The top 50 players in the NBA — how many Sixers make the cut, and where do they fall?
The NBA season is almost here, and with it comes Philadelphia 76ers basketball. After a disappointing 2019-20 campaign, the Sixers are rebuilt and revamped. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have more shooting at their disposal, while Doc Rivers is expected to provide a schematic upgrade over his predecessor, Brett Brown.
While the Sixers’ standing in the East is uncertain, one thing is clear — Embiid and Simmons are two of the NBA’s best players. This article pits them against the best of the best in the NBA. More plainly, this functions as a ranking of the top 50 NBA players.
Honorable mentions: T.J. Warren, Tobias Harris, Malcolm Brogdon, Jusuf Nurkic, DeAndre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr., Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell, Eric Bledsoe, Kevin Love, Bojan Bogdanovic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela
Top NBA player #50 — Nikola Vucevic
While Nikola Vucevic took a step back after his All-Star appearance in 2019-20, he still deserves credit for his role as Orlando’s top scorer and main offensive weapon. An old-fashioned big infused with modern skills, Vucevic can space the floor, punish defenders in the post, or thrive in the mid-range. He averaged 19.9 points and 10.9 rebounds on 47.7 percent shooting last season.
Top NBA player #49 — Zach LaVine
There’s a lot to be said about Zach LaVine’s retched defense and his limitations when it comes to creating for others. At the end of the day, he’s still one of the NBA’s premier scorers — a dynamic, quick-twitch athlete with deep 3-point range, a deadly first step, and the athleticism to finish in traffic with acrobatic flourishes. He averaged 25.5 points per game last season and, at 25 years old, still has room to grow.
Top NBA player #48 — Blake Griffin
When healthy and operating at the top of his powers, Blake Griffin is much higher on this list. Unfortunately, his ability to stay on the court is the biggest question facing Detroit this season. Griffin is reaching the twilight of his career at 31, but when he’s on the floor, Griffin’s mix of strength, shooting touch, and basketball I.Q. at 6-foot-9 is tantalizing.
Top NBA player #47 — John Collins
One of the NBA’s most underrated talents, John Collins averaged 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds last season as Trae Young’s number two in Atlanta. He needs to continue his growth defensively, but on offense, Collins is both a versatile perimeter scorer and a top-tier vertical threat. He can stretch the floor, face-up, or fill the lane and crash the offensive glass. There’s a lot to like.
Top NBA player #46 — Robert Covington
Injuries have dampened Robert Covington’s impact of late, but he’s still one of the premier NBA defenders. He covers more ground than most, not only creating turnovers, but protecting the rim and suffocating passing lanes. Offensive limitations aside, Covington has deep 3-point range and plenty of confidence.