Thursday, February 16, 2006

Real-Life NBA Fantasy Draft



Now that the Artest saga is finally through and Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale are finished making their teams even worse (you hope), we’re going to start seeing a flurry of big names surfacing in trades rumors. In fact, Mr. Trade Rumor himself, Chris Sheridan, recently posted an article discussing the likelihood of a handful of superstars being shipped to new locations. But before we get into that ordeal (I’ll wait until after the ASB), this appetizer of trades got me thinking—just what is each player in the NBA worth? Say you were a GM and David Stern had every team draft a whole new roster (fantasy-style), who would you take first, second, third, etc.? It’s a topic that will undoubtedly spring a ton of debate and one that I can’t wait to share with each of you. So without further delay, here are the picks (in descending order) of my real life 2006 NBA Fantasy Draft.

(Keep in mind that age does play a huge factor. While Shaq is still a valuable asset in this league, there’s no way I’m taking an injury-riddled 34 year-old over a young kid with tons of promise. On the other hand, I’m not factoring contracts at all. Think of all of these players’ values as equal. Thus, only age, talent, and the ability to handle being the centerpiece of a franchise are the only factors I’m considering)



30. Andrew Bogut (F/C, 21 years old, 7-0, 245 lbs.)This Aussie went #1 overall for a reason. It’s not every day that 7-footer comes along with three years of college experience, scoring touch inside and out, and a ton of room to improve. He’s not as raw as Marvin Williams, nor as polished as Chris Paul, but I think when he career is over and done with he’ll still be recognized as a solid #1 pick. Look at Bogut’s junior season at Utah: 20.4 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 62.0 FG%, 36.0 3-pt FG%, and 1.9 BPG. Imagine if his numbers came even remotely close to these in the pros? A player with that type of potential, who can drastically stretch a defense, and can rebound with the best of the best, certainly deserves a first round nod.


29. Michael Redd (G/F, 26 years old, 6-6, 215 lbs.)
I know one of you wise asses is going to chime in with, “Ant you’re such a MORON! Redd wasn’t even a 1st rounder in the ’00 Draft, why should he be here?” Well, that would be a very fair argument. The thing is, how many shooters in this league have steadily improved in each of their first six seasons? Redd is one of the few—check out the progression in his scoring (beginning in ‘00-01 through today): 2.2 PPG, 11.5, 15.1, 21.7, 23.0, and 25.1. And on top of that, the OSU product just got his max deal this summer and yet the majority of his numbers are still up from a year ago. This shows that Redd’s interest runs a lot deeper than his paycheck.


28. Steve Nash (PG, 32 years old, 6-3, 195 lbs.)
It was rather difficult to delve through all of these 30+ year olds and determine who belongs and who doesn’t. Ultimately what it came down to for me was that Nash is the reigning MVP of the league, remains in the thick of the running this year, and is still carrying his team like a 20 year-old rookie. I think any team selecting him in this Draft would certainly have to cross their fingers, but if they also got their hands on a raw, young PG later on, I’m sure Nash would serve as the perfect mentor. In my opinion, shaping any offense around the speed and savvy of Steve Nash is worth a first round pick any day of the week.


27. Ron Artest (SF, 26 years old, 6-7, 260 lbs.)
Ah yes, the most controversial selection of all. Half of me said no way, he’s too crazy to be the centerpiece of any team, and this will end up being a wasted pick. But the other part of me thought, “Well, what if a GM made him the focal point of the team and there wasn’t a Jermaine O’Neal or Reggie Miller in his way? And what if that team gave him 17-18 shots per night and allowed him to run wild on defense alongside a couple other nut jobs? Isn’t there some chance that it could work?” In the end, I decided that it was certainly worth the chance, especially seeing that Artest is still only 26 years young.


26. Allen Iverson (G, 30 years old, 6-0, 165 lbs.)
Yet another player creeping over the hill that was just impossible to leave off. Let me tell you, if I were Billy King right now, I’d go out and get a serviceable PG to help shoulder the load and let Iverson go off and exclusively play the wing. Relying on A.I. to get 8+ assists every night and score 30+ points is just asking too much of a 30 year-old with the body of Minkus on Boy Meets World. Thus, in drafting A.I. here with the intent of grabbing a playmaking PG with a second or third pick, one would still be able to get 5-6 more highly productive years from the G’Town product.


25. Chauncey Billups (PG, 29 years old, 6-3, 202 lbs.)
Despite nearing the big 3-0, I absolutely had to grant a first round pick to the most clutch player in the game. C’mon now, Billups throws up more daggers in big spots than Rafael in the Shredder’s lair level of TMNT 2. Whether he’s at the charity stripe (88.2% career) or beyond the arc (42.8% in ‘05-06), Chauncey knows how to finish opponents off in crunch time. In addition, what team wouldn’t want a guy who has lead his team to back-to-back Finals and now has them on pace for 70 wins? I bet the Celtics sleep well at night knowing they got Kenny Anderson for him. I sure would.


24. Baron Davis (PG, 26 years old, 6-3, 215 lbs.)
With that “I just got back from a 3-week plane crash expedition in the Andes Mountains” beard going, Davis looks a lot more like 36 than 26, doesn’t he? But fortunately for him, his game reflects that of an elite 26 year-old who can beat you with offense, superior passing, and lightning quick defense. What more could you ask from your point guard, right? So why do I have him going so low? Well something tells me that those creaky knees and Lee Trevino back of his could cause some problems down the road. Let’s hope not…


23. Gilbert Arenas (PG, 24 years old, 6-4, 210 lbs.)
I went back and forth between Arenas and Baron for about 20 minutes. On the one hand, I think Baron is a much better team-first guy—he’d enjoy getting the crunch time assist just as much as the game-winning jumper. Arenas on the other hand, would probably keep shooting even after he switched right arms with Jim Abbott. Seriously, besides Kobe and Iverson, who’s a bigger gunner? However, I ultimately decided that Arenas is still a tad more valuable because, A) he’s got two years on Baron, and B) if need be, a team could conceivably move him over to the 2. That type of versatility is invaluable.



22. Tony Parker (PG, 23 years old, 6-2, 177 lbs.)
I feel like I might get some hell for this placement, but hear me out before you fire up the comments box. Give it some thought…Parker has played with the NBA’s elite team for the first four and a half years of his young career. He’s been coached by the best, played with the best, and taught to make each of his teammates that much better. Sure, maybe Baron and Arenas might be the sexier picks with their gaudier numbers, but the digits in the win column are always superior to those in the boxscore. Plus, how can you doubt a dude who’s cool enough to land perhaps the hottest woman on television (who just so happens to be 7 years older)? He can play for my team any day…(you know what I mean)


21. Pau Gasol (F/C, 25 years old, 7-0, 240 lbs.), w/ beard
Don’t think Gasol is good enough for #21? Take a look at his team: they’re currently 26-21, 6th in the West, and own no big name players besides Pau. Eddie Jones played on Temple when Jon Chaney didn’t need Viagra. Shane Battier is the most over-hyped defensive player in the league. Bobby Jackson hasn’t played more than 49 games in almost five years. Mike Miller is hideous. And Lorenzen Wright hasn’t grabbed a rebound since Mark Blount did. Still don’t believe me? Of all people, Chucky Atkins led this team in shot attempts on Tuesday night. So how are the Grizzlies still a top-10 team in the NBA right now? Whoever nabs this guy at 21 will quickly find out.



20. Shawn Marion (F, 27 years old, 6-7, 228 lbs.)
It seems crazy to throw a guy on this list that uses my mom’s jumper, but there’s no denying The Matrix’s all-around talent. Overshadowed much of the time by his teammates, Marion does much of the dirty work that helps make Nash and Stoudemire the superstars that they are. His prowess on the defensive end, 11.9 RPG (3rd in NBA), 2.0 SPG (3rd), and 1.9 BPG (14th), clearly reflect why he’s a perennial All-Defensive Team member. Thus, who better to build your squad around than a defensive-first forward who can play both the 3 and the 4 and fill up the basket with the best of them? There are only 19 players more worthy…


19. Jermaine O’Neal (F/C, 27 years old, 6-11, 260 lbs.)
Many of us have our fingers crossed that O’Neal’s proneness to injury over the past two years isn’t a sign of what’s to come. After all, in his first four seasons in Indiana, the Pacers’ big man missed only 20 games out of a possible 328. But with his recent absence on the court, coupled with the fact that he’s never eclipsed the 20 PPG mark in his career (save last year’s 24.3 effort in 44 games), give me cause for worry that he’ll never be able to carry a team without a flashy counterpart. Thus, I’ll play it safe with JO and keep him here at 19.


18. Marvin Williams (F, 19 years old, 6-9, 228 lbs.)
Williams holds the record, along with Rudy Gay, for a player described with/by the words upside, raw, and promising. He’s like that girl who was in 8th grade when you were a senior and you just knew she was gonna be scorching hot so you wanted to be like, “hey bebe, give me a call when you turn 20”. Wow, sorry. Let’s put it this way, there was a reason (at least Atlanta hopes so) why he was taken ahead of Chris Paul in last summer’s Draft. Marv certainly has the talent to be a perennial All-Star, but at the same time, I can also see him flopping into that group of second tier players. Still, at 18 he’s certainly worth the risk.


17. Andrei Kirlenko (F, 25 years old, 6-9, 225 lbs.)
Do the Jazz have any sort of weight lifting facility in Salt Lake? If so, have they showed Kirilenko where it is? I mean, you don’t have to be Bill Gates to figure out that AK would be ten times less prone to these nagging injuries if he added fifteen pounds. However, even with the arms of a daddy-long-legs, Andrei is still one of the few players who can completely change a game on the defensive end. It’s obvious when you look at a Jazz boxscore and see him with like 7 steals and 8 blocks and don’t even blink an eye. If he packs on the pounds this summer, I’d almost consider him a top-ten player.


16. Vince Carter (G/F, 29 years old, 6-6, 220 lbs.)
Though VC still has the habit of packing it in faster than a 7 year-old losing in Candy Land, there’s no denying that he remains one of the league’s most prolific scorers. We cannot forget that he has Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson to help shoulder the load, hence the lack of 40 and 50+ point games. And while it would be extremely risky to build the core of any team around a guy with such emotional letdowns, passing him by might be even riskier. You be the judge…


15. Paul Pierce (G/F, 28 years old, 6-6, 230 lbs.)
I had the liberty of attended the Celts-Blazers game last week and let me be the first to say that if Pierce has lost a step, I’d hate to be a defender going against him three years ago. The Truth did anything he wanted on both ends of the floor, evident in his 35 points and 6 steals in just three quarters of action. And while he hasn’t been the best leader on the hardwood in recent past, no one can deny his tenacity and will to win on a nightly basis. Those are the characteristics I want in my franchise player. The problem is that his age and attitude are two things weighing heavily upon him. Thus, 15 is as high as it gets for the Celtics’ star.


14. Yao Ming (C, 25 years old, 7-6, 310 lbs.)
This placement could very well end up being a huge mistake on my part. But, as of right now I just can’t allow myself to bump Yao any higher. Yes, he’s had his share of dominant performances and has even done a nice job of raising his PPG in each of his first four seasons (13.5, 17.5, 18.3, 20.2). But, the problem I have with his game is that I just don’t see him as a player with the ability to carry his team in the postseason. He’s constantly in foul trouble and has the reputation of completely disappearing in big situations—not someone you want to be counting on. Thus, I’d rather not take a chance on a player who seems liable to hitting his peak sooner rather than later.


13. Dirk Nowitzki (F, 27 years old, 7-0, 245 lbs.)
Has there ever been a more versatile 7-footer? How many guys are lights out from 15-feet, can drain the 3 with the best of ‘em (41.9% in ‘05-06), and can also post up anyone down low? And so you must be asking how I can leave a player of Dirk’s caliber so low? Well my only problem with #41 is that I don’t like how much basketball he insists on playing. This past summer Dirk was averaging 30+ minutes a game for Germany in the European Championships and now he’s totaling 37.5 for the Mavs. Honestly, how much ball can one guy play without either getting hurt or rapidly deteriorating? Maybe I’m crazy here (I’m sure some of you will confirm this), but wouldn’t you rather nab a guy with a little less mileage and/or a more padded resume?


Addition: It's been brought to my attention that maybe I need to elaborate on the reasoning behind this placement. The fact that Dirk plays too much ball is not the only reason. We also have to consider the fact that Dallas has had a formidable team for years now and has never even reached the Finals once. That has to say something about their superstar, right? It's not like he's in a situation like KG where there is just no talent around him. He has weapons, and plenty of them. So there, that's reason #2 for you.


12. Chris Paul (PG, 20 years old, 6-0, 175 lbs.)
If I told you in November that the Hornets would own the six seed just days before the All-Star Break, wouldn’t you consider me as crazy as Scot Pollard looks? And while a fair amount of credit certainly belongs to Byron Scott, has anyone wrapped up Rookie of the Year honors faster than Chris Paul? Could he honestly be any better at this point? 16.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 7.7 APG, & 2.2 SPG are hardly freshman numbers in this league, yet a nagging rib injury has been the only thing able to slow the Wake Forest product. And honestly, I should probably bump him even higher than this, but as a first year player I’ll play it safe here at 12. Plus with only 175 lbs. of meat, he could be fairly injury-prone as the years wear on.


11. Carmelo Anthony (SF, 21 years old, 6-8, 230 lbs.)
If I was making this list last summer, there’s no way ‘Melo would be this close to the top-10. But in his third season, the former Orangeman has shown me a great deal of mettle as the rest of his teammates continue to nurse their nagging injuries. With Nene, Camby, and Martin all missing a ton of games thus far, Anthony has relentlessly taken this Nuggets squad on his back (ala ‘03 at Syracuse) and somehow kept them atop the Northwest. His PPG are up over 5 a game, FG% nearly 3.0%, and steals by 0.4. In addition, he’s not taking plays off anymore, has lost that remaining baby fat, and seems primed to show this league why he was once mentioned in the same sentences as LeBron. Plus, we already know he’s good enough to take a team all the way, so really what else is there to ask for? Well, more defense, an All-Star appearance, and a trip out of the first round of the Playoffs would work. Until then, I’m taking ten other guys ahead of him.


10. Elton Brand (PF, 26 years old, 6-8, 254 lbs.)
I’m going to take a different approach with Brand here. Let’s look at his first year in the pros with Chicago: 20.1 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 1.6 BPG. If I was drawing this list up back in 2000, I might have penciled him in even higher than I am right now. But the fact is that since his freshman year in the League, Brand has surpassed that 20.1 PPG mark just once—this season. And sure, it certainly has something to do with the fact that he’s hoisting up a career-high 18.4 FGA and shooting a career-best 53.1% from the floor. But even more so, I attribute his MVP-type season to the players surrounding him. This is the first season he’s had a true point guard on his side, along with a center who can help protect him down low. In addition, it’s tough for defenders to double-team him now with Cassell and Mobley reigning on the perimeter. Thus, I feel that unless a team surrounds Brand with the right PG and a hard-nosed center, the best we can expect from him is that 20 and 10.


9. Chris Bosh (PF, 21 years old, 6-10, 230 lbs.)
Many NBA aficionados strongly consider Dwyane Wade the steal of the 2003 Draft. But isn’t it easy to grant someone that title that plays in the same city as Shaq? How much easier does that make it on D-Wade? All Bosh has for protection is his collection of turtlenecks, yet he’s still managed to increase his PPG in each of his first three seasons. On top of that, he has extremely polished low-post skills and a refined jumper for a big man of his age. Most power forwards take years to develop, but Bosh is well on his way to being a perennial All-Star (anyone thinking he wasn’t deserving of the honor this year needs to have his head examined). The only problem I see in him is that he’s played for arguably the worst team in basketball over the last three years (although one could strongly argue this now). And so we cannot be certain that if given the opportunity to shine in the Playoffs (or in another city when his contract is up) that CB can be counted on to perform at a high level. Plus, can I honestly put him ahead of these other eight guys?


8. Tracy McGrady (G/F, 26 years old, 6-8, 223 lbs.)
That creaky back of his demanded that I keep him here at 8. But let me tell you, if Mac was 100% healthy this season and guiding his Rockets to a top-4 seed in the West, he may have been top-5. What sticks in my head however, is that Sunday night his back started to really act up. Remember that? McGrady had to leave on a stretcher for God’s sake. Any player with chronic back pain that may force him to be air lifted out of arenas shouldn’t even set foot in the top-10, right? But c’mon now, this is T-Mac. Besides Kobe, I’m not sure if there’s another wing player I’d rather have with the ball in their hands. Did you see his Playoff performance last May? 30.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.6 SPG, & 1.4 BPG—numbers that scream desire, teamwork, and hustle. There are some players you can just envision taking their team all the way and for me, McGrady is certainly one of them. Man, if it wasn’t for that damn back…


7. Kevin Garnett (PF, 29 years old, 6-11, 220 lbs.)
Remember KG posing on that cover of SI back in ’95, while the rest of sporting world patiently waited to see if he was truly the next big thing? Well, here we are almost eleven years later and I can honestly say that there isn’t a better all-around player in the game today. So why the hate for KG here at 7? Well, we have to face the reality that he is about to turn 30 and that this is his 11th years at the pro level. Plus, The Big Ticket seems one Kevin McHale phone call away from mailing it in this season and every one thereafter as long as he remains a Wolf. These are not exactly the characteristics you want in a player who you’re banking on starting fresh with. But still, his undeniable talent, work ethic, and drive for success still make him a dependable centerpiece for any NBA team.


6. Tim Duncan (PF, 29 years, 6-11, 260 lbs.)
The truth is, if TD and KG were both in their mid-20s, they would be no-brainers at 1 and 2. But right now, even a 3-time NBA Finals MVP, a poster child for fundamental low-post basketball, and a man that wouldn’t curse even if he stubbed his toe on the metal portion of his bed three seconds after waking up, cannot go any higher when pushing 30. Even if he still has 4-5 great years left in the tank, how could you not take a player who is 24 or younger who has three times the career left? The answer is, you can’t.


5. Amare Stoudemire (F/C, 23 years old, 6-10, 245 lbs.)
You know when you’re in the car and you mistakenly make that wrong turn onto a block you definitely shouldn’t be on? Well that same worrisome emotion that fires through my body during those mishaps, is the same feeling I get thinking about Amare. No comprende? What I mean is that when we think of Stoudemire’s game, we usually picture him soaring through the air, throwing down monster jams, and running ‘n gunning with Nash and co. But now, can we really expect that same explosive player after undergoing knee surgery? I’m really worried that we can’t. You see? I’m anxious for Amare’s return to greatness the same way I worry that I won’t be able to reach the lock button in my Saab while cruising through Bridgeport. Let’s just hope that the 30, 10, and 2-block performer we watched during last year’s Playoffs makes it home safely—if you know what I mean.


4. Kobe Bryant (SG, 27 years old, 6-6, 220 lbs.)
The classic argument here is whether or not Kobe can carry his team to greatness without that dominant center? And better still, can he really bring another title to LA playing this “selfishly”? Well, it’s all in how you perceive Kobe’s game. Either you, A) think he’s an egotistical maniac who is more concerned with healing his reputation than leading his team to the Playoffs. Or, B) feel he’s playing off of Phil Jackson’s whispers telling him not to trust his teammates and to just somehow get this team to the postseason. For me, I choose B. Kobe’s not one of those guys who takes a play off, let’s his man blow by him on defense, or gives up when his team faces a hefty deficit. In fact, his enduring dedication probably makes him one of the model players in this league (on the court, of course). Seriously, how many players can we truly consider candidates for both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year every season? Well, Kobe’s one of them and the only reason I don’t have him pegged any higher is that part of me worries that he may in fact be more of A than B. Because after all, we all used to think the world of him until he broke our trust—who’s to say he won’t do it again?


3. Dwyane Wade (G, 24 years old, 6-4, 212 lbs.)
Choosing between Wade and Howard was almost as hard as deciding which of those blondes I like best in the new Swimsuit Edition. On the one hand, Wade is everything you want in a player. He’s got guts, heart, and a natural knack for winning. He can beat you on the perimeter, by slashing through the lane, or by leaving the ball on a dime for a teammate. To add to it, D-Wade’s the type of man who will turn down an invitation to the Playboy Mansion to volunteer down at the local soup kitchen. Like MJ, it’s impossible to dislike him. If any of you saw his performance in the 4th quarter vs. Detroit last Sunday, it completely defined who he is as a player. Man, I’m getting emotional here. I feel like I’m writing a letter of recommendation for my best friend. How the hell can I not have this guy top 2? Scroll down and find out.


2. Dwight Howard (PF, 20 years old, 6-11, 240 lbs.)
As of 30 seconds ago I thought about going the safe route and swapping Wade for Howard. But something in my head wouldn’t let me. Call me crazy, but part of me believes that 20 years from now we’ll look back and see Howard with more championships than Wade and James combined. There’s something to be said of a 21 year-old leading the NBA in rebounding, scoring 15.4 PPG on just 10.7 FGA, and shooting over 50% from the floor. Honestly, what’s a realistic prediction for this kid by 2008, 25, 17, and 3 blocks? Could he one day average 20 and 20? I sure think so. And let’s not forget too that in six of the last seven years, a dominant big man was the centerpiece of each of those championship teams. But the main reason I chose Howard for #2, is that I honestly think he will one day be able to combine the fundamentals of Duncan, the determination of KG, the rebounding prowess of Big Ben, and the success of Shaq. And when that day comes, remember who told you so…


1. LeBron James (G/F, 21 years old, 6-8, 240 lbs.)
Hey, it was either him, Marvin Williams, or Baron Davis. I chose the guy who will be 35-10-10 by the time he’s 25.

73 Comments:

At 9:29 PM, Blogger XXX said...

Ant - I'm a long time fan of the site and a big time believer in your basketball knowledge. This fantasy draft idea reminds me a little bit of the thing Bill Simmons' does every few years when he ranks every player in the league by trade value - would you trade the 30th guy for the 29th grade straight up, that sort of thing. I say that as a compliment by the way as it works for me as a really cool way to look at and rank all the talent in the league right now. I'm definitely looking forward to checking in on this - keep up the good work man.

Rob

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Rob-
That's exactly where this idea stemmed from. The difference however, is that I'm not touching on contracts at all. That would change things significantly. For instance, a GM would probably still take KG at age 29 over Chris Bosh at 21 if their value was the same. But factoring in their current deals, how could you not take Bosh over Garnett with still two years until his max deal comes around? A team would be saving $30+ million over two seasons (not to mention getting a guy 8 years younger). You see where I'm going with this? It's early, sorry if this makes no sense . Thanks for writing in, feel free to do so more often.

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UM HELLO?

I AM NEW TO THE SITE BUT IF YOU DONT HAVE LEBRON AND WADE AND MELO UP THERE YOU ARE CRAZY... ILL BE WATCHING TO MAKE SURE THESE GUYS MAKE IT OR YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOURE TALKING ABOUT... BOGUT ?! LOL!!!

 
At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iverson over Nash when they both have about the same years left? You're an idiot.

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Ryan Kinkade said...

Are you an idiot? Of course LeBron, Wade, and Melo are going to be on his list... why would you even ask that question and do it so condescendingly?



And as far as Arenas over Baron,

reason C) Health issues.

 
At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Curtis said...

Dude, you're the fucking moron. He's only up to #20...did you want Wade, Melo, or LeBron in 20 thru 30?! Obviously they're listed in the top 20, probably top 10 you fucking retard. And Bogut as #30 is a perfectly logical choice. There's not that many true centers anymore and this guy can play. Maybe his numbers are modest at this point, but he's a fucking rookie. Cut him some slack.

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger larry bird said...

Lebron will we be number 1 and Wade and Melo will probably be top 5.

Bogut's got potential and deserves a spot however I am a biased Aussie.

 
At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ehhh I'm skeptical about bogut up there... yeah he's a good solid center and he shows some promise, but many collumnists argue that bogut wont get much better. Then again hes playing with better big men most team in the NBA have (Mag, Gadzuric, and Smith). and his numbers at Utah are a little inflated since it was a slightly weaker conference. i would maybe put bogut as an honorable mention...

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Who are Wade and LeBron? Never heard of them, so I doubt they're making the list.

Iverson is two years younger numb nuts. As hard as it may be to believe, 32 and 30 are not the same number.

Kinkade, look at Arenas, he's been badly injured in two of his 4+ seasons. I thought the same thing until I looked that up.

Curtis, thanks for the back up. Honestly, I'm glad people are getting restless. I can't wait to unveil the top 20.

And finally, that Bogut selection should be widely debated. I could have had Ben Wallace up there, Jason Richardson, Okafor, whoever. I chose Bogut for exactly the same reasons Curtis outlined in his post.

Thanks for writing in guys.

Love always, the Idiot

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Ryan Kinkade said...

Was Arenas injured his rookie year, or did he just not get into some games? I think the 30 missed games a couple of years ago was his only real injury... and he doesn't seem to get the nagging injuries that always knock Baron out of a game or two hear and there... but point taken.

Also, I had your back on the moron too if you didn't notice... no thanks needed though. Hahahaa... I like this article though, pretty cool and obviously lots of work going into it.

 
At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you're planning this for maybe around 19-15 but i think Chris Bosh would fit nicely around #20

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Ry, I saw that, thanks bro. And anonymous, try not to lose sleep over who's coming next...

Get ready to debate

 
At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Rowzus said...

Since you're getting down to the top 20s by now, I'm guessing you're not including Rashard Lewis in the mix?

 
At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

I thought VC was older than 28, my guess was around 30.

 
At 8:06 AM, Blogger Nat said...

i have seen the "half man half amazing" version of vince and the "half man half-a-season" version of VC and i dont think he should be higher than a gasol even.. maybe its bitterness but he just isnt a franchise guy andhis lack of desire to win and packing it in makes him a lot less valuable to a team he will never be able to be "the man" on any team. i am hoping to see bosh alot higher than 20 i see him in the top 15 as of right now at the age of 21 he has not even reached his peak yet

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger larry bird said...

I would also pick Gasol before Vince. Gasol is getting better every year and is younger. While Vince has had an allstar year, he will never reach that level he was once at.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

I definately see your points in choosing Gasol over Vince, but Pau just doesn't give me that feeling that he can take a team on his back and lead them to glory. On the other hand, I think if and when Vince is in the right situation, he could be that "half man, half amazing" player we've seen. Great points though guys.

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Na dude sorry, Rashard didn't make the cut. I don't think he is a good enough all-around player to be the main option for a team. Certainly a second round pick though.

 
At 1:05 AM, Blogger Will Shu said...

i dont get why Atlanta doesnt send Marvin to the D league. It would boost his confidence and speed up his learning process. plus Atlanta can secure last place and draft Lamarcus Aldridge. Or if they dont think they have enough swing men, they can draft gay or morrison

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Will,
If this was two months ago I probably would have said the same thing. But the more I think about it, how much better are these players getting down in the D-League? Wouldn't it be more beneficial for a guy to practice on a daily basis with the pro team, learn the plays, and get to know his teammates? Look at KG, Kobe, T-Mac, etc. They did just fine adjusting with the pro team. But honestly, what the hell do I know?

 
At 12:26 PM, Anonymous the sockk said...

I know this is because Artest hasn't gone crazy on the Kings yet, but I think he's having a really positive influence on the way that they play.

 
At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you have Marvin Williams on this list? I guess that Greg Oden is going to be top 5 and O.J. Mayo top 10? Then to have Jermaine O'Neal, Marvin Williams, Andrei Kirlenko and VC in front of Shawn Marion is just retarded.
(Entering Friday, Marion led the league in double-doubles (38), dunks (128), points in the paint (616), defensive rebounds (440) and points in late-game pressure situations (53, tied with Kobe Bryant). Late-game situations are defined as in the last five minutes with a score difference of 10 points or less.)

 
At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess the Hawks are trading down to 18 to pick Marvin Williams over much better players again, right? They just had too much fun taking him in the draft they had to go back for seconds?

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

I think Marvin Williams absolutely has to be on this list. His potential alone makes him one of the more intriguing players in the game.

I agree that Marion has been spectacular this season and perhaps he should be higher than those few guys you mentioned. But do you really think he could be this good without Steve Nash? Could he be the focal point of an offense that isn't high-paced and run by the best PG in the NBA? Those are questions we can't possibly answer and so I put him behind the guys I felt more confident about carrying their team on their back.

This logic seems far from "retarded"

PS-I'm not sure it's fair to jump the gun on Williams. Remember that he's only 19 years old. Also, let's not forget the struggles that Jermaine, KG, Randolph, and the other young big men went through to get where they are today.

 
At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Rowzus said...

I have to disagree with you on Williams. By your logic, Darko should've been drafted in the 1st round in this fantasy draft if you did it in 2003. This kid hasn't proven anything in the league yet and I would find it a huge risk drafting him over any of the people above him. Sure Jermaine, KG, and etc takes long to develop to all-star, but there are far more that don't develop than there are that do.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Okay Rowzus, fair point, but if we did this in 1996 and I had Jermaine in here I'd look like a genius. The problem with our argument here is that we never know with these high school/freshman players because they are so raw. Will they have the work ethic to succeed? Or will they sit on their $millions and be satisfied? That makes this debate inconclusive until 2008 or so when we can truly deem Williams a bust or a stud. Until then, all we can do is debate.

Thanks for writing in...

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

To add to my last point, we cannot say that Williams has done nothing thus far, since he's just now starting to warrant big minutes. Don't forget too that he wasn't exactly a 30 minute a game player at UNC either. This kid is pretty much a seasoned high school senior. Let's be patient.

 
At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Rowzus said...

I guess you have a point there, I can't judge him too harshly. In my own personal choice, I wouldn't take that kind of a risk over a proven player. But this is a great article by the way, I like it alot. Keep up the good work!

 
At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Regarding Dirk, he played in the European Championship last summer, not the World Championship. Also, there are more players other than Dirk who plays more than they should. Like Tony Parker. He constantly plays with the Spurs through every round in post season and played for France. Dirk only played a couple of rounds in post season. I wonder how much energy Parker has left for Eva? I might have a chance as i'm, a. European like Parker, b. born 1982 like Parker. Ahh, well, there are always dreams.

 
At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the only reason Dirk is so low it that he plays too much ball, then you are a big stupid dummy head

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

hahahaaaa, at least you're original. I guess that's not the only reason. I mean, Dallas has had a formidable team for years now and has never even reached the Finals once. That has to say something about their supersatr, right? I'll add this to the article itself.

 
At 10:08 PM, Anonymous barry wang said...

well, Williams, unlike Darko, is actually getting some minutes and has shown some small flashes of what he can do. But, I still think Atlanta should have chosen Chris Paul.

And about Dirk, i just dont think he's had the right compliment of players around him. He's had good talent with him, but they didn't really bring out the best in him. He needs someone who can take the ball in the paint and draw in the defense and kick it back out, either a reliable center or slasher type. When you have 3 other jump shooters around you and Shawn Bradley or Eric Dampier, you're not going too far in the playoffs.

 
At 2:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhhhh... Dirk had the one player in the NBA who brings out the best in anyone - Steve Nash - a player "who can take the ball in the paint and draw in the defense and kick it back out" better than anyone else in the league. Look what Nash has done with the likes of Diaw, James, House and Bell. Nowitzki just hasn't been able to get it done in the playoffs, so that argument against him stands firm until he can prove his detractors wrong.

 
At 7:05 AM, Blogger larry bird said...

Picks 15-11 look pretty good I agree with them mostly. As for Dirk he is one of my favourite players and a top 10 pick in my book. However his Don Nelson led teams have never focused on defence which wins championships. With Avery getting them to play some D hopefully Dirk can lead his team to the Finals. Then Dirk will be worthy of a top 10 pick.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger larry bird said...

With the players that Anth has left here is my top 10.

10. T-Mac
9. Brand
8. Kobe
7. KG
6. Bosh
5. Duncan
4. Howard
3. Stoudamire
2. Wade
1. King

I'm guessing Anth has left Shaq out of the first round because he is old. So number 11 might be Ray Allen or some young rising star that I can't think of.

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad Avery's new defense focused team couldn't help Dirk lead the Mavs past Nash's Suns last spring...

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

11 is 'Melo, Larry Legend. And your top 10 has only 1 position the same as mine. Should be interesting...

 
At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You remembered to throw in Yaroslav Korolev, right?

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous wiZo said...

i don't want to beat a dead drum (i come on this site randomly and first post ever)....but I think Marvin Williams is just too high. although my list would be different than yours, i agree with your logic in the picks you made, even if i disagree. however, MW was a shocker. no doubt the potential is there, but my beef is that there are just too many questions to warrant that high of a spot. while you look at risk/reward, you must also factor in the risk/reward of the players you are passing up. can you honestly say if you were a NBA GM you would start your franchise with MW over Jermaine or Marion? (btw i agree with you that Marion is in the right range...he doesnt create his own shot as easily and he can't carry an entire franchise nor does he make other teammates better.). Are you really willing to invest that much in MW? Chris Paul warrants his high rank...not only has he proved it this year, but if you watch college ball, Paul was a shoe in to be good at worst. He was a much better pick than MW not due to upside, but that he has tremendous upside to go along with very little downside. in other words his "floor" is also fairly high. MW, has a tremendous "ceiling" but also a much lower "floor". you also mentioned other factors like mental toughness and work ethic. well, while paul was known to have both a great work ethic and extremely mentally tough....those were questions surrounding MW in his draft. if you can honestly say as GM you would draft MW over J'Oneal and Marion, then thats cool and it'll be interesting if your genius pick pans out. but remember if you reach too far or often for picks, you will end up with 1-2 genius picks and 8-9 busts.

 
At 5:23 PM, Blogger Ryan Kinkade said...

List is till looking good. So, if KG DID have all the weapons that Dirk has had for the past 5 or 6 seasons, would The Big Ticket have reached the finals? Won?

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

WiZo, excellent points man, and very well-spoken. I agree with every angle you examined and see your point entirely. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree and let things play themselves out. The one thing I'd add to your points is that while Paul was indeed a very tough collegiate player, in the game that mattered most to his career (last year vs. WVU in the tourney), he fouled out. That's one blemish I cannot get out of my mind and severely scars his reputation as a mentally tough player. Yes, it is one game, but that one game cost Wake a potential trip to the Final Four.

Thanks for writing in and please continue to do so.

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

I'd have KG infront of Tim Duncan. TD has a way better supporting cast in players and Coaches. If KG and Tim Duncan switched, i think KG would make the spurs even better. Plus, Duncan doesn't have that feirce competitors edge ya know? Fans wanna see KG throw it down hard and scream at the top of his lungs rather than watch Duncan bank from the wing.

 
At 12:47 AM, Blogger larry bird said...

Fans wanna see championships and finals MVPS. Duncan's the man!

 
At 2:49 AM, Blogger Alex Jackson said...

Nice lists although I would make a few changes. Drop Marvin Williams out of it entirely until he proves he's not a bust. Duncan should have cracked the Top 5. He is 29 but already has 3 titles and will likely get more. If given the opportunity Orlando would at least consider trading Howard straight up for Duncan while the Spurs would shoot the trade down instantly. Nowitzki belongs higher and should definitely be ahead of Brand. You use the argument that Nowitzki hasn't gotten his team to the finals yet neither has Brand and his supporting cast has been pretty good to. In fact you could argue his supporting cast is better this season yet Dallas is tied for the best record in the West and the Clippers will make the playoffs but be out the 1st Round. I'd put Chris Paul in my Top 10 maybe even Top 5. And Baron Davis should be out of this list completely. The Hornets got nothing for him for a reason and Memphis wouldn't trade Shane Battier straight up for him. I can gurantee Golden State would be a better team without him and looking at the numbers they are more productive when Fisher is in at PG than Davis. There's also the back problems. A few guys I thought should have alsomade the list were- Jason Richardson, Emeka Okafor, Joe Johnson, and Channing Frye. Still though I think it was a great list and I look forward to seeing the Top 5. With the obvious 5 remaining I would rank them-

5. Kobe
4. Howard
3. Amare
2. Wade
1. Lebron

I'll check back to see how you got them ranked. Keep up the great site.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

I'm not sure how many times I need to preach my Marvin Williams sermon, but here we go again. You cannot even remotely consider him a bust at this point. Look at what Jermaine and T-Mac did in their first years. Are they busts now? Williams played one year off the bench in college. In my eyes he's still pretty much a high schooler. Yes, maybe I had him a little high, but I honestly think that five years down the road the Hawks will be happy with their decision. Everyone is all over Chris Paul (and rightfully so) but don't fail to recognize that he's being given 35 minutes a game. Williams, on the other hand, is just now starting to see 20-25 minutes a night. Give him time.

And how can you say that Channing Frye should be on this list over Williams? C'mon man. Besides Villanueva, he was on everyone's radar as the next big bust. So now he's worked his way into LB's rotation, has absolutely nothing to lose since their other bigs are worthless, and has looked like a solid pro. But a player to build your franchise around? I don't think so.

The Brand/Dirk debate is one not worth having. It's just a matter of opinion. Just remember that Brand is a very good defender, Dirk is not.

The Hornets got nothing for Baron Davis? How about Speedy Claxton and a max contract off their hands? That's nothing? Really?

And if you'd take a 29 year old Duncan over a 21 year old Howard, well I wouldn't want you as my GM, sorry.

Thanks for reading, but I really think you need to think about the big picture here in that these 30 guys are players that teams can build their franchise around. Can you honestly say you'd be comfortable doing that with J-Rich or Frye? I sure wouldn't

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Alex Jackson said...

Yeah T-Mac and Jermaine didn't do anything they're first years eaither but that's also the case for guys like Kwame Brown, Darko Milicic, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry. You can't just assume Marvin Williams will naturally go into the group along side guys like T-Mac and Jermaine. He could very well end up in group #2 with those other guys who were top 2 picks and have yet to produce. The reason I would put Frye on there instead is he plays a premium position and he actually is putting up numbers. You translate his numbers over 40 minutes and he would be averaging 25 points and 10+ rebounds and he is only 22.

And again with Baron Davis, Top 30 players in the NBA do not get traded for Claxton and salary cap. The guy wasn't good enough for Memphis to trade Battier for. He is another Stephon Marbury/Steve Francis except younger. He hurts his team more than he helps. Phoenix got more for Marbury than New Orleans got for Davis and I know Isiah Thomas is an idiot but still.

And finally about the Duncan/Howard, this is supposed to be on trade value right? I don't think eaither team would make that deal but I believe that Orlando's GM would at least consider the trade while San Antonio would reject it instantly. With Duncan, Orlando is a Top 4 team in the EAST and while they will be great with Howard, it will take a few years.

And if I ended up actually doing the Top 30, J-Rich and Frye probably wouldn't end up being on m Top 30 but they were just names I was throwing out that would at least be close. But I know I definitely would not feel comfortable building around Baron Davis. He wouldn't even crack my Top 100 along with Marbury and Francis. Like them he hurts teams more than he helps but at least Marbury and Francis stay healthy. His shooting percentage is terrible and Goldent State actually outscores their opponents when Derek Fisher is in the game so I don't know how he can be justified on the list.

Honestly that's really the only guy I have a problem with and I'll even give you the benefit of the doubt with Howard/Duncan, Brand/Nowitzki. And Williams probably will turn into a stud but I just think he doesn't belong up there yet. But Davis should not be anywhere near the Top 30 in my opinion. He's already been dealt once and I wouldn't be surprised if Mullin trades him again to give room for Pietrus and build around his real stars like Richardson, Diogu, Murphy.

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Curtis said...

Outstanding points you've made about Baron Davis, Alex. As a Warriors fan, I've watched almost all of the teams games this season and I can honestly tell you after the last few without Baron, the offense flows much, much better and the team makes far less mistakes. Baron has a penchant for the spectacular, but he might just be the worst decision-maker in the NBA. His shot selection is embarrassing and his desire to go for the highlight rather than the smart play ultimately takes away from his team. There's no way he belongs in the top 30 of this list. The fact that the Warriors have disappointed this season says that alone. It's been proven over time that you simply can't build a franchise around a point guard. He can't be the focal point of your offense. There are very few exceptions to this if you look back. What Baron needs at this point in his career is a coach that can come in and give him a swift kick in the ass. Someone that will instill the true concept of what it takes to win in this league. I feel like Baron too often comes out trying to have a great time rather than winning a basketball game. There's no excuse at this point in his career for the pull-up 30 footers and behind-the-back, under-the-leg passes on 3 on 1s. I've seen enough, and after watching them last night, I honestly am wondering whether the Warriors are better off without him. And to me, that criterion immediately disqualifies someone from making this list.

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

This is not based on trade value because that would have to factor in contracts.

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

I can honestly say I haven't caught much of the Warriors this season, but if Curtis is jumping off the B. Diddy bandwagon, I may have to follow suit. Besides Baron's mother, I think Curtis was the most avid Davis supporter on planet Earth.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger Alex Jackson said...

My mistake, I just naturally assumed the rankings were based on Trade Value since that is the way the list is done in Bill Simmon's column. If it comes down to who I would rather build my franchise around and salaries weren't an issue, then yeah I would probably take Howard over Duncan. But it would still be a very difficult decision cause with Duncan you're guranteed to be a championship contender right away while with Howard you'd have to wait some years..

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm surprised you have amare top 5. wasn't his injury really serious, along the lines of what originally happened to mcdyess?

as far as marvin williams goes, is there any reason yet to place him ahead of someone like josh smith? or richard jefferson? or rashard lewis? i know i'd much rather have jrich, for sure.

sjg.

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no ginobili??? i think he's proven that he's no mere supporting player. he is a franchise guy who accepts a supporting role because he knows the star role is already well accounted for.

assuming that you've got amare top 5, which i think is WAY too risky right now, here are the teams who don't have a first-round franchise player: Knicks, Bulls, Bobcats, Sonics, and Blazers.

anyway, my top 10 would go like this:
LeBron
Wade
Kobe
Bosh
Garnett
Duncan
Howard
Paul
Brand
Amare

sjg

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Ginobili is just that, a support player. No one can build a franchise around him, especially when he's constantly battling those b.s. injuries. I'd much rather take a chance on a Bogut or Redd. And I think putting Bosh ahead of Howard is just crazy. How can you draw any conclusions about him playing in Toronto? Howard is the most hyped big man since KG. I think the proof behind that is soon to follow.

As for Amare, I think it's worth the risk of taking him at 5 over the two 29 year-olds. That's what it boiled down to for me and so that's how I ranked them. Very fair point on your end though.

 
At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything that I've read about Amare's knee points to it being far less serious than what happened to Mashburn, Webber, Kidd, and Hardaway, those walking wounded who have had the microfracture surgery.

 
At 6:06 PM, Anonymous wiZo said...

i want to comment on Baron Davis, but first some quick comments on Alex's post. i really wouldnt consider any of those suggestions to make my top 30...

J-rich: great athlete and scorer, but he really isnt an elite player. his game is pretty much limited to scoring and he doesnt really make anyone better. J-rich is in the same group of guys that can score, like RJ, Maggette, Mobley. I'd actually prefer Ginobili over all these guys (if he was 100% healthy) because he can score, defend, and just understands the game better. trust me, ginobili could score 20+ on a bad team.
Joe Johnson: i really like Joe and his game. he can do it all...but he's athletically not in the same class as kobe,tmac,wade,lebron. which means he cannot carry teams like these guys. he's stoppable, unlike the kobes and tmacs.
Okafor: Okafor is a great #2 or 3 guy, but hes no franchise player. Solid defender and rebounder but is too raw offensively. I'm not cool with building my team with a C that shoots 40% FGs.
Channing Frye: Frye shouldnt even make the top 50. He's a soft C that can shoot well. Defensively you cant have him as your franchise guy in the middle. Theres a reason the lamar/penny deal isnt going down ...its cuz the lakers arent giving up bynum for frye. (let me throw in my own little prediction here, 5-6 years down the line bynum will be better than bogut.)

I written too much already but i wanted to comment on Baron. Come on, the guy is still awesome and a top 30 player in the NBA. I understand your points how he may hurt the team (ie like starbury, frachise)....but these still are great players. The tricky part is, guys like ginobili, andre iguodala, boris diaw are very good players that help teams win games....however, when pickign franchise players you can't assume you will also have other good players to win a championship. Guys like Baron, Starbury, etc might not get you championships...but at least they will help you win games and save your job as a GM.
As far as the Baron trade...everyone knows if it werent for barons bad back, that trade woulda never happened. it was a legit trade cuz if baron goes down, you are stuck with a crazy salary. GS took the risk to get Baron and they went on a crazy run and won like 15 of their last 18 games! (i know cuz i have a few GS warrior fans as friends...and they were LOVING Baron). Baron deserves to be on the list, maybe lower, but still on it. Take him for what he is, a great player that helps your team, but can hurt them at times.

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Alex Jackson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger Alex Jackson said...

I decided to put up my own Top 30 although I didn't have time to do too much research and if I did I would probably change a few. Anyway here is how I would rank them in terms of value:

1. LeBron James
2. Dwayne Wade
3. Amare Stoudamire
4. Tim Duncan
5. Dwight Howard
6. Kevin Garnett
7. Kobe Bryant
8. Dirk Nowitzki
9. Chris Bosh
10. Chris Paul
11. Carmelo Anthony
12. Andrei Kirilenko
13. Pau Gasol
14. Shawn Marion
15. Elton Brand
16. Tracy McGrady
17. Gilbert Arenas
18. Yao Ming
19. Allen Iverson
20. Paul Pierce
21. Steve Nash
22. Elton Brand
23. Chauncey Billups
24. Michael Redd
25. Jermaine O’Neal
26. Tony Parker
27. Andrew Bogut
28. Rashard Lewis
29. Shaquille O’Neal
30. Joe Johnson


I didn't put in some of the guys I was arguing should be in like Frye, Richardson, Okafor but that's cause it's really hard to get it down to just 30 players.

And I don't want to continue on with the Baron Davis argument but I'm just saying wizo, if you're going to have him in your Top 30 then you gotta put in guys like Marbury and Francis as well. They all put up nice numbers but they put up too man shots and they don't help they're team win and that's my main focus if I'm building a team.

As for my list, I had to put Shaq in there even if he is 33 and is having his worst season. He's still the most dominant player at his position (unless you count Amare as a Center) and Miami doesn't stand a chance without him. And I put T-Mac so low because of his back problems. It seems to be a lingering problem every year and he even said he couldn't envision himself playing past 30 if the problems persisted.

I also left VC out of the list entirely and while I admit he has Top 10 talent, I would not want to build around a guy who is nearing 30, always misses games to injury, and doesn't always play 100%.

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger donthaveablog said...

Please, Manu is more that a support player. You obviously did not watch the Olympics. Ginobili is a top-30 lock. He's a proven winner, can do just about everything (with style too), and has the character that you can definitely build a team around (and lead it).

With the way he played in last year's playoffs, he's got a spot on my franchise any day. Dude has won just about every major basketball tournament in the world, and he was the REAL '05 Finals MVP.

The only knock on him (as with AK47, VC, Jermaine, Amare) is 1) injuries, but at least he still has the balls to take the pounding he does driving to the hoop and maybe 2) age. I'm not sure, is he one of those Euros who get to the NBA too late? Like Oberto and Sarunas? I sure hope not.

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger Alex Jackson said...

I agree also that Manu is more than a supporting player but he is 28 which is why he just missed out on my list.

 
At 10:04 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

yeah manu really is just a complimentary player. You can't stick him on a crap team and build a franchise around him. Its nothing against Manu, i love his game, but hes there to bring out the best in other players, namely Timmy. and the debate on if players have the "balls" to pound the ball in the paint like manu does isnt much of an arguement. Driving in the lane is Manu's specialty and you cant compare different players like "donthaveablog" did. You can say that Manu doesn't have the balls to block shots like AK47 or take a nash ally-oop off the foot pass.

Also Manu just like Oberto and Sarunas spent time in the euro league before his game was polished.

 
At 10:16 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

Also I'd hafta disagree with donthaveablog's Top 30.
-You have Dirk a little too high. but im Biases because in Dallas, Even the retards say Dirk is better than Lebron, KG, Amare. and it bothers the shit outa me. but Dirk isnt as forceful on the offensive glass nore is he as strong as other powerforwards.

-Melo should be infront of Paul and Bosh mostly because he shows leadership. with every1 injured on his team, he stepped up and has kept the division with the team. Bosh doesn't really have the competition on his team.

-Tmac should be higher. Remember he was drafted out of highschool. Players from highschool dont have their peak of their career until late. Tmac just has the instinct of leadership and winning. its really hard to shut him down.

-AI should be lower. Hes getting old and hes getting bumps and bruises. weak knees+ bruises dont equal wins. I don't know if its his fault or other players, but hes a solo. he cant play with others. they've gone through so many projects for him yet none work. how can you lead a team when the next best player wont wanna follow?

-you have elton brand on there twice... last time i checked there was one brand

-tony parker has to be higher. the guys a point guard yet he has an amazing FG%. he has more rings than Malone, Stockton and Reggie. The spurs, instead of signing kidd a few years back, elected for parker. He's good. period.

-Take shaq and johnson off the list. Shaq is declining and hes a retard. hes too old and expensive. His contract equils two superstars. and his dominating times are ticking. Johnson can't lead the hawks. hes a good player and its partially the hawks fault. he has too many turnovers (from trying to be a PG) and he's selfish.



other than that stuff i agree with most of your rankings

 
At 11:44 PM, Blogger Bob Shurtleff said...

Great job Anthony, this obviously took a lot of time and effort on your part. Here are some points I wanted to make. I'm not trying to intentionally agree/disagree with anyone, they are just my opinion.

I am so sick of reading this Howard/Duncan debate. If you're an NBA GM, OF COURSE you take Howard over Duncan, I don't even care IF their salaries are the same. Is this even a question? 29 years old vs. 21? And have you seen Howard's body? This guy is an absolute BEAST. I'm not taking anything away from Timmy, he's one of the best players ever, but honestly how many years does this guy have left? Already he's not what he used to be. But he's got the rings... yeah yeah yeah.
Since when is basketball about the individual? Basketball is all about the TEAM. The reason Duncan has 3 rings is because San Antonio has been the best TEAM in the league for about 7 years now. You think if Duncan went to Orlando they would become automatic contenders? You have to be kidding me! They would still SUCK. Howard goes to the Spurs and they barely skip a beat! Look at their bench! Nazi (Rasho), Horry, Barry, Finley, Van Exel? That is a starting 5 for 20 teams in the league! Howard is the clear cut #2. After Amare's knee injury, no one else is even close.

Also, I would rank Bosh at #6 in front of TD and KG, maybe even ahead of Amare. Still only 21 plus he plays the premium C position. He's sick too.

I have a lot of questions about Kobe and whether he can ever lead a team back to greatness. He needs to share the spotlight with another solid player (better than Odom - Bosh perhaps?) and until then I'll just think of him as the best scorer in the game today.

What happened to Amare makes me want to cry. I can only hope he comes back to his form of last season, but we might be looking at the second coming of C-Webb here. Remember how NASTY he was before he started hobbling?

Marvin Williams is in the right place. He went that high in the draft for a reason. If he's a bust, so be it, but it's way too early to tell and if this were a real draft, there would be more than one team willing to take that chance with the 18th pick.

I would bump Yao to the high 20's. He's paired with one of the best players in the game today and they have accomplished nothing. He is so soft it's disgusting.

JO needs to get bumped back a little bit also, I think he's proved to me that he's injury prone. Even when he's healthy, aside from that 24ppg last year, I've never been satisfied with his production.

Get Vince off the list completely. He's one guy who I don't even CONSIDER taking after the stunt he pulled in Toronto. Can you trust this guy to show up every night?

Lastly, I would move Arenas way up, maybe even to 9 or 10. This guy is so underrated. Look at his stats, he is one of the best all around guards in the NBA. 28ppg is enough to win the scoring title some years! Still only 24 years old with a lot of experience. Put him with a solid 4 or 5 (Jamison is so inconsistent) and he will do damage in this league, trust me.

 
At 12:23 AM, Blogger Alex Jackson said...

Yeah I noticed I got Brand on there twice. The #22 ranking was supposed to be someone else not sure who. Like I said I put up the list pretty quickly and didnt really check it when I was finished.

And I'm not gonna touch on all the arguments you made against my list or that would take about 1000 words but a few things-

T-Mac is rated that low cause like I said, injury is a huge concern with him. He's played on 3 teams also and still hasn't gotten his team past the 1st round. Like I mentioned several times I would be more concerned with picking winning players than those with gaudy stats.

Honestly I don't think I have Dirk too high although I can see the case against him since he has yet to get to the Finals. Nonetheless every year he puts up the same numbers with a differnt supporting cast and Dallas is always one of the top 4 teams in the West. He also never gets hurt.

Your arguments against Shaq are that he is retarded and his contract is too high? One the first one is just dumb and the second one doesn't factor in as Anthony mentioned contracts aren't factored in this.

Oh and about the donthaveablog comment, I have no interest in having a blog and I think this blog has great insight and articles about the NBA. But naturally I'm going to disagree with some of the stuff posted as anyone would and I just decided to post my own 2 cents on it.

 
At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Jhonny said...

The Williams pick... well, we could argue forever about it. At least I think it should be a couple of places below.
And Manu? I wouldn´t choose him to start a franchise, but I would certainly put him above Baron Davis. See? The thing with Ginobili is that he led Argentina and his Euro teams at every international competition existing and succeeded at it. We´ll never know what he could do as first option of an NBA team, but he sure is a helluva 2nd option... I´d say that tops whatever Davis has done and probably will do.

 
At 12:42 AM, Blogger Alex Jackson said...

One final thing regarding Bob's post, like I mentioned earlier, a 21-year old Howard has more value than a 29-year old Duncan but you can't honestly say that Orlando wouldn't be a better team if they had Duncan right now instead of Howard. I'm not saying they would be championship contenders but at the very least they'd make the playoffs in the East with Duncan. And San Antonio would not be as good with Howard than Duncan.

Finally if you think Howard belongs at #2 I respect that but how can you say it's not even close? Come on you ever heard of Dwayne Wade? The guy is a couple years older and is putting up numbers of 27-7-6 per game despite playing on a team with lots of other guys who demand the ball.

 
At 1:15 AM, Blogger XXX said...

My only complaint with this list is with the placement of (surprise, surprise) Marvin Williams. LeBron isn't a bad choice for the top spot and all, but I just don't see how you think he is a better long-term investment than Marvin.

For real though, I like your argument in general about putting Marv on the list - only time will tell what kind of player he'll be, but I'd say his potential for stardom is there for sure. I'm actually not as high on him as some seem to be, but the argument in favor of his inclusion has been strong.

I can't help but wonder where some of the top prospects for the '06 Draft (if any) would crack the list. Would anyone out there take a shot on Morrison, Gay, Aldridge, or Bargnani before they would some of the guys in the lower portion of the top 30?

Anyway, I love the list overall, it was an entertaining and informed read from 30-1. Keep up the good work as always.

Rob

 
At 3:58 AM, Blogger donthaveablog said...

I think Argentina qualifies as a crap team but if we're talking strictly NBA, whose to say Manu can't be the go to guy. All this "uncertainty" is b/s. I'd say there's just as much uncertainty, if not MORE, with half of the guys on the list. KG? Pierce? Redd? Tmac? Brand (before this season)? All first options with keys to the kingdom since Day 1, who have put up great numbers. But don't be biased bc they're cornerstones NOW. They've done diddly squat and still haven't proven that they can take a rag-tag bunch to greatness.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Awesome feedbacks guys, I never would have expected this. What I'm most happy about though, is that you all took the time to really get your points across without attacking one another (for the most part). I think that's what is most important on NBA blogs, to let your voice be heard but to also learn a little something from someone else. Anyway, I put up a post below this article to allow you all to rank your top 10. Make sure you take the time this weekend, thanks.

PS-Bob, I didn't know the Spurs signed Hitler?

 
At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only the T-Wolves GM could realize 'Oh! We should build a team AROUND KG'

 
At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Jhonny said...

Argentina qualifies as crap team? Really? Now that it has been proved that the best Euro ball club can beat one of the worst NBA teams (Raptors vs. Maccabi)(and remember Argentina is not a club but a national team, i.e. the combination of many club´s stars)? Now that we know that several national teams can beat the crap out of a collection of NBA stars representing the USA? Now that the list of NBA players defeated by Argentina includes Marbury, Iverson, Pierce, Baron Davis, RJefferson, Marion (twice), Duncan, J.O´Neal, Odom and Brand? Now that they´re Olympic champs?

 
At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the way that the Raptors are now playing, Maccabi would not beat them again.

 
At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW Howard just turned 20 in December.. Not sure where you guys are getting 21 from..

 
At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bump up carmelo, yao and nash. he has a very good chance of a 3 peat in the MVP department this year.and paul pierce has gained steps, not lost because ever since they lost antoine, he has carried the team by his shoulder and getting them closer to another playoff run.

 

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