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Predicting the Top One Hundred Players after the 2022-23 Season

A few months away from opening tip-off, here are my predictions for your top one hundred NBA players in the 2022-2023 season. 

 

Predicted Statistics will be listed as (Points Per Game, Rebounds Per Game, Assists Per Game)

 

  1. Luka Doncic (33.1, 8.8, 10.2)
  2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (28.5, 13.3, 5.9)
  3. Ja Morant (28.9, 6.7, 8.4)
  4. Joel Embiid (28.7, 12.6, 3.4)
  5. Nikola Jokic (26.2, 13.3, 7.4)
  6. Stephen Curry (26.8, 5.5, 6.6)
  7. Kawhi Leonard (25.9, 6.6, 6.1)
  8. Kevin Durant (28.8, 7.2, 6.1)
  9. LeBron James (29.2, 7.9, 6.5)
  10. Devin Booker (28.7, 5.2, 4.9)
  11. Jayson Tatum (27.2, 6.8, 5.1)
  12. Donovan Mitchell (27.3, 5.2, 5.8)
  13. Trae Young (27.9, 3.8, 7.8)
  14. Damian Lillard (29.2, 4.2, 7.7)
  15. James Harden (24.5, 7.4, 10.4)
  16. Anthony Davis (25.4, 9.5, 3.2)
  17. Karl Anthony-Towns (23.9, 8.8, 4.1)
  18. Zion Williamson (26.6, 6.8, 4.4)
  19. DeMar DeRozan (26.8, 5.1, 4.8)
  20. Paul George (24.6, 7.2, 6.0)
  21. Anthony Edwards
  22. LaMelo Ball
  23. Zach LaVine
  24. Pascal Siakam
  25. Jimmy Butler
  26. Darius Garland
  27. Tyrese Haliburton
  28. De’Aaron Fox
  29. Dejounte Murray
  30. Bradley Beal
  31. Bam Adebayo
  32. Jaylen Brown
  33. Khris Middleton
  34. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  35. Scottie Barnes
  36. Chris Paul
  37. Ben Simmons
  38. Jaren Jackson Jr.
  39. Jarrett Allen
  40. CJ McCollum
  41. Jamal Murray
  42. Brandon Ingram
  43. Domantas Sabonis
  44. Tyrese Maxey
  45. Rudy Gobert
  46. Evan Mobley
  47. Fred VanVleet
  48. Cade Cunningham
  49. Christian Wood
  50. Jalen Brunson
  51. DeAndre Ayton
  52. Andrew Wiggins
  53. Jrue Holiday
  54. RJ Barrett
  55. Michael Porter Jr.
  56. Klay Thompson
  57. Josh Giddey
  58. Desmond Bane 
  59. Jerami Grant
  60. Saddiq Bey
  61. Jalen Green
  62. Malcolm Brogdon
  63. Kristaps Porzingis
  64. Tyler Herro
  65. Robert Williams III
  66. John Collins
  67. Jordan Poole
  68. Jabari Smith Jr.
  69. Julius Randle
  70. Paolo Banchero
  71. Russell Westbrook
  72. Clint Capela
  73. Mikal Bridges
  74. Keldon Johnson
  75. Marcus Smart
  76. Cole Anthony
  77. Lonzo Ball
  78. Jaden Ivey
  79. Draymond Green
  80. Nikola Vucevic
  81. D’Angelo Russell
  82. Chet Holmgren
  83. OG Anunoby
  84. Tobias Harris
  85. Kyle Kuzma
  86. Norman Powell
  87. Spencer Dinwiddie
  88. Luguentz Dort
  89. Bojan Bogdanovic
  90. Keegan Murray
  91. Jordan Clarkson
  92. Franz Wagner
  93. Myles Turner
  94. Jonas Valanciunas
  95. Bogdan Bogdanovic
  96. De’Andre Hunter
  97. Wendell Carter Jr.
  98. Collin Sexton
  99. Caris Levert
  100. TJ Warren

 

The top six

Luka, Ja, and Giannis own the future. They have consistently improved and put their respective teams in contention for a title. 

Joel Embiid is coming into next season with one goal in mind, which is, of course, a championship. This will depend upon James Harden, but if he is truly the fifteenth best player this season, Philly might have a shot at the title. 

Nikola Jokic gets his supporting cast back next season. The back-to-back MVP isn’t stopping his absurd production anytime soon.

Stephen Curry is fresh off of his first Finals MVP, and fourth championship. There are some questions on the Golden State roster, but this is really irrelevant in terms of Steph’s production.

 

Familiar faces in slots 7-10 : Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker round out the top ten. Kawhi is returning from a season-long injury last season, but I see him returning to his former self. Before this year’s Finals, each of these stars got a chance to showcase their greatness on the biggest stage in recent memory. It’s unclear when, if ever, LeBron is going to slow down. I imagine his production will be similar to last seasons. We still don’t know where Durant will be playing this year, but it doesn’t change his unguardability and dominance offensively. Devin Booker has shown tremendous improvement on the defensive end, and he is an elite three-level scorer who will only continue to deepen his bag. Booker is one of the best competitors in the league and seems to take all of his losses personally, which isn’t a bad thing in the NBA.

 

11-20 ; How good will Donovan Mitchell be on his own? 

Jayson Tatum is a pretty safe bet to be at the top of the league again next season. He is now a proven winner, and the Celtics look ready to claim back-to-back Eastern Conference Championships. I wouldn’t necessarily say the Jazz are going to be a contender next year, but Donovan Mitchell now has the keys to the castle. He’ll have his best scoring season of his career in 2022-23 without Gobert clogging the lane. Trae Young has a new running mate in the backcourt with recently acquired All-Star Dejounte Murray. Young led the league in total points and assists last season, averaging about twenty-eight points and ten assists per game in seventy-six games. Either Young or Murray will have to adjust to playing off the ball. Damian Lillard has an offseason to prepare with new weapons, Jerami Grant, and Shaedon Sharpe who was picked seventh in this year’s draft. Lillard has remained painfully committed to the Trail Blazers. To be fair, they give him the green light to shoot just about any shot he wants. He also makes shots in bunches when it matters most. James Harden will have a heavy load of Philadelphia induced pressure on him this season. Sixers General Manager, Daryl Morey, who previously worked with Harden in Houston, has essentially brought the band back together. Morey signed two additional former Rockets in P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. Some familiarity and an offseason of preparation should do Harden some good. This is a guy who averaged thirty-six points and thirty-four points in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Anthony Davis will hopefully be healthy next season, but even that is a gamble. He has the talent to be a top ten player, and if he stays on the court he may surprise fans this season with some impressive numbers. Karl Anthony-Towns is going to be thrown into an entirely new role this season, after the acquisition of three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert. Towns will have less pressure on him to hold down the boards, and in theory should get more shooting opportunities. Towns shooting continues to improve and impress as he won the NBA Three Point Contest, and showcased some great long range ability in the Playoffs. Zion Williamson is the only player to average twenty-five points on over sixty percent shooting, ever. If he’s healthy, which he appears to be, he will be a force to be reckoned with in New Orleans. DeMar DeRozan had the best season of his career last season for the Bulls. In addition to averaging, twenty-eight points, five boards, and five assists per game, DeRozan also shot a much improved clip from three at 35.2% as compared to his 25.7% mark which he achieved in the 2020-2021 season. Paul George will join his superstar running mate, Kawhi Leonard, for another run at his first championship. He has received a lot of criticism since his arrival in Los Angeles, some of it was warranted but people seem to have forgotten just how talented Paul George is at his best. 

 

A Younger League ; Who will make the jump in years two, three, four, and five?

Players from the previous five draft classes, including 2022, make up thirty-nine of my top one hundred projected players. Rookies who were selected include Jabari Smith Jr., Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, Chet Holmgren, and Keegan Murray ; the top five picks. Benedict Mathurin, Shaedon Sharpe, Johnny Davis, and Jalen Williams were also considered for the top one hundred. The 2021 class has six players on the list, though eleven were considered. The 2020 class has eight players, all from the first round. The 2019 class has its top five picks on the list, in addition to two other draftees. The 2018 class boasts eleven players including the likes of Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, all of whom have turned into franchise pieces. The past five years has seen a myriad of skilled difference makers enter the league via the draft. What this means is the league is in good hands once LeBron, Durant, Curry, and others retire.

 

Teams with multiple players ; (all except Hornets/Spurs)

Sixers (4, 15, 44, 84)

Bucks (2, 33, 53)

Bulls (19, 23, 77, 80)

Cavaliers (26, 39, 46, 98, 99)

Celtics (11, 32, 62, 65, 75)

Clippers (7, 20, 86)

Grizzlies (3, 38, 58)

Hawks (13, 29, 66, 72, 95, 96)

Heat (25, 31, 64)

Jazz (12, 89, 91)

Kings (28, 43, 90)

Knicks (50, 54, 69)

Lakers (9, 16, 71)

Magic (70, 76, 92, 97)

Mavericks (1, 49, 87)

Nets (8, 37, 100, Kyrie/Kyrie trade return)

Nuggets (5, 41, 55)

Pacers (27, 93)

Pelicans (18, 40, 42, 94)

Pistons (48, 60, 78)

Raptors (24, 35, 47, 83)

Rockets (61, 68)

Suns (10, 36, 51?, 73)

Thunder (34, 57, 82, 88)

Timberwolves (17, 21, 45)

Trailblazers (14, 59)

Warriors (6, 52, 56, 67, 79)

Wizards (30, 63, 85)

 

Best Big Threes : Lowest Average of Top Three Players

 

Sixers – 21

Timberwolves – 27.7

Bucks – 29.3

Lakers – 32

Suns – 32.3

Grizzlies – 33

Pelicans – 33.3

Nuggets – 33.7

Celtics – 35

Raptors – 35.3

Hawks – 36

Clippers – 37.6

Warriors – 38

Bulls – 39.7

Heat – 40

 

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