Who is it now that the Dallas Mavs have knocked off the huge favorites, Miami Heat?
Is the best player in the NBA someone who can be picked out from how the playoffs unfolded, or is the best player in the NBA that one player who you would select #1 overall if you were drafting a team from the entire NBA player pool to win for next season (and next season only)
Either way you look at it, here are some candidates in no particular order...
Dirk Nowitzki - Definintely in the now category for what he did in capturing this year's title for the Mavs
Kobe Bryant - May be the player you would draft to win for one year with his toughness, championship experience, and skill, and clutch play. But does he have too much mileage?
Kevin Durant - Is he still a few years away? Or does he have what it takes to carry a team to the title right now?
Derrick Rose - Same as Durant, but also holds the NBA's MVP award
LeBron James - Thought by many as the best player in the NBA for his stats and all-around play, but has always hidden in the corner when everything is on the line. The best when things are going well, but vanishes when they are not.
Dwight Howard - The most dominant big man in the NBA and also the most dominant defensive player in the NBA. Beast.
Chris Paul - Triple-Double candidate every night. Makes everyone better all the time, but has always played on poor teams.
- Or someone else
What does everyone think, and why?
That's quite a list you have there. I think Durant still has too much of a long ways to go, as he still needs to develop a post game to be effective enough to win a title
I would say Chris Paul and Dwight Howard together would be a great combination if Orlando manages to snag both of them in 2012, as that would be awesome.
Kobe is too old, so I wouldn't go with him. Great player if you have a veteran team around him, but I wouldn't build a young team around him at this point in his career.
I would only draft Dirk if I had the exact same personnel around him that the Mavericks had along with a zone defensive scheme. Why? Because even though Dirk proved offensively to be a great clutch player. The reality is he's still a defensive liability. Therefore, I would only draft him if I knew I had a system in place that exclusively ran zone defensive schemes to cover up for Dirk's lack of individual defensive abilities.
Princess James- I still stand by what I said about how we still haven't seen his best game yet. However, I do think he needs to get it together next season. Otherwise, I can see the Miami Heat breaking up their big three if they don't win a title next year, as we both know two alpha dogs can't exist on the same team in the NBA; unless they're winning titles. If they're not winning championships, then it's just a recipe for disaster.
I would definitely take Derrick Rose if I could. No, this isn't a bias since I'm a Bulls fan. I think if Rose would've had just one other guy who could create his own shot for the team, then it might've made the difference in the series against the Heat. That and if Haslem and Miller didn't show up out of nowhere like they did. However, even in the losses though, Rose still showed poise throughout the series, and he's only going to get better over time.
I think if rumors are true about how Richard Hamilton might be bought out of his contract if he gets traded to the Timberwolves, and signs with chicago like it's speculated, then I do think that might be what the Bulls need. Richard Hamilton can create his own shots, and he's used to playing on a team that's team oriented with a blue collar defense first mentality.
Therefore, he'd be perfect for that system if you ask me. Sure, I know I'll get some flak for saying that, but I still think Hamilton has some good years in him to redeem himself if he comes to chicago.
I think if Rondo stays healthy, then you can definitely leave him in the conversation, as he seems poised to become the next John Stockton. I think the real issue for the Celtics though is trying to find younger pieces to build around for the future, as the big 3 can't play forever over there.
You know what, at first I didn't necessarily agree, but the more I think about Steven's analysis here the more I agree on almost all of the points.
- Agree 100% about Durant, although with how the media is we'll be hearing the Jordan comparisons within two years. This guy is an incredible shooter, but as Steven said, his lack of a post-game and reliance on the outside shot means he still has a ways to go. He just doesn't quite know how to win or make others better as of yet.
- The points about Dirk are outstanding in terms of him and his personnel. That entire supporting cast was fearless and shot 3's with such accuracy that it was demoralizing to the opposing teams. They remind me of the two Houston Rocket Championship teams in the mid-nineties in that respect.
- I was going to almost rule out Derrick Rose after his performance against the Heat, but upon further thought that would not be fair. Rose was otherwise phenomenal throughout the regular season and playoffs. But then some may say, yeah, but the same thing goes for LeBron James. Not really though because LeBron and Rose's struggles in their series in which they were eliminated were entirely different. LeBron hid in the corner and was not aggressive at all in the Finals. We've seen that story before in terms of how LeBron is more of a front-runner who disappears when things are not going well. As for Rose, he took a much less talented team near the top this season. Even though he had a poor series against the Heat, he did not shy away from anything and did show some heart. In the end, Rose just did not have the perfect complementary pieces like Dirk did with the Mavs.
The guy I may go with is Dwight Howard IF he could ever become at least a 70% free-throw shooter. He really made strides this past season in becoming a better offensive player. He is hungry to win. And we have seen historically speaking, how important elite Centers can be to building dynasties for a team. Just look at the top 10 players of all-time and arguably 5 of them are Centers. Presumably following the same logic, a few years ago, many NBA GM's and even Phil Jackson said they would take Howard #1 overall to build their team around in an NBA redraft.
As for Chris Paul, he has been great and may end up as a top 2-3 point guard of all time before he is done. He makes everyone better, but he will always be overlooked because his team has not done much in the playoffs, if they even have made the playoffs throughout his time in the league. He also has had some injury problems for a few years nowso, we'll have to see if he can get past that.
As for Kobe Bryant, he's obviously my favorite player, and I would have taken him up until this season but I think the mileage is catching up to him. He now has borderline arthritic knees. Because he's Kobe, I still think he will be a super elite player in the NBA and will have the Lakers contending, if not winning, the title for the next 3-4 years. We'll just have to see how he comes out next season.
I love Rajon Rondo, but the guy seriously needs to start working on a jump shot. I thought he would improve on that this season, but he barely improved and continued to shy away from shots. If he can get a great jump shot, he would be close to being the ultimate player.
All great players. Several different positions represented as well. However, basketball has and always will be a team sport. It takes teamwork to win. The whole is better than the sum of its parts. Therefore, I do not believe that there is anyway of determining a best player in the sport. Now, maybe golf, tennis, etc. might be different but in basketball you need to depend on others to attain success.
paul or dwight who could play together soon, I hope!!
I don't think CP3 to Orlando is possible. Orlando is strapped with bad contracts of Gilbert Arenas making over $20mil per year for the next 3 years and Hedo Turkoglu making $11.5 mil per year over the next 3 years. Those pieces are not tradeable. Plus, Dwight and CP3 would both require max contracts.
Howard's not going to be back with Orlando in 2012. He already said today that he will not sign an extension. Being that he's not doing that under the current CBA where he would make tens of millions of dollars more than if he resigned with Orlando in 2012 tells me that Howard is GONE. Orlando does not have tradeable pieces to appease Dwight Howard.
He'll be a welcome sight on the Lakers.
hes not even steve nash let alone stockton. more like ......nick van exel
I think I would have said Lebron at the beginning of the year hands down, but I think he's been exposed a bit. His post game isn't great and he's an OK shooter at best. Although I think he can get better, so if I'm picking #1 I take him.
Howard is my second pick if I'm building a team around one player and Durant is third. All of these players are going to get better.
Kobe is on the decline. Despite this, I think he's the most complete player right now. For one game, picking first, I'd take him.
Great point about Kobe Bryant. If we are talking about one game, I would take Kobe Bryant as well. I also agree that he is the most complete player in the NBA right now even despite his decline and mileage.
I don't think any player in the NBA history has had the amount of negative pressure that Lebron James had this season... whether it was product of his own decision or not. It's hard to know what he's really capable of doing, given that this was a James vs. The World series. Everyone was rooting for him to lose, and that affects, not just his game, but any NBA player's game.
He is a great player and will only get better.
To that point, I would argue that Kobe Bryant had more negative pressure on him when he was facing the sexual assault allegations and he performed even better than he normally did when he was under the pressure and the public scrutiny.
With that said however, LeBron did have a lot of pressure on him but he was starting to silence his critics by how he had performed in the first 3 rounds of the playoffs. It's still anyone's guess as to what happened to him in the Finals. But then again, this also happened last season as well, and twice during international competition.
there going to cut arenas and a few others to free up cash. This will allow them to resign dwight (who wants to stay) and have money to sign paul. The biggest thing against all teams is how the possible strike will effect contracts and free agency.
That's not a bad idea, but It would be hard for me to imagine Gilbert Arenas taking a buyout when he likely will not get anymore decent sized contracts in his career. I've never seen a player making anywhere near $20 mil per year get bought out.
I take Dwight and Kevin Durant.
Derrick Rose need to toughen up a bit (just like Durant)!
Lebron James can stay in Miami, he is what I call a NPA - Non Performing Asset during "emergency".
Who would you take for one game right now? I stand behind the Kobe pick.
I'm a Mavs fan so at least I'm giving you full disclosure. To me it depends on a lot of factors but Dirk deserves a nod because of a couple of things:
1) The Mavs won the championship
2) They swept the Lakers (Kobe's team)
3) They defeated a Miami team with TWO superstars (I don't put Bosh up there)
4) The drop-off from Dirk to the 2nd best player on the Mavs team is huge
5) The Mavs point guard is 38 years old and is not exactly on par with Nash, Deron Williams, Rose or Paul
All that being said I would mention either Wade or Kobe as the two other contenders for a couple of reasons:
1) They both have won championships
2) They both can create their own shots; i.e. they are unstoppable.
I would say Kevin Durant. Combine his size with his ability to shoot and you have a more athletic Dirk Nowitzki. With that said I think there are still some things Dirk can do better, but as far as an overall best player I think the case can be made for Durant. He can do it all! Shoot, pass, rebound, get to the rim, and play defense. Solid player and I can't wait to see how he matures over the next couple of years.
Good points about Durant. In fact, I believe the NBA does a survey of all of the GMs prior to each season in regard to the 1 player they would pick first in building their franchise around (meaning a player to build around for the next 10+ years) and I believe Durant received around 75% of the vote (going off the top of my head) prior to this season. That vote was also taken however right after Durant led a relatively weak U.S. team to the Gold Medal in the World Championships and that may have inflated his value.
If we're talking about winning it all next season however, I would not put my chips in Durant's corner. If we're talking about a Franchise player for the next 10 years then I may go with Durant or Rose. But for one season, Durant still has too many holes in his game to be in my top 4-5 choices. Although it's a different topic, I would take Durant in the top two of a fantasy basketball draft.
That's not how it works. Basketball is not like Football. Basketball's contracts are guaranteed (at least for now). Sure, the Magic can cut Arenas if they want but they'd still owe him another $20+mill. for each of the next 3 years and that $20 mill each year still counts against their cap space. If this was football, they'd be able to dump him whenever they wanted with out owing anything. That's why so many big named players with big contracts get cut in football, but it never happens in basketball because it can't.
I would definitely have to go with DWade, especially after his playoff performances. But what about Melo?
I don't think Melo is in the conversation right now. He's good player, but definitely not in the top five.
I agree with Mr. Edmondson. Melo is a fantastic scorer but has not yet proven to be a good team player or defender. He just takes too many bad shots and has yet to make any of his teammates better. He's probably between a top 12-18 player right now, with the "potential" to be a top 5-6 player once he puts everything together.
I am just curious but who would your top 10 be?
That depends on what perspective we're looking at it from and what is factored in to the particular top 10?
Are we looking at:
- Who are the top 10 players we would build a team around for next season?
- Who are the top 10 players we would build a franchise around (next 10 years)?
- Who are the top 10 most complete players in the NBA?
- Who are the top 10 players given their current team situation?
- Who are the top 10 best players given any basketball situation?
- Who are the top 10 players who are the most valuable to their teams?
- Who are the top 10 fantasy basketball players?
- Do we factor in what they have, or have not, done/ accomplished in their careers up to this point?
A top 10 list is always so subjective and people usually don't agree on them because everyone looks at them from different perspectives. I could have a much different top 10 list pertaining to each of the different perspectives mentioned above.
With that said, I could give you my top 9 players who would be on nearly all of those lists, but in differing orders based on the criteria from which we were judging them. And they are, in no particular order...
-----Those top 9 I believe are a cut above the rest.
Others who are on the cusp, or have the potential soon down the line could be, in no particular order:
Kevin Garnett/Tim Duncan (although their minutes are severely cut at this point of their careers)
It just depends on what we're considering, so I can't place players in a particular order until we can define what we're looking for.
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