Community Shootaround: Top 60 NBA Players Heading Into 2019/20

Magic Johnson turns 60 this week and he’s celebrating the milestone by unleashing a bevy of top-60 lists on Twitter (it’s truly a blessing that the NBA legend stepped away from his Lakers role in order to tweet freely). In honor of Johnson’s birthday, I’ve put together a top-60 list, ranking NBA players heading into next season.

The list is based on recent production as well as projections for the upcoming season. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Jusuf Nurkic all would have easily made the top 60, but the trio was kept out due to their respective injuries and uncertain return dates.

Here are my top 60 players heading into the 2019/20 campaign:

60. Steven Adams (Thunder)

59. Bojan Bogdanovic (Jazz)

58. Jaren Jackson Jr. (Grizzlies)

57. Andre Drummond (Pistons)

56. Montrezl Harrell (Clippers)

55. Otto Porter Jr. (Bulls)

54. Julius Randle (Knicks)

53. Zach LaVine (Bulls)

52. Zion Williamson (Pelicans)

51. Brook Lopez (Bucks)

Where do we place Zion Williamson before he officially steps on an NBA court? He could immediately showcase the talent that made him one of best prospects in recent memory or he could come in the league with a bit of learning curve and struggle to live up to the loftiest of expectations.

Sandwiching Williamson between Brook Lopez, who’s proven to be valuable in today’s game. and Zach LaVine, who had an underrated 2018/19 campaign and is still building on his own game, seems like the best way to balance the risk vs. reward in Zion’s debut season.

50. Buddy Hield (Kings)

49. John Collins (Hawks)

48. Justise Winslow (Heat)

47. Kevin Love (Cavs)

46. Eric Bledsoe (Bucks)

46. Jamal Murray (Nuggets)

45. Lauri Markkanen (Bulls)

44. Clint Capela (Rockets)

43. Myles Turner (Pacers)

42. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)

41. DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)

Jamal Murray improved his game over his first three seasons in the league, parlaying his time in Denver into a five-year, $171MM extension. Further improvement will be needed to justify this ranking (and the extension), though he’ll have the opportunity to do just that as he looks to help Denver navigate through a loaded Western Conference.

40. Chris Paul (Thunder)

39. Kristaps Porzingis (Mavericks)

38. Tobias Harris (Sixers)

37. Khris Middleton (Bucks)

36. Devin Booker (Suns)

35. D’Angelo Russell (Warriors)

34. Al Horford (Sixers)

33. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)

32. CJ McCollum (Blazers)

31. Luka Doncic (Mavericks)

With Kyrie Irving and Al Horford out of Boston, Jayson Tatum is expected to see an expanded role in a system that he knows well. He has a polished game and with the added opportunity, it would be an upset if he’s not in the All-Star conversation next season.

30. Jrue Holiday (Pelicans)

29. Pascal Siakam (Raptors)

28. Danilo Gallinari (Thunder)

27. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)

26. Draymond Green (Warriors)

25. LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)

24. De’Aaron Fox (Kings)

23. Victor Oladipo (Pacers)

22. Mike Conley (Jazz)

21. Ben Simmons (Sixers)

Simmons, like Murray, received a massive extension this offseason and he’ll need to further improve on his game to make the $171MM deal a team-friendly arrangement. Yet, that’s the kind of upside the 23-year-old possesses. Simmons could easily find his way onto numerous All-NBA teams throughout the deal and it wouldn’t be shocking if his first anointment comes at the end of 2019/20 season.

20. Nikola Vucevic (Magic)

19. Blake Griffin (Pistons)

18. Bradley Beal (Wizards)

17. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)

16. Kemba Walker (Celtics)

15. Karl-Anthony Towns (Wolves)

14. Russell Westbrook (Rockets)

13. Rudy Gobert (Jazz)

12. Jimmy Butler (Heat)

11. Kyrie Irving (Nets)

Rudy Gobert‘s ranking might seem high, especially after he was snubbed during last season’s All-Star selections, though he’s a defensive force that’s unmatched by anyone in the league. He was fourth in NBA Math’s Total Points Added, a metric which measures the impact a player has on the court and he could be the defensive presence that allows the Jazz to integrate their new parts and become one of the best teams in basketball next season.

10. Paul George (Clippers)

9. Damian Lillard (Blazers)

8. Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)

7.  Joel Embiid (Sixers)

6. Anthony Davis (Lakers)

5. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)

4. James Harden (Rockets)

3. Stephen Curry (Warriors)

2.  LeBron James (Lakers)

1. Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)

The top of this list could go a number of ways. Which NBA players do you think should be in the top five? Are there any players on this list who are badly misplaced?

Take to the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say!

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24 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Top 60 NBA Players Heading Into 2019/20

      • Chucktoad1

        That didn’t work have to do it this way
        Lillard and Curry have accomplished more than AD. AD isn’t even the best player in his draft class and Curry is better than Lillard, therefore AD can’t be better than Curry

  1. Think this list is pretty decent. Wouldn’t have had Winslow in the top 60 at all. Gallo isn’t better than McCollum or Russell or Booker and so on. Think you might have missed a few guys. Trae Young, Josh Richardson, Robert Covington, Aaron Gordan, Gary Harris, Lou Williams, Marcus Smart and so on. But overall it’s not terrible. My top 10 would be
    1. Leonard 2. LeBron 3. Harden 4. Giannis 5. Curry 6. AD 7. Jokic 8. Embid 9. Lillard 10. George (if Durants fit, he goes 2 pushing everyone back a spot.

  2. ChapmansVacuum

    Curry should be 1 since he will have to shoulder a higher load for a significant percentage of the season, and Draymond allows the fewest open shots of any defender in basketball over the last five years and its far from close, as 538 wrote open shots are the most clear cause of opponent scoring. That is on top of all the value he provides in more obvious ways. I would expect him and Curry with the usage up this year could put up some big counting and rate stats. DRuss could also move down a little since I think his numbers could be a little lower on good efficiency, although he might do a lot of the scoring off pick and rolls when PG for the B unit.

  3. brewpackbuckbadg

    Looks like Lakers are lowest with top two and Sixers are lowest with top three. Who is lowest with top for or five?

  4. Z-A

    If LaVine is 53, Mitchell shouldn’t be 17th. Dropping Conley, Lowry, Gallinari, Dipo, and Fox out of the top 30. Mitchell is Top-30, LaVine, Luka, Booker, DLo, CJ all move up into the Top-30.

    At the top. LBJ, Harden, AD, Curry, Kawhi, Freak

  5. jump shot

    Murray should be higher (imo), and LeBron is still the best overall player in the league. Kawhi, today, is better than LeBron defensively. Abd, that’s it. And, it’s not like LeBron can’t play defense. He’ll be a better defender this season – not because of any improvement – but because his team will be goid enough that he won’t have to rest on defense in order to carry the team offensively. You’ll see it 10/22.

    • Kawhi is better than LeBron today. LeBron is the goat and I’m a huge huge fan but last year he had Kuzma, Ball, Rondo, McGee, Ingram, KCP and so on and he couldn’t carry them at all. He could hardly get the best out of each player. The whole vibe of the franchise wasn’t good with Josh Hart saying everyone felt worried for a trade. Kawhi went to the Raptors and made it a better place to play and got huge improvements from the likes of FVV, Siakim and others. Leonard managed to stop the MVP in Giannis in the playoffs, he come up huge hitting a last second 3 in a game 7 against the 76ers then he walked past the Warriors with their injuries. I have so much respect for LeBron carrying the Cavs from 3-1 down, for hitting insane game winning 3s but this year he had a down year in the locker room, on defence and it showed. LeBron will bounce back and play as if he is 3 years younger but right now it’s Leonard.

  6. I can’t take your list seriously with Kyrie Irving at #11. Did you learn anything at all about Kyrie as a teammate this past year or what? I can also not take you seriously leaving Aaron Gordon off the list, especially with Bojan, Porter Jr, and Lopez making it. Kemba Walker is also not the 16th best player in the NBA. Jesus Christ man.

    • I forgot Justice Winslow. Why is he on this list? He’s not even the 2nd best player on his team. Jesus Christ man.

  7. IslandFlava

    #1 Giannis
    #2 AD
    #3 Harden
    #4 Embiid
    #5 KAT
    #6 LBJ
    #7 Westbrook
    #8 Jokic
    #9 Vucevic
    #10 KD

    • Your thick. No Curry, Kawhi, George as so on. KAT above LBJ is a complete joke. Jimmy Butler tore KAT to shreds about his work ethic and about how much talent he has but how he doesn’t play hard enough, he’s a sharp shooting Blake Griffin. LBJ is the goat he had a bad year but he still is a top 5 player. Vuce in the top 10 is a joke he’s hardly a top 30 player

  8. Tmandolfan

    Embiid > AD and it’s not debatable.
    Joel mops the floor with him every time they go head to head.

  9. x%sure

    Such a list will always draw criticism, but Chris asked for comments at the end!

    Jamal Mu

    • x%sure

      -rray #46 should be at least 30 with a bullet, if only because what he’s doing with Jokic is original and successful and probably will be moreso with each passing year. He does need to improve his D as do the Nuggets in general.
      Compare to Kuzma #42 and Tatum #33 on the list who are already stale and still just hype. Winslow #48 was blessed with a new position and is showing some rise there. Markannon #45 must be used properly but I’m not sure what that looks like.

      Olidipo #23 and George #10 need to show some injury recovery. There is such mixed opinion on Conley #22 but Chris has it right. I assume leadership points were added to Lilliard #9 but subtracted from Griffin #19. Draymond #26 should be as high as 10. Boston critics will eat into the teflon of Walker #16. The talent thins in this area but the 50s are strong.

  10. MDBigGame

    Nik Vucevic as a top 20 player in the NBA is one of the more ridiculous things I’ve ever seen written about the sport.

  11. harden-westbrook-mvps

    1. Harden
    1a. Antetokounmpo
    3. Kawhi Leonard
    4. LeBron
    5. Paul George
    6. Curry
    7. Anthony Davis
    8. Jokic
    9. Dame Lillard
    10. Embiid
    11. Westbrick
    12. KAT
    13. Donovan Mitchell
    14. Oladipo
    15. Butler
    16. Simmons
    17. Aldridge
    18. Gobert
    19. Griffin
    20. Kemba Walker

  12. Simple Fan

    I agree mostly with this list but if it was mine I’d place your #s 31, 32, & 35 ahead of any other player ranked 26th or lower. I’d also rank Kristaps lower and have Trae on it.

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