Sports Illustrated ranks 4 Toronto Raptors in top 100, did they get it right?

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Marc Gasol (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Marc Gasol – Ranked 42nd

Ranked immediately below him: Paul Millsap, D’Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic

Ranked immediately above him: Kevin Love, Steven Adams, Victor Oladipo

Perhaps the thing which is the most alarming about Marc Gasol‘s 42nd overall ranking is that he is 38 spots higher than Serge Ibaka. Gasol is certainly the better player between the two, but a 38 is too large of a gap.

I’ve mentioned the difference between 42 and 80 isn’t the same as 42 and 4. However, Gasol being considerably closer to Pascal Siakam than Serge Ibaka doesn’t feel right.

When comparing Gasol to the players around him, he feels perhaps a tier or two too high.

Kevin Love and Steven Adams are comparable players, but if one of the three were to fall off, I’d bet on the one who turns 35 next season — Note, Steven Adams is still only 26 years old and younger than Buddy Hield, which even while writing feels incorrect.

Victor Oladipo is tough to judge due to injury, but Jamal Murray is ranked the next spot above him. Murray was the second-best player on the 2-seed in the West. He was just handed a maximum contract extension, while Gasol opted into a much lesser deal. It’s tough to judge the value between point guard and center, but Murray seems to certainly be on another tier in terms of value around the league.

As for the players below him, there are several who have a case to be ranked ahead.

Millsap’s playoff numbers were significantly better than Gasol’s. Meanwhile defensively, he was the player keeping Denver in the game. The Nuggets opted to bring Millsap back at a one year $30 million price, indicating the value he had in free agency.

There are a couple of other names ranked a few spots behind Gasol — Myles Turner, Tobias Harris, Buddy Hield — who had comparable seasons last year and are also much younger. Yes, this list is only for next season, but all three players should show at least moderate improvement in the upcoming year.

Nikola Vucevic was a MUCH better regular season player in 2018-2019, although after watching Marc eat his lunch in the first round last year, I’d probably keep Gasol ahead of him as well.

If the list was only based on playoff value, Gasol would be ranked appropriately. However, accounting for regular season and postseason play, Marc’s probably a hair too high.

Ranking – a little too high