The talent level in the NBA is the highest it has been in years. With incredibly talented rookie classes over the last few years the landscape of the NBA has begun to change.
The following is a positional power ranking of the top five players in the NBA at each position.
In case health issues arise with any one player I have included one injury replacement player for each of the groups.
The list only takes into account what I believe to be true for next season; this list does not take seasons beyond that into account.
1. Deron Williams, Utah Jazz
Can be at times the most effective scoring point guard in the league. However, he only is when his team needs him to be. Also has beautiful passing ability.
2. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
The only reason he is not on top of this list is because of durability issues. You can’t be the best point guard in the league from the training room.
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
He is just a tiny step away from being the best point guard in the league. He just has to keep his emotions in check and not allow himself to get frustrated.
4. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
Useless as ever on the defensive side of the ball. The man is a magician who shows no sign of slowing down on the offensive side.
5. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
There is a reason Kobe Bryant demanded to check him during the Lakers vs, Thunder playoff series last year. Has the upside to be a better version of Rondo.
Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks
Iverson like quickness and loves to pass.
1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
A lock Hall of Famer who at the very least will go down as one of the top 15 players to ever play the game of basketball. Not a flaw in his game.
2. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Talented enough and has the mindset to be No. 1 on this list. Durability holds him back.
3. Manu Ginboli, San Antonio Spurs
Ginobili is a wily, battle tested, funky, veteran. No one in the NBA plays a game that even remotely resembles Ginboli. The man is a style unto himself.
4. Brandon Roy, Portland Trailblazers
Roy is one of the most effective half-court players in the NBA. His athleticism, while not elite, is also underrated.
5. Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
Johnson is good enough that the Hawks won 50+ games last season with him isolated on the wing as their offensive staple.
Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings
Already a member of the 20x5x5 club.
1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
Perhaps the most athletically gifted man on planet Earth. Can run hot and cold in the clutch. His team will always contend for a championship.
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Durant was born to play basketball. His game has a disciplined beauty to it that is rare in the NBA today. Talented and driven enough to challenge LeBron for spot No. 1.
3. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
Anthony has the most lethal combination of first step quickness and raw strength in the NBA of any player. Behind Durant, best natural scorer in the NBA.
4. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
At this stage in his career, he might not be able to single handedly win a team 50 games, but he can still single handedly win a playoff series.
5. Gerald Wallace, Charlotte Bobcats
Wallace, aside from LeBron, is the most dynamic defensive small forward in the game. His offensive game is also constantly evolving.
Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies
Has Grant Hill talent, but does he have the drive?
1. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
On one knee last season he still led his team to a game within the championship. Back to two knees I expect him to become dominant again.
2. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
His reputation has taken a beating since losing to the Heat in the finals and the Warriors in the first round. But he is still an elite player in this league.
3. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
Gasol is the best passer in the NBA over 7 feet tall. His defense is only average, but offensively he is a magician that can be flat out dominant at times.
4. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
Nowhere near Wade or James level as a player, but still a quality All-Star type player.
5. Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
Last season he stopped jacking up treys and focused on attacking. Perhaps the only 5x5 player in the league, as in five points, five assists, five rebounds, five blocks, five steals.
Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
Cleaned up life and game in Memphis. The most effective low post player in the league.
1. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Might not ever be the offensive player some expect, but he can still be the most dominant player in the league for stretches of time.
2. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
The closer to the end of his career he gets, the more time he spends at the five spot. He will go down as the greatest power forward of all time.
3. Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee Bucks
Brandon Jennings' arrival made Bogut realize he was a monster. Can dominate the low post on both sides of the court and guards the rim like a goalie. And what a passer out of the low post.
4. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Not the best defender but he still takes up space in a good way. Offensively he moves the ball beautifully and can score on anybody when required.
5. Yao Ming, Houston Rockets
Would be No. 1 on this list if not for health. Even hobbled, if he is on the court next season, he is too skilled not to make a difference.
Brooke Lopez, New Jersey Nets
Has to prove he is more than a good player on a bad team.