Projecting the top 125 NBA players for 2022-23 season

Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, ranking NBA players Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, ranking NBA players Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 2022-23 NBA season is upon us. Training camp is underway, which means preseason and ultimately the regular season are right around the corner. As is tradition this time of year, we have seen many NBA player rankings around the internet.

We now make the effort now to project the top 125 NBA players next season. This is not a ranking based strictly on last season: we are looking ahead, considering who might get better and who might decline. Team circumstances, upside, downside, injury history — all of it is taken into account.

Let’s start with the players who were in the running, but ultimately missed out.

Honorable mentions: Russell Westbrook, Terry Rozier, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Anderson, Ivica Zubac, Eric Gordon, Tim Hardaway Jr., T.J. Warren, Saddiq Bey, Immanuel Quickley, Bones Hyland, Patrick Beverley, Cole Anthony, Luguentz Dort, Patrick Williams, P.J. Washington, Robert Covington, Jonathan Isaac, Reggie Bullock, Buddy Hield, De’Anthony Melton, Jordan Clarkson, Kevin Huerter, Steven Adams, Marcus Morris Sr., Gary Payton II, Bruce Brown Jr., Jonathan Kuminga, Maxi Kleber, Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Richaun Holmes, Quentin Grimes, Onyeka Okongwu, Bobby Portis Sr., Nicolas Batum, Obi Toppin, Aleksej Pokusevski 

169. . C. Houston Rockets. Alperen Sengun. 125. player

Ranking NBA players — 125. Alperen Sengun, Rockets

Alperen Sengun is slated to take over starting center duties in Houston following the departure of Christian Wood. His per-minute production last season was quite tantalizing. Now, he’ll get to handle the stress (and workload) of a full-time player. He can score on dump-offs at the rim, or generate his own offense with nifty post moves, feather-soft touch, and real playmaking flare. He will score and rebound plenty, and even create opportunities for teammates. The question is how well can he defend?

player. 29. . G. San Antonio Spurs. Devin Vassell. 124

Ranking NBA players — 124. Devin Vassell, Spurs

With Dejounte Murray out the door, the Spurs’ rebuild can begin in earnest. Expect Devin Vassell to be one of the biggest immediate beneficiaries. He will get plenty of on-ball reps due to San Antonio’s dearth of point guard depth, and he’s well suited to such opportunities. Plus, he’s an underrated defender who could explode into the national consciousness with flashier offensive numbers.

F. Phoenix Suns. Cameron Johnson. 123. player. 66.

Ranking NBA players — 123. Cameron Johnson, Suns

A perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Cam Johnson might be making the move to starter if the Jae Crowder rumors are of any substance (and they seem to be). He’s the quintessential 3-and-D wing. He’s integral connective tissue for one of the deepest, most well-rounded rotations in the NBA.

. G. Los Angeles Clippers. John Wall. 122. player. 77

Ranking NBA players — 122. John Wall, Clippers

Last time we saw him, John Wall was still putting up star-like numbers for the wayward Rockets. Now, a year removed from his last NBA action, the veteran point guard will be asked to acquiesce to the NBA’s deepest offensive team. He may or may not start, but Wall’s speed, playmaking chops, and impressive resumé will earn him a key role and the chance to prove his mettle at age 32.

211. . G. Memphis Grizzlies. Tyus Jones. 121. player

Ranking NBA players — 121. Tyus Jones, Grizzlies

The Grizzlies’ ability to survive Ja Morant’s extended absence last season was a huge credit to Tyus Jones. He just doesn’t make mistakes. He possesses excellent poise when commanding the offense, making the team’s ball movement sing and always getting teammates involved. He defends his position well too, and he’s no slouch scoring the ball.