Considering that there are more than 360 players in the NBA, being labeled in the top five at a given position puts a player in elite company.
To make a top-five list at his position, an NBA player has to be among the best of the best from either an offensive or a defensive standpoint—and usually he has to be great on both ends.
The NBA All-Star Game gives fans a good barometer of who the best players in the league are, but sometimes fan voting and egregious snubs can confuse the process.
In the following rankings, players who have been sidelined due to major injuries will not make the cut. For example, Derrick Rose (who hasn’t played at all this season), Rajon Rondo (torn ACL) and Kevin Love (broken hand) are all players who can’t currently put themselves in the conversation for health-related reasons.
Despite those absences from players who could make these lists when healthy, the competition for the top five at each position is still quite fierce in a league loaded with stars.
Note: All statistics in this article are accurate as of March 11, 2013 (prior to games played).