Did ESPN rank the Toronto Raptors correctly in their top 100?

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Fred VanVleet | PG

Rank: 88

Last Year’s Rank: 74

After Fred VanVleet’s dream run during the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he may be holding a lot of people as prisoners of the moment. VanVleet is good, but he still has a lot of work to do in order to move up on this list. Being ranked 74 last season seemed a little high; this time around, 88 seems like a reasonable spot.

VanVleet has proven capable of leading the bench unit. as well as, an ability to play alongside lead guard, Kyle Lowry. However, his inconsistency showed during the regular season and the first half of the playoffs.

VanVleet averaged 11.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game, during the regular season. Those are solid numbers, but when you factor his below-average effective field goal percentage, there is certainly some room for improvement.

Looking at the players ranked lower than VanVleet, it’s tough to give him the edge over someone like Julius Randle, who is ridiculously ranked 92nd on this. However, when compared with other players such as Joe Harris (89th), Ja Morant (93rd) and Justice Winslow (94th), VanVleet’s spot makes more sense.

Of the players ahead of him, there isn’t much to debate. VanVleet will be given more offensive opportunity this coming season than Marcus Smart (87th), but the value he gives the Boston Celtics on the defensive end, along with his high motor and hustle plays, remains criminally underrated. Paul Millsap (86th) and Josh Richardson (85th) have all proven to be valuable on both ends of the floor, something that VanVleet, while enthusiastic, is too small to consistently do.

Everything considered, ranking Fred VanVleet as the 88th player on this list seems reasonable as he still has room for improvement, particularly with his consistency and efficiency from the field. This season could potentially be a career year but he needs to prove it first.