Tier 1: Heavy is the Crown

1. Lebron James

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Here’s the thing. The proof is in the pudding that not everyone can play to the best of their ability with Lebron. He plays best with great iso scorers that can shoot the 3. He isn’t a motion offense type of guy. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. My point is, if there is a 30 team fantasy draft for the purpose of winning one game, Lebron is undoubtedly the first pick. He can’t make stars turn into superstars like CP3 and Steph, but he can make role players far more valuable than their usual role. In a hypothetical league where there is only one guy on each team, he blows everyone out of the water. That makes him the best in my opinion.

 

 

Tier 2: Superstars

2. Kevin Durant

3. Kawhi Leonard

4. Stephen Curry

5. Russell Westbrook

6. James Harden

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I think that everyone agrees on the people in this tier, just not the placement. I think that Kevin Durant proved the past 10 years that he is a transcendent talent, and the second best player in the world. Kawhi is the only player on this list that is a top 5 player offensively (now) and defensively. Nobody else in this tier is on his level defensively.

The top 3 players are all wings. In todays NBA, there are really only 3 positions: Ball handlers, wings, and bigs. Good wings are the most valuable. They can guard multiple positions and are the most athletic for their size. Kevin Durant is taller than some centers, but he plays the wing. Being a top 10 shooter ever makes him that much more valuable.

The next 3 players are all point guards (Yes, James Harden is a point guard.) The placement is difficult, though. Steph is the best of the three. It’s as simple as that. He is the most efficient volume shooter ever. His on/off numbers are gaudy, and up until Game 5, he was just as much of a Finals MVP as KD. More importantly, Steph and KD are the only two people that I’ve seen play in the last 10 years that I thought were more valuable than Lebron, even if for just a month. Steph’s 2015-2016 season is the greatest season of all time for a point guard. He also won 73 games being the man in doing so. Steph is easy to be hated lately, but he’s so efficient, you can’t put him below the next two guys.

The top 2 players in MVP voting this year are my 5 and 6. Is that preposterous? No. Steve Nash won 2 MVPs over Kobe Bryant. Who were you taking in a game? Both of these guys got lots of rebounds, kicked out for tons of assists, and scored a massive amount of points. Both guys set records, and guided their teams to the playoffs. That being said, both players also made records for turnovers and weren’t all that efficient. Brodie and Beard are going to be legends, and they deserve to be, but their playing styles don’t translate to championships. They translate to MVPs though, if that’s any consolation.

 

 

Tier 3: Freaks and Geeks

7. Anthony Davis

8. Giannis Antetokounmpo

9. Chris Paul

10. Karl-Anthony Towns

11. Jimmy Butler

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis
New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (23) drives past Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 9, 2015, in Milwaukee. The Pelicans won 114-103. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and KAT are next. What’s crazy is that as the time of the big man is dwindling, a 6’11” guard and two guys that play center most of the time will probably be the best three players in 5 years.

Chris Paul will end his career as the 3rd best point guard of all time. His playoff numbers are amazing. His advanced stats are unparalleled. He doesn’t get enough credit. He will.

Jimmy Butler vs Paul George was a fun debate this year, but Jimmy Butler beats him in about every single stat outside of 3pt%. Jimmy Butler proved his worth this year. He’s at the bottom of this tier, but he’s in this tier.

 

 

Tier 4: Superstars That Can’t Be “The Guy”

12. Paul George

13. John Wall

14. Draymond Green

15. Isaiah Thomas

16. Rudy Gobert

17. DeMarcus Cousins

18. Kyle Lowry

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Yeah, I know. There’s a lot in this tier. Also, every single player on this list had a better season than Paul George this year. Oh well, we’re probably picking George. It’s not our fault he doesn’t really care about the regular season.

John Wall is consistency away from being up there with tier 2 or 3. He’s so so so good. He’s not the greatest person and is a cocky punk, but boy is he fun. Speaking of, Draymond Green is in here for being consistent, arguably the best defender in the league, and of course being an analytic god. Gobert and Lowry are also here for those exact reasons. (Lowry had the best point guard season in the East, but he’s lame and also bad in the playoffs so nobody cared.)

IT is here because he is an offensive mastermind. The guy put up an enormous amount of points on not an enormous amount of shots. He finished 5th in MVP voting, and is arguably still underrated, or overrated, depending on who you are. In fact, I think it’s kind of impossible to rate him correctly. Who really knows? Same applies to Boogie. Rating him is hard. He’s never won before. He could just be a volume shooting center, or he could be actually good. Who really knows?

 

 

Tier 5: Stars

19. Gordon Hayward

20. Klay Thompson

21. Marc Gasol

22. Nikola Jokic

23. Damian Lillard

24. Kyrie Irving

25. DeMar DeRozan

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Hayward had a better season than Paul George this year on a better team, but he’s white so I don’t trust it (kidding, I think.) Hayward is one of two players to improve his scoring average for 7 straight years, so he’s good, but he needs to keep it up. Marc and Klay are defensive powerhouses that can put up points. Marc is more consistent, but when Klay puts up points he puts up POINTS. Klay is also my pick for pulling a Beard and being great as the main guy on another team.

Jokic, Lillard, Irving, and Derozan are all offensive powerhouses. They’re all right up there with the best of them. They are also all absolutely putrid on defense. Irving is the lovable star, but he wasn’t 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Team All-NBA this year for a reason. He’s really good, but there are better. Will Kyrie step up there? Probably. If he has his own team, I could see him being a better version of IT and Dame. Will his team win is the real question.

 

 

Tier 6: Stars?

26. Paul Millsap

27. C.J. McCollum

28. Blake Griffin

29. Mike Conley

30. Kemba Walker

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Shout out to Deandre Jordan, Kevin Love, and Al Horford, but you just missed the cut. Millsap is old, but he’s a monster, and he’s efficient. McCollum is a year or two away from possibly being better than Dame.

Blake Griffin has been in tier two before, but now that he’s in his prime he’s dipped a little bit… Wait what? I mean, injuries can derail a man. They did for Blake Griffin. Mike Conley continues to be underrated, and Cardiac Kemba will join him in that club.

 

I hope you all agree with my list. I know you don’t, but a man can hope.