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ESPN Ranks Lonzo Ball Higher Than Zach LaVine, Tyler Herro, And D'Angelo Russell On Their Top 100 Players Of The Season List

(via ESPN)

(via ESPN)

As part of their annual pre-season basketball tradition, ESPN releases their list of the top 100 players of the season. Naturally, the list generates a lot of attention online as it seems, every year, their placement of players is something that fans (and even fellow media members) completely detest.

This year was no different and, in fact, it may have been the most controversial we've seen yet.

In the first half of their 100 player list, ESPN ranked Lonzo Ball (who averaged 11.8 points per game last season) ahead of Blake Griffin, D'Angelo Russell, Tyler Herro, and Zach LaVine.

Needless to say, Lonzo's placement above border-line All-Stars like D'Lo, LaVine, and Griffin is certainly a hot take by ESPN's expert panel, and fans were going off in the comments.

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In the article itself, they offered little in the way of an explanation, only asking which Lonzo the Pelicans would see next season.

From Dec. 23 to March 11, Ball averaged 13.8 points, 8.1 assists and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 40.9% from deep. In the bubble, though, Ball's respective averages dipped to 7.1, 6.6 and 5.0 while he shot 28.1% from 3. The Pelicans would love to have the Ball who showed that confidence last winter when this season starts.

To ESPN's credit, the article reads like it's supposed to be more of a prediction of the future rather than a projection of the current standings, meaning they could expect Zo to take a jump while the performance of others like LaVine, Aaron Gordon, and DeMar DeRozan (who was shockingly ranked 82nd) takes a dip.

In that respect, it's certainly possible Lonzo emerges as the NBA's 54th best player.

Not many have bought that idea, though, so it will be up to Lonzo himself to prove ESPN right on this one.