SI is rolling out their Top-100 players in the NBA and, while they haven't yet sorted the top-10, all Jazz men are now accounted for.
So where do our guys land?
#14: Rudy Gobert
#26: Mike Conley
#29: Donovan Mitchell
#52: Bojan Bogdanovic
#65: Joe Ingles
Congrats to our guys! To have three players in the top-30 and five in the top-65 is a pretty great feat and emphasizes just how deep our squad is going to be this season. By pure distribution you'd expect a team to have one top-30 guy and just 2-3 guys in the top-65 so we are well ahead of the curve.
So now comes the best part of rankings: quibbling! Who is overrated? Who is underrated? Where should our guys land?
We know that the top-10, in some order, are Lebron, Curry, Durant, Giannis, Kawhi, Harden, Jokic, Embiid, Paul George, and AD. Your views may differ, but I don't think any of our guys should displace anyone from this top-10. They are all world-class. So where does that leave us quibble-wise?
Gobert: Actual: 14. Should be: 12.
He's sitting right behind KAT (#13), Russ (#12), and Jimmy Butler (#11). I think that grouping is about right. KAT is unbelievably skilled for a big man and Russ carries a bigger load than arguably any player in the league. But Russ's inefficiency is a killer and KAT hasn't shown an ability to carry his team to wins. I'd nudge Gobert ahead of both on that basis. Butler is a legitimate star on both ends even if his demeanor and personality are more toxic. While I'd rather have Gobert on my team, from a skill/talent standpoint I think Butler has legitimate claim to his #11 slot given his two-way excellence.
Conley: Actual: 26. Should be: 25.
Of the players ahead of Conley (notably #23 Ben Simmons, #24 Pascal Siakam, #25 Jrue Holiday), I think Mike deserves to be ahead of both Simmons (can't shoot and has been absolutely exposed two playoffs in a row) and Siakam (not a large enough sample to prove he's a league elite). He and Jrue are neck and neck, but I'll give Jrue the nod due to his younger age and his size and athleticism advantages. So wait, shouldn't that put him at #24? It would except. . .
Mitchell: Actual: 29. Should be: 23
I think Donovan squeaks ahead of both Conley and Holiday (as well as Simmons and Siakam) and slots in right behind #22 Bradley Beal. Conley is crafty and more savvy, but Mitchell has broader offensive game and can carry a larger share of the team's load. Both are equally capable defenders. Mitchell also leapfrogs #28 Kyle Lowry, who is still solid but hasn't played at a top-30 level for two years and seems to be riding rep in these rankings, and #27 Khris Middleton, who is a prototypical efficient wing but not more than that. Team USA kind of exposed him as no better than a second or third option.
Bojan: Actual: 52. Should be: 49
Bojan's immediate comps (#53 Lou Williams, #51 John Collins, #50 Danilo Gallinari) are all pretty spot on, but ahead of him are some grossly-overrated guys in #48 Gary Harris, #46 Eric Bledsoe, and #43 Paul Millsap. Bojan might even deserve to be higher (ahead of guys like #42 Marc Gasol or #47 Myles Turner), but he probably needs more than his excellent most-recent season to make that claim clear.
Ingles: Actual: 65. Should be: on his own list as GOAT of the universe
Nobody can compare to Jingles. All hail Jingles.
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