Still amidst the NBA offseason, that means more lists, rankings, and whatever else we do to bridge Free Agency to the preseason — when Miami Heat basketball returns.
Enter Sports Illustrated’s list of the Top 100 NBA players, which features three members of the red and black. We’re going to go through them one by one and decide whether each player was ranked too high, too low, or just right.
SI Rank: 61 (just right)
Listed behind fellow point guards Jeff Teague, George Hill, and Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic’s ranking is fair coming off a season in which he remained second fiddle to Dwyane Wade.
However, the Dragon should thrive this season as the man in Miami’s hopefully up-tempo offense. Expect his averages of 14.1 points and 5.8 assists to jump closer to 18 and 8 en route to at least a Top 50 ranking next year.
SI Rank: 37 (just right)
This is tough because we still don’t know Chris Bosh’s status. At full strength he’s one of the few big men in the league who can score from anywhere on the court, remain a critical asset defensively, and be willing to sacrifice shots and accolades for the better of the team.
He’s a rare breed and a Top 15 player when healthy but his medical situation clearly and rightfully affected his ranking.
SI Rank: 35 (too low)
Ranked behind one-sided bigs like Dwight Howard, Rudy Gobert, Kevin Love, Andre Drummond, and Derrick Favors, I think Hassan Whiteside was snubbed by SI at No. 35.
While we don’t know if his game will continue to ascend — or at least sustain — after inking a $98-million contract, he’s one of the league’s elite centers by default. If Bosh is limited, I think Hassan is going to put up historical numbers next season.
Not a bad ranking for SI regarding the Heat considering any league-wide ranking is bound to stir up some fan bases no matter what.
The Top 10:
- LeBron James
- Kevin Durant
- Steph Curry
- Chris Paul
- Russell Westbrook
- Kawhi Leonard
- James Harden
- Anthony Davis
- Paul George
- Blake Griffin