Skip to main content

Ranking The 100 Best Players For The 2020-21 NBA Season: 50-31

Ranking The 100 Best Players For The 2020-21 NBA Season: 50-31

There is a wide range of qualified candidates that can make the top-100 players in the NBA. The rankings were determined by a combination of data and subjective evaluation. Players were looked at for their skills and taken out of their team contexts. These rankings were specifically for the upcoming 2020-2021 season and do not take into perspective what their long-term outlook looks like.

Yesterday, we published the first part of our list, which includes the ranking of players from 100-51. Now, it's time to roll out our next chapter of the top players in the league. Here are Nos. 50 to 31.

50. Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets

Hayward has his best season since making his only All-Star appearance in 2017 last year. It appears the 30-year old has fully recovered from the devastating leg injury he suffered two years ago. The ultra swing player finished the season with 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, which are numbers right around his career average. 

At 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, Hayward can sometimes steer away from his natural small forward position and showcase the abilities of a point guard. He’s great at getting to the rim and then converting at the free-throw line (85.5%). In the end, the Hornets gave Hayward over $100 million this offseason because he can serve as a clutch player in crunch time. 

49. De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings

The Kings will need Fox to play well this season to qualify for the playoffs. After Fox averaged 21.1 points and 6.8 assists last season, Fox signed a max extension with the team. Fox has never made an All-Star appearance in his career, but this could be his first year. 

Per 100 possessions, Fox averages a double-double for points and assists. Needless to say, he is one of the better guards on the floor. Fox can break down defenses as a natural lefty. He can penetrate the paint and create high-percentage shots.

48. D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves

Russell will be playing for his third team in three seasons after stints with the Nets and Warriors the last two seasons. He possesses a nice handle and has great court vision as a distributor. He can make highlight-reel passes after averaging 6.3 assists last year, which was nearly a career-high. However, his offensive scoring abilities are what make him stand out. 

Russell averaged a career-high 23.1 points per game between two teams last year. That included an average of 25.8 points per game per 36 minutes. Per 100 possessions, Russell has averaged over 30 points for three straight seasons. The Timberwolves were nearly the bottom of the league in points and will need Russell to produce to get out of the basement. 

47. Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors

The former No. 1 overall pick has yet to make an All-Star game, but it seems like we haven’t seen the best of him just yet. At 25-years old, there’s reason to believe that Wiggins could stretch his talent out this season with Klay Thompson out for the year. Wiggins owns the tools to be a top-25 player in the league. He works hard, plays hard on defense, and can create his shot. 

The problem is that Wiggins has never been truly consistent. However, his ceiling makes him ranked higher compared to other players. He is a truly dynamic finisher, hitting over 50% of shots inside the three-point line. Wiggins has a chance that he can be a guy that can take over games. Let’s see if the skills match the hype. 

46. Goran Dragic, Miami Heat

Assuming that Dragic comes off the bench, he is a top contender for Sixth Man of the Year. He might have been snubbed of votes last season just because he is usually closing games out. Per 100 possession, Dragic finished with 18.0 points (third-best in his career), and 8.8 assists (fourth-best in his career). Plain and simple, Dragic lives in the lane, gets to the rim, and creates open shots for himself and his teammates. 

When he gets to the lane, he usually converts the shot (44.1% field goal percentage). Opposing defenses have to overplay him because they simply don’t know what he is going to do with the ball. Dragic is coming off a great playoff performance as well, averaging 19.2 points in 17 games. 

45. John Collins, Atlanta Hawks

John Collins has the potential to reach his first All-Star Game this season. Last season, the 22-year old put up some fantastic numbers. Last year, Collings put up a stat line of 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Collins also shot 58.3% from the field which was ranked No. 8 in the league, as well as shooting 40.3% from the three-point range. This is all coming from a 6-foot-10, 235-pound power forward that is just two seasons deep into his career. 

The advanced statistics are even prettier. Collins only attempted 24% of his shots from three-point range, but he converted ⅖ of the time. We could see the Hawks utilize Collins more from outside the arc this season, which means we could see an even better player this year. 

44. Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic

Vucevic could contend that he is the best overall center in the NBA. Vucevic is coming off a season where he averaged 19.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. Vucevic averaged a double-double in six of his eight seasons with the Magic. For a big man, he converts on 78% of his free throws, which is an impressive number for a center. 

Vucevic can be a go-to scorer for the Magic, but he thrives better when he dominates on the boards and scores on easy put-backs. He has a solid frame, standing at 7-foot-0 and 260 pounds. On title-contending teams, he would maybe be their second-best player, but make no mistake, Vucevic can contribute on offense and defense on any team. 

43. Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers

Love is the true definition of a “stretch four.” He can dominate games as a rebound, but also hit shots from outside the three-point line. Love can thrive on all parts of the floor, hit his free throws (85%), and hit a clutch shot from time to time. Though he is not much of a shot-blocker, he makes up for it by scooping up the missed shot off the rim. 

Fun fact about Love’s shooting. He is one of the best corner three-point shooters in the league. He converts on 45.3% of corner threes when attempted. Love’s best hope is to get traded out of Cleveland and contend because the 32-year old is not getting any younger. 

42. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder

Now that the Thunder traded away Chris Paul, Steven Adams, Dennis Schroder, while Danillo Gallinari left via free agency, who is going to score? That leaves the 22-year old as the last remaining core piece of the team’s playoff run. Last year, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 19.0 points and shot 47% from the field, including 36% from three-point range. 

Gilgeous-Alexander is a well-rounded ballplayer that can line up at either guard position. He has great length for his position and thrives in transition. He could be one of the best one-on-one guards in the half-court. His 1.9 turnovers per game were a tad high, but there’s a chance we could see that number increase. However, Gilgeous-Alexander had the opportunity to put up huge numbers due to a high volume, so we could see the true ceiling of his came out. 

41. Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks

The holiday was the only reason the Bucks were going to give up Eric Bledsoe in a trade. Holiday is one of the most underrated players in the game. It was just two seasons ago that he averaged 4.2 offensive win shares and 2.9 defensive win shares for a total of 7.1 win shares. A true point guard, Holiday has averaged 6.9 assists in his career. With his defensive tenacity, he will be an upgrade at the position. 

For a point guard, Holiday is a very good rebounder, averaging 4.8 boards per contest. He does the little things too, piling up 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks as well. As long as Holiday can stay healthy, he is a borderline top-40 player in the world. 

40. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Green is a true triple-double threat each night. His career features averages of 9.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. While those numbers don’t scream anything sexy to you, don't’ forget that he is one of the best defenders in the league. Green has made an All-NBA Defensive Team five times, including First-Team three times. 

When the Warriors were eliminated, Green made plenty of appearances on TNT’s Inside the NBA, and it was truly impressive how high his basketball IQ is. Green is a true team player. He hustles, brings emotional intensity, and leads by example. If he could limit his technical fouls, then his bank account would likely thank him. 

39. Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks

Porzingis is a frustrating player to watch. It has nothing to do with his game, which is an annual All-Star worthy. It’s that the last two seasons, Porzingis has faced some type of injury that has limited his time on the floor. He opens up the 2020-2021 season not expected to play until January due to an injury he sustained in the playoffs. With that said, when Porzingis is on the floor, the 25-year old shows glimpses of what Dirk Nowitski once was. 

Porzingis had a career-year last season with 9.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists to go with 20.4 points per game. At 7-foot-3, 240-pounds, Porzingis is a forward that owns center measurements. His skills, mobility, and coordination are precisely why he has been labeled “The Unicorn.” He can shoot inside, outside, and block shots defensively. If Porzingis can stay healthy, watch out for the sleeper team of the NBA in the Mavericks. 

38. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

This will be the season that Young becomes a top-20 player in the league. He has all the potential to accomplish that goal. In his first All-Star appearance, Young averaged 29.6 points and 9.3 assists per game. Per 100 possessions, that translates to 30.2 points. Typically per 100 possessions, we see an increase or inflated number, but with Young, it stays put because he truly was averaging these totals during that time. 

What is holding Young back are his turnovers. Per 36 minutes, Young averaged 4.9 turnovers for a 17% rate of the time. Young doesn’t have to do everything this year because the Hawks brought in plenty of role players. If Young utilizes his teammates more, we could see an even better year. 

37. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

Morant won NBA Rookie of the Year last season and showed glimpses of becoming the next Russell Westbrook in the NBA. At 6-foot-3, 175-pounds, Morant does whatever he wants with the ball. It could be inside the lane, outside the arc, or making a tough angled pass to one of his teammates. Morant simply makes Memphis’ players better. He assisted on 35% of the offensive plays last season as a rookie. Who does that?

He finished the year with two triple-doubles and nearly willed the team to the playoffs without Jaren Jackson Jr. Morant is a superstar in the making. Year 2 is going to be a fun season to watch. 

36. Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Brown is a fantastic two-way player with a ceiling that stretches as high as Jimmy Butler. Brown possesses explosive athleticism, a solid vertical, speed, and quickness that transpired to a career-high 20.2 points per game. His defensive awareness is one of the best in the league as well. 

Many forget that Brown has played in the NBA for only three seasons, but he has received national recognition as the Celtics have played in the Eastern Conference Finals two of the last three seasons. Brown is still fairly raw with his shooting stroke, but many people would love to have a 20-point game scorer that also throws in 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. 

35. LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

Wouldn’t it be nice to see Aldridge play for a contending team? The 35-year old has given so much to the league, yet he has made a deep postseason run just one time in his career. Aldridge had the worst season of his career last year, but a lot of that had to do with injuries. When Aldridge is on the court, he owns a career +4.1 plus/minus per 100 possessions. 

What’s amazing is that even in a bad year for Aldridge, he still averaged 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. For most players, that would be a career season. His rebounding numbers were his second-lowest in years that he was a full-time starter. Aldridge could bring the Spurs trade value if San Antonio decides to tear it apart. 

34. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Gobert is a top-3 center in the NBA offensively and defensively. Gobert averaged 15.1 points and shot 69.3% from the field. Gobert finished second in field goal percentage on a technicality. Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks finished the season with a field goal percentage of 74.2%, but he averaged three fewer shot attempts than Gobert. As far as we are concerned, Gobert is the best finisher in the paint. 

Not to mention, he is one of the best defenders in the post. His 13.5 rebounds were fourth in the league, 2.0 blocks were sixth, while his 49 double-doubles were fourth. He has a contract extension looming, and with these numbers, he could secure a max deal. 

33. Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans

It took a few years, but the former No. 2 overall picks showed why he was worth such a high draft pick, and why he was the crown jewel in the trade with Anthony Davis. Ingram is the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year winner after averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and shot 39.1% from the three-point range. 

Ingram has the height and length of a power forward, but the shooting abilities of a shooting guard. That makes him one of the best small forwards in the league. In isolation, Ingram shows off solid one-on-one moves. At 6-foot-9, 190 pounds, he is not the strongest player, but his mobility makes up for it. Ingram was once compared to Kevin Durant in the draft. Could he make one more leap this season?

32. DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs

The all-time leader in points for the Toronto Raptors has plenty of games to offer the world of basketball. At just 31-years old, DeRozan gave the Spurs a line of 22.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game. In a contract year, the Spurs would be wise to trade DeRozan to a title contender for a first-round pick, but we will see what happens with Gregg Popovich returning to coach again. 

As a scorer, he dominates the mid-range shot. He has this ability to get opposing defenders in foul trouble, get to the line, and convert 84.5% of his free throws. He can still make high-flying dunks look easy. Combine that with his ability to rebound and make a great pass, DeRozan continuously proves he is a player worth talking about around All-Star time. 

31. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

It took 24 games to prove that the hype is real. Let’s just let the numbers speak for themselves. It all starts with the traditional line of 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Then, we can sprinkle in his 42.9% shooting percentage from three-point range, as well as his 58.3% field goal percentage. Granted, Williamson shot just 6 of 14 from three-point range compared to 204 of 346 inside the arc, but it just proved that Williamson can shoot the ball. 

With an offseason to help prepare, Williamson is 100% healthy. The 6-foot-6, 284-pound power forward moves like a guard. He will live in the paint once again, where he took 74% of his shots, where converted 59% of the time. If the Pelicans can stretch Williamson out to the three-point line and he hits like he did last season, this could be the making of a top-15 to a top-10 player in the league.