5. Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets
After an injury-riddled tenure in Boston and getting mocked for the fact Charlotte gave him such a huge contract, Hayward proved the haters wrong by scoring at the same mind-bending clip that he did in Utah. Offensively, he has proven that he is one of the best at what he does at his position several times over.
4. Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum has shifted to more of a traditional power forward role, and Brown has filled the void by having his unquestioned best season in the NBA. If he comes back fully healthy, expect the numbers to improve as he potentially challenges for the top spot on this list.
3. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
DeRozan is still a beloved figure in Toronto, but his next stop in his career will be with Chicago alongside Zach LaVine Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball. DeRozan’s San Antonio tenure proved he is still capable of scoring the ball, and that’s what Chicago will need from him at this stage of his career.
2. Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Middleton was the second-best player on the champion this year, overcoming years of doubters saying that he wasn’t cut out for that role. If Anunoby evolves into the same type of player for Toronto, they could be on the path to titles again.
1. Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Butler was the primary force that brought Kyle Lowry to Miami, as he believes that the veteran point guard can helo get the Heat back to the Finals. The buck ultimately stops with him, however, as Miami will be counting on his finishing inside and relentless defense to set the tone this season.