Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney of SI.com released Part I of their list of Top 100 Players for the 2014 NBA season, and only one Brooklyn Nets player made it into their "bottom half" of the list, players 100-51.
That player is Joe Johnson, the team's starting shooting guard who checked in at No. 59. Keep in mind, first off, that this list is for the 2013-14 season alone, not an indication of future performance beyond this year, but a ranking system that evaluates the upcoming year only.
Now, with that in mind, it's tough to argue against this ranking for two reasons. First, Johnson has seen a bit of a decline from his days as an All-Star in Atlanta -- and this isn't related to his contract at all. Second, it's not necessarily a slight on a player when he checks in among the Top 60 players in the NBA when, you have to assume, he's ranked as the team's 5th "best" starter in this exercise.
Again, we don't know who made the Top 50, but it's probably a safe bet to say that Deron Williams and Brook Lopez are locks for, say, at least the Top 25 (a "safe" estimate), while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have to be in the Top 50, you would think, because there's really no argument to be made that there are 100 players in this league better than Pierce and Garnett -- not for next season, at least.
Johnson the player, not the salary, really isn't being slighted here seeing as he's another year older, coming of a good, not great, season and arguably the 5th best player on his own team.
One argument you might be able to have, I suppose, is whether or not Andrei Kirilenko should be on a list of the Top 100 players for next season. It's hard to imagine he'll show up in the Top 50, which then begs whether or not he belongs somewhere in the 100-51 range.
I look forward to seeing the rest of their list, which will be released throughout the week. Again, look for the other four Nets starters to show up in the Top 50, which is pretty darn good -- on paper, at least.
- Top 100 NBA players of 2013-14: Nos. 100-51 | The Point Forward - Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney - SI.com
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