In a complex matchup, there’s no one you’d trust more than James to tease out a winning strategy. That makes Griffin more than a bit revolutionary. The only thing keeping him in the Top 100 mix is the possibility for change. One is the player at the top of this list. It makes sense to pair McCollum with another playmaker, most of which tend to be his size or smaller. There’s also a penalty in the fact that James disregarded one side of the ball for the bulk of last season. It certainly was; Hayward looked himself only in flashes, after which he would recede from view. What a relief it is that in his first playoff appearance, Nikola Jokić was kind enough to dismiss the most prominent concerns around his game. Damian Lillard walks that line as well as anyone in the league. Considering the circumstances, that reaction was perfectly understandable. Another is the rise of a new class of stars, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo. That’s being a bad teammate. Yet if Iguodala isn’t in the right locker room or even in the right mood, his cantankerousness could cause more problems than it ever did for the Warriors. Yet every system has its complications. There’s something in his game for everybody. Yet what goes unsaid in every scoring total is that the shots that made it possible could have gone to better use. It’s still fair to wonder if Butler is quite good enough to carry a high-level team as its best player, though simply having him around opens up a wide variety of adjustments. There is virtue in filling a role that others couldn’t, but less so when it all leads to somewhat ambiguous ends. If they can’t go under a ball screen for Fox, they’ll have to beat him in a footrace around it. Some of that was the byproduct of Boston’s ensemble last season. Malcolm Brogdon is a combo guard because he satisfies both positions equally, allowing him to be paired with a guard of almost any kind. There will be passes around bigger, longer defenders that he can’t quite manage. -- Bontemps. There’s a lot left to do, but on a timeline and trajectory that feel plausible. Expect him to make a big move in the Top 100 of 2021, one way or another. If it’s rim protection, Favors has shown he can suppress opponents’ percentages around the basket and ranked eighth in the league in block rate, ahead of Joel Embiid. If Brown only turns out to be the uneven contributor he was last season, he would still help his team win. Two starters departed, but AJ Green decided to withdraw from the draft and head back to Northern Iowa. If there’s no angle, he won’t drive. The 2018-19 season was Kevin Love’s worst as a Cavalier, a confluence of injury, apathy, and a franchise reboot. Keeping on the move is a foolproof way to add juice to an offense, but it also demands that a player put everything they’ve learned into practice without much time for consideration. All the ingredients are there: playmakers and scorers in the backcourt, depth and size down low -- and now there's an X factor in Pons, who can make plays at both ends of the floor. Utah should give him that opportunity, and with it his first real shot at contention in a half-decade or so. Ja'vonte Smart was next to decide and will once again run the show as the team's starting point guard. Where players like Giannis Antetokounmpo rely on the spacing created by others, Harden makes his own with a game-breaking step-back. Although the 2020 draft is too far away to reasonably predict the team order, this gives a sense of picks owed and owned. Lean on Covington to lock down on defense and spread the floor on offense and the work of building a winning team becomes substantially easier. But can we even assume that Leonard will maintain the same approach? It’s not entirely his fault, but there are reasons why Randle hasn’t yet been to the playoffs or been on a team that won more than 35 games. The key is the way he keeps his options open. Who doesn’t need the kind of competitor who can raise his game for every playoffs? It was close to a best-case scenario for Irving’s individual performance on the court, even as problems swirled off of it. He has an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine, so hopefully he will get the chance to display his talent. There’s always a catch. (A special thanks, as always, to those resources that make this list possible: Basketball-Reference, NBA.com, ESPN.com, Cleaning the Glass, and Synergy Sports.). Incoming rookies were not included. If not, he’s still a versatile defender and a challenging matchup – only with strings attached. Joe was hampered by a knee injury last season, missing six games. He was known as "The Big Fundamental," dominating for nearly two decades on both ends of the floor with textbook simplicity, such as his midrange bank shot and perfect position defense. The 21-year-old has a lot of the qualities teams look for in a centerpiece prospect: three-level scoring, strong defensive fundamentals, positional fluidity—Tatum even has an NBA proof of concept with his performance in the 2018 playoffs. With Isaiah Joe's decision to return to Fayetteville, Arkansas has one of the best offensive players in the SEC to go with a top-10 recruiting class and the addition of six transfers. Some further decline is inevitable. Teammates adore him. Brogdon has just enough defense (with a 6’5’’ frame), shooting (42.6% from three), and shake (Brogdon averaged an impressive 19.7 points per 36 minutes last season) to bring most any lineup together. It’s a rare mix for a reason, considering that players who operate with the ball and without it tend to develop along different tracks. With him ranked No. The defense is, at best, inattentive. Where others would panic, he waits, dancing with his defender as he tracks the rest of the action. Given all that, we can say unequivocally that Booker is not the reason that the Suns have been a terrible basketball team. The scoring he contributes goes beyond his 13.9 PPG, considering that Adams is near the top of the league in screen assists. Some aspects of Bledsoe’s game (namely his defense and physicality) translate brilliantly to postseason basketball. It’s because of him that the Warriors could daydream about replacing Harrison Barnes with a future Hall of Famer, and then go out and do it. There’s no one frame of reference to understand what Millsap brings to a team. We used the same projected standing from ESPN's Basketball Power Index for the 2019 draft in this 2020 edition. If Davis doesn’t play with the right kind of playmakers, it becomes slightly more difficult for him to access the best parts of his game consistently.
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