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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