© 2017 by the TECKnical Foul Podcast

TECKnical Foul NBA Rank: 2018 Edition

October 17, 2018

 

The 2018-2019 NBA Season is finally upon us.

 

To celebrate the opening of another year, I've updated my Top 100 rankings. This is a ranking of the players at this very moment, not a prognostication of how they'll perform this upcoming season. I've revamped my formula this time around to take into account rebounding after last year’s edition ranked big men a little lower than I liked.

 

What do you think? Who's too high? Who's too low?

 

100. Carmelo Anthony, HOU

Last Year’s Ranking: 32

New year. New team. Same Melo. MUCHHH lower ranking. Last season we saw that Melo is not a role player. While I think that he'll be used better in Houston than he was in OKC, I think we've reached the end of the "Carmelo Anthony is an impact NBA player" era.

 

99 Tim Hardaway, Jr., NYK

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

98 Al-Farouq Aminu, POR

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

97. Nikola Mirotic, NO

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

96. Tristan Thompson, CLE

Last Year’s Ranking: 68

 

95. Kris  Dunn, CHI

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

94. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL

Last Year’s Ranking: 51

 

93. Bobby Portis, CHI

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

92. Dwyane Wade, MIA               

Last Year’s Ranking: 61

Congrats to D-Wade as he enters his last season. If he'd kept up the pace he was on with the Cavs last season, there is no way he would have made this list but the trade back to South Beach seemed to rejuvenate him and we saw flashes (pun intended) of his former greatness in the playoffs.

 

91. Derrick Favors, UTA

Last Year’s Ranking: 86

 

90. Thaddeus Young, IND

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

89. Julius Randle, NO

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

88. Dejounte Murray, SA

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

Dejounte was one of the young players that I was most looking forward to see play this year. Everyone in San Antonio expected him to have a breakout season. Unfortunately, a torn ACL means that we will have to wait until next year to find out if they were right to be optimistic.

 

87. Reggie Jackson, DET

Last Year’s Ranking: 82

 

86. Danilo Gallinari, LAC

Last Year’s Ranking: 62

 

85. Cody Zeller, CHA

Last Year’s Ranking: 79

84. Domantas Sabonis, IND

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

83. Tyreke Evans, IND

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

82. Rajon Rondo, LAL

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

While he's not the same player that he was in Boston, Rondo was able to use his craftiness and intelligence to have a bounce back year in New Orleans after a few seasons spent in the wilderness. Of all the "weird" signings the Lakers made this offseason, this one has the most potential to pay dividends (or blow up in their faces).

 

81. Robin Lopez, CHI

Last Year’s Ranking: 89

 

80. Dwight Howard, WAS

Last Year’s Ranking: 80

 

79. Nicolas Batum, CHA

Last Year’s Ranking: 52

 

78. Lou Williams, LAC

Last Year’s Ranking: 92

Lou Will *just* missed out on an All-Star nod last season (and thanks to Jimmy Butler's hangover, he probably should've gotten it). He's a 30+ year old, non-starter but his bucket-getting skills are elite.

 

77. George Hill, CLE

Last Year’s Ranking: 47

 

76. Pau Gasol, SA

Last Year’s Ranking: 57

 

75. Malcolm Brogdon, MIL

Last Year’s Ranking: 66

 

74. Andre Iguodala, GS

Last Year’s Ranking: 44

Iggy's regular season numbers and performance leave a lot to be desired these days but for my money, he is still the most important bench player in the league.

 

73. Hassan Whiteside, MIA

Last Year’s Ranking: 48

 

72. Patrick Beverley, LAC

Last Year’s Ranking: 59

 

71. Serge Ibaka, TOR

Last Year’s Ranking: 54

 

70. Avery Bradley, LAC

Last Year’s Ranking: 33

 

69. Trevor Ariza, PHX

Last Year’s Ranking: 60

 

68. Terry Rozier, BOS

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

67. Lauri Markkanen, CHI
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

66. Tobias Harris, LAC

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

Given the crowded frontcourt field in the West, I don't foresee an All-Star berth for Tobias this year but he's good enough to make it a conversation. It feels like he's been around forever but he's still only 26 years old.

 

65. Brook Lopez, MIL

Last Year’s Ranking: 31

 

64. Lonzo Ball, LAL

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

63. Jamal Murray, DEN

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

62. Brandon Ingram, LAL

Last Year’s Ranking: 98

No young player's performance will determine as much about his team as Brandon Ingram this season. As he goes, so go the Lakers. If LeBron James is going to make it to a ninth straight NBA Finals, Ingram will have to play at an All-Star level.

 

61. Marcus Smart, BOS

Last Year’s Ranking: 77

 

60. Eric Bledsoe, MIL

Last Year’s Ranking: 43

 

59. Aaron Gordon, ORL

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

58. Clint Capela, HOU

Last Year’s Ranking: 85

 

57. Ricky Rubio, UTA

Last Year’s Ranking: 56

 

56. Gary Harris, DEN

Last Year’s Ranking: 55

55. Josh Richardson, MIA

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

Josh Richardson is GOOD. There is a reason why he's at the center of the Jimmy Butler rumors and there's a reason that Miami is hesitant to include him in the deal. He's already a lockdown defender at three positions and his offense improves each and every year.

 

54. Jaylen Brown, BOS

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

53. Eric Gordon, HOU

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

52. James Johnson, MIA

Last Year’s Ranking: 65

 

51. JJ Redick, PHI

Last Year’s Ranking: 49

Assuming that Markelle Fultz can remain in the line-up this season, the Sixth Man of the Year award is Reddick's to lose. He will always hang his hat on his shooting but the defense and leadership he brings to his team is criminally underrated.

 

50. Goran Dragic, MIA

Last Year’s Ranking: 45

 

49. DeAndre Jordan, DAL

Last Year’s Ranking: 42

 

48. Jayson Tatum, BOS

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

47. Harrison Barnes, DAL

Last Year’s Ranking: 46

 

46. Robert Covington, PHI

Last Year’s Ranking: 64

 

45. Otto Porter, Jr., WAS

Last Year’s Ranking: 53

 

44. Andre Drummond, DET

Last Year’s Ranking: 78

 

43. Steven Adams, OKC

Last Year’s Ranking: 74

 

42. Blake Griffin, DET

Last Year’s Ranking: 24

Blake has entered that weird stage of his career where he's still capable of putting up numbers but his impact on the outcome of the game has begun to wane. He's best suited as a third option on a contending team but he's being paid like an All-NBA player. That is a bad sign for the Pistons.

 

41. CJ McCollom, POR

Last Year’s Ranking: 36

 

40. Devin Booker, PHX

Last Year’s Ranking: 70

Book got his bag over the summer and now it's time to start showing that he's a winning basketball player. Given the Suns point guard rotation, he figures to spend more time with the ball in his hand than ever before. The Booker/Ayton pick and roll should be deadly (one day).

 

39. Myles Turner, IND

Last Year’s Ranking: 58

 

38. Donovan Mitchell, UTA

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

37. Paul Millsap, DEN

Last Year’s Ranking: 20

 

36. Mike Conley, MEM

Last Year’s Ranking: 18

 

35. Kyle Lowry, TOR

Last Year’s Ranking: 28

 

34. Bradley Beal, WAS

Last Year’s Ranking: 40

Beal closed the gap between himself and teammate John Wall last season with his first All-Star appearance. Given the perpetual chemistry issues in DC, we might be headed towards the point where they'll have to decide between the two. I'd probably lean towards keeping Beal were that decision up to me.

 

33. Kemba Walker, CHA               

Last Year’s Ranking: 29

 

32. Kevin Love, CLE

Last Year’s Ranking: 35

 

31. DeMar Derozan, SA

Last Year’s Ranking: 38

The perpetually underrated Derozan should thrive in San Antonio. Pop just figures out how to use the talent he has available. The Dejounte Murray injury puts a damper on my expectations for the Spurs a little bit but they still figure to be a playoff team in the West and DeMar is a big reason why.

 

30. Kristaps Porzingis, NYK

Last Year’s Ranking: 25


29. Victor Oladipo, IND
Last Year’s Ranking: 71

 

28. Marc Gasol, MEM

Last Year’s Ranking: 17

 

27. Jrue Holiday, NO

Last Year’s Ranking: 41

 

26. Khris Middleton, MIL

Last Year’s Ranking: 23

Will this be the year that Ka$h Money Middleton finally breaks through and makes the All-Star team? If the Bucks want to make noise in the wide-open Eastern Conference, he'll have to.

 

25. DeMarcus Cousins, GS

Last Year’s Ranking: 39

Will the addition of Cousins make them the greatest team of all time or will it be the first chink in their armor and lead to their eventual downfall? He'll likely be out until around the All-Star break (at least) but once he's back it'll be interesting to see which outcome actually plays out.

 

24. Gordon Hayward, BOS

Last Year’s Ranking: 19

 

23. Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN

Last Year’s Ranking: 26

 

22. Rudy Gobert, UTA

Last Year’s Ranking: 22

 

21. LaMarcus Aldridge, SA

Last Year’s Ranking: 30

 

20. John Wall, WAS

Last Year’s Ranking: 9

 

19. Nikola Jokic, DEN

Last Year’s Ranking: 34

 

18. Al Horford, BOS

Last Year’s Ranking: 21

 

17. Ben Simmons, PHI

Last Year’s Ranking: N/A

 

16. Draymond Green, GS

Last Year’s Ranking: 15

 

15. Kyrie Irving, BOS

Last Year’s Ranking: 12

 

14. Paul George, OKC

Last Year’s Ranking: 13

PG13 shocked just about everyone by electing to stay in Oklahoma without even taking a meeting with his hometown Lakers. The on court fit with Russell Westbrook is a match made in heaven but I'm dubious as to it's championship potential.

 

13. Damian Lillard, POR 

Last Year’s Ranking: 11

 

12. Jimmy Butler, MIN  

Last Year’s Ranking: 16

Perhaps by the time you read this, Jimmy will have found a new home. For now, he's extremely unhappy in Minnesota. Given his age and mileage, I'd hate to be the team that pays him his next contract, but there is no denying that he is a top 15 player in the world at this point in time.

 

11. Klay Thompson, GS

Last Year’s Ranking: 14

 

10. Joel Embiid, PHI

Last Year’s Ranking: 37

The question with Embiid will always be "Can he stay healthy?" but last year he proved that he is one of, if not THE most skilled big men in the league.

 

9. Kawhi Leonard, TOR

Last Year’s Ranking: 6

Kawhi returns from a lost year of injury and indecision on a new team in an entirely different country. The Raptors made a huge gamble acquiring him in a contract year but if they have the year they expect to have, they should be able to entice him to stay.

 

8. Chris Paul, HOU

Last Year’s Ranking: 8

CP3 just keeps chugging along. Injuries are starting to pile up but he's still one of the most impact players in the league when he's in the lineup.

 

7. Russell Westbrook, OKC

Last Year’s Ranking: 4

Russ was just as explosive and tenacious last year as he was during his MVP season (and averaged a triple-double again) but the Thunder disappointed. They're banking on the subtraction of Melo and another year of Russ & PG being enough to return them to contention in the West.

 

6. Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL

Last Year’s Ranking: 7

We're getting to the "splitting hairs" portion of the list. Any of the remaining players could make a claim as the best player on the planet by years end and it wouldn't surprise me. Everybody says that Giannis will be unstoppable once he gets a consistent jump shot but he's pretty damn unstoppable already.

 

5. Anthony Davis, NO

Last Year’s Ranking: 10

Anthony Davis is a destroyer of worlds and yet still seems to be perpetually underrated despite his gaudy numbers.

 

4. Stephen Curry, GS

Last Year’s Ranking: 3

Steph is still the engine that makes the Warriors machine go. Regardless of what other pieces they bring in, his otherworldly shooting, slick handles and sky high IQ will be what's most integral to Golden State's success.

 

3. James Harden, HOU

Last Year’s Ranking: 5

Harden finally got over the hump last season by claiming his first MVP trophy after finishing as runner up twice in three years. Armed with a lethal (borderline illegal) step-back jumper and the ability to draw fouls at a prime Shaq rate, Harden is unstoppable offensively.

 

2. Kevin Durant, GS

Last Year’s Ranking: 2

It is starting to feel like KD gets better every year but he gets no closer to dethroning LeBron as the best player in the league. C'est la vie.

 

1. LeBron James, LAL

Last Year’s Ranking: 1

Still the King.

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