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Did ESPN Rank The Suns’ Players Correctly?

Every year ESPN puts out their ranking of the top 100 players in the NBA. It is always interesting to see the new names on the list. The names that have changed places and the names that are no longer on the list. What Phoenix Suns players made the list and where are they ranked?

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Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal came in at number 37 in the ESPN Top 100 this year. He was ranked 19th going into last season. Beal will no longer be the number one option in the offense. He is the number three option behind Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. The change in team and role was the main reason for the drop in ranking.

Last season Beal averaged 23.2 points and 5.4 assists while shooting 50% from the floor and 36% from three. Even with adjusting to a new team and role, it’s hard to see Beal having a major drop off stats wise. The former Florida Gator may even take a jump up in efficiency.

He will have so many more wide open jump shots this year compared to year’s past. It would not be shocking if he shoots over 40% from three along with still shooting 50% from the field.

One of the players that are ranked ahead of Beal is Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic. Banchero came in at number 30 in the rankings. Banchero is a really good young player who has loads of potential but putting him ahead of Beal should be a crime! This crime should prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law! Whoever made this decision needs to answer for this!

Ok, it may not be that serious but Banchero needs to show more to be ahead of Beal. Last season Banchero averaged 20 points per game, shot 42% from the floor and 28% from three. Banchero may be a multi-time all-star one day but right now he is not in Bradley Beal’s stratosphere on the offensive end of the floor.

Bradley Beal will outplay this ranking and be an all-star this season. That’s if he stays healthy of course.

Devin Booker

Devin Booker came in at number 11 in the rankings. Last season he was number 10. This is not a drop in rankings as much as it is a rise for others. Anthony Davis and Shai Gileous-Alexander jumped ahead of Devin Booker in the rankings.

Gileous-Alexander has to be top ten after the year he had last season. He was voted All-NBA first team after averaging 31.4 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game. SGA shot 51% from the floor and 34% from three. It is very hard to make an argument for Booker to be ranked ahead of Gileous-Alexander.

Anthony Davis is also in the top ten now after being number twenty last season. There is an argument to be made for Devin Booker to be ahead of Davis. Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, and shot 56% from the floor. Booker averaged 27.8 points, 5.5 assists, shot 49% from the floor and 35% from three.

In the playoffs, is where Booker separates himself from Davis. Booker was the scoring leader in the players with 33.7 points per game. He also was a very good distributor of the basketball dishing out 7.2 assists per game. Booker’s efficiency went up in the playoffs, he shot 58% from the floor and 50% from three.

Davis had a very up and down playoff run on the offensive end of the floor. He averaged 22.6 points, 14.1 rebounds, and shot 52% from the floor. These are great numbers but Davis seemed to be a different player from night to night. One night he looks unstoppable on his way to scoring 40 points. The next night he would only score 10. Booker’s consistency in the playoffs should of earned him a spot in the top ten over Davis.

Devin Booker is poised to have a season that puts in the running for Most Valuable Player. Which will put him in the top five for next season’s ranking.

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant landed at the seven spot in this year’s ranking after being number eight last season. The movement up one spot is because of LeBron James falling back a few spots. Durant had another stellar season last year.

He averaged 29.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, and five assists per game. Durant had one of the most efficient seasons of all-time as he shot 56% from the field, 40% from three, and 91% from the free throw line.

The issues are that only played in 47 games during the regular season and his efficiency dipped in a major way in the playoffs. Durant shot 47% from the field and 33% from three point range.

It is hard to make an argument for Durant to be ahead of any of the six players that are in front him due to his lack of durability and the drop off in performance during the playoffs.

The former Texas Longhorn will have another great regular season but the amount of games he is able to play and his playoff performance will determine if he should be considered a top five player in this league.

 

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