With half the season completed, the All-Star break is right around the corner. It is time to list the top-25 players in the game based on individual statistics, impact, and team records before we get a pause in basketball action. It is not easy to filter through 25 top players in the game because there are so many talented stars in the game in the modern era.
With greater spacing catering to player stats and offense, a lot of players are putting up solid numbers. The big names including Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and LeBron James are all having MVP-caliber seasons as elite-level talents. Meanwhile, we have seen the rise of a superstar in Ja Morant who is coming for all the best players in the league. But where do all these stars rank among each other? Without further ado, here are the top-25 players in the NBA this season.
25. Draymond Green
2021-2022 Statistics: 7.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.2 BPG
Despite his triple-single statistics, Draymond Green is one of the most impactful defensive players in the game. Thanks to the big man’s presence, the Golden State Warriors are playing elite-level basketball. We understand Stephen Curry is the best point guard in the game, but without Green backing him up on defense, there is no way the Warriors hold a top-2 record in the West.
Green is a supremely versatile defender because he defends all five positions, acts as an elite playmaker, and is the vocal leader of the squad. The return of Klay Thompson means Golden State is back in title contention, and Green is one of the stars of the team. There are a couple of Defensive Player of the Year candidates, but Draymond Green is right up there alongside Rudy Gobert and Giannis Antetokounmpo in terms of defensive impact.
24. Damian Lillard
2021-2022 Statistics: 24.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 7.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Damian Lillard was supposed to be getting close to Stephen Curry as the best point guard in the NBA. But the superstar for the Trail Blazers is having a down year, as he currently sits out for a struggling team. When Lillard was supposed to be a top-10 player in the game as he has been over the past few years, he just cracks the top-25 list.
Lillard is averaging 24.0 PPG on 32.4% from three, subpar shooting numbers for a dominant marksman. Lillard can still shoot from deep with unlimited range and he seems to be at his best when he explodes to the rim. Lillard's Trail Blazers hold a putrid 18-26 record and are at severe risk of missing the playoffs, as the point guard will likely miss the rest of the season.
23. Anthony Davis
2021-2022 Statistics: 23.3 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 2.0 BPG
Anthony Davis looked like a man among boys during the 2020 championship season, putting up astronomical numbers and looking like an unstoppable force. Davis has not played that great this year and is “only” averaging 23.3 points and 9.9 rebounds for a struggling Lakers team. It is clear what Davis brings to the Lakers when he performs at an All-Star level, but he has not been that at all this year. For a player that should be a top-5 player in the game, he barely cracks the top-25 list this year.
Despite his shooting struggles (17.9% 3-PT FG, 72.7% FT), Davis is still putting up All-Star numbers which is a testament to his talent. The Lakers have been poor all season long, and much of the blame is going to Davis, Russell Westbrook, and head coach Frank Vogel. Without a doubt, Davis has not been himself but his talent alone places him in the top-25 list of current NBA players.
22. Bradley Beal
2021-2022 Statistics: 23.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Bradley Beal is a Washington Wizards player, for now. The shooting guard is not off to the best start in terms of his shooting numbers (45.3% FG, 30.3% 3-PT FG), but he is still averaging close to 24 PPG and putting up a career-high in APG. The Wizards star is doing his best to make the team competitive, as they hold the 8th seed in the East.
Nobody knows what Beal is thinking at this moment because he seems content with the way the team is built. He has some nice help with Kyle Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie, but it clearly won’t be enough for the team to make a playoff push. The Wizards will make the playoffs if they are lucky, and they will do well to avoid the play-in if Beal can return to the form he exhibited last year.
21. Jaylen Brown
2021-2022 Statistics: 24.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG
The improvement from Jaylen Brown has been very impressive to see, and he has almost become an untouchable player on the Celtics roster. The All-Star is forming a dynamic duo with Jayson Tatum, even though the team is not performing well as they sit with a 23-23 record. As things stand, the Celtics are fighting for a play-in game. Even if that happens, Boston should win that game.
But Brown is having a strong season by shooting 45.9% from the field, 36.0% from three, and 77.9% from the free-throw line. The athletic wing has been in trade rumors because Boston clearly need another superstar to contend, but he will likely never be traded as the Celtics look to add a separate star without the expense of losing Jaylen.
20. Karl-Anthony Towns
2021-2022 Statistics: 24.3 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.2 BPG
Karl-Anthony Towns looks much better this year compared to last year in terms of all-around impact. He is averaging close to a double-double and really seems to have an edge to him this season. It seems the noise surrounding his attitude has gotten to him and he's putting in the work as the team currently holds the 7th seed in the West. The Wolves are currently 22-23 and do not seem to be the pushovers they have been in the past. Along with Towns, Anthony Edwards deserves credit as well.
Towns has been at his best shooting the ball, as he is nailing 40.8% of his three-point shots and 51.9% from the field. From the stripe, the big man is nailing 80.7%. The big man’s confidence is at an all-time high, as he recently stated he is the best shooting big ever. While Towns has a lot to prove to truly be that, he is certainly on the right track.
19. Paul George
2021-2022 Statistics: 24.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 5.5 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Before his injury, Paul George was playing MVP-level basketball. George did a fantastic job by leading the Clippers to the Western Conference Finals last year without Kawhi Leonard, and he started this season at that level again. PG13 was showing his versatility as a scorer and defender, and his numbers screamed All-Star.
With George injured, the Clippers are in survival mode. This season is probably a wrap because George is out for another few weeks and Leonard has never been known to accelerate his own return from injury. Still, George is easily a top-20 player in the world when healthy and he deserves his ranking this year. If George can return this season with Leonard, anything is possible for the Los Angeles Clippers.
18. Jayson Tatum
2021-2022 Statistics: 25.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Despite criticism of his play at times, there is no doubt Jayson Tatum is a future superstar in the game. The lengthy forward is putting up 25.2 PPG and 8.5 RPG this season, with his rebounding numbers at his career-high. A capable scorer who can create his own offense, Tatum is getting better by the year.
Tatum’s shooting percentages are very low (41.5% FG, 31.7% 3-PT FG), and he has a tendency to take bad shots. The 23-year-old is still very young, but he has a lot to learn in terms of playing winning basketball. Along with Jaylen Brown, Tatum is part of a dynamic duo with the Celtics. Boston needs to make moves to continue building around Tatum, or they are at risk of wasting away the young star’s prime yeats.
17. Trae Young
2021-2022 Statistics: 27.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 9.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Trae Young will most likely be an Eastern Conference All-Star starter this year because his numbers are through the roof. The point guard is having a sensational season statistically, and without him, the Atlanta Hawks might be at the bottom of the conference. Atlanta holds a 19-25 record which is only good for 12th in the East, 3.5 games behind 8th place.
After making the Eastern Conference Finals last year, Young has done his part on offense but the rest of the team have not followed. Young’s poor team record should not take away from his own greatness as a point guard, because he is a top-20 player in the game with ease. It is anticipated that Young and his team will improve their play after the All-Star break because the playoffs are in jeopardy at this point.
16. Donovan Mitchell
2021-2022 Statistics: 25.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Donovan Mitchell is a great player, and he has taken his criticism to his team most recently because he does not feel the Jazz are primed for a championship run. Mitchell’s numbers are very solid as usual, but his impact has also been important. Thanks to Mitchell’s scoring ability, Utah has a top-4 record in the West which is very impressive at this stage.
The explosive shooting guard should be making his third straight All-Star Team, and his reign as a top-10 scorer in the game is very important. Donovan Mitchell’s shooting numbers are solid but unspectacular (45.0% FG, 33.9% 3-PT FG), which is why he can’t seem to get the respect that other stars in the league get. But Mitchell is just outside the top-15 list of players, and he has plenty of time to get there.
15. Jimmy Butler
2021-2022 Statistics: 21.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG
A two-way All-Star, Jimmy Butler is the heart and soul of the Miami Heat. The swingman is an elite defender and an offensive player capable of controlling the offense for Miami because he has greatly improved his playmaking skills over the past few years. Butler is putting up his usual numbers, but he has led the Heat to a top-2 seed in the East.
Without a doubt, Butler will be making his 6th All-Star Team this year. His impact with the Heat has been sensational, and his two-way play has made him invaluable in the roster. Thanks to Jimmy’s presence, Miami has built a title-contender which is why the team made the Finals in 2020. If Butler can lead the Heat to a top-2 finish at the end of the year, he will also be making an All-NBA Team.
14. Devin Booker
2021-2022 Statistics: 24.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Booker made it clear that he wants to improve his game and become a legend in the game, and he has certainly shown it this season. He currently averages 24.6 points per game for a Suns team that has the best record in the NBA (35-9). If Booker can keep this up, the road to the Finals might ensue yet again for the 25-year-old. Remember, Booker was part of the Phoenix team that almost won the chip last year.
For now, Booker is playing well thanks to his explosive offensive and improved ability to create his own shot and attack the rim with strength. It will be interesting to see how he improves as the season progresses because he continues to add new elements to his game. The shooting guard will likely make his 3rd straight All-Star Team and is averaging a career-high in RPG and 3-point shooting percentage.
13. Luka Doncic
2021-2022 Statistics: 25.1 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Luka Doncic has taken the league by storm over the past few years, and he is continuing that dominance this season. Doncic is putting up incredible numbers for a man in his fourth season, averaging 25.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 8.7 assists for a pretty good Mavericks squad. While his numbers scream MVP candidate, it's his impact on the floor that is most impressive. Doncic is a superstar already and seems capable of carrying a franchise on his broad shoulders.
Doncic is playing up to his competition and seems to perform best when the best players play against him. The Mavericks currently hold the 5th seed in the West, with a decent 26-20 record with only 4.5 games behind the third seed. It is amazing to consider that Luka is only 22 years old because he is an MVP-caliber player and he hasn’t hit his prime yet.
12. Ja Morant
2021-2022 Statistics: 24.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.4 BPG
There is plenty of discussion on whether Ja Morant deserves Most Improved Player or a shot at the MVP award, but it is clear he deserves to be in the running for both. Morant is not only the most explosive player in the league but the most dynamic point guard in the game after Stephen Curry. In terms of watchability, Morant might be the most exciting player in the game as well.
Averaging 24.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 6.9 APG, Morant is averaging career-highs in points and rebounds while only shooting a career-high from the field. The explosive point guard is nailing 48.5% from the field, 35.8% from the three-point line, and 77.7% from the stripe which are all career-highs. Ja Morant is the best player on a Memphis Grizzlies team that currently sits 3rd in the West, and he is climbing the rankings as potentially a top-10 player in the game.
11. Zach LaVine
2021-2022 Statistics: 24.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Zach LaVine’s improvements over the past few years have been extremely impressive because he has put up over 23 PPG over the last 4 years. The explosive shooting guard has found his rhythm with the Chicago Bulls and has formed one of the best duos in the league with DeMar DeRozan. LaVine’s numbers are also All-Star level and he should make the team for the 2nd time in his career.
LaVine’s shooting numbers have been elite, as he is just shy of 50-40-90 numbers. The shooting guard is nailing 49.1% from the field, 41.2% from three, and 87.2% from the stripe; excellent numbers for a budding superstar. The 26-year-old is once again playing at an elite level, and he deserves his spot just outside the top-10.
10. Rudy Gobert
2021-2022 Statistics: 15.9 PPG, 15.0 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2.3 BPG
Rudy Gobert is not a dynamic offensive player, but his defense is at an all-time great level. The center carries a heavy load on defense as he is also forced to make up for some of his teammate’s deficiencies on that end. The Frenchman is putting up over 2 BPG for the 8th straight time in his career, but he is averaging a career-high in rebounds.
Gobert is leading the league in rebounds (15.0 RPG) and also field-goal percentage (71.3%), making him the most dominant defensive player in the league. The Frenchman’s impact for Utah has been sublime, and he has even usurped Donovan Mitchell as the most important player on the team through 45 games. Both stars need to be at their best for Utah to compete, and we should see an uptick in their play after the All-Star break.
9. James Harden
2021-2022 Statistics: 22.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 10.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.7 BPG
Even with all the hoopla surrounding James Harden to start the season in terms of his shooting struggles, The Beard is still the best shooting guard in the NBA. Playing alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving going forward means that Harden won't win his fourth scoring title, but he will be placed in a better position to win an NBA title for the first time in his career.
This season, Harden has not averaged his usual PPG numbers but his all-around play has been as solid as it has been over the last few years. A legitimate triple-double threat, Harden will have a chance to prove his MVP worth with Kevin Durant out for 4-6 weeks. With constant injuries, Harden has still been a top-10 player with ease through 44 games.
8. Chris Paul
2021-2022 Statistics: 13.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 10.0 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in NBA history, and his play at nearly age 37 was completely unexpected. CP3 is putting up a double-double yet again in his Hall of Fame career, and his leadership at the point guard position might be unparalleled at this point. The Phoenix Suns have become title contenders and Paul is the main reason for that.
The point guard’s assist numbers are impressive for a veteran at his age, and he has been the leader on and off the court for the Suns. It certainly hasn’t been an easy season for Phoenix due to their owner’s abuse allegations and also the uncertainty of Deandre Ayton’s contract, but Chris Paul has kept the NBA Finalists together as they prime for another deep playoff run.
7. DeMar DeRozan
2021-2022 Statistics: 25.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG
The most clutch player in the game today, DeMar DeRozan has already hit two buzzer-beaters this season along with a host of other clutch shots. The former Toronto Raptors star has repaid the Chicago Bulls for their faith in him and has played at an elite level on both ends of the court. At only 32 years old, there is still more to come.
The Chicago Bulls have the best record in the East at this stage, and DeRozan is the biggest reason for that. The explosive wing player is a master of the mid-range shot and is still extremely difficult to defend against when he attacks the basket. Nailing 48.9% from the field and 34.7% from three are solid shooting numbers, meaning DeRozan has been efficient as well.
6. Stephen Curry
2021-2022 Statistics: 26.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Even if Stephen Curry is shooting a career-low in three-point percentage (38.6%) excluding the 2020 season where he only played 5 games. The greatest shooter ever is still putting up All-Star numbers and has led the Golden State Warriors to a fantastic 32-12 record which is good for 3 games behind the first-place Phoenix Suns.
Curry has been inconsistent from the perimeter for his own standards, but his leadership on the court has been exceptional for Golden State. He broke the all-time three-point record this season and is placing himself in a position to be in the MVP race and close to capturing the top spot in the West. With Curry at the helm, Golden State are legitimate title contenders this year.
5. LeBron James
2021-2022 Statistics: 28.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.6 SPG, 1.1 BPG
Who could ever imagine that a player in his 19th season is putting up the numbers that LeBron is averaging this year? The King has been the only bright spot for the Lakers, who are struggling with a putrid 22-23 record despite the presence of 3 superstar players. Quite frankly, the team’s roster is very poorly built.
LeBron James has had to endure Anthony Davis injuries, Russell Westbrook inconsistencies, and a very old roster as he puts up close to 29 PPG. The King should not be playing close to 37 MPG at this age, because he is at risk of burning out for a season that could be a wrap. Still, in terms of basketball IQ and impact, LeBron is a top-5 player in the game with ease.
4. Joel Embiid
2021-2022 Statistics: 28.0 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.4 BPG
Joel Embiid is a special player, and he continues to prove it every night. His most recent 50-point performance in 27 minutes just proves how spectacular the big man is, and he has had to endure a turbulent season, to say the least. As the best player on the team, Embiid has had to ask countless questions on the Ben Simmons situation and he has done a great job of leading the squad to a top-5 seed in the East.
Shooting 49.4% from the field, 37.5% from the three, and 81.7% from the stripe for a center is amazing, and Embiid is doing it every night consistently. The 76ers are receiving criticism for not pulling a Ben Simmons trade because they could be at risk for wasting away Embiid’s prime years as he is extremely injury-prone.
3. Nikola Jokic
2021-2022 Statistics: 25.9 PPG, 13.9 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Joel Embiid is an extremely skilled center, but Nikola Jokic is the best big man in the game. He is an incredible scorer, shooter, rebounder, and passer who affects the game in all areas of the floor. Quite frankly, he has as good of an argument for the MVP Award as anyone else this season. Jokic is the heart and soul of the Denver Nuggets, a team that is missing both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.
Jokic’s numbers are extraordinary, and the reigning MVP has been just as dominant as last year. The Denver Nuggets have had a very turbulent season with injuries, but still have a top-6 seed in the Western Conference with a chance to climb the rankings. In terms of overall impact, Nikola Jokic sits firmly as a top-3 player in the game behind two spectacular forwards.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
2021-2022 Statistics: 28.6 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.5 BPG
Reigning Finals MVP Giannis is right back at it, averaging 28.6 points and 11.3 rebounds a game. Giannis continues to look like a better player, adding more strength to his body and more experience to his approach to the game. It seems last year’s Finals experience helped him since he looks like a better leader as well. Giannis should be a top-two MVP candidate all season long, and all he has to do is keep doing what has been working for over a year so far.
Giannis will be leading the Bucks all year long, and they have a shot of an easy top-three seed finish at the least. The Bucks are well-coached and have a great shooting cast of defenders and shooters surrounding Giannis. The Greek Freak might also be the best all-around defensive player in the game because he has the size and athleticism to defend all five positions when necessary. If not for one man, Giannis is by far the best player in the world.
1. Kevin Durant
2021-2022 Statistics: 29.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 5.8 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG
The fact that Kevin Durant has managed to usurp Giannis’ amazing season is a testament to his own greatness. The Brooklyn Nets superstar is at his absolute best on offense, averaging 29.3 PPG on 52.0% from the field, 37.2% from three, and 89.4% from the free-throw line. Without Durant, the Nets would not hold a top-2 seed with Kyrie Irving’s absences this season. Durant has had to endure Irving’s unavailability and James Harden’s early struggles and has performed exceptionally well.
It is very frustrating that Durant has to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL because he has been the best player in the world at this point of the season. KD has gone through half the 2021-2022 season as the most unstoppable offensive force in the game, and before his injury, he might have been the MVP favorite. Durant is key for the Nets making a Finals run because, without him, the team will likely not make the Eastern Conference Finals.