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 Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Anfernee Simons. 85. player. 34. . G. Portland Trail Blazers

Ranking NBA players — 85. Anfernee Simons, Blazers

A lucrative contract cements Anfernee Simons’ spot next to Damian Lillard in the Blazers backcourt. It will take time for him to learn how to be the No. 2 option, but Simons’ explosive athleticism and talent for shot-making are impossible to deny. He’s going to get buckets. The next step is becoming at least passable on defense.

27. . F. New York Knicks. Julius Randle. 84. player

Ranking NBA players — 84. Julius Randle, Knicks

Julius Randle will put up no shortage of numbers for New York. He carries a hefty burden offensively, taking (and often making) difficult shots and dishing out more assists than your typical bruising power forward. He will grab plenty of rebounds too. Unfortunately, Randle’s production can as often as not feel empty. He’s not a good defender and for every star performance, there’s a night where he’s shooting New York out of the game.

. F. New Orleans Pelicans. Herbert Jones. 83. player. 69

Ranking NBA players –83. Herbert Jones, Pelicans

Herb Jones might be the best perimeter defender in the NBA and he’s entering his second NBA season. He was that good for New Orleans last year, which is made all the more absurd when you realize he was a second-round pick. No one, not even the staunchest Herb Jones fans at Alabama, saw this coming. He has a long way to go offensively, but Jones is a singularly disruptive force for opposing offenses.

82. player. 38. . F. Orlando Magic. Paolo Banchero

Ranking NBA players — 82. Paolo Banchero, Magic

The reigning No. 1 pick will be handed the keys to the Orlando offense right away. He’s a power forward with a point guard’s disposition: Banchero will look to handle the rock, create plays for himself, and seek to get others involved through his passing. The Magic were dreadful offensively last season, so Banchero’s spark should be immediately felt. He can stuff the stat sheet and guard multiple positions.

Philadelphia 76ers. Tobias Harris. 81. player. 93. . F

Ranking NBA players — 81. Tobias Harris, Sixers

Tobias Harris is often overlooked when discussing the Sixers’ championship core. For all his flaws, last season was a big step in the right direction for Harris. He upped his 3-point volume after Harden’s arrival and looked like a new man on defense. A hyper-efficient shooter, Harris’ issues have always been tied to shot diet, not shooting ability. If he continues to play smart, team-first basketball, he’s going to look really good as the supercharged fourth man in Philly.