NBA's Top Franchise Players

Taylor LunemannCorrespondent INovember 23, 2008

There are many players in the National Basketball Association that teams would love to have on their roster to lead their team to victory. These players are not always the best scorers, passers, or rebounders, but they are players that can work with the team to make everyone around them better.

Many of them lead their team to the playoffs nearly every year without much support around them. Here are my picks for this elite group of players.

I will start off with one of the most obvious picks, LeBron James.

He has led a Cavaliers team to the playoffs the last three years without much support. The team has brought in many players to support LeBron as he tries to win a championship for Cleveland, but none of them have been much help to him as teams continue to focus almost all of the attention on him.

I pick him as he has continued to show he can dominate the league as a scorer, and also can contribute to rebounding. His ability to pass and create open shots for his teammates is one of the biggest reasons I chose him.

He is a small forward that averages over seven assists a game. That is very impressive for a man that scores as much as he does, as he has to put the load on his back the majority of the time. The Cavs do not have enough talent to help James this year and have not improved much from last season whereas other teams have upgraded their rosters, so it looks like it will be another disappointing season for King James.

The second player I will pick is Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets.

He has really stepped up his game the last couple of years and is one of the most valuable players in the NBA. He is arguably the best point guard out there right now as he is one of the league’s best passers and can also score when he needs to.

When he first entered the league, his jump shot was one of his biggest question marks, but since he entered the league in 2005, his field goal percentage has improved a considerable amount and it has put him amongst some of the best scorers. He has made many of his teammates much better than they were before he arrived in New Orleans.

One of the players who has reaped the benefits of having Paul as a teammate is Tyson Chandler.

He has always been a good rebounder and a solid defender, but when Paul was drafted, he was able to turn him into a better offensive threat by creating easier shots for the big man.

Another teammate that has benefitted a great amount from Paul’s presence is David West. West averaged seven points per game before Paul came in, and now he has progressively gotten better throughout the last few years and has been one of the best scorers on his team. I believe that if Paul and the rest of the Hornets can upgrade off of their success from last year, they will be the team representing the Western Conference in the NBA finals.

The final player I will discuss is the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade.

He already has one championship under his belt, and if he can stay healthy, he is amongst the NBA’s elite players. He is one of the league’s best scorers, and his ability to drive to the basket creates many open looks for his teammates.

Although injuries have plagued him since his championship year, I believe he will bounce back and contend for another many times in his career.

The Heat have two young players, Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley, that can really benefit from Wade’s presence on the court. Adding in an experienced player in Shawn Marion can only benefit Wade. With Wade and Marion both on the court, the Heat have two of the top players in the league that can create offense off of superb defense.

So when general managers are looking for players to build their team around, they can only be jealous that the Cavs, Hornets, and Heat have players of that caliber.


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