You can never start a new NBA season without ranking the top players at each position. As December 22 looms closer, we take a deep look at each position and rank the top-10. Let’s continue with the shooting guards.
10. Zach Lavine
The Bulls guard has shown he is able to score all over the court for the team. As for everything else? Lavine is not that appealing. Sure he can dunk and be the NBA’s best high-flyer but he has to show he can lead a team to success. Chicago shouldn’t be swept under your rug as a team that will instantly miss the playoffs. The conference did get stronger but it still doesn’t match the west. We need to see more out of Lavine and that includes an all-star appearance.
9. Shai Gilegous-Alexander
The Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t going to win many games this season. For Shai Gilgeous-Alexander though, he is the undisputed man on this season. In the clutch moments, it will be him with the Thunder turn to. He is expected to be OKC’s lead man throughout the entire season and it could reward him later on. Gilegous-Alexander is only going to improve from here. And it will be something to marvel at this season.
8. Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown came into last season with the notion that he’d be another overpaid player that did not meet his potential. He proved that stigma to be wrong. Career-highs across the board led to a conference finals appearance for the Celtics. However, they came up short to a scorching Miami squad. Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee have reloaded. Brown needs to play his best basketball in order to sustain the Celtics’ level of success. Can he and Tatum be among the league’s best duos? Yes. Will he reach that potential? We will have to watch and find out.
7. Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo has always proven to be in the upper echelon of two=way players in the league. Indiana is a scary team in the conference only if Oladipo is playing his best basketball. He had himself a rather disappointing season due to injury but he is back, healthy, and committed to Indiana. Oladipo has all-star potential in the east. Until we see his emergence, he remains low on this list.
6. Jrue Holiday
To clear the air, you cannot be underrated if everyone says you are. To that point, Jrue Holiday isn’t. Holiday was traded this offseason to the Bucks. With a fresh roster ready to compete for a championship, there is no reason why he cannot be the second-best player on this roster. More than anything Holiday is an elite defender who takes the pressure of reigning DPOY Giannis Antetokoumpo. The excitement level is large to see the type of output Holiday can have on a contender.
5. C.J. McCollum
The Blazers guard is capable of being a first-scoring option alongside Damian Lillard. His bonafide scoring ability puts him at number five on this list. He is one-half of one of the best backcourts in the NBA. McCollum also has very underrated ball-handling ability, to say the least. To our estimate, he’ll never be an all-star (for now). But still is a game-changer for a contending Portland squad.
4. Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell dropped many jaws across the NBA world while inside the bubble. His five-year extension was made with the notion that he’d be the player to propel the Jazz to a championship. If he and Rudy Gobert can co-exist, there is no reason why he cannot Mitchell is an elite-level scorer with a chance to become an all-star this season. No one projects the Jazz to be a threat in the West but it will be interesting to see what Mitchell can add to his game.
3. Devin Booker
Devin Booker have himself the best year of his young career. He’s hungry, already among the league’s best scorer and maybe the next coming of Kobe Bryant. Oh, and the Suns acquired one of the league’s best playmakers and leaders, Chris Paul. The stars are aligned for Devin Booker to do magical things this season and scoring is just one part of that. If he can improve from what we saw in the bubble and couple that with the mentorship Chris Paul will bring, that is bad news for the West.
2. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal has found himself in a tough situation over the past few seasons. John Wall being injured but a hefty load of possessions on him. While it has never amounted to an all-star appearance, it sure will this season. Beal is now playing alongside one of the best players in the NBA in Russell Westbrook. With a revamped roster primed for the playoffs, Beal is going to need to take a step up to make Washington a threat.
1. James Harden
It doesn’t matter if he is partying with women or eating hot dogs on days off. James Harden will return and drop 50 points on your favorite team, it is that simple. Harden has risen to be the NBA’s best scorers. Pretty soon, he will become the greatest of all-time if not already. The biggest story will be how much longer Harden has left in a Rockets’ uniform. But despite the rumors and developments, he still remains the league’s best shooting guard. That is a distinction that no one will take from him in the seasons to come.
That wraps up our list for the top-10 centers in the NBA for the 2020-21 NBA season. Check back soon for the point guard finale. Did we get this list right? Let me know below.