© 2017 by the TECKnical Foul Podcast

TECKnical Foul NBA Rank: 2017 Edition

September 18, 2017

 

‘TIS THE SEASON...for NBA rankings! All around the internet this last week, publications released their lists ranking the Top 100 players in the NBA. As I read through each list I thought to myself, “I can do better than that," so I did. I came up with a formula (*see below for my very crude methodology if you’re interested) and rated each player based on my pre-established criteria. The players were then ranked accordingly based on the highest total scores. Ties were broken by me based on personal preference. This is a list of how good the players are now, in September 2017, not how good I expect them to be this upcoming season (I used my powers of analysis for reflection, not projection). So without further ado, I present the #TECKTop100. Enjoy!

 

*The formula I used consisted of six basic categories that I felt best captured each player's skill level and ability. The categories were: scoring, facilitation, shooting, on-ball defense, team defense (meaning the players impact on it - rim protection, help defense, etc.) and intangibles. I decided to assign impact factors to the offensive categories to effectively weight the ratings in that favor. Players were then assigned a numerical value (0-10) for each category based on their skill level and ability. Impact factors were assigned for players that were considered “outliers” in that category whether it be for skill or volume. For example, Steph Curry received an impact factor of “2” in the shooting category because of his elite shooting skill. The impact factor was them multiplied by the score in that category. I then added the scores for each category and ranked the players based on highest total score. Ties were broken by me based on personal preference. As I said, it was a very crude “formula” but I wanted to figure out an easy way to differentiate each player without comparing each one vs. one. If I do a list next year, I’ve already identified some errors in my methodology that ranked big men and one dimensional scorers way too low. Any additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

100. Tied: D’Angelo Russell, Nets; Brandon Ingram, Lakers; and Zach LaVine, Bulls

Score: 17 out of 90

A trio of young, talented players with major question marks. Injuries and defense for LaVine, maturity for Russell, and physical concerns for Ingram. I suspect that all three will be much better this season but for now they just barely crack the top 100 (yes, that means that this is technically a top 102 list but honestly, it’s my list so I can do what I want).

 

99. Taj Gibson, Wolves

Score: 17 out of 90

 

98. JaMychal Green, Grizzlies

Score: 17 out of 90

 

97. Patrick Patterson, Thunder

Score: 17 out of 90

 

96. Jabari Parker, Bucks

Score: 17 out of 90

While this ranking factors in his injury late last season, Parker flashed enough in 51 games to warrant placement on this list. No one knows what type of player Jabari will be once he returns from his second left ACL tear but when he was healthy he was one of the best young scorers in the game.

 

95. Wilson Chandler, Nuggets

Score: 17 out of 90

 

94. Dennis Schroder, Hawks

Score: 18 out of 90

Want to know how rough things are going to be in Atlanta this season? Schroder is the only Hawk to appear on this list.

 

93. Marvin Williams, Hornets

Score: 18 out of 90

 

92. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lakers

Score: 18 out of 90

 

91. Markieff Morris, Wizards

Score: 18 out of 90

 

90. Andre Roberson, Thunder

Score: 18 out of 90

 

89. Robin Lopez, Bulls

Score: 18 out of 90

 

88. Nerlens Noel, Mavericks

Score: 18 out of 90

After getting traded at the deadline and playing himself out of a $70 million contract, Nerlens Noel should have a lot to play for this year. He still has the same limitations on offense that he’s always had but it can’t be overstated how talented he is on the defensive end.

 

87. Derrick Favors, Jazz

Score: 18 out of 90

 

86. Lou Williams, Clippers

Score: 18 out of 90

Lou Will is here for one thing, and one thing only, and that is to GET BUCKETS! Coming off his best season to date, the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner should be a front-runner for the award once again.

 

85. Clint Capela, Rockets

Score: 18 out of 90

 

84. Elfrid Payton, Magic

Score: 19 out of 90

 

83. Manu Ginobili, Spurs

Score: 19 out of 90

 

82. Reggie Jackson, Pistons

Score: 19 out of 90

 

81. Dwight Howard, Hornets

Score: 19 out of 90

As frustrating as he is to watch, Dwight still brings value to the basketball court, albeit not as much as he used to. The Hornets are banking on a reunion with coach Steve Clifford reinvigorating this future Hall of Famer (It’s true; stop laughing).

 

80. Danny Green, Spurs

Score: 19 out of 90

 

79. Cody Zeller, Hornets

Score: 19 out of 90

 

78. Andre Drummond, Pistons

Score: 19 out of 90

Andre Drummond was easily the most disappointing “star” in the NBA last season. I think we’ll see a bounce back year for him this season but his stagnation/regression in 2016-2017 left a bad taste in my mouth.

 

77. Marcus Smart, Celtics

Score: 20 out of 90

 

76. Patty Mills, Spurs

Score: 20 out of 90

 

75. Marcin Gortat, Wizards

Score: 20 out of 90

 

74. Steven Adams, Thunder

Score: 20 out of 90

 

73. Dion Waiters, Heat

Score: 21 out of 90

Full disclosure, I was an early resident on “Waiters Island” but I lost faith and bailed after he got traded to OKC. His resurgence in Miami warmed my heart, but he still has major deficiencies in his game that need to be addressed.

 

72. Victor Oladipo, Pacers

Score: 21 out of 90

 

71. Rodney Hood, Jazz

Score: 21 out of 90

With Gordon Hayward in Boston, Hood has a chance to make a major leap forward this season. He’s had trouble staying on the court with injuries in the past but when he’s played, he’s been good.

 

70. Jeff Teague, Wolves

Score: 21 out of 90

 

69. Devin Booker, Suns

Score: 21 out of 90

Devin Booker is the best scorer under 22 in the league as evidenced by his 70 point outburst vs. Boston in the spring. But right now, he doesn’t do much of anything else.

 

68. Tristan Thompson, Cavs

Score: 21 out of 90

 

67. Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks

Score: 22 out of 90

The reigning, defending NBA Rookie of the Year had a solid, if unspectacular, rookie season. He’s a heady defender that knows what to do on offense.

 

66. Andrew Wiggins, Wolves

Score: 22 out of 90

 

65. James Johnson, Heat

Score: 23 out of 90

 

64. Robert Covington, 76ers

Score: 23 out of 90

 

63. Jae Crowder, Cavs

Score: 23 out of 90

While I think that people have overstated the importance of acquiring Crowder in the Kyrie trade, he should help against the Warriors in the Finals. The more versatile (young-ish) wings that the Cavs can acquire, the better.

 

62. Danilo Gallinari, Clippers

Score: 23 out of 90

 

61. Trevor Ariza, Rockets

Score: 24 out of 90

 

60. Dwyane Wade, Bulls

Score: 24 out of 90

These next three entries represent the “Spin Cycle” section of the #TECKTop100 as they’re all coming to the end of Hall of Fame careers. In limited roles, Gasol, Nowitzki and Wade are each still capable of contributing to winning teams.

 

59. Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks

Score: 25 out of 90

 

58. Pau Gasol, Spurs

Score: 25 out of 90

 

57. Nicolas Batum, Hornets

Score: 25 out of 90

 

56. Serge Ibaka, Raptors

Score: 25 out of 90

 

55. Patrick Beverley, Clippers

Score: 25 out of 90

 

54. Otto Porter, Jr., Wizards

Score: 25 out of 90

 

53. Myles Turner, Pacers

Score: 25 out of 90

With Paul George in OKC (and on his way to LAL), the Pacers have turned their franchise over to the young big man out of Texas. Turner has shown flashes over his first two seasons but he’ll have the chance to become “The Man” in what figures to be a long season in Indiana.

 

52. Gary Harris, Nuggets

Score: 25 out of 90

 

51. Ricky Rubio, Jazz

Score: 25 out of 90

While Rubio hasn’t been the star many tabbed him to be coming into the league, he has developed into a very solid point guard. He’s a young vet with potential to still improve and Utah should be a good fit for him.

 

50. Greg Monroe, Bucks

Score: 26 out of 90

 

49. J.J. Redick, 76ers

Score: 26 out of 90

 

48. Harrison Barnes, Mavericks

Score: 26 out of 90

 

47. George Hill, Kings

Score: 26 out of 90

 

46. Goran Dragic, Heat

Score: 27 out of 90

 

45. Hassan Whiteside, Heat

Score: 27 out of 90

One flaw that I’ll need to address for next years list is that my ratings seem to undervalue bigs like Whiteside that protect the rim and rebound but do little else on offense besides diving on pick and rolls. Whiteside is a beast.

 

44. Andre Iguodala, Warriors

Score: 28 out of 90

 

43. Eric Bledsoe, Suns

Score: 28 out of 90

 

42. Jrue Holiday, Pelicans

Score: 29 out of 90

 

41. Bradley Beal, Wizards

Score: 29 out of 90

Beal was good but not great last season. The Wizards need him to take another leap and become a legit All-Star if they want to break through in the Eastern Conference.

 

40. DeAndre Jordan, Clippers

Score: 29 out of 90

 

39. Avery Bradley, Pistons

Score: 30 out of 90

I was initially surprised by how well Avery Bradley came out in my ratings. He is the premier guard defender in the league and is a sneaky good offensive player. Shipping him out is what soured me on Boston’s offseason.

 

38. Joel Embiid, 76ers

Score: 30 out of 90

 

37. Kevin Love, Cavs

Score: 30 out of 90

 

36. C.J. McCollum, Trail Blazers

Score: 30 out of 90

 

35. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Score: 30 out of 90

 

34. DeMarcus Cousins, Pelicans

Score: 30 out of 90

 

33. DeMar DeRozan, Raptors

Score: 30 out of 90

DeMar DeRozan is one of those basketball players that other hoopers LOVE because he has mastered things like his footwork and midrange jumper through hours of hard work. He’s a beast for sure but his game is far too limited and one-dimensional to warrant a higher ranking from me.

 

32. Carmelo Anthony, Knicks

Score: 30.5 out of 90

There’s been much consternation on the internet and social media this last week about where Carmelo Anthony falls in the NBA hierarchy. I think some fans still think that this is “Prime Melo” and overrate him while the basketball nerd community (of which I am admittedly a member) underrates his post-prime ability because of the style of basketball he plays. Top 35 feels like a solid range for him.

 

31. Brook Lopez, Lakers

Score: 31 out of 90

 

30. Kemba Walker, Hornets

Score: 31 out of 90

 

29. LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs

Score: 31 out of 90

 

28. Kyle Lowry, Raptors

Score: 31 out of 90

 

27. Khris Middleton, Bucks

Score: 32 out of 90

Thanks to the exodus of top level talent in the East and his continued improvement every year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Money Middleton make the All-Star team this season. He missed the first half of 2016-2017, but his return sparked the Bucks late season playoff push.

 

26. Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks

Score: 32 out of 90

 

25. Isaiah Thomas, Cavs

Score: 32 out of 90

 

24. Blake Griffin, Clippers

Score: 32 out of 90

 

23. Karl-Anthony Towns, Wolves

Score: 32 out of 90

This is a little lower than his “consensus” ranking in mainstream publications but his atrocious defense sunk his rating. Of all the players on this list, KAT has the greatest chance of making a major move up over the next year.

 

22. Al Horford, Celtics

Score: 33 out of 90

 

21. Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Score: 33 out of 90

This is another entry that exposed a flaw in my ranking system. Gobert is the best defensive big in the league and should be for years to come. He needs to contribute a little more on offense to up his score.

 

20. Paul Millsap, Nuggets

Score: 34 out of 90

While his days as an All-Star appear to be over with his relocation to the stacked Western Conference, Paul Millsap is still one of the most versatile players in the game. His three point percentage dipped a bit last season, but he still remains a threat to score from anywhere on the court. Plus, his defensive versatility will be vital to Denver’s playoff push this year.

 

19. Gordon Hayward, Celtics

Score: 34 out of 90

Gordon Hayward is the swingman version of Paul Millsap. He isn’t particularly elite at any one thing, but he’s pretty damn good at everything. His move to Boston should expose more eyes to just how good he is.

 

18. Mike Conley, Grizzlies

Score: 39 out of 90

Mike Conley is about as non-flashy as you can get at the point guard position but he always gets the job done. He’s a floor general in every sense of the word and consistently drags an injury riddled Grizzlies team to 50 wins and a playoff berth.

 

17. Marc Gasol, Grizzlies

Score: 40 out of 90

Marc Gasol is the other half of Memphis’ heart and soul. He expanded his range out to three point territory last year which createed matchup nightmares for “small ball” lineups around the league.

 

16. Jimmy Butler, Wolves

Score: 40 out of 90

The Bulls were terrible and disappointing in 2016-2017 but Jimmy Butler was as great as he’s ever been. I’m sure he’s happy to be reunited with coach Tom Thibodeau, but it’ll be interesting to see how he plays with Andrew Wiggins given the overlap in offensive skillset.

 

15. Klay Thompson, Warriors

Score: 41 out of 90

Klay Thompson possesses two elite skills: shooting and defense. That combination makes him hyper-important in the modern NBA. I’m not sure that he’d be able to carry his own team like some of the players that showed up earlier on this list but in his current role he’s much more vital to his team’s success.

 

14. Draymond Green, Warriors

Score: 41 out of 90

The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year is easily the worst scorer in the top 20 but he’s so damn good at everything else that it doesn’t really matter.

 

13. Paul George, Thunder

Score: 41 out of 90

Paul George is one of the most well-rounded players in the game. If there’s one flaw, it’s that he doesn’t score quite as much as he should. Moving to a “second banana” role in OKC should free him up to showcase his versatility even more.

 

12. Kyrie Irving, Celtics

Score: 42.5 out of 90

The second half of the NBA offseason turned into a referendum on Kyrie’s game. He’s another one of those players that was hard to rank because he’s so obviously talented but his game features major flaws. Removing the LeBron “safety net” should go a long way in determining exactly how good he is and how good he can be.

 

11. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers

Score: 43.5 out of 90

Dame has similar strengths and weakness to Kyrie but he gets the slight nod over Kyrie due to his ability as a facilitator and in the Intangibles category because of his leadership.

 

10. John Wall, Wizards

Score: 44 out of 90

John Wall finally started to get the respect he deserved this past season. His ability to create for both himself and others is what sets him apart from the other top point guards in the Eastern Conference and ultimately, it’s what propels him into the top 10.

 

9. Anthony Davis, Pelicans

Score: 44 out of 90

As “The Brow” continues to put up monster numbers in New Orleans, you can’t deny his singular ability but his production has yet to translate to wins for the Pelicans.

 

8. Chris Paul, Rockets

Score: 45.5 out of 90

The Point God just continues to crank out greatness. Untimely injuries to key contributors last season is what ultimately doomed the Clippers but Chris Paul was still the top “Floor General” in the game. My only worry with CP3 joining the Rockets, is whether or not there will be enough balls (PERSONAL!! - Tim) to go around in Houston.

 

7. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Score: 47 out of 90

The Greek Freak (I hate that nickname, but whatever...) continues to get exponentially better each year and 2016-2017 was no exception. I can’t imagine that trend continuing this year but I’ve learned to never underestimate him.

 

6. Kawhi Leonard, Spurs

Score: 47 out of 90

Kawhi suffers in these rankings from the emphasis that I placed on offense in my ratings. Had offense and defense been weighted equally, he would have placed even higher. He truly is the best “two-way player” in the game.

 

5. Russell Westbrook, Thunder

Score: 58 out of 90

An MVP season in which he averaged a triple-double was only good enough for #5 on this list. If that doesn’t prove that the NBA is in a boom period for talent, I don’t know what does. Adding PG13 should take some of the pressure off of Westbrook to create everything for the Thunder this year; so while his numbers may take a hit, he might have an even better season.

 

4. Stephen Curry, Warriors

Score: 58 out of 90

Curry took a backseat to Durant last season but he was still his same magical self when the situation called for it. I expect him to be more of a 1A option this season after making sacrifices to get Durant acclimated last year.

 

3. James Harden, Rockets

Score: 58 out of 90

Harden was a one man band for the Rockets last season. I have my worries about how he’ll be able to coexist on the court CP3; but in the end, talent usually finds a way.

 

2. Kevin Durant, Warriors

Score: 63 out of 90

We saw KD at the peak of his powers in the NBA Finals. He’s finally forced himself into the “God Tier” of NBA players that has been occupied by only one man over the last few years. Love it or hate it, his move to the Warriors unlocked a new level of greatness.

 

1. LeBron James, Cavs

Score: 64 out of 90

Durant is closing the gap but the king is still “The King.”

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