Before diving into this article, I would like to describe a little about what my “Player Power Rankings” are. In this section, I will rate, in order, what I think the top 15 players in the league will be at the end of the season, based on their previous performance and potential. While these may not be the top 15 players at the time you are reading this, you should be provided with an idea of who is at the top of the NBA now, and who will be in the future. Without further ado, here are my Player Power Rankings.
- LeBron James– LeBron has been atop the NBA for years now and shows no signs of relinquishing his position. He is averaging a career high in assists, despite still being top 10 in the league in scoring. Come playoff time, LeBron will certainly reaffirm his status as The King, just like he did last year.
- Kevin Durant– Durant is the best player on the most talented team, and looks to grab his first ring this summer. People shared doubts about Durant last season, with all his injuries, but now he has come back stronger than ever. (On a side note, it can be interesting and revealing to see who becomes the top dog on superteams. Last season, “who’s better Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant” was a legitimate debate. Now that they’re on the same team, we can clearly see that Durant is the better player).
- James Harden– Harden is absolutely dominating this year, after his move to point guard. He is averaging 29 points per game and is leading the league in assists, and most importantly, his team is winning. While Harden has always put up great numbers, my one doubt about him was the fact that he has never been the best player on a good team. Now, the Rockets might be the third best team in the West, and Harden’s stock as a player is going up.
- Chris Paul– Chris Paul is the most underrated player in the league by a wide margin. He has been so good for so long that people are forgetting how good he is. He is the most consistent player in the league, but this has hurt him in the eyes of most fans. Unfortunately, he has never been surrounded with a championship-level supporting cast, and probably never will be.
- Kawhi Leonard– Stats cannot tell you how good Leonard really is. You just have to look at the Spurs’ record, and then look at their talent level (which is very low for a contender). Kawhi Leonard’s best skill is getting his team the W, much like Tim Duncan, so you should expect many Ws and a few championships while Leonard is with the Spurs.
- Russell Westbrook– If you read the last Weekly Column, you would know why I don’t have such a high opinion on Westbrook. However, there is no denying that he is a great player, because the dude is averaging a triple double. But with the Thunder doing well, there is no question about Westbrook’s ability to lead a team.
- Stephen Curry– Curry’s stock is dropping heavily this season. A few people would have said that he was the best player in the game last season, but that argument has been busted now that Durant is the alpha dog on the Warriors. To Curry’s credit, he has shown that he is able to be the second best player on a team, something many stars can’t do without affecting the team negatively.
- Anthony Davis- AD is in the same position that James Harden was in last year. He is putting up monster numbers, but the Pelicans still suck. If superstar is put on any team, that team should at least be decent. Is Anthony Davis a superstar? Apparently not. But he has great potential that should not be overlooked, and he might end up being the best player in the league once LeBron fades.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo– The Greek Freak is putting up insane numbers this year (24p, 9r, 6a). Despite not having a jump shot, Giannis manages to be effective all over the court in the same way that LeBron is. While he is still raw, he has so much potential that I could see him being the best player in the league within 4 or 5 years.
- Damian Lillard– Lillard is averaging 27 points per game while wasting away on a Portland Trail Blazers team. This might end up being Dame’s peak year, which is bad for the Blazers because Dame is not quite good enough to be the best player on a championship team.
- DeMarcus Cousins– Boogie is yet another star player incapable of making his team a contender. While his supporting cast is subpar, by my calculations that supporting cast is good enough for a .500 record, which the Kings are not even close to.
- John Wall– Wall has been good this season, but not great. He’s by far the best player on an average team. Don’t expect him or the Wizards to be making any noise in the playoffs anytime soon.
- DeMar DeRozan– He’s averaging 28 points per game on a very good team. DeMar has gotten to the point where he can get to the rim anytime he wants to. However, scoring is basically the only thing he does well, which might become a problem in the playoffs.
- Kyle Lowry– In all honesty, I think Lowry is a better player than DeRozan right now. He is nearly averaging a double double in points and assists, but it is unlikely that he will ever be much better than he is now, while DeRozan’s potential is unknown.
- Karl-Anthony Towns– He is still very young and has much room for improvement, but his versatility and skill as a rebounder are very appealing. KAT could also be the best player in the NBA at some point in the future.
Honorable Mention(not in order): Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Isaiah Thomas, Kemba Walker, Kevin Love, Draymond Green