B/R NBA 200: Ranking the Best Overall Players Heading into 2016-17
Does he enter 2016-17 as the league's top-ranked player, or can another superstar such as Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard knock him from his lofty perch? Where do the premier members of the 2015-16 rookie class—Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Jokic, Devin Booker and Kristaps Porzingis—fit among the more established contributors now that they're entering their sophomore seasons?
We've already ranked the league's best guards, wings and bigs within their own positional groupings. Now, put everyone in a definitive order, ranging from the league's impressive backups and low-end starters to the superstars and studs on the rise.
We aren't projecting how well everyone will perform during the upcoming season, but where they are as 2016-17 gets underway. Thus, we use the end of last season as our starting point. Not every player starts out on level footing, either; The NBA 200 metric identifies those who performed best during the 2015-16 regular campaign*. Potential doesn't matter, and neither does reputation or playoff performance (too variable)—it's all about what happened this past regular season only.
In this edition, we're looking at every single player from every single position, all mixed together. All positions are graded using the same criteria (rim protection was added into the equation for bigger positions), but the categories are weighted differently to reflect changing roles:
- Non-Scoring Offense: Facilitating and Off-Ball Offense
- Defense: On-Ball, Off-Ball and Rim Protection
For a full explanation of how these scores were determined, go here. And do note these aren't your father's classification schemes for each position. Players' spots were determined by how much time they spent at each position throughout the season, largely based on data from Basketball-Reference.com, and we're expanding the traditional five to include four combo positions.
In the case of ties, the order is determined in subjective fashion by ranking the more coveted player in the higher spot. That was done by a voting committee comprised of myself, three B/R National NBA Featured Columnists (Grant Hughes, Zach Buckley and Dan Favale) and B/R Associate NBA Editor (Joel Cordes).
With 200 bigs considered, you can click "Next" to start the whole list or skip ahead to Players 140-111 if you want.
Note: All statistics come from Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com unless otherwise indicated. Injury information comes from Pro Sports Transactions. In order to qualify for the rankings, players must have suited up in at least 30 games and logged no fewer than 500 minutes. This intro was adapted from last year's edition.
*Thus, a "retired-in-the-offseason" player like Tim Duncan or Kobe Bryant will still show up here as well. Even though they're (sadly) not playing again, they're a valuable placeholder that helps show where 2016-17's bunch stacks up in comparison at the start of the season.
200-195: Mills, McDermott, Lyles, Marjanovic, Leonard, Lamb
200. Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs (PG)66/100
Patty Mills spent his 2015-16 campaign hovering between a sniping role and a more well-rounded one. He handled himself nicely in plenty of defensive situations and consistently did what was asked of him by the San Antonio Spurs. But more than half of his field-goal attempts came from beyond the arc, and that's the most telling number of all.
199. Doug McDermott, Chicago Bulls (SF)66/100
It's no longer difficult to view Doug McDermott as a legitimate NBA player with significant upside, especially now that the defensive concerns have dwindled a bit. He'll never be a two-way stud, but his spectacular shooting paid dividends during his sophomore season, and he's getting more comfortable with the nuances of off-ball offense.
198. Trey Lyles, Utah Jazz (PF)66/100
The Utah Jazz should be excited about Trey Lyles' immense two-way potential, but the sharp-shooting big has plenty to work on as his career progresses. He must pick his rebounding opportunities more wisely, show better instincts while playing interior defense and prove he can maintain his impressive shooting percentages with a bigger role.
197. Boban Marjanovic, Detroit Pistons (C)66/100
Boban Marjanovic played well enough as a rookie and a high-upside gamble—one the Detroit Pistons chose to go for. No one truly knows whether the 28-year-old can continue to look this good when filling a larger role, but it's a risk worth taking after he thrived in small doses and posted a jaw-dropping player efficiency rating of 27.7—better than any rookie not named Wilt Chamberlain among those who logged at least 500 minutes.
196. Meyers Leonard, Por. Trail Blazers (CB)67/100
A strong breakout candidate heading into the 2015-16 season, Meyers Leonard failed to live up to the hype. Injuries didn't help, but it was troubling that his shooting percentages declined across the board, he stopped protecting the rim and he couldn't maintain his skill on the boards while filling a bigger spot in the rotation. He's still filled with potential, but we now have to temper the long-term expectations.
195. Jeremy Lamb, Charlotte Hornets (SM)67/100
Jeremy Lamb carved out a decent niche with improved defensive effort and multifaceted contributions, but it'll be tough to make the proverbial leap without a convincing jumper. Anyone who splits time at shooting guard and small forward must serve as either a defensive ace, a specialist in some other area or a player who can space the floor—Lamb wasn't any of those.
194-189: Len, Bjelica, Zeller, Roberson, Chandler, Ross
194. Alex Len, Phoenix Suns (C)67/100
Even if Alex Len doesn't develop a jumper, he'll retain value as a dominant rebounder and solid defensive presence who can score easy buckets around the basket. That halt in growth would keep him in the smaller role he currently occupies for the Phoenix Suns, but it's better than flaming out entirely. Of course, learning how to shoot would open so many new doors.
193. Nemanja Bjelica, Minnesota 'Wolves (PF)67/100
All things considered, this was a successful rookie year for Nemanja Bjelica. Not only did he prove he belonged in the NBA, but he carved out an important niche as a floor-spacing big man who could hold his own on the boards. He won't earn more playing time until he shows he can play adequate defense, but this is a solid start for the 28-year-old.
192. Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets (C)67/100
Cody Zeller certainly hasn't justified the No. 4 pick that the Charlotte Hornets (then the Bobcats) spent on him in 2013's NBA draft, but he's still managed to become a solid rotation big. His rebounding and defense give value, and he can finish plays around the hoop while picking the right spots. Of course, without developing more offensive versatility or morphing into an interior-defense specialist, he won't become anything close to a star.
191. Andre Roberson, OKC Thunder (SM)67/100
The living embodiment of a specialist, Andre Roberson's defense ensured he received a large role for the Oklahoma City Thunder. No matter the situation, he was capable of making his assignment work. It was just unfortunate that things were so similarly unbalanced on the scoring end.
190. Tyson Chandler, Phoenix Suns (CB)68/100
Signed to be a leader for the young Phoenix Suns, Tyson Chandler declined immensely as soon as he arrived. Not even Phoenix's magical training staff could turn back the clock: He couldn't assert himself as a game-changing defensive presence, took on a smaller role and failed to inspire like one might expect of such a strong veteran. He still has three years remaining on his contract, and the Suns can't be thrilled with their investment.
189. Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors (SF)68/100
Terrence Ross' offensive inconsistency has prevented him from realizing much of his lofty potential, but his newfound willingness to lock down on defense has ensured he remains a quality rotation member. The good news: he's already operating at a solid level. The bad news is a number of distinct weaknesses—none bigger than his woeful rebounding—that he actually needs to work on.
188-183: Green, Randle, Bryant, Mudiay, Mack, Cauley-Stein
188. JaMychal Green, Memphis Grizzlies (PF)68/100
Perhaps the Memphis Grizzlies should be thankful for that pesky injury imp. Painful as it may have made their 2015-16 campaign, the thinned-out roster created an opportunity for JaMychal Green to receive more minutes, and he made the most of it. As soon as he was thrust into a larger role, he began playing with confidence on the offensive end and gradually improving as a defender, offering hope he could lock down a rotation spot going forward.
187. Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers (CB)68/100
On one hand, Julius Randle's early NBA career has been disappointing, thanks to his atrocious shooting percentages and defensive woes. On the other, he's still just 21 years old and has shown flashes of brilliance in a number of areas. It's impossible to tell whether he'll be a star or bust at this stage of his career, though the true answer likely lies somewhere in between.
186. Kobe Bryant, Retired (SF)68/100
Don't take this as a shot against Kobe Bryant's career as a whole; he'll still go down as one of the 15 best players in NBA history. However, fun as the farewell tour was at various points, it overshadowed the diminished quality of Bryant's play. He devolved into an inefficient shooter who was a clear negative on defense, performing at a role-player level despite his prominence in the Los Angeles Lakers' plans.
185. Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver Nuggets (PG)68/100
Emmanuel Mudiay's rookie season was always going to be a learning experience. It was far too easy to (rightly) predict the 19-year-old point guard would struggle with his shot, find himself overwhelmed on defense and turn the ball over too often. But the weaknesses didn't prevent this Denver Nugget from showing his lofty upside on a regular basis.
184. Shelvin Mack, Utah Jazz (PG)68/100
Shelvin Mack was a nondescript third-string point guard in search of a bigger opportunity than the Atlanta Hawks could provide. But as soon as he was traded to Salt Lake City, he broke out in a larger role as a feasible starter who could legitimately hold his own on both ends. No one would mistake Mack for a star, but he would have ranked far better had we only included his time with the Utah Jazz.
183. Willie Cauley-Stein, Sac. Kings (CB)68/100
Willie Cauley-Stein did enough as a first-year big that he should be viewed as one of the few building blocks in the Sacramento Kings organization. Already a defensive menace, he proved an adept finisher who could make timely bursts to the basket and keep the opposition wary. He has plenty of room for growth on both ends, but there's no longer any reason to believe he'll only be a one-way player.
182-177: Patterson, Allen, Calderon, Bayless, Bogdanovic, Miles
182. Patrick Patterson, Toronto Raptors (PF)68/100
Patrick Patterson was by no means a liability, but his lack of upside and contributions in only a select few areas is the primary reason the Toronto Raptors needed an upgrade at the 4. He was not a dominant floor-spacing presence, a great complementary defender beside Jonas Valanciunas or a player capable of creating his own offense. Thus, he wasn't going to boost this team on his own merits.
181. Lavoy Allen, Indiana Pacers (PF)69/100
The very definition of a non-glamorous big, Lavoy Allen is a defensive presence who won't harm his team on offense. His solid screens free up teammates, and he can create the occasional interior shot for himself, but he's content to stay out of the way for most possessions while conserving energy for the other end.
180. Jose Calderon, Los Angeles Lakers (PG)69/100
We've known who Jose Calderon is for years, and that perception didn't change in 2015-16. Now in a backup role with the Los Angeles Lakers, he's a deadly off-ball shooter and deft distributor who operates in limited capacity, and those skills have value so long as his squad isn't relying on his defensive chops—or lack thereof.
179. Jerryd Bayless, Philadelphia 76ers (CG)69/100
Jerryd Bayless sunk to a new low on the defensive end, but his offense was valuable when used properly. The Milwaukee Bucks benefited from his presence as a perimeter sniper, and he could help with the ball-handling responsibilities when Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks' true point guards needed breathers. Glamorous production wasn't there, but at least he filled his offensive niche well.
178. Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn Nets (SM)69/100
Bojan Bogdanovic may not become a star—no matter what his Rio performance says—but he's not an atrocious defender, and his offensive tools are diverse. He can create his own looks around the hoop, knock down a spot-up jumper or distract a defense for other talented teammates. Bogdanovic is inconsistent and still adjusting to NBA life, but the tools are there.
177. C.J. Miles, Indiana Pacers (SF)69/100
So long as C.J. Miles was able to fill his preferred role—isolation responsibilities on defense while creating his own shots on the more glamorous end—he could be valuable to the Indiana Pacers. But if you put him in almost any other situation, he blended into the background as a nondescript wing who didn't have a primary calling card.
176-171: Portis, Anderson, Russell, Harkless, Sullinger Powell
176. Bobby Portis, Chicago Bulls (CB)69/100
The Chicago Bulls should be thrilled about what they've found in Bobby Portis. He thrived as an all-around defender during his rookie season (so long as he wasn't the last line on the interior), held his own on the boards and showed flashes of modern offensive excellence. As he gains jump-shooting consistency, he should establish himself as a franchise centerpiece capable of contributing in almost every way imaginable.
175. Kyle Anderson, San Antonio Spurs (CF)69/100
Kyle Anderson could be yet another San Antonio Spurs franchise centerpiece, having asserted himself as a lockdown defender and creative offensive player with a serious nose for rebounding during his sophomore season. Had he spent more time on the floor, he likely would've rocketed up these rankings by virtue of recording more points, assists and boards. Still, it's tough to complain about his placement this soon in his career, especially because developing a consistent jumper remains a distinct possibility (see: Leonard, Kawhi).
174. D'Angelo Russell, L.A. Lakers (PG)69/100
It's not difficult to see D'Angelo Russell brimming over with immense upside, but it was often held in check during his inaugural campaign. Part of the problem was the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff's inability to give him consistent minutes or put him in situations that lead to success, but the raw nature of Russell's game proved detrimental as well.
173. Maurice Harkless, Por. Trail Blazers (CF)69/100
The bad news for Maurice Harkless is that we're not including his exemplary work during the playoffs, which saw him respond nicely to a big increase in playing time without seeing his per-minute efforts decline on either side of the court. The good news is that he still got to leverage that work into a big new contract.
172. Jared Sullinger, Toronto Raptors (C)69/100
It wasn't hard to see flashes of improved play from Jared Sullinger throughout his age-23 season, but he won't be a starting-caliber big man until he can shore up defensive weaknesses and connect from the outside more consistently. Right now, it's still a great strategy to force the ball into his hands and wait for him to shoot a jumper. That's not what the Toronto Raptors will want from a bruising big who's capable of becoming one of the NBA's better rebounders.
171. Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors (SG)69/100
Few young players possess this type of two-way upside—the 23-year-old has established himself as a quality perimeter defender who can knock down shots from beyond the arc. Had Norman Powell maintained his quality of play but logged enough minutes to better showcase his durability and rebounding, he'd have challenged for a spot just outside the overall top 100.
170-165: Dudley, Felton, Smart, Biyombo, Tucker, Scola
170. Jared Dudley, Phoenix Suns (PF)69/100
Despite his ability to stretch the court with tremendous shooting ability, Jared Dudley is miscast as a power forward. Even in today's NBA, it's a mistake to put him at the 4 for 94 percent of his minutes, and the Phoenix Suns shouldn't make that mistake in 2016-17 now that they're bringing him back to the desert. If Dudley hadn't been asked to protect the hoop or rebound like other big men, he'd have risen much higher up these rankings.
169. Raymond Felton, L.A. Clippers (CG)69/100
After previously drawing fanbase ire for uninspired play and fitness at various NBA stops, Raymond Felton revitalized his career with the Dallas Mavericks. At his best handling the ball and either working in pick-and-roll sets or driving to the hoop, he shouldn't be a starter for a competitive team. But Felton's newfound ability to also play the 2 has made him an intriguing choice to lead any second unit, as he'll now do for the Los Angeles Clippers.
168. Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (CB)69/100
Until Marcus Smart develops a reliable jumper—just something that can keep defenders honest—he won't live up to his lofty potential. It's blindingly obvious he has star potential, given his rebounding chops, distributing skills and impressive perimeter defense. But surviving the modern NBA is difficult when you're a detrimental floor-spacing presence, especially in the backcourt.
167. Bismack Biyombo, Orlando Magic (C)69/100
As his free-throw shooting and willingness to draw fouls improves, Bismack Biyombo is becoming more of a two-way player. But his offense still lags well behind his spectacular defense. The 24-year-old is already one of the NBA's best per-minute defensive and rebounding presences, making anything he offers on offense tantamount to gravy.
166. P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns (SF)70/100
P.J. Tucker is no longer on the verge of becoming a three-and-D forward. He struggles shooting from the perimeter and is way too much of a liability in off-ball situations. However, he has his own unique ways of contributing, and his stellar rebounding, isolation defense and ability to create shots within the arc ensure he remains valuable.
165. Luis Scola, Brooklyn Nets (CF)70/100
Unfortunately, the Toronto Raptors often misused Luis Scola. There's no way the 6'9" career power forward should be at the 3 for 29 percent of his minutes—his previous high-water mark was a mere 1 percent in 2008-09—but myriad options forced head coach Dwane Casey's hand. Scola still held his own, but his role prevented him from looking as strong as he could, especially when he had to space the floor rather than go to work in the post.
164-159: West, Harris, Barea, Barnes, Leuer, Lee
164. David West, Golden State Warriors (CB)70/100
Now moving from one contender to another by signing with the Golden State Warriors, David West still won't receive heavy run. But his limited activity allows him to remain an elite defender, strong role-filling rebounder and efficient source of offense. It's hard to pick glaring flaws, but that's partially because the team that rosters West knows how to prevent those from emerging.
163. Devin Harris, Dallas Mavericks (SG)70/100
Calling Devin Harris a shooting guard is accurate but also a bit misleading. He spent a significant amount of time lining up at both point guard and small forward, and that versatility may have been his most valuable aspect, since he failed to stand out positively or negatively in any singular category.
162. J.J. Barea, Dallas Mavericks (PG)70/100
Given J.J. Barea's knack for creating his own shot, it shouldn't be surprising that the Dallas Mavericks scored an additional 2.1 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor. But given his diminutive frame and undisciplined defense, it also shouldn't be surprising they gave up 4.7 more points per 100 possessions at the same time.
161. Matt Barnes, Sacramento Kings (SF)70/100
Though Matt Barnes' actions make him a bit of an enigma, his value is certain. Even when he can't shoot from the outside, he remains crucial because of his athleticism and versatile defensive play. It also doesn't hurt that he's a glass-eating asset. Barnes' reputation continues to lag well behind his actual contributions.
160. Jon Leuer, Detroit Pistons (CB)70/100
Jon Leuer is perfectly suited for his job as a floor-spacing power forward next to Andre Drummond in the Detroit Pistons' four-out, one-in design, but his role with the Phoenix Suns was a bit less clear. Though he improved dramatically on defense and continued to shine as a stretch 4, he was sometimes asked to do too much on a young, injury-riddled team.
159. Courtney Lee, New York Knicks (SG)70/100
Lee was a Memphis Grizzlies sharpshooting specialist who often conserved energy on the offensive end. Once traded to the Charlotte Hornets, he began asserting himself on defense and became a bit more involved on the glass, though his shooting numbers declined ever so slightly. Either way, he was a solid rotational guard without much glamor to his game, and that shouldn't change in his new job as the potential starting 2 for the New York Knicks.
158-153: Winslow, Waiters, Parker, Dellavedova, Davis, Stephenson
158. Justise Winslow, Miami Heat (SF)70/100
So long as you're willing to look past his woeful shooting, Justise Winslow experienced unbridled success during his rookie year. He immediately settled in as a true lockdown defender, and he was capable of contributing in other ways too—primarily through rebounding, cutting and occasional passing. If he can find more touch from the outside, he'll become a star.
157. Dion Waiters, Miami Heat (SG)70/100
Dion Waiters started playing the right way during the playoffs: He began deferring to his superstar teammates rather than hogging the ball, grew as a facilitator and used his energy reserves to play high-quality defense. But for these rankings, it was too little, too late. During the regular season, Waiters kept cementing his reputation as a shoot-first player who missed far too often for a volume-shooting role.
156. Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks (PF)70/100
Jabari Parker certainly hasn't lived up to being the No. 2 pick of the 2014 NBA draft, but he's getting closer to a potential star. Lest we forget, he's really only had 1.5 seasons in the Association, and you can easily see him getting more confident on the offensive end. Now, it's time to get better on defense (i.e. start trying) and figure out how to fix the perimeter stroke.
155. Matthew Dellavedova, Mil. Bucks (CG)70/100
Matthew Dellavedova blossomed into a legitimate rotation member during his third NBA season. His perimeter shooting, defensive awareness and vision were significantly better, to the point he was one of the Cleveland Cavaliers' most reliable snipers, stoppers and distributors. He's by no means a star, but any team could use him, regardless of how much his role shrunk during the 2016 NBA Finals.
154. Ed Davis, Portland Trail Blazers (CB)70/100
Ed Davis' biggest skill may be his innate understanding of his own strengths and weaknesses. Whereas some young players try to do too much, he's willing to play his game by finishing short attempts around the hoop and conserving his energy for defense. It's no fluke the Portland Trail Blazers were 1.2 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the floor.
153. Lance Stephenson, N.O. Pelicans (SF)71/100
The strategy doesn't work for every team, and the Los Angeles Clippers were one such example, given the sheer dominance of their healthy starting lineup. But Lance Stephenson is best deployed as a sixth man who can come in and take the reins on offense, forcing his squad to live with the bad in order to gain the good. For every possession filled with overdribbling and out-of-control decisions, he'll torture a defense with his athleticism and raw skill a few times more.
152-147: Carter-Williams, Williams, Johnson, Diaw, Chalmers, Thomas
152. Michael Carter-Williams, Mil. Bucks (PG)71/100
It's clear: Michael Carter-Williams' selection as 2014 Rookie of the Year was more due to opportunity and a weak class of first-year players. He has value as an on-ball defender, tremendous rebounder and ball-handling threat, but his limited shooting and mental struggles on defense have prevented him from turning into even a mid-level starter.
151. Lou Williams, Los Angeles Lakers (CG)71/100
If you're looking for a one-way player, Lou Williams would certainly qualify. He's a deft scorer who doesn't hesitate to create his own looks off the bounce, but that's all he brings. He often leaves his team playing four-on-five defense, which negates a significant amount of overall value.
150. Tyler Johnson, Miami Heat (CG)71/100
Could Tyler Johnson have reached an even higher level if his balky left shoulder hadn't required surgery? His outside-inside scoring game offers hope he could someday become a leading scorer on a competitive team, and he shows the right mentality on the point-preventing side. The 24-year-old guard is still a work in progress, but he's already shown distinct improvement since his rookie season.
149. Boris Diaw, San Antonio Spurs (PF)71/100
Boris Diaw remains a unique commodity: a big man who has immense skill levels shooting jumpers and handling the rock. He can create his own looks and find teammates on the move, both of which will aid him in his new Salt Lake City home. Plus, he remains a surprisingly effective defender who can stand his ground in most situations. Diaw is by no means glamorous and would struggle to fill a bigger role, but he's good at what he does.
148. Mario Chalmers, Free Agent (PG)71/100
Mario Chalmers improved immensely once playing home games on Beale Street, becoming a quality offensive presence and an adequate defender when Mike Conley wasn't on the floor. But that improvement came largely because he started at such a low point. If we only looked at his limited work with the Miami Heat, he might not have made a hypothetical NBA 300.
147. Lance Thomas, New York Knicks (SF)71/100
Lance Thomas, by virtue of playing for a nondescript New York Knicks squad that faded after showing substantial improvement early in the year, flew well under the radar during his fifth professional season. But while other players were drawing attention, he was continuing to improve his defensive chops and cement his reputation as a dangerous perimeter shooter.
146-141: Johnson, Crawford, Green, Livingston, Richardson, Turner
146. Stanley Johnson, Detroit Pistons (SM)71/100
Don't let Stanley Johnson's shooting woes distract from the positive parts of his rookie season. The Detroit Pistons would've preferred he remain above basketball's version of the Mendoza Line—he shot just 37.5 percent from the field—but they could live with the rim-clanging ways as he became a standout defender and rebounder who could at least hold his own in many offensive areas.
145. Jamal Crawford, L.A. Clippers (SM)71/100
Though Jamal Crawford was important to the Los Angeles Clippers as the one bench player they could count on when injuries struck, it still feels a bit strange that he won a major award, especially because the team actually saw its net rating decline by 6.2 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor. Crawford was good in his niche role, but he didn't do much besides scoring.
144. Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs (SG)71/100
Last season was a forgettable one for Danny Green, but only because the three-point stroke that made him one of the league's most dangerous three-and-D contributors all but disappeared. Though the inability to produce momentum-swinging treys hindered his ability to stand out, his overall efforts, especially on defense, ensured his value.
143. Shaun Livingston, G.S. Warriors (CG)71/100
It's tough to survive in the modern NBA with a shaky perimeter jumper, and Shaun Livingston made just two of his 12 attempts from beyond the arc in 2015-16. But this lanky guard knows how to make up for his weakness by exerting effort on defense and getting to his spots in the half-court set, from which he can knock down any mid-range jumper or post up.
142. Josh Richardson, Miami Heat (SG)71/100
Josh Richardson asserted himself as one of the 2015 NBA draft class' gems. Despite being selected 40th by the Miami Heat, he became an impact defender and tremendous marksman, earning a substantial role by the time his first professional campaign drew to a conclusion. He's one of the top 10 rookies in the NBA 200, regardless of position.
141. Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (CB)71/100
If there's such a thing as a three-and-D big man (a designation typically reserved for wings), Myles Turner looks like he could eventually fit the mold. His three-point shooting left plenty to be desired during his first professional campaign, but the Indiana Pacers should remain confident in his development. He stood out in various areas and displayed many of the telltale signs that deep range is coming in the not-too-distant future.
140-135: Warren, Sefolosha, Smith, Allen, Covington, Pachulia
140. T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns (SF)72/100
Developing a reliable jumper did wonders; T.J. Warren was already a creative shooter who could connect on a dizzying array of floaters, push shots and unorthodox finishes inside the arc, but his perimeter marksmanship forced defenses to respect him more than ever. The small forward must develop on defense and continue proving himself in a bigger role, but it's abundantly clear he's an impressive offensive talent.
139. Thabo Sefolosha, Atlanta Hawks (SF)72/100
Thabo Sefolosha isn't a glaring liability on offense, so his ability to drain occasional triples and score on athletic cuts to the hoop guarantees defenders must pay him some mind. Still, he makes his living as a defensive ace, and the 32-year-old was arguably better than ever on that end.
138. Ish Smith, Detroit Pistons (PG)72/100
As soon as Ish Smith gave the Philadelphia 76ers a legitimate presence at the 1, the offense started to experience a semblance of flow. His defense and lack of shooting confidence prevent him from emerging as a bona fide starter on a quality team, and he'll now settle in as a convincing backup for the Detroit Pistons. He maximized his talents in 2015-16.
137. Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies (SM)72/100
Tony Allen is by no means the Memphis Grizzlies' best player. He just embodies everything "grit and grind" is supposed to entail, sacrificing himself at all times and doing all the little things that help lead to victories. This swingman will never earn All-Star love or throw up gaudy point totals, but he can still make a positive impact on a nightly basis as the team's heart and soul.
136. Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers (PF)72/100
Establishing himself as one of the league's more underrated and overlooked players despite failing to live up to his own standards from downtown, Robert Covington displayed two-way versatility. It was a mistake to leave him alone in the middle on defense, but his ability to guard multiple positions was just as valuable as his shot-creating work and floor-spacing ability at the 4. Making just over $1 million in 2016-17, Covington is one of the NBA's great bargains.
135. Zaza Pachulia, Dallas Mavericks (C)72/100
The Golden State Warriors landed a bargain when they acquired Zaza Pachulia over the offseason. He may not be a scoring threat or floor-spacing presence, but he doesn't need to be on a roster with so many offensive studs. And while he can't pass as well as the man he replaces (Andrew Bogut), his rebounding and defensive effort will help the Dubs avoid too much backsliding.
134-129: Afflalo, Gordon, Collison, Okafor, Korver, Teletovic
134. Arron Afflalo, Sacramento Kings (SG)73/100
He has value as a non-traditional backcourt scorer (thank you, post-ups) who can also fill the archetypal role as a perimeter shooter, and he at least tries hard as an off-ball defender. But as the Sacramento Kings will now discover, Arron Afflalo is no longer able to fill a volume-scoring role. His point-preventing and assist-creating flaws leave him as little more than a low-end starter who is trending in the wrong direction as he adjusts to life on the unfortunate side of 30.
133. Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets (SM)73/100
Don't be fooled by the negative context surrounding Eric Gordon. It's true he didn't develop into the superstar he was meant to become while with the Los Angeles Clippers. It's beyond dispute that he can't stay healthy and failed to justify the exorbitant salary he previously received. But it's also a fact that he's a legitimately dangerous shooter and distributor who's improving on the defensive end and continuing to carve out a nice role as a secondary offensive threat.
132. Darren Collison, Sacramento Kings (PG)73/100
Darren Collison may have filled a backup gig, but he played with the talent of a first-unit option. This shouldn't be surprising, since he was coming off a strong 2014-15 campaign before the Sacramento Kings decided to push him to the pine in favor of Rajon Rondo. If he could grow a bit more disciplined on the defensive end, his enduring quickness and shooting touch would make him a legitimate mid-tier starter.
131. Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia 76ers (C)73/100
If you look at the good, Jahlil Okafor is a dominant interior scorer despite being only 20 years old. He's also a phenomenal rebounder whose defensive woes didn't prevent him from being a somewhat adequate deterrent at the rim. If you look at the bad, Okafor is a limited shooter whose immobility and lack of range prevents him from thriving in the modern NBA—not to mention the character concerns after his off-court issues. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, as this center can turn into a star if he's put in the right situation and develops as expected.
130. Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks (SG)73/100
If you were expecting a repeat of 2014-15—a season that saw Kyle Korver average 12.1 points per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the field, 49.2 percent from downtown and 89.8 percent from the free-throw line—you shouldn't have. Even as he suffered inevitable regression, the sharpshooter remained one of the Association's most dangerous perimeter threats and continued to serve as an underrated player in almost every other facet of the game.
129. Mirza Teletovic, Milwaukee Bucks (PF)73/100
Some players are well-rounded contributors; Mirza Teletovic is a specialist. He can hold his own on the glass and thrived finishing plays around the basket, but his value still stems almost solely from his ability to knock down jumpers. If he goes cold, he stops spacing the floor and can't contribute in many other areas, so it's a good thing that rarely happens.
128-123: Harris, Schroder, Booker, Olynyk, Crabbe, Grant
128. Gary Harris, Denver Nuggets (SM)73/100
Gary Harris should have received a little more love Most Improved Player race, even if he didn't deserve to actually win the award. He was far more comfortable as a shooter, and that was reflected in the massive improvement that saw him knocking down 46.9 percent of his field-goal attempts, 35.4 percent of his threes and 82 percent of his freebies. There's plenty more room for growth, but Harris quickly went from draft bust to potential centerpiece in no time at all.
127. Dennis Schroder, Atlanta Hawks (PG)73/100
Sometimes, Dennis Schroder looks like a future star: He can burst past almost any defender and does have stretches where he complements his driving game with a good-looking perimeter stroke and intense on-ball defense. It's the other times that depress his score and have keep him from emerging as an upper-tier floor general at this early stage of his NBA career.
126. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (SG)73/100
It's clear that Devin Booker will develop into an offensive stud. He showed flashes of that potential throughout his rookie season, even if he had trouble maintaining respectable shooting percentages and forgot to involve his teammates at times. Defense is the far bigger concern, since it's tough to find anything positive to say. He'll be valuable even if he's a one-way player, but the Phoenix Suns would prefer two-way strides.
125. Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics (C)73/100
As a floor-stretching center, Kelly Olynyk was quite valuable in Beantown. His improved efforts on the defensive end made him even better, so long as head coach Brad Stevens didn't leave him alone in the painted area. But if the former Gonzaga standout wants to make the proverbial jump, he needs to grow as a passer and improve both his interior defense and rebounding.
124. Allen Crabbe, Portland Trail Blazers (SM)73/100
Allen Crabbe just looked more confident during his third professional season. Maybe it was the hair. Or maybe it was an improved shooting stroke that allowed him to rise and fire whether in a different zip code or right around the iron, trying to fight past bigger players. Sure, he experienced some defensive regression, but Crabbe's offensive strides more than made up for it.
123. Jerami Grant, Philadelphia 76ers (CF)74/100
The Philadelphia Sixers weren't able to use Grant as he was meant to be deployed, but they still squeezed plenty of value from his 6'8" frame. A defensive ace capable of filling many different roles and still finding time to throw down a couple of thunderous dunks, he needs to be a specialist who doesn't feel the need to fire away from beyond the arc. If that happens, or he suddenly morphs into a stretchier player, his ceiling is surprisingly high.
122-117: Jack, Mirotic, Burks, Ariza, Williams, Matthews
122. Jarrett Jack, Atlanta Hawks (PG)74/100
Before tearing his ACL, Jarrett Jack was a solid presence for the Brooklyn Nets. His role forced his shooting percentages into unnecessarily low territory, but he held his own as a shot-creator—both for himself and his teammates. There are plenty of worse options than this primary backup.
121. Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls (PF)74/100
Nikola Mirotic's shooting makes him a quality rotation piece, as few power forwards can work off the dribble or take catch-and-shoot attempts en route to a 39 percent clip from beyond the arc. He's also comfortable pumping and taking a step in for a long two, but defenders are quickly catching on to the fact he's unable to do much damage if his jumper is out of the equation. That has to change if he wants to keep earning bigger minutes for the Chicago Bulls.
120. Alec Burks, Utah Jazz (CG)74/100
Once the future of the Utah Jazz's shooting guard position, Alec Burks has been hampered by near-constant injuries and the emergence of Rodney Hood. He's learned to function at the 1 while operating with a more limited role, but that hasn't prevented this 6'6" guard from exerting himself as a positive offensive force, thanks primarily to his three-point shooting and foul-drawing ability.
119. Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets (CF)74/100
Trevor Ariza is a player on the decline: His rebounding, defense and shooting all fall short of their peak levels, and that's not just because the Houston Rockets have forced him to spend more time operating as a power forward than ever before. But it's not all bad news, because even this lesser version has remained a key rotation member who can contribute on both ends.
118. Deron Williams, Dallas Mavericks (CG)74/100
Deron Williams isn't an All-Star anymore, and the days of 20-point, 10-assist outings are long gone (he had just two in 2015-16). So he instead minimizes mistakes and provides timely contributions with spot-up shooting and drives to the hoop. Williams can put together flashes of his old ability, just not sustained stretches.
117. Wesley Matthews, Dallas Mavericks (SM)74/100
Achilles injuries are typically devastating to NBA players, and it's not like Wesley Matthews is a spring chicken anymore. He just completed his age-29 season, and his previous levels of durability had ensured his tires had already worn off plenty of tread. Regression was inevitable as he fought to recover his athleticism, and that should make his actual contributions all the more impressive in spite of the noticeable flaws—poor shooting from two-point territory, diminished rebounding and easily perceived defensive weaknesses.
116-111: Payton, Rondo, Faried, Kanter, Plumlee, Joseph
116. Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic (PG)74/100
Elfrid Payton hasn't turned into a star, and it's unlikely he will until he becomes a significant threat from the outside and learns how to remain more disciplined while playing off-ball defense. But there's no doubt this young floor general is slowly improving, and his development was most notable when watching him finishing plays around the hoop.
115. Rajon Rondo, Chicago Bulls (CG)74/100
Rajon Rondo may be the NBA's most unique player at this stage of his career, especially now that his improving jumper belies a reputation that defenders can sag off. He's a talented passer with great rebounding vision and defensive instincts, but he still chases assists at the expense of making proper plays, and his defense is often uninspired, which prevents him from realizing the full extent of his enduring potential.
114. Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets (PF)74/100
The Denver Nuggets' frontcourt depth has led to diminished minutes for Kenneth Faried, and that makes it hard for him to establish himself as one of the NBA's 100 best players—a designation he's enjoyed in previous seasons. But the limited run has also allowed him to make the most of his opportunities and play with even more passion on the offensive end. Now, if only that would translate to defense.
113. Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder (C)74/100
Enes Kanter finished behind only Jamal Crawford and Andre Iguodala in Sixth Man of the Year voting, and he really was that valuable. His offense and rebounding more than negated his defensive inadequacies, as he could camp underneath the basket and wait for shots to go up, then elevate and create a second-chance finish with ease. He completely changed OKC's tone when in games, though the Thunder presumably would've preferred to go without the tone-deaf defense.
112. Mason Plumlee, Portland Trail Blazers (C)74/100
Mason Plumlee plays a brand of basketball completely devoid of glamor, and he accordingly fails to capture much national media attention. But that didn't make him any less valuable to the Portland Trail Blazers since his offensive efficiency, yeoman's work on the glass and defense (at least, certain aspects of it) all quietly aided the cause.
111. Cory Joseph, Toronto Raptors (CG)74/100
This 25-year-old has become exactly what you want in a backup guard, thriving regardless of the role he's asked to fill. When at the 1, he's capable of minimizing his mistakes and generating easy looks for himself and others while playing solid off-ball defense. When at the 2, he can use his energy on defense to provide stellar off-ball work.
110-105: Green, Rose, Johnson, Jefferson, Clarkson, Lin
110. Jeff Green, Orlando Magic (CF)75/100
At some point, coaches will realize they have to curtail Jeff Green's usage and eliminate his bad habits. He's a talented player who can make positive contributions in diverse areas, but he often tries to do too much and can detract from his team's efforts. It's no fluke the Los Angeles Clippers were 5.2 points per 100 possessions worse when he was on the floor—a fate the Orlando Magic must now avoid.
109. Derrick Rose, New York Knicks (PG)75/100
Get used to this Derrick Rose, because it's the one we're likely to see going forward. Despite appearing in 66 contests, he completed only a single dunk and was forced to use his declining explosiveness in more acrobatic fashion around the hoop. Developing a consistent jumper would do wonders for his game, because his drives don't inspire the same level of fear they did before his injury woes.
108. Amir Johnson, Boston Celtics (PF)75/100
Amir Johnson may be the most self-aware player in the NBA. He's fully cognizant of his strengths and weaknesses, and he never tries to push the envelope by expanding his game. Rather than shooting jumpers, he bides his time until he can work on the interior, remaining incredibly efficient as a result. This mentality prevents his ceiling from rising too high, but it ensures a high floor as well.
107. Al Jefferson, Indiana Pacers (CB)75/100
Injuries and age (Al Jefferson will turn 32 during the 2016-17 campaign) have reduced his quickness on the blocks, forcing him to function as a jump-shooter. He's mitigated this by spending more time at the 4, as well as trying to exert more energy on defense. But it's clear Jefferson is no longer the same player who once made...wait, his 67.1 career win shares (No. 31 among active players) never helped him make a single All-Star team? Unfortunately, that's not likely to change now as he prepares for a backup role with the Indiana Pacers.
106. Jordan Clarkson, L.A. Lakers (SG)75/100
After his rookie season, it was quite possible Jordan Clarkson was the product of opportunity on a struggling Los Angeles Lakers squad devoid of quality guards and overall talent. But his sophomore campaign should erase those concerns, as Clarkson coexisted with D'Angelo Russell and Kobe Bryant while continuing to establish himself as an offensive threat.
105. Jeremy Lin, Brooklyn Nets (CG)75/100
Quietly, Lin was one of the league's most valuable sixth men. As strong as Kemba Walker was as Charlotte Hornets starting point guard, Lin was nearly as important because he could come into the game—either alongside Walker or as his replacement—and keep the offense flowing. Turnovers are no longer holding him back, and he's willing to play within a diminished role that lets him exert all his energy in shorter spurts.
104-99: Aminu, Mahinmi, Casspi, Gibson, Young, Smith
104. Al-Farouq Aminu, Por. Trail Blazers (CF)75/100
Al-Farouq Aminu already has six years NBA experience, so it's tough to remember he won't celebrate his 26th birthday until late September. The combo forward is still getting better, and that was on clear display as his offensive confidence grew later in the year, carrying over into the playoffs. Aminu remains a defensive/rebounding specialist who provides hustle plays on the scoring end, but that reputation may change before too long.
103. Ian Mahinmi, Washington Wizards (C)75/100
The Washington Wizards landed one of the league's best backup bigs when they signed Ian Mahinmi to a four-year deal worth $64 million this offseason. He's nothing more than a role player on offense, but his game-changing defensive abilities will help shore up the second unit and ensure that leads aren't hemorrhaged away by the non-starters, as they so often were in 2015-16.
102. Omri Casspi, Sacramento Kings (CF)76/100
Talk about being underrated by the public. Omri Casspi never gets discussed as a high-quality rotation forward, but that's exactly what he was during the 2015-16 season. He thrived as a perimeter shooter and maintained his efficiency levels inside the arc; he played solid defense across the board and broke out as a rebounder. There weren't any distinct flaws to counteract the significant strengths, and that leaves him just outside the league's top 100 overall players.
101. Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls (PF)76/100
Taj Gibson's days as a star player have long past, even if he appeared to be tracking that way in previous seasons. He's a role player, but that's not an insult. The power forward is valuable as an ace defender and rebounder off the bench, and he doesn't try to do too much on the offensive end.
100. Thaddeus Young, Indiana Pacers (PF)76/100
Miscast as one of the offensive leaders in Brooklyn, Thaddeus Young should be at home with the Indiana Pacers, who traded for him shortly after the 2015-16 season ended. The up-tempo system will allow him to act like a homing missile to the rim, and the franchise's defensive inclinations could inspire him to exert a little more energy on the point-preventing side.
99. J.R. Smith, Free Agent (SG)76/100
The mercurial J.R. Smith accepted his role with the Cleveland Cavaliers and thrived in it. Though he had to cede touches to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, he made the most of his possessions by blossoming into a three-and-D shooting guard capable of and—even more importantly—willing to make the right play at the right time. It's no fluke that his team was better with him on the floor.
98-93: Barton, Thompson, Bazemore, Iguodala, Noel, Barnes
98. Will Barton, Denver Nuggets (SG)76/100
Will Barton finished fifth in the voting for Most Improved Player, trailing only C.J. McCollum, Kemba Walker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry. You could make a legitimate case he should have ranked even higher, given his transition from a seldom-used role player who occasionally dazzled crowds with transition slams into a reliable scoring presence and key rotation member. Barton didn't make the cut for last year's NBA 200, finishing with a grade of 62 that left him at No. 229. Now, he's one of the league's 100 best players.
97. Tristan Thompson, Cle. Cavaliers (PF)76/100
Tristan Thompson averaged 3.3 offensive rebounds in 2015-16, making him the sixth player in league history to average at least three during each of their first five professional campaigns. His offense is strong enough to ensure he receives substantial playing time, but he could experience a significant breakout if his defense forced head coach Tyronn Lue to hand him even more minutes.
96. Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks (SF)76/100
Kent Bazemore proved he could thrive in a far bigger role: The Atlanta Hawks trusted him to serve as a floor-spacing, three-and-D presence on the wings. He still has room for improvement, but that ability to avoid the natural trade-off between volume and efficiency was a great start in this burgeoning career. The days of his being known solely for his bench celebrations are distant memories.
95. Andre Iguodala, G.S. Warriors (SM)76/100
Continuing to accept his role as a sixth man, Andre Iguodala served as a key cog in the Golden State Warriors' successful quest for a record 73 wins. His willingness to look for teammates before calling his own number helped spark the second unit and allowed him to play in the vaunted "Death Lineup," while his commitment to defense was similarly huge. Iguodala doesn't get the touches necessary to look like an All-Star any longer, but that doesn't mean he's declined too significantly.
94. Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers (CB)76/100
Though playing Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor together was untenable, Noel is much further along in his development and can serve as a true game-changing presence on defense, especially as he grows more disciplined. He may never become an all-around offensive threat, but his finishing ability ensures he's not too much of a liability. Here's hoping the overstuffed Philadelphia 76ers' frontcourt doesn't hinder his long-term growth.
93. Harrison Barnes, Dallas Mavericks (CF)77/100
Harrison Barnes collapsed during the NBA Finals, but that doesn't count against him here. Though the experience sullied his reputation, putting a magnifying glass to his flaws and stunted growth, it shouldn't detract from the regular season. Barnes was a valuable piece to the record-setting puzzle, spotting up successfully, playing solid defense, doing dirty work on the boards and showcasing versatility that helped make smaller lineups work. Now, he gets to try filling a bigger role with the Dallas Mavericks.
92-87: Beverley, Dieng, Ginobili, Caldwell-Pope, Vucevic, Ibaka
92. Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets (PG)77/100
By hitting 40 percent of his triples and thriving as a spot-up shooter, Patrick Beverley became a much more versatile contributor. He maintained his defensive excellence and also turned into a complementary guard for Houston Rockets' star James Harden. So long as Beverley starts to prove this shooting improvement wasn't a fluke, he'll reap the benefits when defenses begin to pay him proper respect.
91. Gorgui Dieng, Min. Timberwolves (CB)77/100
It's easy to understand how Gorgui Dieng flies so far beneath the radar. Karl-Anthony Towns, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins are all more recognizable names, and we'll soon be able to add Kris Dunn to that list. Heck, Shabazz Muhammad's name may still resonate more, even though he was 46 spots shy of making NBA 200. But if you watch much Minnesota Timberwolves basketball, you'll know just how impactful this young big has become while accepting his role with nary a complaint.
90. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs (SG)77/100
Manu Ginobili sees angles most other players can't fathom, and he possesses the innate body control to squeeze either himself or the ball through those tight spaces. Even as age saps his athleticism and leads to a diminished role, he remains productive because of his craftiness and enduring skill.
89. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, D. Pistons (SG)77/100
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hasn't yet become the perfect fit for head coach Stan Van Gundy's four-out, one-in ideologies, and he won't until he hones his three-point stroke. But his cutting ability, knack for creating his own looks and engaged defense still make him an asset in the scheme. He's a jumper away from throwing his name into the mix as one of the league's elite 2-guards.
88. Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic (C)77/100
Is Nikola Vucevic still a centerpiece for the Orlando Magic? It's hard to answer, since he remains one of the most talented/established players on the roster. But now he has to fight for playing time with a host of new frontcourt players. Even though this 7-footer will only be 26 years old at the start of 2016-17, he may already have hit his peak unless he's moved to a location better suited to his many skills.
87. Serge Ibaka, Orlando Magic (PF)77/100
The pessimistic view: Serge Ibaka is a player experiencing stunted development and failing to live up to his promise as a rim-protecting stud who could space the court from beyond the arc. But the Orlando Magic should be more optimistic after acquiring him, pointing to his enduring status as a Defensive Player of the Year contender, finishing ability, rebounding effectiveness and mid-range jumper.
86-81: Bradley, Redick, Turner, Porzingis, Adams, Porter
86. Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics (SG)77/100
Avery Bradley remains one of the league's most committed defensive presences, as he is willing and able to pick up a tough assignment for the full length of the hardwood. Preventing points is his enduring specialty, but he continues to grow as a perimeter sniper and finisher around the hoop.
85. J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers (SG)77/100
If you looked at J.J. Redick's sniping ability and ignored everything else, he'd still be a valuable player. During his career year, he became one of just seven qualified shooters in NBA history to hit at least 45 percent of their threes while taking at least five per game—numbers he exceeded by a substantial margin. But after factoring in his underrated defense and ability to score from inside the arc, he's better still.
84. Evan Turner, Portland Trail Blazers (SM)77/100
Evan Turner finished behind four players in Sixth Man of the Year voting, but he should've placed even higher. His ability to control the Boston offense with his passing and unorthodox scoring was invaluable, and his comfort defending pick-and-rolls added a new element to a strong Celtics defense. Turner requires the right system to support his unique talents, but he's capable of becoming a crucial piece when he finds that perfect home. It remains to be seen if the Portland Trail Blazers, his free-agency destination, can provide that.
83. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks (CB)77/100
The New York Knicks couldn't be happier with the 2015 NBA draft's No. 4 pick. Even though he was booed on the night of that selection, he thrived in so many different facets of the game and eventually trailed only Karl-Anthony Towns in Rookie of the Year voting. A 7'3" big who can move like a wing, shoot threes and protect the rim is every coach's dream, and Kristaps Porzingis is well on his way to making those become reality.
82. Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder (C)77/100
It's easy to assume Steven Adams' greatest skill is getting under an opponent's skin and forcing him into careless mistakes (or getting tossed from a contest). But that's not fair to his developing game, since Adams' overall defensive efforts and terrific screen-setting aided the Oklahoma City Thunder rather significantly. Now, in the wake of Kevin Durant's departure, we get to see if the offensive growth he displayed in the playoffs is sustainable in a larger role.
81. Otto Porter, Washington Wizards (SF)78/100
Otto Porter played for a lottery team and averaged just 11.6 points, so it's understandable that his substantial improvement flew well beneath the radar. Nonetheless, he improved dramatically on both ends, to the point that he should be expected to burst onto the national scene in 2016-17. There are no obvious weaknesses to his game, and his versatile scoring ability offers up the possibility of a distinct strength that draws the attention of casual fans.
80-75: Randolph, Johnson, Gortat, Parker, Monroe, Beal
80. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies (CB)78/100
The cracks in the facade are emerging. Zach Randolph couldn't muster up his typical dominance in post-ups, finishing in just the 52.9 percentile. He struggled to turn as many rebounding opportunities into actual boards as during his prime years too, and he was atrocious both while protecting the rim and playing interior defense. His physicality and sheer force of will ensured that he remains a strong starting big, but Randolph's days as a double-double lock appear to be firmly rooted in the past.
79. Joe Johnson, Utah Jazz (SF)78/100
Yes, Joe Johnson was waived by the Brooklyn Nets midway through the year, but that's not because he was so ineffective he didn't belong on the team. His contract was bought out so he could leave the middling organization to open up opportunities for younger players while gaining a chance to join a competitive playoff squad. Once he was on the Miami Heat, he immediately settled in as a two-way wing—a role he should continue to fill now that he's joined the Utah Jazz.
78. Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards (C)78/100
Especially under the new cap climate, the five-year, $60 million deal Marcin Gortat signed before the 2014-15 season is looking like a bargain. Instead of declining drastically during his age-31 season, the big man kept producing on defense and dominating as a frequently used roller. It helps that John Wall's feeds often put him in prime position, but Gortat's strength and timing have helped him stave off the advances of Father Time for at least another year.
77. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs (PG)78/100
Tony Parker is no longer an All-Star floor general, but his craftiness and fundamental understanding of his team's schemes have allowed him to remain a solid starter well into his 30s. He'll never stop knocking down mid-range jumpers and positioning himself well on the defensive end, and those tools have allowed him to combat his slowly rusting wheels.
76. Greg Monroe, Milwaukee Bucks (C)78/100
Will the Milwaukee Bucks continue to experiment with Greg Monroe in their lineups, or will they look to trade him? The offense was distinctly better with him on the floor in 2015-16, but his defensive woes and lack of athleticism make him a questionable fit on a youthful Milwaukee roster that should be focused more on preventing points. There's no doubt Monroe can thrive in today's NBA despite lacking modern range, but he requires the right fit and is not currently experiencing that.
75. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (SG)78/100
At some point, Bradley Beal will have to develop if he's going to justify the hype and money. No one is denying his prowess as a perimeter scorer, but his inability to stay on the floor (this time, due to a sore left shoulder, stress reaction in right leg, fractured nose, concussion and sprained pelvis), defensive regression and non-elite shooting inside the arc have to temper the excitement about unrealized potential. Fortunately for the Washington Wizards, it may only take one healthy season for him to expedite his development and prove the doubters wrong.
74-69: LaVine, Howard, Fournier, Lopez, Jokic, Gay
74. Zach LaVine, Min. Timberwolves (CG)78/100
Once the Minnesota Timberwolves figured out Zach LaVine was best suited as a 2-guard playing next to a primary floor general, everything clicked. He developed into a dangerous spot-up threat and transition terror who could use his energy and athleticism advantageously instead of trying to involve teammates in a way that didn't maximize his strengths. For example, Minnesota produced a minus-0.8 net rating when Rubio and LaVine shared the court, as opposed to a minus-11.3 net rating when LaVine was on and Rubio off, per NBAWowy.com.
73. Dwight Howard, Atlanta Hawks (C)78/100
After signing with the Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard will have a chance to mitigate two distinct weaknesses: passing within a system and spacing out the court. But even during a rough 2015-16 that was filled with chemistry concerns, back problems and some diminished production, he still continued as a high-quality center in multiple areas. Turning those weaknesses into strengths would actually be gravy for Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer.
72. Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic (SM)78/100
Evan Fournier signed a five-year deal for $85 million this offseason to stay with the Orlando Magic, and that contract already looks like a bargain. Even if he never becomes an adequate defender and eschews rebounding for transition positioning, he's so good in so many offensive areas that it won't matter. If the Magic can give him a bigger role, he's capable of establishing himself as one of the league's most threatening scorers.
71. Robin Lopez, Chicago Bulls (C)78/100
All it takes to summarize Robin Lopez's increasing value is this: Along with Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon, he was sent to the Chicago Bulls this offseason for Justin Holiday and Derrick Rose. (Joakim Noah also traveled between the Bulls and Knicks, though he did so by signing a free-agent deal.) Lopez was rather easily the best involved.
70. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (C)78/100
The No. 41 pick of the 2014 NBA draft, Nikola Jokic played his inaugural season a year late and finished behind only Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns in Rookie of the Year voting. Truthfully, he should've leapfrogged Porzingis, though he couldn't while playing in a smaller media market. He's immediately become the true centerpiece of the Denver Nuggets' young roster, contributing in every area and making it a matter of "when" he makes his first of many All-Star appearances.
69. Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings (SF)79/100
Rudy Gay is a talented basketball player whose strengths more than make up for his weaknesses. But that doesn't make it any less difficult to wonder how much better he could be. If he were willing to cut back on the triples and commit to defense, his impact could be tantamount to a bona fide All-Star. As it stands, he'll have to be content just barely making the NBA's top 70.
68-63: Ellis, Morris, Gordon, Harris, Teague, Deng
68. Monta Ellis, Indiana Pacers (SG)79/100
Monta Ellis remains almost as productive as in his prime. According to NBA Math's total points added, he added 16.51 points to the Indiana Pacers cause, which is the No. 3 score of his career. The production is just coming in different fashion, as he's suddenly become more valuable on defense than offense and needs to fix a broken jumper.
67. Marcus Morris, Detroit Pistons (SF)79/100
The Detroit Pistons attempted to pigeonhole Marcus Morris into a role as a 3 rather than letting him play as a combo, and it backfired on the defensive end. He did develop as an offensive threat, with confidence creating his own shots, but would that have happened anyway at his more natural power forward spot? Either way, he became one of the better players who failed to capture national attention.
66. Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic (CF)79/100
It's still unclear what the Orlando Magic plan to do with Aaron Gordon. He needs a defined role on offense that doesn't ask him to take so many perimeter jumpers, and it would expedite his development to lock him in at a singular position rather than asking him to grow in so many different areas. The offseason additions of so many frontcourt pieces don't make this any clearer. But at least the Magic already know he's a high-quality defender who plays with relentless hustle.
65. Tobias Harris, Detroit Pistons (CF)79/100
Gone are the days in which Tobias Harris was an underrated forward waiting to break out in the right situation. He's now established as a significant offensive threat, and his defense is getting to the point he's no longer a glaring liability who forces coaches to shrink his role in the rotation.
64. Jeff Teague, Indiana Pacers (PG)79/100
Jeff Teague was due for regression after his All-Star campaign in 2014-15. His floaters and touch shots around the basket didn't fall quite as frequently, and he deferred more to teammates when his field-goal percentage began dipping. But even regression didn't push him below the realm of solid starters.
63. Luol Deng, Los Angeles Lakers (CF)79/100
This 31-year-old forward is no longer in his prime, and he's having trouble remaining a valuable scorer as his percentages slip, despite averaging fewer points than he has since his rookie season in 2004-05. But Luol Deng is still a strong starting option because of his versatility and ability to shut down tough matchups on the defensive end, both of which will play well in his new role with the Los Angeles Lakers. Slotting him solely at the 3 would be beneficial in the future, but his willingness to slide over a spot in the lineup for the betterment of the team speaks volumes.
62-57: Holiday, Bogut, Valanciunas, Hill, Williams, Duncan
62. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans (CG)79/100
Jure Holiday's a gifted distributor with the size to line up at either guard position. He can finish around the basket and knock down mid-range shots, using his size and strength to create easy opportunities. He's a talented on-ball defender, even if he struggles immensely away from the action. He's also a tremendous rebounder. He just can't stay on the court, which is making it harder for him to build up a jump-shooting rhythm.
61. Andrew Bogut, Dallas Mavericks (C)79/100
Andrew Bogut's chemistry with the Golden State Warriors was finely tuned, and it remains to be seen if he can have the same sort of impact now that he's joined the Dallas Mavericks. But if they know how to maximize his talents, they'll get a big man who's comfortable with the ball in his hands, capable of setting bone-rattling scr