The NBA season is finally here. After months of one of the wildest offseasons the association has ever seen, every team looks different. Multiple superstars have moved around through trade and free agency.
So before the season starts, here are the top 20 NBA players right now.
Top 20 NBA Players Right Now: 1-10
The 6th overall pick out of Weber State, Damian Lillard has positioned himself as one of the top point guards in the league. He is a great passer as well as being an elite scorer for his position, consistently being a 25 point threat. Lillard is also one of the most clutch players too, evident by his series-clinching three in the playoffs versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
When Joel Embiid is healthy, he is one of the most dominant players in the league. His offense has improved every year since coming into the NBA and almost averaged thirty points per game as a center. He is a force in the paint grabbing rebounds with regularity and is one of the top players for blocks. If he can stay healthy he has a shot at winning the MVP on a powerful 76ers team.
James Harden had an offensive season last year that the NBA might not see for a long time. His ability to score off isolation, hit threes with consistency, and draw fouls make him the best offensive guard in the league. However, his offense will regress this season with the addition of Russell Westbrook and his defense is a problem. He is not ranked higher simply due to his attention to one facet of the game and eventual decrease in offensive production. Still, the Houston Rockets will have one of the best backcourts with a legit shot at a title.
Kevin Durant will most likely miss the entire season, but even with his injury, he can still be considered a top player. Some feel that Durant is the best offensive player in the league, with the ability to shoot like a guard but still drive to the basket like a big man. His defense is not going to be where it was when he was healthy, but he will still be able to lock up some of the best players when he comes back.
Russell Westbrook might be one of the most undervalued players right now. Despite his inconsistency with shooting, his playmaking abilities make him a top passer in the league. He was just the second player ever to average a triple-double a couple of seasons ago, and he has now done it for three straight seasons. That fact alone is widely overlooked, despite the belief of him being a stat padder. Westbrook and Harden will be the best backcourt in the league in their first season together.
Possibly the greatest 3-point shooter of all time, Steph Curry remains the main piece to the Golden State Warriors. The two-time MVP has a chance of getting his third, with Klay Thompson out and Durant gone, Curry will put up big numbers. His ability as a passer is underappreciated as well, as he averages almost seven assists per game throughout his career. He is also a very fundamentally sound defender, ranking at the top of the league in steals.
Possibly the biggest trade that happened in the offseason, Anthony Davis is now a Los Angeles Laker. The Lakers gave up a lot for him, but his talent is worth it. He is now paired with Lebron James as the top frontcourt duo in the league, with his Lakers being another team in the Western Conference that has a chance of winning a title. Davis excels at every part of the game, with dominant rebounding, shot-blocking, shooting, overall defense, and playmaking.
There are times when watching Giannis Antetokounmpo he looks virtually unstoppable. The most athletic power forward in the league is coming off an impressive MVP season with a chance of winning it again. His unguardable post moves, along with an improved shot makes him hard to stop, and his stellar defense can have him defend anybody in the league. The Greek Freak looks to push his Milwaukee Bucks team to an Eastern Conference title, after just falling short last season.
The biggest free-agent acquisition this year, Kawhi Leonard looks to guide the Los Angeles Clippers to their first franchise title. He single-handedly carried the Toronto Raptors to their first championship last season, in what was one of the most impressive playoff performances of all time. He is the best defender in the league, winning defensive player of the year twice. His offense improves every year, making him a very solid scoring option especially from mid-range, but his defense separates him from anyone else on this list.
Arguably the greatest player of all time, Lebron James looks to win his fourth title in his second year with the Los Angeles Lakers. Lebron’s playmaking abilities are the best in the league, despite entering his age-35 season. He finally gets his wish of playing alongside AD this season, potentially putting up big numbers on a new Lakers team. The four-time MVP is still the most valuable player in the league, creating opportunities for himself and others offensively while remaining a top player defensively. He is determined to win the title this season despite missing the playoffs last year.
This will be one of the most exciting years to watch the NBA, with many duos primed for contention. Many players found new homes this offseason, and how the chemistry works with some is critical to each team’s success.
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