Sports Illustrated recently released the list of NBA players it ranked from No. 30 down to No. 11. Danny Green (50) and Tony Parker (53) were already revealed in the top 100. Both players are terrific in their own right, but they were rated a bit too highly. Players like DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal, Kobe Bryant, and Nikola Vucevic should’ve ranked higher than them.
And Sports Illustrated dropped the ball once again by ranking Tim Duncan as the 11th-best player in the league.
May 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) guards San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) in the first half of game seven of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Duncan even ranked higher than teammate LaMarcus Aldridge, who came in at No. 12. Yes, the 39-year old Duncan is still a high-impact player. The problem is the legend isn’t dominating on a daily basis like most guys in the top 20.
In fairness, Duncan remains one of the best all-around bigs in the game. He averaged 13.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2.0 blocks. Despite being a complete player, though, it’s hard to make a case that Duncan is better than his new teammate Aldridge. He’s nowhere near the defender Duncan is, but Aldridge is an offensive force. The power forward is the only player in the league to average at least 23 points and 10 rebounds the last two seasons.
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Wall averaged 17.6 points, 10 assists, and 4.6 rebounds. The 24-year old is one of the best all-around guards in the league. Cousins is arguably the best center in the NBA. He racked up 24.1 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.7 steals.
Butler recorded 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists and is also one of the premier defenders in the NBA. Lillard, one of the league’s best guards, tallied 21 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.6 rebounds.
Aldridge’s rating is respectable, as he has proven he is an elite big in the past few years, but he still shouldn’t be below Duncan. In his prime, Duncan would’ve been top-5 every year, unfortunately that is no longer the case.
Kawhi Leonard hasn’t been ranked, which means he will be in the top-10. The top-10 will be announced on September 3rd.