20. Andre Drummond
- Pistons | C | @AndreDrummond
- Last year’s rank: 30Rebounding, inside post moves, blocking, defending, and running the floor. This is who Joel Embid will look to emulate. The Pistons lucked up. Most saw that Drummond was this, but he didn’t show this type of leap at UConn. Now, he should be the reason they bring back the Center position for the all-star game. He’s signed, locked and loaded for the next years, and stan Van Gundy knows how to use big men.
19. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Remember when I said that teams are lucky, well this is that. The Bucks have been dreadful for a while, but they have acquired players that have the look of promise. Giannis not only has the look, but he’s putting it out on the floor. Sometimes players are good, but then there are times when they need to be unleashed as a player. This is what the league needs, players being able to not conform to “specific” positions in order to thrive. Coaches have to be opened minded to the idea they are using a player wrong. You have to put the ball in your best players hands and mold him into what he can be. The Bucks aren’t putting all the duties on Giannis, but they are building a seven-foot Russell Westbrook which is nice. And scary. And he’s underpaid.
18. Kyle Lowry
Last year’s playoff run went entirely different for Lowry and the Raptors. He and Derozan shooting percentages dropped to levels we never thought were possible for all-star players. Lowry can shoot, drive, pick and roll, and defend. The series against the Heat and Cavs didn’t prove so, but he really can. He’s slim now, and it’s just in time for a contract. Cory Joseph hasn’t proven to push him out of Toronto, so they’ll be paying him immensely. Now, maybe Lowry can get the Raptors to the Finals. I’m playing.
17. John Wall
John Wall is pissed off. Maybe he’s been hanging around Demarcus Cousins. John Wall is good, but he’s mostly injured. When he’s not, he’s explosive, a pick and roll threat, and is able to defend every point guard he plays. The Wizards have a new coach, and a new system, so hopefully he can grow even more while they have the same old blocks as big men. I wonder where Bradley Beal is ranked?
16. Klay Thompson
Don’t get it twisted, this guy is really good. I know he set off Lebron during his press conference in the finals calling him “soft”, but hopefully he’s learned his lesson. Now that Durant is here, Klay has to take a step back like Love, Bosh, and others. I don’t know if he’s equipped to handle it, seeing as he was the one carrying the Warriors while Curry was out with a knee injury. He can score, shoot, post up and defend. Only thing he can’t do is make a layup, he is so bad at driving to the basket.
15. Kyrie Irving
We all thought he would be another injured point guard, but he has given us a new narrative with his shot over Steph in the Finals. He was a ball-hog, but he was the only that was good before Lebron. Now, he’s a deadly shooter that finds his place while Lebron is looking for open shooters. His handle is amazing, his finishing is just as lethal, and the Cavs have one of the elites at the position. That’s what a great playoff run can do for you. Now the league must suffer while Kyrie lights up opposing defenders.
14. Draymond Green
Not too many guys can survive what Green has survived. He had his dick on the net! He’s also from Michigan State, which has the tendency to put out bland players that cannot be explosive. Regardless, he is the heartbeat of a Warriors team that is seeking identity after last year’s choke job. He can score, shoot, handle, pick and roll, defend, and do everything the other finesse starters can’t do. Fans and teammates may not like him, but he is exactly what they need.
13. DeMarcus Cousins
Ahhh Boogie: The best big man in the league! He now shoots threes, which opens up the paint for a Kings team that is now playing with a new offensive philosophy. Will I lead to more wins and the playoffs? We’ll see. For now, I would hope they would keep him off the trade block and just wait till he’s ready to leave in free agency. Oh yeh, Boogie’s not a bad guy, so miss me with the racial subtext in your ideas of who he is as a man.
12. Blake Griffin
You know he missed his rookie season due to injury right? The Clippers are spoiled as usual, hoping for things that aren’t so. This is the last year they can compete before Griffin gets a taste of free agency and life outside of LA. Look, he probably won’t leave, but he should consider it or get Doc Rivers out of there at the least, and maybe Chris Paul as well. He’s developed his outside shot as he moves further and further from the rim, but that just opens up the floor more for a Clipper team that does what they always do in the playoffs: Unimaginative Half-court offense.
11. Karl-Anthony Towns
The Wolves are bad as usual but it’s not Towns fault. Coaching change, offensive change, and a culture change has kept the Wolves at the bottom of the Western Conference. Towns is a supreme talent that manhandles all defenders. He has speed, length, shooting touch, handle and an array of post moves. Look out for him, not the Wolves.