While the NBA is full of the best basketball players in the world, these 20 are the best of the best heading into the 2012-13 season.
From a 20-year-old Wunderkind to the reining MVP, each of these standouts is fully capable of carrying his team to victory on any given night. They're just that good.
There is one twist to these rankings, though. You'll notice that some prominent names are missing, and that's because of a key phrase in the title: "Heading into 2012-13 Season."
These are current rankings, and individual production will be taken into account during the season for any future rankings that come out. As a result, currently injured players are not eligible.
My arbitrary decision was to exclude any player who is not expected to suit up for the next two weeks. That means that you won't be seeing Derrick Rose, Dirk Nowitzki or Kevin Love, although all three are certainly elite players when healthy.
Let's see how the top 20 stacks up right now.