During the month of June, we ranked the top 10 NBA players at each position. These rankings were based only on the 2020-21 regular season and did not include any injured players. The positions of players are determined by ESPN. Now let’s examine the top 15 players in the league this season, regardless of position.
No. 15 | Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Beal and the Wizards turned their season around late and secured the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Beal finished the season second among all players with 31.3 points per game, while also contributing 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per outing. He scored a career-high 60 points on the Philadelphia 76ers back in December.
No. 14 | Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Randle, the winner of the Most Improved Player Award, led the Knicks to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. He played in all but one game, averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game (all career-highs). Randle also received his first All-Star selection this year. His best game of the season came against the Mavericks where he scored 44 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out seven assists.
No. 13 | Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns
Paul showed how valuable he is after leading the Suns to the second seed in the Western Conference in his first season with Phoenix. The veteran point guard put up 16.4 points and 8.9 assists per game on 50 percent shooting from the field. Paul’s exceptional playmaking and crafty shooting keeps him ranked at the top of the position even at 36 years old. His top performance was when he racked up 15 points and 19 assists against the Pelicans in February.
No. 12 | Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Mitchell continues to improve with each season, this year leading the Jazz to the best record in the league. He averaged 26.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game, while also posting a career-best effective shooting percentage (52 percent). Mitchell scored upwards of 20 points in all but eight games this season, including four separate 40-point outings.
No. 11 | Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Tatum officially made the jump to superstardom this season. He led the small forward position with 26.4 points per game, while also averaging 7.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.2 steals. Tatum scored 50-plus points three times this season, including a career-high 60 point performance against the Spurs. He has established himself as one of the top scorers in the league at just 23 years old.
No. 10 | Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Doncic put together another MVP caliber season in 2021, averaging 27.7 points, eight rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game. Out of all players this season, Doncic finished sixth in points per game, fourth in assists per game, and racked up the fourth most triple-doubles. He dropped 46 points with 14 assists on the Clippers in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. At only 22 years old, Doncic is already one of the top players in the NBA.
No. 9 | James Harden, Houston Rockets/Brooklyn Nets
Being one of the most ball-heavy shooting guards in the league, Harden led all SGs in rebounds, assists, and triple-doubles. In 44 games, he averaged 24.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 10.8 assists per game. Over the last seven games of the season, Harden averaged 30 points and 11 assists en route to helping the Nets claim the second seed in the Eastern Conference. In the first game of the season (as a member of the Rockets) Harden dropped 44 and dished out 17 dimes.
No. 8 | LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
James battled an ankle sprain near the end of the season, but when he played, the King was dominant. In 45 games, he averaged 25 points and led the small forward position with 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists per outing. James’s best performance came against the Cavaliers in which he scored 46 points and knocked down seven three pointers.
No. 7 | Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Lillard put up MVP numbers all season long, finishing third of all players with 28.8 points per game, while also averaging 4.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists. The superstar also tallied 50 points against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game in March, one of 11 players to do so this season. Whether he stays in Portland next season or not, Lillard is one of the top playmakers in the league.
No. 6 | Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
Leonard was nothing short of phenomenal this season, leading the Clippers to the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. The two-time champion put up 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game while posting 51/40/89 shooting splits. Leonard’s top performance of the season was when he scored 45 points on 18-for-25 shooting in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs.
No. 5 | Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
In his first season back from a torn Achilles tendon, Durant was limited to only 35 games due to a hamstring injury. That said, he put together arguably the best campaign of his career. Durant averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game, while posting 54/45/88 shooting splits. His best game came in Game 5 of the second round of the playoffs, where he put up 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists.
No. 4 | Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
After winning back-to-back MVP Awards, few thought Giannis could improve this season. That’s exactly what he did. Through 61 games, he scored 28.1 points per game while also averaging 11 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.2 blocks. His best performance this season came against the Brooklyn Nets, when he scored 49 points on 21-for-36 shooting.
No. 3 | Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
An MVP candidate the entire season, Embiid led the 76ers to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Through 51 games, he scored a position-best 28.5 points per game, while also averaging 10.6 rebounds and leading the league with 10.6 free throw attempts each outing. Embiid’s best performance this season was when he accounted for 50 points and 17 boards against the Chicago Bulls.
No. 2 | Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Jokic became the first center to win MVP since Shaquille O’Neal back in the 1999-00 NBA season. He played every game, averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists. Jokic also posted 57/39/87 shooting splits and racked up 16 triple-doubles. His best game came in the second round of the playoffs, in which he had 32 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists.
No. 1 | Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
After missing almost the entire 2020 season due to a broken hand, Curry returned and put together one of the best campaigns of his career. He won the scoring title by putting up 32 points per game, while also averaging 5.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.2 steals. Curry’s biggest highlight from this season was when he poured in 62 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. If not for Jokic, Curry would have easily taken home his third MVP Award.
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