Tier 5: Solid players, not needle movers
22. Seth Curry, Brooklyn Nets
21. Tim Hardaway Jr, Dallas Mavericks
20. Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder
19. Jalen Green, Houston Rockets
18. Buddy Hield, Indiana Pacers
Curry and Hardaway are not going to put up gaudy scoring numbers at this stage of their careers, but Brooklyn’s 3-point marksman and Dallas’ rock-solid wing player should play roles on championship contenders this year. While Hield is stuck on another rebuilding team, he could soon be traded to a contender.
Giddey and Green both look like players who could compete for All-Star recognition in the near future. With Green already establishing himself as one of the best high-flyers in the sport and Giddey looking like a future triple-double machine, they could pass a player like Trent in due time.
Toronto Raptors: Gary Trent Jr. should be viewed as a nice starter.
Tier 4: Higher-end Starters on playoff teams
17. Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets
16. Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
15. Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers
14. Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
13. Gary Trent Jr, Toronto Raptors
12. Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
Rozier and Simons may be viewed by some as benefactors of poor teams that allowed them to shoot a ton, but they would be excellent scorers irrespective of their situation. Powell has moved around a bit, but he promises to be an integral part of the Clippers in the future.
Trent comes in right ahead of Maxey and behind Sexton, who is expected to return to the Cavaliers. All three of these players are shot-creating bucket-getters, so their respective defensive acumen and postseason performance will help differentiate them.
Tier 3: Fringe All-Stars
11. Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies
10. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
9. Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
8. Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
Even in his advanced age after so many injuries, Thompson’s performance in the playoffs proved that he should be in the top 10. The gap between him and Bane, who is making a legitimate run at the title of best non-Steph Curry shooter in the league, is razor-thin at the moment.
Even though Herro can be hunted on defense, being able to fill it up for an elite Heat team gets him some bonus points in this ranking. Edwards is going to make an All-Star team at some point for Minnesota; the question is simply when that will come. Putting him a tier above this would illicit no argument from me.