2022 Top 125 Players Ranked in Tiers - The Athletic

DGreenwood

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 2, 2003
2,042
Seattle
Seth Partnow at The Athletic has done this ranking for three years now.

So far he's listed tiers 5, 4, and 3. Tier 2 comes out tomorrow and Tier 1 on Friday. Each tier is broken up into sub-tiers. Players in the same sub-tier are listed alphabetically, not by rank. Because it's a pay site, I'll list just the Celtics in tier 5, 4, and 3. When Tier 2 and Tier 1 come out, I'll list all of those players since it's just the top 19 players.


Project Summary and Tier 5 (players 85-125)
Grant Williams


Tier 4 (players 41-84)
Al Horford (sub-tier 4A, players 41-59)
Marcus Smart (sub-tier 4A, players 41-59)
Robert Williams III (sub-tier 4A, players 41-59)

Derick White (sub-tier 4B, players 60-84)
Malcolm Brodgon (sub-tier 4B, players 60-84)


Tier 3 (players 20-40)
Jaylen Brown (sub-tier 3A, players 20-24)


Tier 2 (players 9-19)
Jayson Tatum (sub-tier 2A, players 9-10)
Jimmy Butler (sub-tier 2A, players 9-10)

Anthony Davis (sub-tier 2B, players 11-14)
Ja Morant (sub-tier 2B, players 11-14)
James Harden (sub-tier 2B, players 11-14)
Trae Young (sub-tier 2B, players 11-14)

Chris Paul (sub-tier 2C, players 15-19)
Damian Lillard (sub-tier 2C, players 15-19)
Devin Booker (sub-tier 2C, players 15-19)
Paul George (sub-tier 2C, players 15-19)
Rudy Gobert (sub-tier 2C, players 15-19)

Tier 1 (players 1-8)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (sub-tier 1A, players 1-4)
Kevin Durant (sub-tier 1A, players 1-4)
Nikola Jokic (sub-tier 1A, players 1-4)
Steph Curry (sub-tier 1A, players 1-4)

Joel Embiid (sub-tier 1B, players 5-6)
Luka Doncic (sub-tier 1B, players 5-6)

Kawhi Leonard (sub-tier 1C, players 7-8)
LeBron James (sub-tier 1C, players 7-8)
 
Last edited:

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
8,348
NYC
Tier 1: Steph, Giannis, Jokic, Durant, LeBron, Luka, Tatum, Embiid? That’s 8, tho. Who gets kicked out?
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,307
Tier 1: Steph, Giannis, Jokic, Durant, LeBron, Luka, Tatum, Embiid? That’s 8, tho. Who gets kicked out?
Tatum, Durant, or Luka, but I think Tatum. Here's why.

1. LeBron is still considered one of the very best players in the world. Top 5, minimum. He's not leaving this list.
2. Steph just smoked Tatum and the Celtics for the championship. He's in the top 7.
3. Giannis is a recent 2-time MVP, probably the best player in the world right now.
4. Jokic is the reigning 2-time MVP.
5. Embiid is a 4x All-NBA player, 2nd in the MVP in '21, 2nd in the MVP in '22.

Those 5 are locks. Then it's down to these three:

6. Durant - still Kevin Durant. Even though Tatum whipped him in the playoffs, I still think you're not going to find any top-7 NBA list without Durant on it.
7. Luka - 5th in MVP in '22, 6th in '21, 4th in '20, so last 3 years, top-6 in MVP voting.
8. Tatum - there's still a lot to like about his resumé, and I think he's better than Durant at this point, but I think if there's a list that's going to be made, those first 5 are locks, Luka has a better resumé (at least in terms of MVP voting), and Durant is still Durant. Plus, Tatum's finals against GS was rough, and I think that may play a role, as silly as it is, because Durant's series against the Celtics was WAY worse, but I don't think that will matter as much, even though that's unfair to Tatum.

Long story short....my prediction is that Tatum is #8, with Booker #9, just outside the top 7, who I think will be LeBron, Steph, Giannis, Jokic, Embiid, Luka, and Durant, not in that order.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
27,536
Tier 1: Steph, Giannis, Jokic, Durant, LeBron, Luka, Tatum, Embiid? That’s 8, tho. Who gets kicked out?
It's Partnow, so Gobert might be in there

Edit- in seriousness last year was:
1A: Giannis, Durant, Lebron
1B: Harden, Kawhi, Jokic, Steph
2A: AD, Embiid, Luka

I assume Luka and Embiid move up, Harden and Kawhi move down.

Tatum was 2C. (behind a 2B tier of Lillard, Butler, PG13, and GOBERT)... think his multi-year weighting and not future projecting means Tatum is still Tier 2.
 
Last edited:

DGreenwood

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 2, 2003
2,042
Seattle
For all of the reasons mentioned above, I think it'll be Luka and Embiid that replace Harden and Kawhi. Tatum will move from 2C to 2A.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
19,286
Can Embiid make it out of the second round for once?

I'd probably tier the top by:

Tier 1: Giannis

Tier 2: Steph, Jokic, Luka, Durant, Tatum

Tier 3: LeBron, Embiid, Booker

Kawhi needs to like....play basketball to warrant serious consideration. Until that happens I'm passing on him.

It's hard to do these things because you are comparing players at different parts of their career.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
8,348
NYC
Can Embiid make it out of the second round for once?
Yeah, he was my first thought for whom to boot, since he’s the only one without an MVP or a conference finals appearance. But really, if that’s hard to figure out whom to boot, shouldn’t the first tier be 8 guys? There seems (to me) like a much clearer drop-off between that group and #9 (Booker, Kawhi, Ja, Butler?)
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
27,536
You are all crazy with the Embiid stuff. He was the runner up for MVP the last 2 years in a row, he should clearly be top 7 and easily.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
28,196
Certainly someone who has Gobert as high as Partnow does is not focusing on team playoff success sufficiently for it to harm Embiid.

To me the reason it is tough to rate Embiid over Tatum is that whatever you think Embiid's advantage is in the 170 games played they each had over the last three years, there's also 36 games Tatum played where Embiid put up a zero because he didn't play. If you think there's any math that makes that up, happy to hear it but I think stepping back unless you say availability doesn't matter there's really no case for Embiid---you simply can't make up that big a games played difference in a model that is not trying to project forward. We're not talking about one year with a big injury---it's double-digits games every year. Embiid is good and I can understand the case he's better in the games he plays, but he simply doesn't play enough of them
 

djbayko

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
21,172
Los Angeles, CA
It's hard to do these things because you are comparing players at different parts of their career.
Why do you believe this? Isn’t their on court ability their on court ability, regardless of age (or rather with age already factored in)? Of course, that’s how I’m looking at it - not as any sort of future value, such as “what player would I pick to start a franchise with if I were GM?” Because otherwise, someone like Lebron is way down the list.
 
Last edited:

NavaHo

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 29, 2010
288
I'm less focused on Tatum's status and more blown away at the thought that, per this model, the Celtics have SEVEN guys in the top 84, meaning that all seven would be top 3 guys on a team if talent was equally distributed throughout the league. That feels a touch bullish for White and maybe Brogdon (given his injuries), but wow what a squad they've got.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
28,196
I agree, the depth---while also have two top 25ish guys--is spectacular.

I also agree (consistent with my Embiid post) that for Brogdon the injuries make the placement uncertain. White, to me, has shown he's really good over a pretty large sample. He's not a great offensive player, but he's versatile and a combination of "very good defender, good to average at everything else" is actually a somewhat rare combination
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
16,735
Somewhere
Giannis-Jokic-Embiid are going to be top three and any combination of the other guys will probably round out the 7 by that measure.
 

RorschachsMask

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2011
3,134
Lynn
It’s not just the depth for me, it’s the combination of that with a legitimate top end talent. Usually you have one or the other, the superstar without the depth, or vice versa.

Team has a top 7/8 guy, a top 25ish guy, and then five guys anywhere between 40-70ish. They are freaking LOADED.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
8,069
around the way
Fwiw, by DARKO (not a ranking tool caveat...) It does not like Brogdon (bit of a surprise) and Grant (not a surprise).

Tier 5 (players 85-125)
nobody

Tier 4 (players 41-84)
Horford (49)
White (77)

Tier 3 (players 20-40)
R Williams (23)
Smart (32)

Tier 2 (players 8-19)
Brown (14)

Tier 1 (players 1-7)
Tatum (3)

53233
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
19,286
You are all crazy with the Embiid stuff. He was the runner up for MVP the last 2 years in a row, he should clearly be top 7 and easily.
How many of these players do you think Joel Embiid is better than:

Giannis
Curry
Jokic
Doncic
Tatum
LeBron
Durant
 

RorschachsMask

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2011
3,134
Lynn
This is where the top 7 guys all rank with the top 4 advanced stats (according to nba execs). I was going to do top 5, but single season RAPM isn’t the best. Like Jimbodandy said, this isn’t a ranking system, but does give an idea.

Tatum
DPM: 3rd
EPM: 7th (tied)
LEBRON: 5th
RAPTOR: 5th

Jaylen
DPM: 14th
EPM: 48th (Closer to around 30 if you take ties into account)
LEBRON: 60th (They underrate his defense)
RAPTOR: 41st (30ish with ties)

Smart
DPM: 32nd
EPM: 39th
LEBRON: 40th
RAPTOR: 28th

Rob
DPM: 23rd
EPM: 25th
LEBRON: 39th
RAPTOR: 37th

Al
DPM: 49th
EPM: 42nd
LEBRON: 7th (Had his defense much higher than the rest)
RAPTOR: 24th

Brogdon
DPM:153rd
EPM: 80th
LEBRON: 37th
RAPTOR: 70th

White
DPM: 77th
EPM: 41st
LEBRON: 97th(30th last year)
RAPTOR: 19th

Even with the lower outliers, this team is incredibly talented by pretty much every measure
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,307
How many of these players do you think Joel Embiid is better than:

Giannis
Curry
Jokic
Doncic
Tatum
LeBron
Durant
You didn't ask me that, but the answer is: Who knows, but no guy that has finished #2 in the NBA MVP voting two years in a row is going to be listed outside the top 7. That would make NO sense at all.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
19,286
You didn't ask me that, but the answer is: Who knows, but no guy that has finished #2 in the NBA MVP voting two years in a row is going to be listed outside the top 7. That would make NO sense at all.
MVP voting is not a direct equivalence to being the best player; otherwise there would be little conversation about who the best player in the NBA is because it would undisputedly be Nikola Jokic, with back-to-back MVPs. MVP voting considers a lot of factors that are separate from the discussion of ranking NBA Players based on their ability; they include all sorts of narrative considerations, the perceived impact of teammates, the number of regular season wins and coaching.

If I'm looking at a list of the best players in the NBA, I'm looking more closely at their postseason accomplishments than their regular season accomplishments and thinking about one critical question: Which player gives me the best chance of winning a championship regardless of supporting cast?

Embiid, who has gone out with a whimper once again, has the worst playoff resume out of that group of 8. He has never made it out of the second round, when all of the seven players listed with him have, even players like Doncic and Jokic who have had pretty weak supporting casts, relative to their peers. Tatum, four years younger than Embiid, has made it to three conference finals already. Giannis, the same age as Joel Embiid, has made it twice and won a title. Durant, Steph and LeBron obviously cannot be compared given their length of their careers, but we all know what they have accomplished. Embiid as an individual player guarantees you very little in the post season.

It's a very simple question; if Embiid has to be ranked in the top seven, you have to pick someone from that group that you would pick Embiid over. It's not crazy to say that Embiid is currently better than Tatum, Luka or even LeBron, but I personally would rate all of those players above him.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,307
I agree that it's not a 1-1 deal but anyone who has for two years in a row been a top 2 MVP candidate is surely at least a top 7 player in the league.

So I don't know if he's "better" than any of those top 7, but he surely won't be out of the top 7 on a list like the one we're talking about.
 
Last edited:

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
27,536
/
How many of these players do you think Joel Embiid is better than:

Giannis
Curry
Jokic
Doncic
Tatum
LeBron
Durant
3-4 minimum if we're talking right now, and if we're using Pelton's system which we are.
He's been a top 2-5 player both the last 2 years, and he's not only in the same offensive neighborhood as most all those guys he's also at worst the 2nd best defender on that list.
If we want to use advanced metrics he was:
3rd in RAPTOR last year, 2nd the year before, has 2 of the top 5 of the combined year top RAPTORs (3rd and in a 3 way tie for 5th)
2nd in DPM
3rd in LEBRON
2nd in EPM.

Embiid is a ridiculously good player, if he were on the Celtics we'd likely have at least 18 banners.

Edit- there are arguments why you might prefer to have some other guys on that list over him going forward 3-5 years, and why you might prefer the past performance of others, but right now.... he's a no doubt top 4-5 player in the NBA
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
38,746
This is where the top 7 guys all rank with the top 4 advanced stats (according to nba execs). I was going to do top 5, but single season RAPM isn’t the best. Like Jimbodandy said, this isn’t a ranking system, but does give an idea.

Tatum
DPM: 3rd
EPM: 7th (tied)
LEBRON: 5th
RAPTOR: 5th

Jaylen
DPM: 14th
EPM: 48th (Closer to around 30 if you take ties into account)
LEBRON: 60th (They underrate his defense)
RAPTOR: 41st (30ish with ties)

Smart
DPM: 32nd
EPM: 39th
LEBRON: 40th
RAPTOR: 28th

Rob
DPM: 23rd
EPM: 25th
LEBRON: 39th
RAPTOR: 37th

Al
DPM: 49th
EPM: 42nd
LEBRON: 7th (Had his defense much higher than the rest)
RAPTOR: 24th

Brogdon
DPM:153rd
EPM: 80th
LEBRON: 37th
RAPTOR: 70th

White
DPM: 77th
EPM: 41st
LEBRON: 97th(30th last year)
RAPTOR: 19th

Even with the lower outliers, this team is incredibly talented by pretty much every measure
Damn, Daniel. Oh and Vault Stevens as well.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
5,187
Imaginationland
Embiid is damn good, but citing his back to back MVP runner up finishes is just about as relevant to the discussion as pointing out the fact that he's the only guy on this list to never have made 1st team all-NBA. Given that a major part of the criteria here (per the Athletic) is playoff viability and success, it's not crazy to have Tatum in over Embiid.

That said, if Tatum makes the top 7 I think it's gonna be over Durant. Durant will be 34, and over the last 3 years he's played 90 games and won just 1 playoff series.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
8,348
NYC
I agree that it's not a 1-1 deal but anyone who has for two years in a row been a top 2 MVP candidate is surely at least a top 7 player in the league.

So I don't know if he's "better" than any of those top 7, but he surely won't be out of the top 7 on a list like the one we're talking about.
Westbrook had three straight seasons in which he was #4, #4, and #1 in MVP voting. Are we sure he was a top 7 NBA player in all those years? It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s a given.

No knock on Embiid, who I think is an amazing player. I was just musing that if you had to boot someone from the list of eight, he’s a possibility, as the only player on the list without an MVP or a conference finals appearance. I could see an argument for Luka or Tatum as well, though I’d personally put them both a hair above Embiid. But as I said, my preference would be to draw the tier cut-off line after #8.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,307
Westbrook had three straight seasons in which he was #4, #4, and #1 in MVP voting. Are we sure he was a top 7 NBA player in all those years? It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s a given.

Non knock on Embiid, who I think is an amazing player. I was just musing that if you had to boot someone from the list of eight, he’s a possibility, as the only player on the list without an MVP or a conference finals appearance. I could see an argument for Luka or Tatum as well, though I’d personally put them both a hair above Embiid. But as I said, my preference would be to draw the tier cut-off line after #8.
I don't know that if he was the best player in any of those individual seasons, but if you have a guy constantly in the top 4 the MVP race, I mean....the guy has to be an absolutely elite, elite, elite player. One year, you can think it was an aberration. Three years in a row, and you have to say ok, the guy is one of the very very best players in the sport. At least in my mind.
 

tbb345

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
4,232
I'm less focused on Tatum's status and more blown away at the thought that, per this model, the Celtics have SEVEN guys in the top 84, meaning that all seven would be top 3 guys on a team if talent was equally distributed throughout the league. That feels a touch bullish for White and maybe Brogdon (given his injuries), but wow what a squad they've got.
Grant was also in Tier 5.

So eight in the top 125…it’s a damn good team
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
19,286
/

3-4 minimum if we're talking right now, and if we're using Pelton's system which we are.
He's been a top 2-5 player both the last 2 years, and he's not only in the same offensive neighborhood as most all those guys he's also at worst the 2nd best defender on that list.
If we want to use advanced metrics he was:
3rd in RAPTOR last year, 2nd the year before, has 2 of the top 5 of the combined year top RAPTORs (3rd and in a 3 way tie for 5th)
2nd in DPM
3rd in LEBRON
2nd in EPM.

Embiid is a ridiculously good player, if he were on the Celtics we'd likely have at least 18 banners.

Edit- there are arguments why you might prefer to have some other guys on that list over him going forward 3-5 years, and why you might prefer the past performance of others, but right now.... he's a no doubt top 4-5 player in the NBA
Who are the 3-4 players you'd put Embiid ahead of?
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
8,069
around the way
Doncic is overrated here and elsewhere. He's not a top 7 player right now if you only look at offense, nevermind if you include his bad defense. He's closer to the Kyrie, Mitchell tier of player than Tatum and Embiid.
 

CreedBratton

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2009
3,587
Doncic is overrated here and elsewhere. He's not a top 7 player right now if you only look at offense, nevermind if you include his bad defense. He's closer to the Kyrie, Mitchell tier of player than Tatum and Embiid.
LOL what an insane take. Luka is incredible and an all time talent. His offense is on another level.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
27,536
Who are the 3-4 players you'd put Embiid ahead of?
Luka, Tatum, current LeBron (his defense has fallen and he can't stay healthy) for sure. Solid case for him ahead of the current version of Durant (also has health issues and his defense has slipped, but his offense is so good I could see the case for him). He's in the tier of Giannis/Steph/Jokic as every year top 5 guys for the last few years.

Honestly there should be zero debate about Embiid in the top 7, last 2 years he's been a true elite offensive player and a DPOY candidate, neither Luka nor Tatum has had even 1 year as good as either of his last 2.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
19,286
Luka assassinated a 64 win Phoenix team with Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber as his best teammates.

Some BAD takes here.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
27,536
Luka assassinated a 64 win Phoenix team with Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber as his best teammates.

Some BAD takes here.
I mean, nobody is saying he's bad, but one mid-playoff series does not have any impact on how I grade players compared to say... an entire season or even two, especially when we're comparing elite players.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
8,069
around the way
I mean, nobody is saying he's bad, but one mid-playoff series does not have any impact on how I grade players compared to say... an entire season or even two, especially when we're comparing elite players.
Yeah Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell looked lile Zeus and Apollo throwing firebolts at the league for a couple of weeks in the bubble, and nobody has them top 7 either.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
19,286
Frankly I'd love to hear a compelling statistical argument for Luka as top 7 player. "Duh. Of course he is." is not an argument.
If you are going to point to him ranking in the mid 90s in TS% as a counter point, I don't really see that as any more valid than "duh of course he is" if I'm being honest.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
5,187
Imaginationland
Frankly I'd love to hear a compelling statistical argument for Luka as top 7 player. "Duh. Of course he is." is not an argument.
Over his last three years (ages 20-22), he averaged 28/9/9 and made 1st team all-nba all 3 years. That's just regular season. He is 2nd all-time in playoff ppg (relatively small sample size maybe, but legit bonkers when you realize that 13 of his 28 playoff games were against the Kawhi/George Clippers) and he just made a run to the conference finals without any remotely all-star caliber teammates.

To not have him as a top 7 player at this point is an outlier opinion. Will there player ranking lists out there that don't have him in the top 7 at this point? I'd say definitely not.
 

jmcc5400

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2000
3,878
Could Tatum have taken that Dallas team to the conference finals? I love him, but I’m very skeptical.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
8,069
around the way
Over his last three years (ages 20-22), he averaged 28/9/9 and made 1st team all-nba all 3 years. That's just regular season. He is 2nd all-time in playoff ppg (relatively small sample size maybe, but legit bonkers when you realize that 13 of his 28 playoff games were against the Kawhi/George Clippers) and he just made a run to the conference finals without any remotely all-star caliber teammates.

To not have him as a top 7 player at this point is an outlier opinion. Will there player ranking lists out there that don't have him in the top 7 at this point? I'd say definitely not.
Box score stats don't do anything for me, nor the MVP/all-NBA argument. Westbrook and Harden have MVPs. Lots of guys who haven't done shit put up great counting stats.

Raptor has him at 6. Lebron and Darko don't have him even in the top 10, somewhat far down. If you believe in BBRef win shares, he's way down the list. But BPM has him at 4. Statistical jury is still out on the consensus top7 thing.

Opinion on Luka will depend on how much one values defense (he's bad) and efficiency (he's good but not great) versus offense and counting stats. Also, I suppose, on which defensive assessments people believe.

To be fair, he's not done improving and some of the guys that are clearly better players are old fucks and injury risks. He'll probably be a top 7 player. I just don't think that he is now.
 
Last edited:

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
8,069
around the way
Could Tatum have taken that Dallas team to the conference finals? I love him, but I’m very skeptical.
Where were all of you "dragging teams to the conference finals" people when I was arguing that Kareem as #1 talk was hogwash since he had 1 ring before meeting Magic as a 32yo.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
5,187
Imaginationland
LEBRON has Horford, Porzingis, Whiteside and Myles Turner (among other players) ahead of Luka. BBRef win shares has guys like Timelord, Mitchell Robinson, Capela and Dwight Powell over Luka. I'll take even generic box score stats over some of these advanced ratings (which VASTLY overestimate high efficiency low volume bigs who can't create their own offense), thanks. They've got their uses, but like any black box formula need to be taken with a few handfuls of salt.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
15,355
Santa Monica
Could Tatum have taken that Dallas team to the conference finals? I love him, but I’m very skeptical.
It's possible. Tatum has played in 3 Eastern Conference Finals in 5yrs. He was the Celtic's best player, in the playoffs, on all 3 of those teams. While not flashy, he's a very underrated defender.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
8,069
around the way
LEBRON has Horford, Porzingis, Whiteside and Myles Turner (among other players) ahead of Luka. BBRef win shares has guys like Timelord, Mitchell Robinson, Capela and Dwight Powell over Luka. I'll take even generic box score stats over some of these advanced ratings (which VASTLY overestimate high efficiency low volume bigs who can't create their own offense), thanks.
Of course there are mistakes. Defaulting to box score stats is not the answer. Nor is cherry picking, which is why I posted all of them despite being a Darko guy.

If anyone here thinks that Westbrook was the best player in the world while winning MVP and putting up triple doubles for a whole season, then we're watching different sports.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,506
How many of these players do you think Joel Embiid is better than:

Giannis
Curry
Jokic
Doncic
Tatum
LeBron
Durant
LeBron. Don’t get me wrong, he’s one of my all time favorites. But the LeBronimator is gone and never coming back. He makes these lists as an Emeritus Selection. The man has barely played defense these last few years. Once you add in the mounting injuries you have a guy that belongs at the end of any top ten list. Which is still incredible given his age. But his days of being a legitimate top 8 player in the league are over.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,506
Could Tatum have taken that Dallas team to the conference finals? I love him, but I’m very skeptical.
Yes. Here’s the dirty little secret, the western conference isn’t very good anymore. And getting worse as it looks like the Jazz are nuking things and sending yet another all star east. And Dallas’s defense gets dominant by swapping out a guy that they have to hide for one capable of defending the best wings in the game.