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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(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

142. . G. Washington Wizards. Bradley Beal. 30. player

Ranking NBA players — 30. Bradley Beal, Wizards

Bradley Beal and the Wizards really want to compete in the East. I’m not sure it’s going to happen this season. That shouldn’t take away from one’s appreciation of Beal’s individual talent, though. He’s stuck in less-than-ideal circumstances and last season was a slight step back for him, but Beal is a perennial threat to lead the NBA in scoring. Not many players can match Beal shot-for-shot, and he has improved as a playmaker to the point of being Washington’s point guard in all but name last season.

29. player. 69. . G. New Orleans Pelicans. Brandon Ingram

Ranking NBA players — 29. Brandon Ingram, Pelicans

Brandon Ingram was the best player on a team that, by the end of last season, looked like a real threat in the playoffs. At 6-foot-9, Ingram has developed into a deadly pull-up shooter who can torch the defense at all three levels. He’s one heck of a playmaker for his size too. Ingram’s 3-point volume and efficiency actually decreased last season, but his numbers should perk right back up with Zion’s return. Life is about to get much easier.

Pascal Siakam. 28. player. 81. . F. Toronto Raptors

Ranking NBA players — 28. Pascal Siakam, Raptors

Pascal Siakam was the best player on a top-five seed last season. He’s a mesmerizing athlete who competes hard on defense. Those who don’t appreciate his greatness are missing out. The spin move jokes are played out — Siakam is one of the most physical drivers in the NBA. At 6-foot-8, he can plow through the defense like a knife through butter. His ability to maneuver through traffic so elegantly at full speed, then still have feather-soft touch at the rim, is wholly impressive.

. G. Brooklyn Nets. Kyrie Irving. 27. player. 147

Ranking NBA players — 27. Kyrie Irving, Nets

Kyrie Irving might be the most skilled player in the NBA. He has moves on moves on moves, with a silky jumper and touch around the basket that doesn’t always comply with the rules of physics. He’s the best guard finisher in the NBA. If this list were ranking the best one-on-one players, Kyrie would probably be No. 1 or close to it. That said, the best players elevate teammates and get others involved. That’s not always Kyrie’s style.

. G. Milwaukee Bucks. Jrue Holiday. 26. player. 89

Ranking NBA players — 26. Jrue Holiday, Bucks

Jrue Holiday is on the shortlist of best guard defenders in the NBA. If you’re looking for someone to defend the point of attack in the playoffs, in any high-stakes moment, it’s hard to find a better option than Holiday. On offense, he finished near the top of the league in assists last season and thrived perfectly well as Milwaukee’s No. 3 scorer. He’s not the best shooter, which can cause problems in the postseason, but he makes up for it with playmaking and defense.