NBA Primetime's Top 26-50 Heading Into The '09-'10 NBA Season
Since NBA Primetime is fairly new, this will be the official part two of a four part series which will include power rankings from No.1 through No. 100.
In addition, the top 100 rankings will also be updated periodically throughout the '09-'10 NBA season.
These rankings are based on the players impact to their team, career averages, potential and upside, and overall championship swagger.
It has been almost a month since breaking down the Top 25 best players in the game today.
NBA Primetime presents the Top 26-50 heading into the '09-'10 NBA season.
26. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
At the age of 35, Nash continues to remain as a top tier point-guard in the NBA today. After four continuous seasons of averaging 10 plus APG, Nash averaged just under 10 (9.7 APG) last season. Nash signed a two-year extension worth around $22 million and will slowly begin to decline within the next season or two.
27. Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz
Boozer will start the season off in a Jazz uniform whether he likes it or not. Although a trade could possibly be in the works, Boozer's on court performance should be no different from any other season before, aside from slightly improving last years numbers. With health always an issue for the power-forward (played 81 games only twice in a season throughout his seven year career) being ranked at 27 is nothing more than a perfect fit.
28. Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic
Lewis posted off the chart numbers during the postseason for the Magic last season, knocking down clutch jumpers while shooting just under 40% from beyond the three-point arc. Shard's averages are expected to drop during the upcoming season due to the offseason acquisition of superstar Vince Carter, but being in the midst of his prime, Lewis's numbers should remain around 18 PPG, while competing for another most three-pointers made title.
29. Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers
Odom opted to re-sign with the Lakers even after his minor feud with owner Jerry Buss earlier this offseason. At the age of 29, Odom enters the season with the mindset of simply doing whatever it takes to put another ring on his finger. With Artest now on LA's roster Odom's numbers will certainly take a hit and his fantasy value might drop a bit, but his impact to the Lakers success will definitely not go unnoticed.
30. Allen Iverson, Memphis Grizzlies
Iverson's health and last season production places The Answer at 30 instead of within the top 15. We all know what AI is capable of doing on the court night in and night out, but at the age of 34 will he be able to produce consistently while avoiding the injury bug? A big question that can only be answered once the season begins.
31. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
With all the publicity on the Big Three, Rondo has quickly become one of the top five point guards in the league today. During his three seasons in the league Rondo's numbers have consistently increased in each and every category. The 23-year-old has a bright future ahead of himself with not only a ring already to go with it, but an opportunity to rise as a top 20 player in the NBA.
32. Baron Davis, Los Angeles Clippers
When healthy, B-Diddy is arguably a top-five point guard in the league. After a disappointingly down year, Davis is revamped and ready to bring the Clippers into the postseason for the first time since who knows when. Expect Davis to produce consistently throughout the entire season and end the year with a big smile on his face.
33. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
Injuries have affected Ginobili's value over the course of last season, but Spurs fans should not worry heading into this year. Manu is supposedly 100 percent healthy, and if so, his unorthodox style of play should shoot him back up into the top 20 category. Jefferson's presence will definitely make Manu work harder to average 15+ PPG, but at the age of 32, all the Argentinian wants is another ring.
34. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Rose's Rookie of the Year campaign proves that this guard is not only legit, but a rising superstar in the making. With Ben Gordon now on the Pistons roster, Rose obtains an even bigger role for the Bulls, inevitably increasing his numbers to an even higher level. Expect Rose to emerge as a top-five point guard in the league and shoot to new heights in the NBA world this season.
35. Stephen Jackson, Golden State Warriors
Jackson posted career-highs in PPG (20.7), RPG (5.1), APG (6.5), and MPG (39.6) last season for the Golden State Warriors. Reports are being made that Jackson is demanding a trade and head coach Don Nelson seems to not have any problem with that. As long as Jackson remains in a Warriors jersey his numbers should stay around 20 PPG, 5 RPG, and 5 APG this season.
36. David West, New Orleans Hornets
West is one of the most underrated power forwards in the game today. With Okafor now along his side, West's rebounds should without a doubt decline, while his PPG could possibly increase. New Orleans is hoping for a deep playoff run during the upcoming season and West will once again fight for another All-Star spot.
37. Richard Jefferson, San Antonio Spurs
Jefferson joins a Spurs team filled with veterans, excellent coaching, and championship potential. Popovich is the type of coach that finds what a player is best at and then maximizes that talent to the fullest. Jefferson will be the starting small forward for San Antonio and will undoubtedly bring this team to nothing short of the Western Conference Finals if the team can stay healthy.
38. Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies
Standing 6'8" and weighing around 220 lbs., forward Rudy Gay is one of the young and upcoming stars in the NBA today. Gay is extremely versatile and freakishly athletic in the open court, with the ability of becoming a top 10 player in the league. Being on a young team like the Grizzlies, it will only be a matter of time before Gay breaks out into super-stardom.
39. Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors
Ellis took a step back last season after getting injured in a moped accident. With a new season ahead of him, Ellis's numbers will certainly increase, while his entire arsenal should improve as well. At the age of just 23, Ellis still has a lot to learn and if he can soak it in and produce efficiently, his ranking will skyrocket this season.
40. Ron Artest, Los Angeles Lakers
Standing 6'7" and weighing 260 lbs., forward Ron Artest is simply the most underrated superstar in the NBA. Ron Ron has the arsenal to practically do everything that one is humanly capable of doing on the court. With defense being the Lakers' only weakness, Artest's defensive abilities will undoubtedly shine throughout the Staples Center and make the madman into a pretty popular figure in Los Angeles.
41. Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks
Kidd is definitely not the player he once was and his past two seasons show proof of it. With a pretty exciting offseason, the Mavericks are looking to contend for a championship title and Kidd is the starting point guard to lead the way. Being 36 years old (basically the Brett Favre of the NBA) and still ringless, Kidd heads into the upcoming season with all the intentions of battling till death to capture his first NBA championship.
42. Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks
Redd played in a total of 33 games last season before suffering a season-ending injury. Being on arguably the worst team in the league, Redd's numbers should inflate from last year's 21.2 PPG to around 23-25 PPG. Redd is a lights-out lefty shooter and when healthy, the three-point machine has potential to make it onto the All-Star roster.
43. Ben Gordon, Detroit Pistons
Gordon was one of the fortunate athletes this offseason, signing a hefty $55-million, five-year contract with the Detroit Pistons. Rumors have circulated about Gordon possibly starting the season as the point guard for Detroit and while that may be the case, nothing should interfere with the guard getting his points up on the board, regardless of the matter. Expect Gordon's value to rise into the top 30 category before seasons end.
44. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
24 year-old LaMarcus Aldridge has the talent and ability to become an All-Star in the season ahead. The only thing preventing Aldridge from joining the All-Star team roster is his teammate and starting center of the Blazers, Greg Oden. If Oden can finally produce at a consistent level, Aldridge's numbers are bound to either remain the same or decline slightly.
45. Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic
Nelson enjoyed a career-high first-half season last year before ending his season campaign to shoulder injury. The six-footer enters this season with a loaded roster that has every intention on making it back to the NBA Finals. Nelson's numbers will be around 11-13 PPG with an inflation of assists to about six-seven per game. We saw a glimpse of the 27 year-old's potential last season; the question is, can he provide his team with it again this year?
46. Hedo Turkoglu, Toronto Raptors
Instead of getting another chance at winning the title, Turkoglu decided that the money was a more important aspect, signing with the Toronto Raptors for more than $10 million per season. At the age of 30, Turkoglu's numbers will definitely not rise (but his bank account will!). Fantasy owners should think twice before drafting Turkoglu before the 7th or 8th round.
47. Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards
Arenas is ranked where he is for the main fact that he has not played in more than 15 games throughout the last two years. Agent Zero has reported that he has never felt better and if that is the truth, Wizards fans are in for a big surprise this upcoming season...that is, if No. 0 can stay healthy.
48. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics
The good old days are in Allen's past, that's for sure. At the age of 34, Allen remains as one of the most hard-working and conditioned athletes in the NBA today. If he can find his stroke (something he obviously lost in the playoffs) and post 30+ MPG, Allen can easily become one of the biggest breakout candidates for the upcoming season.
49. Jason Richardson, Phoenix Suns
At the age of 28, J-Rich is at the peak of his prime, with all signs pointing to a breakout season this year. Richardson should become the primary scorer for Phoenix (aside from Stoudemire) and average the most PPG for his squad. The athleticism and determination is there, now it's up to Richardson to produce.
50. Richard Hamilton, Detroit Pistons
Hamilton has been incredibly consistent and durable throughout his entire 10-year career in the league. With Ben Gordon now on his team's roster, Hamilton's role will shift from being the primary scorer to the second,or maybe even third, option. Rip's numbers will decline for a fact, but his fantasy value should be worthy enough to be drafted during the sixth through ninth rounds.
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