In a fun and quite interesting post, the team over at SB Nation NBA took a stab at projecting the Top 100 players in the 2017 season. Yes, we still haven't even kicked off the 2013-14 season and they are already projecting 2017. Dog. Days. Of. Summer.
It's a fun debate to have, with some obvious choices -- Kevin Durant and LeBron James at one and two, respectively -- and some not-so-obvious ones -- Andre Drummond as the third best player in the NBA in 2017?
Two current Nets made the list, with Brook Lopez checking in at No. 17 and Deron Williams at No. 32. Lopez, who will be 29 years old in 2017 and in the prime of his career sits just behind Chris Paul (16) and Dwight Howard (15). Williams, who will turn 33 in 2017, has Mike Prada of SB Nation thinking he'll still be a borderline All-Star five seasons from now, while all of the pundits worry about his ankles holding up.
I had a chance to chime in on both picks, saying that Lopez has the ability to be a top-10 player in 2017 if he can learn how to be a bit more aggressive and ferocious on defense and on the glass, taking cues from his new frontcourt partner Kevin Garnett over the next few seasons.
As for who didn't make the list, well I suppose you can assume that Garnett and Paul Pierce will not be in the league five years from know. Joe Johnson will be 37 years old in 2017, so age will be an issue with him. As for the young guys, we haven't seen enough from Toko, Mirza, Bojan Bogdanovic and company to put them in the top 100, of course, but I suppose the one player you might be able to make an argument about is Andray Blatche, who will be 31 years old in 2017. Then again, so much will happen between now and 2017, it's tough to really say who will and won't be on this list, especially among the fringe players.
Well, I suppose you can also argue that one of the top-10 players on this list will be playing for the Brooklyn Nets because, hey, who knows.
- SB Nation's top 100 NBA players of 2017 - SBNation.com