NBArank 2022 – Best Players Ranking 2022-23, 10 to 6

NBArank is back for its twelfth season as the best player in the league.

Where do MVP candidates like Giannis AntikonmoAnd the Luka DoncicAnd the Joel Embiid And the Nikola Jokic? What about freshmen and young stars ready to jump into the top tier of NBA players?

where is he LeBron JamesWho enters his twentieth season?

For our final NBArank predictions, we asked our panel of experts to vote on pairs of players: LeBron vs. Kevin DurantAnd the Stephen Curry against. Ja MoranteLuca vs. Jason Tatum …and the list goes on.

We asked “Which player will be better in 2022-23?” Voters had to anticipate what they expected of each player during the season.

We’ve already revealed players No. 100-26 and No. 25-11. Today, our rankings continue to rank the top 10 stars in the league.

Note: ESPN’s NBArank panel, made up of more than 200 reporters, editors, producers, and analysts, was asked to rank players based on their expected contributions – quality and quantity – for the 2022-23 season only.

Phoenix Suns | SG

2021 NBA standings: number 15

At just 25 years old and already a three-time superstar and out of the All-NBA selection, Booker and his soft attacking game should contend for the best goalkeeper in the league for years to come.

Why did he go up five points

Booker’s rising year — the NBA Finals round, followed by an Olympic gold medal and leading Phoenix to a top-64 league win of the regular season — ended with a rapid fall. The Suns rebounded unofficially from the second round of the playoffs, as Booker combined for a 9-for-31 aggregate payout in games 6 and 7 against Dallas.

But Booker’s 26.8 points per game last season ranked him 12th in the league, cementing his reputation as one of the deadliest scorers in the game. However, he will take the next step by utilizing these recording skills in a time of crisis. Last season, in the first nine minutes of a quarter, Booker shot 48.5% overall and 42.1% out of 3. In the last three minutes of a quarter? He shot 41.8% from field and 31.8% from depth.

One huge question for 2022-23

The Suns have won a whopping 74.6% of their regular season games over the past two seasons, but that is determined by their flare as much as their success. Booker’s rise to all-star status was largely absent from the weight of expectations. He will have to score a big win in the playoffs to cement his place in the game.

The question is, in today’s NBA, where the highest degree of stardom is reserved for players who dominate both ends, what room for growth remains for Booker? Offensively, he relies on dexterity, angles and footwork to deal his damage. Defensively, he is definitely known as a strong player who can work within the team’s schemes. Could he get even more powerful with his stops and scores to continue climbing to the top of the list?

– Dave McMenamin

Memphis Grizzlies | PG

2021 NBA standings: No. 31

Morant may be the most entertaining player in the NBA, a high-flying acrobat with poise and confidence that creeps into arrogance. He made the must-watch Grizzlies TV.

Why did it go up 22 points?

Morant made a huge leap last season from a groundbreaking franchise to a superstar. His scoring rose by more than eight points per game to 27.1, which elevated Morant to the highest offensive weapon level and won his first All-Star berth and the MVP award.

A pure point guard who is the dominant indoor shooter despite his 6-foot-3 physique, Morant has an amazing blend of explosiveness, dexterity and fearlessness. He averaged 16.6 drawing points last season, and became the only goalkeeper to have led the league in that category over the last 25 seasons, according to ESPN Statistics and Information research.

One huge question for 2022-23

How much better can Morante get? The 23-year-old has room for drastic improvement on the defensive side, his skinny frame making him a target, and he tends to lose focus.

Offensively, he’s already a nightmare for opponents, but just imagine how difficult Morant would be to defend if his 3-point shot (34.4% last season) continued to improve. If Morant consistently managed to make the guards pay to go under the screen, it might be impossible to contain him.

– Tim McMahon

Brooklyn Nets | sixth

2021 NBA standings: No. 1

No player has led the summer NBA conversation more than Durant, having requested, and then withdrawn, Brooklyn’s trade order. How he fits into the Nets culture after asking coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks to fire him is one of the league’s most intriguing questions.

Why did he drop seven points

When Durant played, he was one of the best players on the planet. The problem for the former best player is that he can’t stay on the ground.

A knee injury cost him nearly two months of games, and for the second year in a row he had to miss a large part of the season. Durant has played 90 out of 152 potential regular season games over the past two seasons. Durant, who will turn 34 when the season approaches, must prove he can stay healthy until the Nets return to the Eastern elite.

One huge question for 2022-23

Health aside, the big question for the Networks is whether Durant will remain committed to the team. After a season filled with the emotional ups and downs of the organization, Durant’s commercial request and the surrounding uncertainty Keri Irving And the Ben Simmons The Nets made one of the coolest stories in the NBA. But what happens if and when times get tough? Will old frustrations grow?

– Nick Friedel

Boston Celtics | sixth

2021 NBA standings: No. 14

After making his NBA debut, winning the Eastern Conference Finals MVP, making his first trip to the NBA Finals and playing for a team expected to contend for the best record in the league, Tatum is poised for another leap into his entry. Sixth season.

Why did he go up seven points

After not making any of the three All-NBA teams in 2020-21 when the Celtics finished seventh in the East, Tatum was a deserving first-team member this past season after leading Boston’s dramatic transformation from being under 0.500 in late January to second in the East and advance to the finals for the first time since 2010.

Along the way, Tatum achieved a career high of 26.9 points per game, went on to raise his 3-point average and remains one of the best two-way wingers in the league.

One huge question for 2022-23

Tatum made some strides as a pass last season – something coach Aimee Odoka has emphasized since arriving last summer – but continuing to improve this part of his game is what will allow him to move on from a player in the back half of the top 10. To someone vying for first place on this list.

Although his passing totals basically didn’t change from year to year in the regular season, they went up during the playoffs, including an average of seven per game during the Finals. He will also be looking to recover from a disappointing display in his series against the Golden State Warriors, where he shot 30.8% from a two-point range across six games.

– Tim Bontemps

Los Angeles Lakers | sixth

2021 NBA standings: Number 3

It’s James’ 20th season, and there’s a lot at stake for the all-time greats. Needs 1,323 Eclipse Points Kareem Abdul-Jabbar As the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, but the Lakers’ success – or lack thereof – will largely determine how resonant the moment will be.

Why did he drop three points?

For the second time in four seasons as a Laker, James missed the playoffs – that’s after he missed the post-season only twice in his first 15 years in the league. James’ average of 30.3 points per game was unprecedented for the 19-year-old veteran, but the 26 games he lost due to various injuries and an inappropriate roster around him made for one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.

James has already redefined the concept of how long a preliminary player can last, so it would be foolish to write them off too soon, but it’s impossible to ignore that the Lakers had Negation Net rating with James on the floor last season, which is reason enough to drop him from the top five in the rankings regardless of his impressive offensive production.

One huge question for 2022-23

In the midst of losing 42 points during an impressive appearance at the popular Drew League in Los Angeles in July, James told ESPN, “I’m 100% healthy.” This is a solid starting point for James to get things back on track.

The question is, can James be lucky to stay healthy at the same time Anthony Davis Could, give the Lakers a chance to repeat the success that led to the title in 2020? If James and Anthony can play the bulk of the Los Angeles games, the Lakers will have a viable path back into the postseason, even with the challenges of working in it. Russell Westbrook And be guided by the new coach Darvin Hamm.

– McMenamin

NBArank 2022: No. 100-26 | No. 25-11 | Numbers 10-6 | Numbers 5-1 (next Friday).

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