NBA Power Rankings: Predicting the Stats for the Top 28 Players Next Season

Joseph Fafinski@Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IJune 6, 2011

NBA Power Rankings: Predicting the Stats for the Top 28 Players Next Season

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic walks to the bench after a turnover to the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgi
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Statistics measure how we view certain basketball players, and we determine stars by how their numbers stack up against the best.

    The 2011-12 NBA season commences in just under five months, but it's never too early to predict how everyone's season will turn out.

    Using 82games.com, ESPN.com, NBA.com and numerous other helpful sites, I have put together predictions for the top 28 players in the league and how they will perform next year.

    In the following 28 slides, I have projected points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and free throw percentage.

    Feel free to voice your own opinion and present me with feedback.

    Thanks for reading!

28. Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 26:  Carlos Boozer #5 and Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls looks on against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 26, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Heat
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 17.5 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, .510% FG, .701% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 17.6 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.2 APG, .500% FG, .722% FT

    Carlos Boozer was Derrick Rose's righthand man when healthy this past season.

    If he can learn to play some defense, he'd be a complete player, but as far as stats go, he'll have similar ones next year.

27. Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 10: Head coach Larry Drew of the Atlanta Hawks walks down the court with Josh Smith #5 after an altercation against the Chicago Bulls in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 16.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, .477% FG, .725% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 19.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, .483% FG, .770% FT

    Josh Smith is one of those players you would love to have on your team.

    He's an all-around solid player and a great teammate, and his success from each season individually always translates to the next, so this year is no different.

26. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 09:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics passes the ball as Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat defends in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 9, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  Th
    Elsa/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 18.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, .497% FG, .860% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 17.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, .487% FG, .855% FT

    Paul Pierce, one of the greatest Boston Celtics of all-time, will be declining sometime within the next couple seasons, but for now, it's hard to project considering the C's mesh so well together.

    Regardless, his scoring will be a bit down, but that's about it.

25. Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies

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    PHOENIX - DECEMBER 08:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies puts up a shot against the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 8, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadi
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 19.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, .471% FG, .805% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 17.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, .466% FG, .791% FT

    Rudy Gay was absent for the final 28 games of the season due to injury, and pending any long-term health issues, he should have a decent year in 2011-12. His scoring might be down, sure, but he'll nearly match what he did for the first 60 percent of the season.

    On a side note—how painful do you think it was for Gay to sit through his team's playoff run? He'll be there again next year, though, so no worries.

24. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 07: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics heads down court after he scored on a break away in the second half against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2011 at the TD Garde
    Elsa/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 10.6 PPG, 11.2 APG, 4.4 RPG, .475 FG%, .568 FT%

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 11.0 PPG, 10.0 APG, 4.8 RPG, .467 FG%, .559 FT%

    Rajon Rondo will become a bigger factor as the years go on, and one has to wonder how he'll do once his endless plethora of stars-in-their-30s retire.

    For now, he'll still be putting up numbers at a pretty efficient rate.

23. John Wall, Washington Wizards

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards dribbles against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at the Verizon Center on March 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 16.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 8.3 APG, .409% FG, .766% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 19.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 10.1 APG, .433% FG, .800% FT

    I don't think people understand how special John Wall's rookie season was, and maybe it's because they were so hyped about Blake Griffin. Nonetheless, Wall put up 16 and eight over the course of the season.

    Try to name the last rookie to do that.

    He's going to have another great season with steep improvements statistically.

22. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

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    DALLAS, TX - JUNE 05:  Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat celebrates against Tyson Chandler #6 of the Dallas Mavericks after the Heat won 88-86 in Game Three of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER:
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 18.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, .496% FG, .815% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 18.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, .492% FG, .835 FT%

    Chris Bosh, although relinquishing the number one man role he had in Toronto, has performed well in Miami.

    One thing that will rise next season is his rebounding total; otherwise, his numbers will be about the same.


21. Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 10: Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks moves against Keith Bogans #6 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 10, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls de
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 18.2 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.7 APG, .443% FG, .802% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 20.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.6 APG, .455% FG, .822% FT

    Joe Johnson had a dismal (for him) season this year.

    I have no worries about him taking his game back to where it was in 2009, and that's just what he'll do next year.

20. Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors

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    OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 25:  Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors in action against the Toronto Raptors at Oracle Arena on March 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using thi
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 24.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.6 APG, .451% FG, .789% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 24.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 5.6 APG, .463% FG, .777% FT

    Monta Ellis had another solid year at the age of 25. He swiped over two balls per game and shot fairly decent.

    If he would play efficient defense, he'd be higher, but he's still a great offensive player, and he'll have another good season.

19. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics

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    MIAMI, FL - MAY 11: Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics drives against Joel Anthony #50 of the Miami Heat during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 11, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 14.9 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, .528% FG, .862% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 14.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, .512% FG, .850% FT

    The stats might not say it, but Kevin Garnett is still an elite player in this league.

    Averaging nearly 15, nine and shooting north of 50 percent isn't exactly anything to be ahsamed of. He should, even at 35 next year, put up similar numbers.

18. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns

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    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 13:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game against the San Antonio Spurs at US Airways Center on April 13, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or usi
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 14.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 11.4 APG, .492 FG%, .912 FT%

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 16.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 10.6 APG, .505 FG%, .901 FT%

    The league leader in assists per game this past season, Steve Nash was able to put up great numbers with an otherwise mediocre Suns team.

    I keep expecting the 37-year-old to decline, but it never happens. That's a statement that will hold true into next season.

17. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot between Peja Stojakovic #16 and Tyson Chandler #6 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 18.8 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, .529 FG%, .823 FT%

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 19.4 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, .511 FG%, .818 FT%

    As Pau Gasol heads toward the back nine of his career, he still will be considered one of the league's best post players for the next couple years.

    2011-12 will be no exception, and I expect a similar individual campaign to that of last season's. The team success, though, might be taking a steep decline.

16. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 15:  Forward Zach Randolph #50 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts during a 90-105 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at Oklahoma City Aren
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 20.1 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, .503% FG, .758% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 19.9 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, .500% FG, .765% FT

    Zach Randolph emerged as a team player this season, sparking the Grizzlies to seven playoff victories before suffering a second-round exit.

    "Z-Bo", who was voted third-team All-NBA, just signed an extended contract with the team, and you can bet he'll duplicate 2010-11's performance.

15. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05:  Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on March 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this P
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 20.2 PPG, 15.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, .470% FG, .850% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 21.1 PPG, 14.6 RPG, .486% FG, .833% FT

    Kevin Love burst onto the basketball scene with an impressive 2010-11 campaign, one that saw him lead the league in rebounding, collect the Most Improved Player award and toss in an All-Star appearance.

    Love might not exactly top what he did next year, but he'll darn near replicate it, and hopefully, the Wolves add more wins.

14. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 25, 201
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 21.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 8.3 APG, .442 FG%, .842 FT%

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 19.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 8.7 APG, .455 FG%, .825 FT%

    Like his UCLA counterpart, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook took a big leap in his game this past season, as he established himself as a top-five point guard.

    It's easy to say that he'll be giving the ball up more next season after this year's playoff run, and it is for that reason that his points will suffer a drop. It will, however, be better for the team ultimately.

13. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

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    PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 28: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the Portland Trail Blazers is fouled by Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks during the fourth quarter of Game Six of the Western Conference Quartefinals in the 2011 NBA Playsoffs on April 28, 2011 at the
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 21.8 PPG, 8.8 PPG, 2.1 APG, .500% FG, .791% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 22.3 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, .497% FG, .802% FT

    LaMarcus Aldridge emerged as a formidable foe in the post this past season.

    His tenacious defense, coupled with his ability to drive and drain, place him as the highest teen on this list.

    His name might even be brought up in MVP talks next year.

12. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

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    BOSTON, MA - MARCH 09:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers takes a shot as Nenad Krstic #4 of the Boston Celtics defends on March 9, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Boston Celtics 108-103. N
    Elsa/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 22.5 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 3.8 APG, .506% FG, .642% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 24.1 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 4.1 APG, .502% FG, .635% FT

    Blake Griffin had an absolutely phenomenal rookie season, and in due time, he should be competing with the best players in the league on a regular basis.

    He will improve statistically this season without a doubt, and the Clippers will increase their win total from last season.

11. Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets

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    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30:  Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets drives against Anthony Carter#25 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadi
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 20.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 10.3 APG, .435% FG, .849% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 19.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 10.9 APG, .456% FG, .840% FT

    Deron Williams had himself an eventful year. He was the subject of Jerry Sloan retiring in Utah, and was promptly shipped off to New Jersey the following week.

    He had a solid season per usual, and he will do the same next season.

10. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks attempts a shot agaist the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Th
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 25.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, .455% FG, .838% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 23.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.1 APG, .477% FG, .833% FT

    The league's hot commodity of the past six months was undoubtedly Carmelo Anthony. Once he was shipped to the Big Apple, he performed adequately, but the team was swept in the first round of the playoffs.

    I can see 'Melo limiting his scoring next season so that the team wins more contests, and that's just what he'll do.

9. Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks looks on against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Ce
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 25.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, .502% FG, .792% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 24.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.9 APG, .502% FG, .810% FT

    Amar'e Stoudemire was on his way to the best individual season of his nine-year career in January, but then something drastic happened—the team acquired fellow superstar Carmelo Anthony.

    With Anthony, STAT (Strong, Tall and Talented) relinquished those numbers, but I think it's safe to say he'll get close to matching them next year.

8. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets reacts late in the fourth quarter while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at Staples Cente
    Harry How/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 15.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 9.8 APG, .463% FG, .878% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 16.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 10.1 APG, .455% FG, .856% FT

    Chris Paul's title as best point guard in the league may have been taken over this past season by Derrick Rose, but that doesn't mean he's still not one of the best.

    I expect Paul to cross the threshold into double digit assist territory. Isn't it crazy what he's done with a roster that "features" David West and Emeka Okafor as the secondary and tertiary options?

7. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

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    DALLAS, TX - JUNE 05:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks misses a last-second shot attempt over Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat as the Mavericks were defeated 88-86 in Game Three of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 5, 20
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 23.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.6 APG, .517% FG, .892% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 22.6 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.5 APG, .497% FG, .905% FT

    It'll truly be a sad day when Dirk Nowitzki retires from the NBA, but for now, he is showing little to no signs of any sort of declination.

    If the Mavericks end up losing to the Heat in the Finals, expect an extremely motivated Dirk for the 2011-12 season.

6. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks down at Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, Californi
    Harry How/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 25.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.7 APG, .451% FG, .828% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 23.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.6 APG, .433% FG, .809% FT

    I feel like I'm cheating on the sport of basketball by putting Kobe Bryant this far down on the list, and I almost considered bumping him to number four out of sheer respect for the game.

    The sad thing is that Kobe is declining, albeit slowly, and he doesn't really have much going for his legacy, as it is already established.

5. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 26:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls drives for a shot attempt against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 26, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Ill
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 25.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 7.7 APG, .445% FG, .860% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 23.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 8.9 APG, .466% FT, .850% FT

    Whether you like it or not, Derrick Rose won the Most Valuable Player award last season, and he's out to prove that he can lead a championship team.

    Next season will feature a little less scoring and a little more distribution.

4. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

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    DALLAS, TX - JUNE 05:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat goes up to dunk the ball while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
    Pool/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 25.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 4.6 APG, .500% FG, .758% FT

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 24.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 5.5 APG, .496% FG, .773 FT%

    One of the more underappreciated players in league history, Dwyane Wade will hit 30 next January, and you have to wonder how much exactly he has left in the tank.

    Nonetheless, he'll have another solid season teaming up with LeBron in South Beach.

3. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic stands at the scorer's table after being earning a technical foul against Zaza Pachulia #27 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playof
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 22.9 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, .596 FG%, .599 FG%

    2010-11 Projected Stats: 22.4 PPG, 14.3 RPG, .595 FG%, .613 FT%

    There's no reason to believe that Dwight Howard can't duplicate his finest season in the association.

    He's hands down the best post player in the league, and assuming he'll be donning a Magic uniform next season, he'll collect a record fourth consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award.

2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 23:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder smiles in the first quarter while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 23, 2011 i
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 27.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, .462 FG%, .880 FT%

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 28.9 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, .465 FG%, .896 FT% 

    Kevin Durant had another fine season and is really establishing himself as one of the best individual players in the league.

    He averaged 30 points per game two seasons ago, and not even a loaded roster will stop him from challenging that number during the 2011-12 season.

1. LeBron James, Miami Heat

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    DALLAS, TX - JUNE 05:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball on a breakaway in the second half while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER
    Pool/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 26.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 7.0 APG, .510 FG%, .759 FT%

    2011-12 Projected Stats: 27.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 7.5 APG, .501 FG%, .777 FT%

    LeBron James is without a doubt the best basketball player in the world.

    While looking at trends and deciphering how his numbers should be placed, I realized that it really doesn't matter, because he is seemingly always good for a 26, seven and seven night.

    His numbers for next year will be nearly identical to their 2010-11 clips.