Tier 5: Solid players, not needle movers
20. Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans
19. De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks
18. Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic
17. Lu Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder
16. Lauri Markkanen, Cleveland Cavaliers
15. Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets
Jones and Hunter might not light up the statsheet on offense, but both of them proved their defensive quality on teams who made it to the postseason. Dort has long been an NBA Twitter fan favorite for his feisty hustle on the perimeter, and he’s started to come into his own as a scorer.
Wagner considerably outplayed Suggs during his first season in Orlando, and he’s just a few defensive changes away from becoming a well above-average SF before his rookie contract is up. While Markkanen and Hayward have both seen better days, they should be right around the 15 points per game threshold once again in 2022-23.
Tier 4: Higher-end Starters on playoff teams
14. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings
13. Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz
12. Michael Porter Jr, Denver Nuggets
11. Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies
10. Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns
Being stuck in NBA Siberia, Barnes’ resurgence with the Kings has flown under the radar. He’s still a walking bucket. While a Raptors trade target in Bogdanovic is positioned for another season in relative anonymity thanks to his geography, he can still light up the scoreboard.
Assuming that Porter is healthy, he should be able to help Denver contend. Brooks should be in a similar tertiary scoring role with Memphis this season, though he is still a few ticks below OG when you factor in defense. Bridges is an excellent two-way star, making the gap between him and the next two spots as thin as humanly possible.
Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby is a Top 10 SF
Tier 3: Fringe All-Stars
9. RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
8. OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors
7. Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
6. Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets
Barrett started to show that his ability to fill it up from the perimeter was here to stay last year. He and Anunoby will be locking horns against one another in that division for years to come.
Wiggins went from an overpaid player who was slightly disappointing this season to a key part of a championship team. Simmons remains as positionless and enigmatic as ever, but the expectation when he returns to the floor is that his usual brand of basketball will be good enough to help the Nets contend.