Brandon Wheeland has compiled his NBA top 100 list of players for the 2017-2018 NBA season. This list was created using a variety of factors and there is no concrete formula. However, this list can be considered both factual and completely accurate.
After tackling players 100-81, It’s time to take a look at players 80-61. Number one overall pick Markelle Fultz of the Philadelphia 76ers makes an appearance, as do a couple of his teammates. While none of Oklahoma’s new big three is featured on the list at this point, Steven Adams does make an appearance for the Thunder. Let’s check out the list.
80 – Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers: So if Philadelphia can manage to stay healthy all season, Covington will be one of the names you hear followed by comments like “a guy who many didn’t really expect to have this large of a role.”
79 – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers: I’ve been waiting for KCP to find his game in the NBA for a few seasons, and I’m hoping that this is finally the year. The Lakers aren’t a playoff team but I feel like they are a team that can at least make the proverbial noise this season.
78 – Nerlens Noel, Dallas Mavericks: Nerlens should be starting over Dirk, but Tim Cato at Mavs Moneyball builds a reasonable case for why he’s coming off the bench. I wasn’t always in on Nerlens but I’m loving him in Dallas.
77 – Gary Harris, Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets have a lot of nice pieces. Harris recently agreed to a four-year, $84 million dollar deal that will keep him in Denver as they continue to work to build around Jokic.
76 – Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia 76ers: I’m already uncomfortable with how high he is on this list. I don’t know what kind of person get’s drafted first overall and then decides to change up his jump shot without telling anyone.
Markelle Fultz changed his free throw shooting form and this is how it looks… pic.twitter.com/OO8fJLsZuD
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 10, 2017
75 – Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz: He’s had a strong offseason, but so have the rest of the Jazz. They are either really upset with Gordon Hayward or their PR department is doing a great job of making it look that way.
74 – Jeff Teague, Minnesota Timberwolves: I think Teague will be an important piece on this Timberwolves team. I think they can make a serious run. I’m not brave enough to commit to them beating the Warriors or anything, I’m just saying I could see a way where it happened.
73 – Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs: I had completely forgotten Rudy Gay was on the Spurs. That’s kind of who Rudy Gay is. You don’t really plan for him and then he’s there to make you regret it.
72 – J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers: J.R. Smith is one of my favorite players in the NBA. It’s a crime that he’s coming off the bench, but I don’t really understand anything the Cavaliers are trying to do lately.
71 – Dwight Howard, Charlotte Hornets: I’ve lived through multiple acts of the Dwightmare. I don’t trust him with a team until he makes it work with a team. I haven’t seen it since Orlando but the talent is still there.
70 – Nicolas Batum, Charlotte Hornets: Batum suffered a serious elbow injury and is going to miss a good chunk of time this season.
69 – Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers: He’s already gotten credit for reinvigorating the passing, ball-movement focus for the Lakers despite being on the bench for a good chunk of the preseason. Lonzo is sure to be a heavily discussed topic this season, so best to just leave his name on the list here and call it good for now.
Lonzo Ball putting on his Kobe A.D. shoes for tonight’s game, his first game at Staples Center as a Laker.
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) October 3, 2017
68 – Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans: New Orleans is still working to figure everything out after adding Cousins to the roster. With Rondo out to start the season, another adjustment due to injury is hitting the Pelicans. Holiday can handle the ball when needed, but showed flashes last season when he wasn’t having to start up the offense himself.
67 – Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trailblazers: After trading Plumlee for Nurkic, a small sample size of 20 games last season showed promise for Jusuf’s career in Portland. He suffered a preseason concussion, but once he gets rolling, will be a solid contributor.
66 – Danilo Gallinari, Los Angeles Clippers: He remained healthy and put up a decent three-point shot last season, and now finds himself as part of the new look Clippers.
65 – Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers: I’ve seen what Ben Simmons can do on a court in college, and I’m ready for the process to pay off and see what the outcome is over in Philadelphia. No chance they all stay healthy, but would be incredible if they did.
64 – Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers: I think he should probably be starting, but coming off the bench along with J.R. Smith does give the Cavaliers a pretty strong second unit. Do what you can when you’re on the court, and Thompson can do a lot.
63 – Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder: Adams isn’t really one of the forgotten players on the Thunder roster, but he will certainly get less attention with the additions of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. I see a few big games for him this year.
Thunder post-practice open. Steven Adams appears to have practiced: pic.twitter.com/iRNVPXUyaG
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) October 5, 2017
62 – Otto Porter, Washington Wizards: The Washington Wizards matched the Brooklyn Nets offer sheet and now will be paying over $100 million to keep Porter around for the next four years.
61 – George Hill, Sacramento Kings: Hill is a veteran who brings consistency and a knowledge of the game to share with a young Kings roster. He and Zach Randolph may not be there for when the plan pays off, but they will definitely make an impact while they are on the roster.
Check out the rest of the list below:
100-81: Features Rookie Jayson Tatum, vets Dirk and Wade
80-61: Features Big Baller Lonzo Ball, Sixers’ Ben Simmons
60-41: NBA Top 100: 60-41 has Harrison Barnes, Dion Waiters
40-21: Features Carmelo, Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin
20-1: Features Durant, Lebron, Harden & more
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