With free agency just days away I get so triggered with how many players are labeled “a top 5 player in the NBA“. There are like 9 different top 5 players.
So I’m giving the OFFICIAL Splittingtens NBA top 15 players ranking based on my limited knowledge of the NBA. I picked 15 because that’s where I felt the ELITE players ended. I’m basing this on having this player healthy for next year’s regular season (so they need to maintain team chemistry!) and playoffs.
- Kevin Durant – This is going to get shit on since Kawhi just pwned the NBA, but KD was better before he got hurt. He just was. I know health is part of the game, but if he stayed healthy, he’d have won his 3rd straight Finals MVP and everyone would be saying he’s the best player on the planet and Kawhi’s great but needs more help.
- Kawhi Leonard – You could obviously put Kawhi #1 and I wouldn’t argue much. He’s a great example of not needing to win the regular season and taking it to another level for the playoffs.
- Lebron James – This season was his first glimpse of being human. He’s still great, but his reign over the league as definitive #1 player has been taken in my opinion.
- Paul George – This will get poo-poo’d. Before his shoulder injury he was a legit contender for MVP this season. A monster on both ends and shooting the lights out from 3. Give him someone other than Russ and he can be the best player on a championship team.
- Steph Curry – Greatest shooter ever and I don’t blame him for the loss. He changed the league, but it’s starting to catch up to him. Not really, but a little bit. And he’s meh on defense.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo – Odd to put the MVP at 6 but he needs to be a little more polished from 3 and his inexperience showed a bit in the playoffs. He’ll get better though, and he dominates physically.
- Anthony Davis – Hard to gauge, especially in the playoffs, since he never had a great supporting cast and frankly I haven’t watched him that much, but routinely labeled a ‘top five player‘ by analysts. Not pumped he’ll be a Laker and I’ll be rooting against them this season.
- Damian Lillard – Over Harden?! Harden’s basically a slightly better version of Dame, but I’ll take the team chemistry and not relying on the refs giving you calls during the playoffs.
- James Harden – Can’t deny his scoring ability. But as I said above, his style doesn’t translate as well to the playoffs and he’s too much of a one-man-band.
- Nikola Jokic – I only really watched him play in the playoffs but he’s a stud big man. And he’s basically fat which is awesome. I think some would argue he should be higher.
- Joel Embiid – Arguably could be higher since I’m assuming he’s healthy, but shrunk at moments in the playoffs and he still has too many obvious flaws (turnovers, 3s) in his game to be truly top tier.
- Klay Thompson – Klay is hard to rank because he’s never been the best player on his team, and people will say this is too high, but I’m a Klay believer. Elite defender, ridiculous shooter.
- Kyrie Irving – He’s a nut and apparently hard to get along with, but he hits big shots and can finish around the rim as well as any player in the league.
- Russell Westbrook – I’ve been on the anti-Russ train for about 6 years now. He’d be near the top of the most-exciting-to-watch rankings, but his run of being a top player in the league is over, and the past two seasons (where he averaged a triple double!!) are proof.
- Karl Anthony Towns / Rudy Gobert – I don’t watch either of these guys play so I’m putting them together. Deal with it.
Honorable Mention: Oladipo, Butler, Draymond
So there it is. The OFFICIAL rankings. Argue all you want, but these are right.