Which NY Knicks Players Did ESPN's #NBArank Overvalue and Undervalue?
ESPN's annual "#NBArank" always sparks debate, and this year's edition has been no different.
Established in 2011, the system ranks every single player in the league against each other, allowing fans to discuss the decisions using the NBArank hashtag on Twitter.
As a franchise based in one of the biggest media markets in the nation, fans of the Knicks have had a lot to say about where their players have been ranked in 2012.
It's not without good reason, though, as there have been quite a few Knicks players in this year's rankings who should probably be placed elsewhere on the list.
Let's go through the Knicks' most over- and undervalued player's from the 2012 edition of the rankings.
Carmelo Anthony: Undervalued
Should Be Ranked: Top 15
Though he's a player with his fair share of critics, it was still a shock to see Carmelo Anthony ranked outside of the top 15 players in the league today.
His style of play and unwillingness to pass have always been seen as a reason to doubt Melo, but despite this it has generally been accepted that Anthony has still been one of the league's best players over the years.
Last year was a particularly bad year for Anthony—arguably the worst of his career—but even so, he was the best player on a playoff team, which has to count for something.
More to the point, Melo was still a productive player, putting up high scoring numbers despite suffering a variety of injuries in the early portions of the season.
The way Melo closed out the season is what really should have earned him a place in the top 15, as he carried the Knicks to a fantastic finish despite injuries to Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin.
Ultimately, 2012 was a down year for Anthony, but I'm sure plenty of franchises would choose to build around him rather than a player like Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum if given the opportunity.
Kurt Thomas: Overvalued
Should Be Ranked: Around 350
Though some may consider rankings this low on the list to be of little importance, there are still some talented players to be found in the bottom half of the rankings.
These are the spots reserved for players in the back-end of the rotation. But there are probably a few more players you'd want in that role than Kurt Thomas—players who are ranked behind him.
Thomas is now the oldest player in the league, and though he's not terrible, he really doesn't bring much more to the table than the ability to use up a few fouls when needed.
Mainly due to their age, players like Ryan Gomes, Alexey Shved and Ryan Hollins all deserve a place above Thomas. They simply have more to offer at this point in their respective careers.
Amar'e Stoudemire: Undervalued
Should Be Ranked: Top 35
Having been ranked number 13 in 2011, Amar'e Stoudemire definitely deserved to be dropped down considerably after his terrible 2011-12 campaign.
Still, moving him down 30 spots was way too harsh from ESPN, especially when you consider the reasoning behind his poor performance.
Injuries were the main problem for STAT—along with the trauma of losing his brother mid-season—so it wasn't so much a regression of skills as it was a combination of external factors.
Now that he's healthy and has received the Hakeem Olajuwon treatment, Stoudemire should be ready to make his low ranking look silly with his play in 2012-13.
Ronnie Brewer: Overvalued
Should Be Ranked: Below 180
Ronnie Brewer is not a bad player by any means. He brings fantastic perimeter defense, and though he's not greatly talented on offense, he's not a liability, especially on a team like the Knicks or Bulls.
That said, there are some more well-rounded players sitting behind Brewer in this year's #NBArank, who most teams would choose over him.
This year's third overall pick in the draft, Bradley Beal, is a few spots behind Brewer, as is Gary Neal of the Spurs.
Looking at players at other positions, Raymond Felton, Tyler Hansbrough and Kemba Walker all lost out to Brewer this year, which doesn't seem quite right.
Raymond Felton: Undervalued
Should Be Ranked: Top 110
You have to be drastically bad to warrant moving down 93 places from one season to the next, but even Raymond Felton's horrible season in Portland wasn't that bad.
Yes, Felton was overweight coming into this season, and his scoring numbers dropped considerably, but the situation has been overblown.
Felton returned to form towards the end of the season, and to be fair to him, he was part of a Portland team that couldn't produce across the board for much of the year.
Clearly, Felton missed playing with a pick-and-roll partner like Amar'e Stoudemire, but now that they've been reunited, he should show flashes of the quality basketball he played in 2010-11.
Jason Kidd: Overvalued
Should Be Ranked: Around 180
Jason Kidd may be bringing to New York the veteran leadership and pass-first mentality that the Knicks so dearly crave, but looking at it from the point of view of the league as a whole, he really isn't that valuable anymore.
His assist rate is down, and his age is now enough to restrict him from playing big minutes, which makes the Knicks' decision to give him a three-year contract questionable to say the least.
In a league where more and more athleticism is coming into the point guard position, Kidd's value is rapidly declining, and this should be reflected more clearly in the rankings.
If nothing else, Kidd should be behind the player he'll be backing up next season, but instead he's almost 20 places ahead of Raymond Felton.