This will be the start of a 10-part series ranking the Top 100 players in the NBA for the 2023-24 season. Keep in mind, these are projections for the upcoming season. So does track record matter? Absolutely. Does last year matter? It matters the most. This list is based on what the players have shown they can do during the previous three years and how much it will carry over to this upcoming year.
Without further ado, here are the Top 100-91 players for the 2023-24 season.
No. 100: Bojan Bogdanovic
Bogdanovic is one of the more solid players in the league. He is an elite three-point shooter and scored 30 or more points in eight games last season. What holds him back is the fact that he is a liability on defense. Plus, the amount of games he has played has gone down every year the past three seasons, and he is also one of the older players in the league. Does this mean he will continue to regress this season? Of course not. But historically speaking, this is the age guys begin to take a step back. The Pistons have been one of the worst teams in the league for the past couple of years now. There is a chance this is the year the young core begins to make noise and maybe make the playoffs. They will rely heavily on Bogdonovic’s leadership to get them there.
No. 99: Russell Westbrook
There are always a lot of players who “silence the haters” either after being traded or in big playoff moments. Westbrook was slandered more than just about anyone in his tenure with the Lakers, but once he was traded to and bought out by the Jazz, the Clippers gave him a shot to prove his doubters wrong, and he sure did. He played his role excellently alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and once both of them went down, Westbrook stepped up again, scoring over 27 points in three out of their five playoff games. The days of Westbrook carrying a bad team to the playoffs are over. However, I think there will be two X-factors impacting how far the Clippers can go. The first one is the health of their two stars, Leonard and George. The second one is how much Westbrook adjusts his game to the other two. It will be interesting to see how far this team goes if both of these things work out.
No. 98: Al Horford
Horford was drafted in 2007. Since then, he has been a five-time All-Star and was Third-Team All-NBA in 2011. In the year 2023, he is still a super solid role player on one of the best teams in the league. Last year, he was one of the best three-point shooters but took a step back defensively. However, once the playoffs came around, the two flipped: he became very cold from three but stepped it up big time on defense. This was especially the case when he was the primary defender of league MVP Joel Embiid in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Horford is 37 and has shown some signs of regression. With this being said he is still a very solid player and has been the perfect veteran presence for the Celtics.
No. 97: Tyler Herro
Some might argue that this is a tad too low. With this being said, the fact Herro has not been available in critical situations for the Heat’s playoff runs the past two seasons is a red flag. However, he is still a very solid player when on the court. He is an elite three-point and free-throw shooter and a very solid playmaker. What holds Herro back is sometimes his shot selection can be questionable, he is often targeted on defense, and he is not always available. There is a very high chance Herro will be part of a trade package that sends Damian Lillard to Miami. Whether Herro is playing for Miami, Portland, or a third team involved, Herro has a lot to prove this year, and he will certainly be up for the challenge.
No. 96: Jordan Poole
Is this too high? Is this too low? I’m not too sure. Poole is one of the more interesting players in the league. He was fantastic in 2022, good enough to get offered a max extension. However, after his incident with Draymond Green at training camp, he took a huge step back in 2023. Even though his scoring volume went up, both his efficiency stats and advanced stats dropped drastically. He will be in an entirely brand-new situation in Washington. I expect the Wizards to be the worst team in the league and for Poole to be the second-best player on the team. I think this will be a nice fresh start for Poole, and it will be interesting to see how he progresses this year and in following seasons.
No. 95: Wendell Carter Jr.
I think the Magic are going to surprise a lot of people this year, and Carter will be one of the main reasons for that. Both his scoring volume and scoring efficiency have trended upward for the past three years. Carter is entering his sixth season, and he has more experience than most of the players on the Magic. I think the Magic have the potential to make the playoffs. A lot of their success will rely on Carter’s veteran leadership.
No. 94: John Collins
Collins is a player who has just never seemed to reach his full potential. In the 2019-20 season, he averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds per game. His scoring has trended downward every season, and last year he averaged his career-low in rebounds. Collins is only 25 and certainly has time to get back to his 2020 form, and I fully expect him to, but it is going to take a lot from him to do this.
No. 93: Anfernee Simons
Simons shocked a ton of people last year with his performance. He averaged 21 points per game, shot 38 percent from three, and had a career-high 35 minutes per game. Simons also played solid perimeter defense for someone who is only 6-foot-3. Simons’s role is up in the air at this point due to the uncertainty of Damian Lillard’s future with Portland. Still, Simon’s role will almost certainly expand with the superstar on his way out.
No. 92: Jusuf Nurkic
Speaking of a player’s future being in question, Jusuf Nurkic comes in at No. 92. This might feel a little too high for a player who is injury-prone and on the decline, but he is very solid when healthy and playing. This is especially the case on the defensive end, where he is both one of the better rebounders and rim defenders in the game. There have been a few rumors surrounding Nurkic this offseason, including him being part of a Damian Lillard package and swap with DeAndre Ayton, so it will be interesting to see what team he will be playing for in 2023.
No. 91: Buddy Hield
Yet another player whose future is currently unknown, Hield is one of the best three-point shooters in the game. Even though people acknowledge that he is elite from three, I do not think people know just how elite he is. Last year, he shot 42.5 percent beyond the arc while attempting 8.5 threes per game. His issue? He is below average at almost everything else. He is a good finisher and impressive at perimeter defense, but nothing else. It has been reported that both he and the Pacers are looking to find him a new home. He could contribute as a deep bench on a contender, but he will need to embrace a lesser role if he were to be successful.
Predicting the Top 100 players for a season certainly is not easy. This is especially the case when we do not know where some of these players will be in the next couple of days, weeks, or even months. It will be fascinating to see where these players end up and how much they embrace their new roles.
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