Every Summer, we here at THD use our ahem….vast knowledge of NBA basketball to compile an annual list ranking the Top 25 NBA Players, regardless of position.
In years past, we have seen Kobe Bryant take over the reigns from Michael Jordan, then recently Lebron James overtake Kobe as the top player in the Association.
But as the calendar turns to reveal yet another exciting upcoming season, can some young and up-and-coming stars like Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and James Harden finally overtake “King James?”
Or will some of the league’s elder statesmen like Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce remain entrenched in the Top 25?
Let’s find out as we unveil our 2013-2014 version of the Top 25 NBA Player Rankings……
’12-’13 Stats: 17.3 ppg, 6.8 reb, 2.6 ast, .414 3PT%
Age – 35
Although he may be on the down side of his career, the 11 Time NBA All Star still has the ability to take over a game with his elite scoring ability. He has revolutionized the game as a 7 footer that can score from anywhere on the floor and may go down as the best International NBA player of all time.
’12-’13 Stats: 21.1 ppg, 9.1 reb, 1.2 blk
Age – 28
Even though the Trailblazers have been in retooling mode since Brandon Roy retired a few seasons ago, they have a bonafide star in the 6’11 and 240lb big man, that has improved every season since leaving the University of Texas back in 2006. Entering the prime of his career, look for the 2 time All Star to help lead the Blazers get back to contending for an NBA crown sooner rather than later.
’12-’13 Stats: 14.8 ppg, 7.8 reb, 2.3 ast, 1.1 stl
Age – 37
As he enters his first season as a Brooklyn Net, Garnett’s value can no longer be measured by sheer numbers, as he rarely puts up the monster numbers we’ve grown accustomed to. He’s still the game’s ultimate competitor, is still elite on the defensive end, and will be invaluable in Brooklyn in Helping Brook Lopez become a better player.
’12-’13 Stats: 13.7 ppg, 11.1 ast, 5.6 reb, 1.8 stl
Age – 27
After another injury plagued season, Rondo’s value has dropped a bit as he has yet to play an entire season in the NBA. When on the floor, he’s arguably one of the game’s Top 3 facilitators and is undoubtedly the best defender at his position. Now that Pierce and Garnett are off to play in Brooklyn, Rondo will be the focal point of Boston’s rebuilding project next season.
San Antonio Spurs
’12-’13 Stats: 17.8 ppg, 9.9 reb, 2.7 ast, 2.7 blk
Age – 37
The “Big Fundamental” has apparently found the fountain of youth as the surefire Hall of Famer had one of his best seasons over the past 5 years, and posted nearly 3 blocks per game. Once his weakness, Duncan now shoots more than 80% from the line and helped the Spurs reach the NBA Finals, albeit in a losing effort to the Heat.
’12-’13 Stats: 13.7 ppg, 8.6 reb, 4.1 ast, 1.2 blk
Age – 33
Pau had one of his worst seasons of his career last season but it wasn’t all his fault. He suffered through injuries and struggled both alongside Dwight Howard and in new coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. While D’Antonio remains, Howard is now in Houston, giving Gasol free reign to once again be the dominant, multi-talented forward we all used to know.
’12-’13 Stats: 11.9 ppg, 11.1 reb, 4 ast, 2.1 blk, 1.2 stl
Age – 28
The former Lottery pick has finally come into his own as arguably the premier defensive post player in the league. He established career highs across the board last season despite missing 16 games due to injury. his offensive game will never be a work of art, but along with Garnett, Noah may be the most passionate player in the Association.
’12-’13 Stats: 14.1 ppg, 7.8 reb, 4 ast, 1.7 blk, 1 stl
Age – 28
The time has come when Marc has finally passed his older brother Pau in the rankings. Winning the 2013 NBA Defensive Player of the Year helps, but Marc continues to improve in all areas and was an obvious snub for this past season’s All Star Game. His stats won’t blow you away but Marc is now a proven winner and may have surpassed Tim Duncan as the best passing big man in the league.
’12-’13 Stats: 18.9 ppg, 7.7 ast, 1 stl, .378 3PT%
Age – 29
Most fans would agree than Deron is a much better player than the numbers he put up last season, his first in Brooklyn. He’s primed for one of the best seasons of his career now that Pierce and Garnett have joined sharpshooter Joe Johnson in the starting line-up. When healthy, Williams is a Top 5 PG with perhaps the best combination of scoring, leadership, and passing skills in the NBA.
’12-’13 Stats: 17.4 ppg, 7.6 reb, 4.1 ast, 1.8 stl, .362 3PT%
Age – 23
At the ripe old age of 23, George has already made the All Star Team, earned an All Defensive Team nod, and taken his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Not even close to reaching his prime, George is one of the fastest rising young stars in the Association, capable of making a huge impact on either the offensive or defensive end.
’12-’13 Stats: 21.2 ppg, 5.1 ast, 5 reb, 1.7 stl, 1.2 blk
Age – 31
After winning his 3rd NBA Championship, making 9 All Star appearances, and playing each game like it’s his last over the past 10 seasons, it appears that Wade’s days of being a Top 5 player are over. In limited doses, Wade can still turn it up a notch and take over a game, but he now clearly defers to Lebron James.
Golden State Warriors
’12-’13 Stats: 22.9 ppg, 6.9 ast, 4 reb, 1.6 stl, .453 3PT%
Age – 25
Curry was able to stay relatively healthy last season and finally live up to the hype of being a Top 5 pick a few seasons ago. He set the all time single-season 3 pointers made and had arguably one of the most memorable postseasons in recent years, including an incredible 44 point and 11 assist game against the Spurs in the 2nd Round. Curry’s future is bright and should make his first of many All Star appearances next season.
’12-’13 Stats: 18 ppg, 8.3 reb, 3.7 ast, 1.2 stl, .538 FG%
Age – 24
The former NCAA Player of the Year, NBA Rookie of the Year, and Dunk contest Champion has seen his production decline since his rookie campaign 3 seasons ago. He’s often fought injuries but when healthy Blake is a brutal force offensively, possessing the most explosive finishing ability in the NBA. He has worked hard to improve his handles and has added some range on his jumper to about 15 feet to help keep the defenses more honest. When they don’t, he just tries to dunk over them.
’12-13 Stats: 22.5 ppg, 5.9 ast, 3.7 reb, 1.5 stl, ..391 3PT%
Age – 21
With perhaps the most future potential of any player under the age of 25, the former NBA Rookie of the Year has superstar written all over him. He may already be there from a talent standpoint but probably needs a better supporting cast around him to reach that potential, starting this season with All Star big man Andrew Bynum.
San Antonio Spurs
’12-’13 Stats: 20.3 ppg, 7.6 ast, 3 reb, ,522 FG%, .353 3PT%
Age – 31
It’s hard to believe that a player that has made 5 All Star Games, won 3 NBA Titles, and has consistently been one of the fastest players in the league is underrated, but that’s precisely the case of Parker. when asking the experts to rank the Top point guards in the league, experts always point to CP3, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook, but Parker is the most consistent winner of the group can take over a game with either his scoring or passing abilities.
’12-’13 Stats: 23.2 ppg, 7.4 ast, 5.2 reb, 1.8 stl, .323 3PT%
Age – 24
Unfortunately for Westbrook, a knee injury sustained in the Playoffs ended Westbrook’s season a bit too early. But prior to that, he established himself as a Top 10 talent in the league, capable of taking over a game, despite playing on the same team as Kevin Durant. His freakish athleticism and speed with the basketball may only be exceeded by Lebron James.
’12-’13 Stats: 18.3 ppg, 14 reb, 2.3 ast
Age – 24
Even though he never fully recovered from a broken hand that only allowed him to suit up for 18 games last season, Love has the elite skill set to arguably take over the spot of top power forward in the NBA. Very few players of his size can shoot with such efficiency from behind the arc, remember he won the 2012 3 PT Contest during All Star Weekend. When healthy, he may be the game’s best rebounder, since he holds the record for consecutive double-doubles(points/rebounds) since the NBA-ABA merger.
’12-’13 Stats: N/A
Age – 24
He’s the youngest player ever to win the MVP Award and despite missing the entire season following that nasty ACL tear during the 2012 postseason, Rose is undoubtedly a Top 10 talent with a full recovery. Look no further than the Chicago Bulls now being a potential NBA Championship contender with him in the line-up.
’12-’13 Stats: 17.1 ppg, 12.4 reb, 2.4 blk, 1.1 stl, .578 FG%
Age – 27
I’m sure everyone would agree that last season as a Laker was a total disaster. But when looking at the numbers, Howard still led the Association in rebounding and blocked 2.4 shots per game, all while clearly not being 100% from off-season back surgery. Look for Howard to re-establish himself as the game’s best big man in Houston, especially if he puts in some work on the offensive end.
’12-’13 Stats: 25.9 ppg, 5.8 ast, 4.9 reb, 1.8 stl, .368 3PT%
Age – 23
The time has finally come for Harden to at least be in the conversation for top shooting guard in the league, now that Kobe plays out the final years of his career. After establishing career highs in virtually every category in his first full season in Houston, the sky is the limit for Harden as he is just scratching the surface of his potential at only 23 years of age.
’12-’13 Stats: 28.7 ppg, 6.9 reb, 2.6 ast, .379 3PT%
Age – 29
Fresh off winning his first ever NBA scoring title, Melo arguably is the most talented offensive player in the Association. He may at times shoot too much and play some nonchalant defense, but if you need a bucket with time running out, few players are more clutch than Anthony. He has helped make basketball relevant in the NYC again and there’s maybe one or two other players I’d rather have if I’m starting an NBA franchise.
’12-’13 Stats: 16.9 ppg, 9.7 ast, 3.7 reb, 2.4 stl, .328 3PT%
Age – 28
In a vaunted and deep position as far as talent when it comes to point guards, CP3 ranks as the best. Some players may be a half a step faster, may score a few more points, or play a tad better defense, but no one at his position has a better combined skill set than that of Paul, who is also one of the game’s best leaders. In spite of being only 6 feet tall, Paul plays the passing lanes well and has led the NBA in steals 5 of the last 6 seasons.
’12-’13 Stats: 27.3 ppg, 6 ast, 5.6 reb, 1.4 stl, .324 3PT%
Age – 34
Even into his mid 30’s, Kobe remains as feared of a competitor as any in the Association. Before going down with that nasty Achilles injury nearly 4 months ago, Bryant carried the Lakers on his back, helping the Lakers make the Playoffs despite injuries to Steve Nash, numerous coaching changes, and the distraction of Dwight Howard mess. As he is way ahead of schedule as far as rehab for next season, look for Kobe to prove his critics wrong, and possibly bring the Lakers back to elite status.
’12-’13 Stats: 28.1 ppg, 7.9 reb, 4.6 ast, 1.4 stl, 1.3 blk, .416 3PT%
Age – 24
Despite losing the scoring crown to Carmelo Anthony last season, KD had arguably his best all around statistical season of his career, setting new highs in assists, FG%, free throw percentage, steals, and blocks. he’s neck-and-neck with Melo as the game’s most potent offensive weapon and at age 24, it’s scary to think that he’s still getting better. If teammate Russell Westbrook can remain healthy all next season, look for the Thunder to have the best 1-2 punch in the NBA.
’12-’13 Stats: 26.8 ppg, 8 reb, 7.3 ast, 1.7 stl, .565 FG%, ..406 3PT%
Age – 28
After winning his 4th MVP Award, making his 9th All Star appearance, and winning back-to-back NBA Titles, it’s a no brainer that Lebron tops the list. He’s an athletic freak, never misses a game due to injury, and is virtually unstoppable when he wants to be. Despite early knocks against him concerning his abilities to be a clutch player, Lebron has wiped those clear of the map, as he amazingly just keeps getting better. After winning scoring titles, numerous MVP Awards, Olympic Gold Medals, and Finals MVP’s, all that’s left for James to do is keep winning championships in an attempt to catch MJ as the game’s best player.