Tier 2: Expected All-Stars
5. Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves
4. Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
3. Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
It’s trendy to mock Gobert for his offense, but his defense can still impact how the opposing team operates by itself. Recently traded to Minnesota, he could be the missing ingredient that turns an intriguing bunch into a no-doubt contender.
Adebayo is probably the closes parallel to Siakam in terms of their styles of play and short-term potential. Given the postseason pedigree and more diverse offensive skills package that Siakam possesses, he should come just in front of Adebayo on any hypothetical power ranking.
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam is a top-three center.
Tier 1: All-NBA
2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
1. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
We love Siakam more than most, but we have to admit that there is a reasonably cavernous gap between Siakam and the top two on this list. The Raptors have shown they can give Embiid and the 76ers problems, but his power in the post might make him the MVP frontrunner in 2022-23.
How often has a player done something that has never been done before statistically and won back-to-back MVP awards while being relatively anonymous in the larger media landscape? Given how insanely good Jokic has been in the last two years, no one would look at you weirdly if you declared him the best player in the NBA.