—Denver—PF: Denver hit a homerun when they signed Millsap. With a team that wants to run, Paul Millsap is the perfect small ball 4 as he can shoot and put it on the floor equally well. Just his veteran presence alone will greatly help this young Nuggets team. With Millsap on the team, Denver will be a dangerous team in the West.
36 Al Horford—Boston—C/PF: Similar to Conley Jr., Horford has been one of the most consistent players in the NBA over the last few years. In his first season in Boston he brought leadership, post presence, and fluidity to the Celtics’ offense. He does struggle mightily with rebounding and has to improve on that as he’ll primarily be playing center.
35 Eric Bledsoe—Phoenix—PG/SG: When Bledsoe came to Phoenix back in 2013, he has been on the cusp of being an All-Star caliber guard since. But Bledsoe hasn’t been able to remain healthy and that held him back from truly breaking through. Even with that, Bledsoe has still shown that can score in multiple ways, rebound, pass, and defend. If he can stay healthy, he and Booker could form a very dangerous backcourt.
34 DeAndre Jordan—LA Clippers—C: In the year 2017, its rare see traditional back to the basket bigs left but DeAndre Jordan is one of the few elite ones left. Even though he only gets his points off of lobs and put backs, he still shot 71% from the floor. That’s just crazy. He also continues to be an absolute stud when it comes to rebounding and shot blocking. Jordan won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
33 Rudy Gobert—Utah—C: Like Jordan, Rudy Gobert is your traditional big man. He does everything Jordan does, but just a little bit better. He had career highs in points, rebounds, field goal, free throws, and blocks last year alone. What makes Gobert even more of a stud is his length. Standing at 7’1” with wingspan over 8 feet, Gobert is a defensive nightmare. He’s one of the best shot blockers in basketball and will be a favorite to win Defensive Player next year.
32 Draymond Green—Golden State—PF/SF: For Gobert to win DPY, he’ll have to take it away from Draymond Green. The 1st player to appear on the list from the defending champs, Green can do everything. Green along with James Harden, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook were the only players in the NBA to average over 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game last year. Many call Green the heart of the Warriors and it’s not hard to see why.
31 LaMarcus Aldridge—San Antonio—PF/C: Aldridge has been one of the best power forwards of the last decade. When he came to San Antonio, he took the torch from Tim Duncan and it’s worked out so far. Aldridge did begin to show some regression last year as he averaged his lowest total in points and rebounds in 9 seasons. But even with that Aldridge is still a really good player and offensive force.
Written By: Steven Santoro (SVS_1993)