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 – Marc Gasol (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Marc Gasol | C

Rank: 61

Last Year’s Rank: 51

Marc Gasol has had quite a memorable season. He won the NBA championship alongside the Toronto Raptors and won the FIBA World Cup alongside Spain a few months later. Even the greatest optimist couldn’t have expected this when Gasol was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Raptors at the trade deadline.

Gasol was a key part of the Raptors title, providing outside shooting, defense on opposing bigs, and above-average playmaking for a center. Still, even at his peak performance, it was evident that Gasol wasn’t the same All-Star caliber player he was a couple of seasons ago.

Gasol played 26 games for the Raptors last season averaging a modest 9.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. While he did need time to integrate into the system, his numbers weren’t any better in the playoffs as his slash-line dropped to 9.1, 6.4, and 3.0.

What Gasol did provide in the playoffs was defense, as his work in the paint against the likes of Nikola Vucevic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo cannot be understated.

Going into this season, with no Kawhi Leonard on the roster, there will be a lot more shots to go around. Expect Marc Gasol to eclipse his numbers from last season especially during a contract year.

For a center who is past his prime but can still be extremely important to a team, ranking Gasol 61st seems fair. Ranking him below Vucevic (40), however, is questionable, especially after Marc clamped him down during the first round of the playoffs.