As we get closer and closer to the start of the NBA season we continue our lists of the top five players from each position. Last week we debuted our list with the top 5 point guards in the league, a list which you can read here. With that we will be dropping our list of top 5 small forwards in the coming week followed by Power Forwards and wrapping up with Centers before the season starts. Feel free to tweet at us your list, our NBA twitter page is @NoHuddleNBA.
5. Victor Oladipo
Oladipo took a huge step last season after being moved from Oklahoma City to Indiana (where he was one of college basketball’s best players). It’s clear that he needs to be the number one option for him to succeed. Indiana was the perfect place for him, where they were in search for a star in the wake of the Paul George trade. I think he is in for another breakout season, he’s only 26 with many more prime years to go.
4. Jimmy Butler
There was a reason why there was a huge difference in the Timberwolves record with and without Butler. Before Butler’s injury, the Wolves looked like they were heading for a top 3 seed in the West. After the injury, they dropped all the way down to the 8th seed. He’s the best two-way player on this list, and he does very well as a team’s number 1 scoring option.
3. Demar Derozen
DeRozan’s main asset is the fact that he can make an impact on the scoreboard even without putting up crazy numbers. He was the main catalyst for a Raptors team that finished first in the Eastern Conference. He’s an excellent two-way player, and the only thing missing from his game is a lack of 3-pt shooting presence. But, last season he showed signs of improvement. The move to San Antonio should give him a chance to prove his skill in a tougher Western Conference.
2. Klay Thompson
Thompson’s ability to take over games is the reason he’s ranked higher than other SG’s. He’s one of the best shooters of all-time and isn’t half bad on the defensive end (it’s an underrated part of his game). He’s been an all-star for four straight years, a multiple time NBA champion, and even has the record for most points scored in one quarter. When he gets hot, there is no stopping him. If he played on a team that didn’t have three other all-stars, he has a legitimate chance to challenge Harden for the #1 spot.
1. James Harden
There’s nobody who is a better offensive player in this league than James Harden. He does everything at an extremely high level on the offensive end. He’s one of the best shooters in the league, he works well with and without the ball, and attracts so much attention from opposing defenses that other Rockets players can score easy. He won this year’s MVP in a landslide after leading a historically great offensive team this past season. Many thought he wouldn’t be able to coexist with Chris Paul, but he shattered that reputation after a fantastic year.