The NBA’s 30 Clip
With the NBA transforming into a giant cluster fuck this off-season, next year is sure to be a very dramatic and entertaining season. The league has evolved year by year, and every new season the overall talent level seems to reach a new height. It is very likely that right now is the peak of the NBA, there are teams with superstars that are just hardly (or not even) making the playoffs. Over the course of the next couple weeks, I’m going to be ranking the 30 best players in the NBA, strictly from my opinion. The rankings are designated from if you had to start a team from scratch tomorrow, which player would you want most to build around?
30. Dwyane Wade
The historically great shooting guard is now in his 13th NBA season. Excellence has always been a synonym for the name D-Wade and this year is going to be an incredible adjustment for basketball fans to see him repping the Red and Black as opposed to the Black and Red. Will we see a different side of Dwyane? Where he attempts to channel a different set of skills he’s never showcased now that his environment around him will be different?
It will be interesting to see how he, Rondo & Jimmy Buckets translate on the court. It could go one of two ways: they could create for each other in the open floor and get easy mid range jumpers in the half court with offensive creativity, or they could all shoot below 40% and not make the playoffs.
Last year the Flash averaged 19 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.6 APG while shooting 45% from the floor. We can expect those numbers to remain somewhat similar again this year, with the potential for his assists to go up considering he’ll playing alongside another All-Star for the first time since LeBron’s departure in Miami.
29. CJ McCollum
The most improved player in the league last year won’t have quite the same jump this upcoming year, at least I wouldn’t anticipate him to average 30+ PPG this season. A skilled 2 guard that compliments Dame Dolla terrifically as the Robin to his Batman is always ready to snap some ankles and shoot some deep ass bombs.
Herky jerky buckets are a second nature to CJ, he can score in a variety of ways with excellent shooting ability, a post game that isn’t possessed by many 2 guards, and a finesse way of finishing around the room. Oh, and his kicks are always bool.
CJ averaged 21–3–4 last season, 4 assists is a decent average for a shooting guard but I imagine that number might dip this year with Evan Turner coming into Portland and taking over some of the play making role. CJ’s scoring output should increase with another creator on the floor that isn’t him or Baby Dame, a 25 PPG season is very potential for this bucket getting 2 guard.
28. Kevin Love
Potentially the most difficult person to navigate his spot on this list, or if he even deserved one, Kevin Love’s skills are still undeniable. After a rough media-antagonized, chemistry faulted, and really long season last year, Kevin Love is (kinda) back. He still averaged 16–10 every night alongside two players that are statistical phenoms. Last year on a per game basis, K-Love averaged 7 two-point attempts, and 5.7 three-point attempts. With LeBron more than likely taking more off days this season, we should look to see Love’s post touches rise this season along with his scoring output. The weight on his shoulders will be heavier, but that’s what we as fans have wanted to see since he got to The Land.
K-Love will make a big jump this year and finally find himself as a vital piece in the Cavs offense. He’ll go from 16–10 back up to 20–11, there will be hella nostalgic T’Wolves vibes in Believeland this season.
27. Kemba Walker
We will see if 2016 was a fluke or not for the former March Madness wonder but we do know that Kemba got game.
The Hornets are stuck in the mud as a middle of the pack eastern conference team that is borderline between being a top 5 seed and being a late lottery pick. Kemba will have more control over the offense this season with Al Jefferson departing and Roy Hibbert replacing him.
The weapons that surround Kemba are rather limited, Batum is the vanilla pudding of any offense, Kidd-Gilchrist has a better chance eating the basketball without getting a violation from a ref than he does making a corner 3, and Frank the Tank is the best shooter on the floor for them at all times.
Kemba averaged 21–4.5–5 last year which was a pretty big improvement from 17–4–5 the year before. Last year was hands down his best season so far so I expect Kemba to more than likely lower his statistical output this season, I imagine a 19–4–6 average line this year which will keep him in the conversation for Top 10 point guards around the league.
26. Hassan Whiteside
Get paid big fella. I hope he doesn’t see this list because I really don’t want him to swat the next jumper I attempt. From a defensive center standpoint, yes, Whiteside is a top 3 player in the league. He’s getting there offensively, and he really needs to take that next leap if he wants Miami to continue being a contender in the East. He’s the face of the franchise aside from Pat Riley now that Wade County is just boring old Miami again. Hopefully the snapchat OG can translate his success with Justice Winslow and Josh Richardson there to on the court alongside Three-on Waiters and 56 Million Dollar Tyler Johnson.
Whiteside’s temper will probably always be an issue, but that’s part of what makes watching him so fun. He displays an intensity that not a lot of other bigs in the league have aside from Boogie Cousins.
Last year Whiteside averaged 14–12 with 3 blocks per game. This year with Wade gone, we can expect his attempts to go up and his scoring output to increase to around 19 PPG. Hopefully he can be a top tier rebounder and get up into the middle teens around 14 or 15 boards per game. 3.7 blocks will be hard to top so I imagine that it will stay around there.