Ranking the top 100 NBA players — 85. Aaron Gordon, Nuggets
Aaron Gordon struggled in an expanded role following injuries to Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., but that’s not really his fault. He’s excellent in that No. 4 role — taking advantage of open 3s and easy duck-ins at the rim while playing all-world defense on the other end. He’s capable of exploiting mismatches in the post and looking for his own shot every now and then, but Denver needs him most for his excellent defense.
Ranking the top 100 NBA players — 84. Tobias Harris, Sixers
Tobias Harris revolutionized his game after the James Harden trade, taking more 3s off the catch, making more decisive moves off the dribble, and really committing to high-level defense on the perimeter. He deserves a ton of credit for the sacrifices he made. Harris is at his best when he’s leaning into the 3s and layups approach. He’s a great shooter and he has the strength to impose his will around the rim. He doesn’t need a ton of mid-range jumpers to be effective.
Ranking the top 100 NBA players — 83. Gordon Hayward, Hornets
Health is the biggest factor holding Gordon Hayward back at this point. He’s just constantly banged up. When he’s right, however, Hayward is still important to what Charlotte wants to do. He’s an essential secondary playmaker next to LaMelo and he provides solid 3-and-D traits elsewhere. He’s not the leading man Charlotte signed him to be (in fact, he’s more like the fourth or fifth man), but he’s quite good in that complementary role.
Ranking the top 100 NBA players — 82. Tyler Herro, Heat
Tyler Herro deservingly won Sixth Man of the Year for his contributions to the one-seed Heat. He’s the team’s best perimeter scorer — an absolute flamethrower from 3-point range with picture-perfect mechanics and unshakable confidence. He’s not giving you much else, but he’s one of those guys who can get hot and carry you to victory with shot-making alone.
Ranking the top 100 NBA players — 81. Bojan Bogdanovic, Jazz
The Jazz are about to fall apart, which makes it easy to overlook Bojan Bogdanovic’s contributions to one of the most consistent fringe contenders of the last half-decade. He’s an excellent offensive player, with efficient 3-point shooting, real juice attacking closeouts, and underrated playmaking chops. He fills a lot of gaps for Utah.