Welcome to part 6 of my top 100 NBA players list. We have finally made to the top 50 guys! So let’s get into it guys.
50 Jabari Parker—Milwaukee—SF/PF: It has been an up and down career for Jabari Parker to say the least. When he’s been healthy, Parker has shown superstar potential. But Parker is only 22 years old and he’s torn ACL, twice. While these two tears seem to be more freak coincidences than a connected tissue, you have to be worried about Parker’s durability. If Parker gets past this again, it’s the only thing stopping him from becoming a scoring machine.
49 Brook Lopez—LA Lakers—C: Lopez to the Lakers has to be one of the most underrated moves of the offseason. He’s a legit 7 footer, a consistent 20 point scorer, and now a surprisingly good 3 point shooter. In his 1st 8 seasons, he shot 3 of 31 from three, but last year alone he shot 134 of 387 (35%). Welcome to the NBA in 2017.
48 Nikola Vucevic—Orlando—C: It’s hard to imagine back in 2012 when the Magic traded Dwight Howard that they would have ended up winning the trade. But they did. The Lakers got Dwight Howard, the Nuggets got Andre Iguodala, the Sixers got Andrew Bynum, and the Magic got Nikola Vucevic. Howard and Iguodala were on those teams for 1 year and Bynum never played for the Sixers. As for Vucevic, he’s only been averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds in 5 seasons with the Magic.
47 Dwight Howard—Charlotte—C: See what I did there? Ever since Howard left Orlando, he hasn’t been the same. At 31, he doesn’t poses the athleticism he had in his prime and that kills a player like him; especially because he can’t shoot. Now in Charlotte, Howard looks to revive his career once again. He and Kemba Walker should form a nice inside-outside; but with Howard’s personality, you never know.
46 Goran Dragic—Miami—PG: With Dwyane Wade leaving last year, Dragic stepped up to fill in the scoring gap and he didn’t disappoint. He scored a career high 20.3 points per game and was a candidate to make the East All-Star team last year. He also showed a lot more leadership and almost got the Heat back into the playoffs. Expect another good year ahead for Dragic.
45 Devin Booker—Phoenix—SG: Devin Booker already has a 70 point game in his career and he can’t even legally drink. For someone his age, its remarkable how good of a shooter/scorer he already is. He’s on a path to superstardom and has supplanted Eric Bledsoe as the face of the franchise. He does need to work on his one on one defense but he’ll have plenty of time to work on that.
44 Khris Middleton—Milwaukee—SG/SF: Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, and Giannis Antetokounmpo quietly form one of the better “Big 3s” in basketball. Focusing on Middleton, he is one of the more complete players in all of basketball. He can score, shoot, rebound, pass, and defend. Plus he can play 3 different positions with ease (SG/SF/PF). Now that he’s healthy, expect a good year in Milwaukee.
43 Andre Drummond—Detroit—C: While Andre Drummond is still considered a young talent, there is a growing concern about his development. Drummond is still a player that gets his offense off of put backs and lobs and not so much off of jump shots or post moves. He’s going to enter his 6th year in the league so it’s time for him to expand his game. Considering he’s one of the 3 best rebounders in basketball, adding a post-game would make him an All-Star caliber player.
42 Dennis Schroder—Atlanta—PG: The only player from the Hawks to appear on the list, Schroder will be the only good thing to come out from Atlanta. After letting Paul Millsap go and trading Dwight Howard for a box of pencils, they are going into full tank mode. Schroder had a career year last year and I expect him to exceed those stats this year on this rebuilding team.
41 Andrew Wiggins—Minnesota—SF/SG: Andrew Wiggins was the most hyped draft pick since LeBron James and so far he’s living up to the hype. He’s missed 1 game in 1st 3 seasons and averaged over 23 points a game last year. He’s also a solid defender overall. But what continues to plague Wiggins is that he still appears to be a one trick pony. He’s not a good passer or rebounder and he’s still underweight. If he can gain 15 pounds, that would help him drastically.
Written By: Steven Santoro (SVS_1993)