Recently, ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network have been ranking every NBA player from 500 to 1.
Yesterday, the rankings for the top ten players were released. Here is how they laid out:
10. Marc Gasol
9. Derrick Rose
8. Kyrie Irving
7. Dwight Howard
6. Stephen Curry
5. Russell Westbrook
4. James Harden
3. Chris Paul
2. Kevin Durant
1. LeBron James
ESPN ranking KD at number two is no surprise as that’s exactly where the three time scoring champion should be placed. There should be no controversy on that one.
However, ESPN and TrueHoop have the Westbrook ranking a bit off.
For one, Derrick Rose is if not the best point guard in this league. Yes, he is coming off an ACL tear in which he missed all of last season. Yes, we don’t know if he will be the same Derrick Rose as NBA fans know him as. But yes, he is still the best point guard in the league. And no, Westbrook is not better than the former MVP of the league. Career wise Rose and Westbrook are almost similar. Rose is averaging 21 PPG, 6.8 assists a game, and 3.8 rebounds a game in his career. Meanwhile, Westbrook is averages 19.9 PPG, 6.9 assists, and 4.8 rebounds a game in his career. However, when you talk about who you would rather have on your team; Rose is the guy. His attitude, shot selection, and overall decision making makes him an overall better player than Westbrook making Westbrook being ranked number five, and Rose being ranked number nine inaccurate.
I would even go on a limb to say that Rose is a top three player in this league behind James, and Durant. If I had to rank Westbrook, I would definitely put him in the top ten, but in the top-tier, somewhere between 7 and 10. Paul would be ranked higher than Westbrook due to his ability to flat out make others better and totally change games. We all saw what KD was without Westbrook, but I don’t even think the Clippers would have even been a playoff team without Paul.
Westbrook’s ranking of five is a bit too high for me. In 2012, Westbrook was ranked 9th which seemed even too high back then.
(PS: According to this #NBARank, the Thunder had three of the top five players in the NBA just two seasons ago. Woah)