Despite the flurry of rumors in advance of the February trade deadline, OG Anunoby was not dealt to a new home. Instead, the Raptors continue to invest in the development of their top defensive weapon — a brute-strength machine who can guard all over the perimeter and who, maybe, will receive some votes for DPOY. On the offensive end, Anunoby leverages that strength to great effect in favorable matchups and he’s a fairly efficient 3-point shooter.
Jerami Grant has found the ideal home for his skill set in Portland. No longer asked to carry the primary scoring burden like he was in Detroit, Grant has flourished cutting and slashing off the catch. His long strides attacking the rim, bankable 3-point shot, and elite-level wing defense make him the prototypical modern co-star.
Brook Lopez was near the front of the line for DPOY this season. His remarkable late-career resurgence in Milwaukee laid the groundwork for so many veterans like him. Once a bruising post scorer who many considered a liability on defense, Lopez put in the work to become a deadly spot-up shooter who can expertly wall off the paint to opposing offenses
A difficult up-and-down season for Andrew Wiggins probably shouldn’t overshadow the general conclusion we arrived at during Golden State’s title run last season: Wiggins has finally arrived. No longer burdened with the expectations of a No. 1 pick, Wiggins has excelled in the Warriors’ movement-heavy offense as a complementary threat. He has trimmed the fat from his shot chart and, perhaps most importantly, developed into a top-shelf wing defender.
Rudy Gobert is still on the shortlist of best defenders in the NBA. His impact has been dulled somewhat by an unfamiliar system and the natural side effects of aging, but Gobert still makes every ball-handler think twice about venturing inside. Offensively, he can contribute amply as a vertical threat.