There are 18,816 players in the NCAA Basketball system right now. There are also just 4,509 players in the NBA every year, which tells you just how difficult it is to become a professional, let alone if you have to compete with international prospects as well.
That means that the National Basketball Association features nothing but the finest and most talented hoopers all across the globe, thus standing out from the rest of the pack is easier said than done. Then again, some players manage to do it.
Throughout the course of history, we’ve seen a handful of players leave their mark in the league and dominate their peers and colleagues. That’s why today, we’re going to present you with our ranking of players as of the 2020-21 NBA season.
King Of The League
There’s no doubt that LeBron James is still the best player in the world after his Championship run during his 17th season. His scoring numbers took a minor dip but he led the league in assists and won his 4th NBA Championship with his third franchise.
LeBron James’ haters continue to wait until Father Time finally takes a toll on his game but the NBA is still his to lose until further notice. He’s not getting the credit he deserves in terms of MVP consideration, but he’s still the King of the league.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry
This tier features some young players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis that are waiting to take down LeBron James and earn the throne. Also, we have two former MVPs in Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, and one of the greatest two-way players ever in Kawhi Leonard.
All of these players could be this year’s Most Valuable Player and have proven to be able to carry their teams when it matters the most. They’re all influential hoopers that have been the best player in the league at one point in their careers, even if James is still The King.
Jimmy Butler, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Russell Westbrook
This is perhaps the most interesting tier of our list. How’s that so? Well, for starters, it features two of the most promising players in the league in Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic, as they haven’t needed much time to already sit at the big boys’ table.
The rest of the players mentioned here could all lead their teams to an NBA Championship, although it seems like they’d be better off as a second gunman. Thus far, they haven’t found much success in the playoffs and only Kyrie Irving is an NBA Champion, but that’s likely to change pretty soon.
Chris Paul, Paul George, Bradley Beal, Klay Thompson
This tier features perhaps the four most underrated players in the league right now, not because people don’t think of them as stars but because casual fans don’t seem to realize just how important they’re for their teams. If you don’t take our word for it, just take a look at how much the Warriors have struggled with Klay Thompson.
Thompson, Chris Paul, and Paul George are three of the best two-way players in the league and it’s not even close. As for Bradley Beal, he’s coming off averaging 30 points per game in some efficient shooting splits, so it’s time he gets the praise he deserves.
Ben Simmons, Jamal Murray, Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Kemba Walker
And last, but not least, we find the All-Stars. Even though these players are at the bottom of our pyramid, sleeping on them would be a massive mistake. At the end of the day, they all have MVP potential and could take a leap forward right before our eyes.
As some of the players aforementioned, this tier features players that have yet to leave their mark in the playoffs but most of them are still young enough to prove that they have what it takes to become a superstar. Hopefully, this will be the season they finally get over the hump.